Wednesday, June 23, 2021

 



It's International Widows Day and today we're celebrating God's perfect solution to the widow crisis in India. Being a widow should never stand in the way of having a full life. But what if you were married to a drunk who lost all your property and died leaving you with nothing but a pile of debt? Chronmi, widowed at age 56, knows exactly what that’s like. Because that “what if” is her reality. Her's husband debts forced her to move into a tiny rented house with a tin roof, no electricity and no water. She washes her neighbors' clothes to put food on the table when she's not fetching water or collecting firewood. 

But God had a plan for Chronmi, who had practiced the animistic beliefs of her family until she found Christ 16 years before her husband died.  When liver failure took his life, Chronmi looked beyond her despair and called on the One who promises to provide for widows and orphans in their distress. And God proved faithful sending caring believers in His Kerusomen India Church Family and financial assistance from KGM partners here in America to rescue her. 

Last year another tragedy struck suddenly, Chromni's youngest daughter was widowed and left alone to provide for her son who is mentally disabled.  How God transformed this new tragedy from" ashes to beauty" (Psalm 61:3) is a perfect example of  how God's thoughts and ways are far above ours... 

Kerusomen Pastor Milla leads a church in Manipur near Chromi’s home. She visited Chronmi and was filled with compassion for her. Chromi rents a small tin-roofed house with no electricity and water. She washes clothes for her neighbors to make some income when she’s not collecting firewood for cooking or water to drink and bathe in. Pastor Milla immediately got Chronmi accepted into the KGM Widow Rescue ministry to help her with monthly medicine costs and food.

Then a year ago one of Chronmi’s daughters was widowed and left to care for her mentally ill son. Chronmi’s upbringing was in the animistic faith which worships evil spirits out of fear and attributes mental illness to them. So in the eyes of her neighbors, Chronmi’s daughter was twice cursed: as a widow who brings “bad luck” and the mother of a mentally ill child. Chronmi who accepted Christ at the age of 40 moved her daughter and grandson in with her even though she herself was barely surviving.

But God had a plan for the widow Chronmi. Last summer KGM partners here were inspired by Pastor Anju, Director of Kerusomen India’s Women’s Ministry, who shared her dream to help widows like Chronmi become self-supporting. When KGM USA sponsored 25 widows into the women’s ISOS Transformation Groups, Anju chose Chronmi to be one of the recipients.

Today Chronmi is an active member of her local ISOS group in Manipur. The close-knit group meets weekly to invest money in a safe bank account held jointly by its members. They encourage each other in building small business enterprises for which they receive training and small loans. Most importantly, they are discipled in a closer walk with the Lord though Bible teachings, worship songs, and prayer.

Chronmi and the KGM ISOS Transformations Groups are a perfect example of how God brings beauty from ashes (Psalm 61:3) in the lives of discarded widows in India. He welcomes them into a new community - His church family – and empowers them with a hope that lasts. God's church, His people, are His solution. They are the ambassadors He sends in answer to the global widow crisis. He rescues them. He welcomes them into community. He empowers them to envision the abundant life only He can give.

His solution is more than economic aid, more than social charity, more than better education. It’s a personal and lasting solution. Because it’s more than a solution, it’s a relationship of LOVE. And that changes EVERYTHING.

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