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WIdows + OrPHANs = Wiphan (+ our 1st family pic)

I am encouraged by orphan advocates. Their are a gazillon of them. BUT…let us not forget how scripture teaches us to care…for BOTH the orphan and widow. ALMOST every time the orphan is mentioned in scripture–which is A LOT…SO IS THE WIDOW. So–my question is this: Why does the widow so often seem to be forgotten? Where are all the widow advocates? What about them?

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27

“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” Psalm 68:5

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Isaiah 1:17

“You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.” Exodus 22:22-24

“Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in me.” Jeremiah 49:11

“The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” Psalm 146:9

β€œThen I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:5

“Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.” Jeremiah 22:3

“To turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!” Isaiah 10:2

“Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them.” Isaiah 1:23

“You have sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.” Job 22:9

I could go on–but the point is…we can NOT put our focus on half of the command. I don’t want to live half-heartedly…I can’t say that I’m called to serve the orphan and not the widow when the Lord puts them TOGETHER over and over and over again in scripture…for a REASON. I don’t want to stand before God one day and hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant…BUT–you missed the other half.”

Orphans are beautiful.

BUT…so are the widows.

And they are together–for a beautiful purpose.
This Zambian widow has learned to sew–to create a product she can sell–to feed her single orphaned children…and make a difference in her world. What might she be doing if the founders of Wiphan had not followed God’s instruction and guidance to serve the widow? How might her children eat? How might she be looking for ways to make money? I don’t like to think of the WHAT IF answers…

We can’t take scripture out of context–or change it to work for us…we are called as believers to visit them both. To take care of them both. To serve them both.

I can’t imagine a life of not serving the widow. For me, God has changed my heart more through serving the widow…and I completely understand JUST A BIT why He puts them TOGETHER. Not just for THEM. BUT also for ME. Don’t miss out on the WHY. Don’t miss out what God might want to do through you as you look for ways to serve both. For me personally–it would be wrong to the seperate the two because the gospel doesn’t do that. And I want to follow the gospel.

Who are the widows in your church?

In your community?

Across the world?

THIS week–the widows of Wiphan Care Ministries are being blessed as a team has gone over to LOVE and SERVE THEM. Several ladies from Cup of Joy have gone to put on a SECOND women’s retreat (the first was last summer). The ladies walk over a mile to hear the gospel and be encouraged that God loves them…

They are led in worship…and many for the FIRST time hear that they are BEAUTIFUL…that God knows them BY NAME…they are VALUED…they have a PURPOSE…and they WORSHIP…

Wiphan Care Ministries could DO EVEN MORE in the lives of widows if others will join us in DEFENDING THE WIDOW.
For just $25 a month, you can support the widow program at Wiphan Care Ministries…investing in these beautiful women as they hear the gospel, learn a trade…and while some even love the orphans in our programs. Will you prayerfully consider supporting widows? Will you consider sharing widows and serving them with others?

And what about locally? Visiting assited living and nursing homes? How many widows do not have children or family coming to check on them? How many feel lost and left to die with no one caring for them? I believe it would make the heart of our Father smile if we, as believers, sought out how to serve not only orphans–but widows too. He didn’t seperate them–and I don’t want to either.

I can’t forget the widow in my life I love most either. And the son she gave me.

My life will be spent loving her…and seeking ways to serve others just like her.

My family is changed and more beautiful because of her hardship…

(granted it’s taken with an iPhone…but it is our baby boy’s FIRST breakfast out…and FIRST family picture…a more professional one to come later;)

And this is just before Parker and Frankie-baby fell OFF the table…because a piece of rotted wood broke off…good times:)

If you and your family have found a beautiful way to serve the widow, please let me know by filling out my contact page! We are making a list of ways for others to serve the widows so we can share–so we can help others follow James 1:27 in this beautiful way!

Elle J - July 27, 2010 - 12:14 pm

I have a dear friend who is widowed due to cancer that struck her husband, and she is left to raise her three young children solo. Out of all the “little things” I have done for her (little because it never seems to be enough when you care for some one so deeply ~ you just want to do it all), my favorite was surprising her with a bouquet of flowers on her wedding anniversary, the first with out him. Seeing her face shine and reading her eyes ~ said it all.

Christina - July 27, 2010 - 12:50 pm

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post and posted a specific story of such on my blog not long ago. The post wasn’t to “toot my own horn” but to testify that scripture is very right when it says it is worship – true worship. Our hearts must seek to serve both!!! And 1 Timothy 5:3-4 tells us to begin with our own families first. Feel free to read my post in all your free time πŸ™‚

Rachel - July 27, 2010 - 2:11 pm

This is a lovely post, and so true. In our Church we believe in helping everyone. Be it a dinner to the sick, visiting the elderly or alone, watching someones kids for a while or just simply calling to see if someone needs anything.
I find by helping others we receive so many blessing! To be lost in HIS service it the best service we can give.

I think this video say it all….

Your family pictures are simply fabulous, I’m lucky enough that I get to stitch peoples families and then those are given as gifts to others.

Have a happy Tuesday!

:)Rachel Berry

natali - July 27, 2010 - 3:46 pm

amen! πŸ™‚
and i loved the family pic!

kristi johnson - July 27, 2010 - 5:02 pm

we have a widow in our sunday school class (so hope she is there this sunday) but my hubby just went over and helped build her kids’ a tree house…kristi

Christy - July 27, 2010 - 6:57 pm

Yay, glad you focused on this! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to hear what others’ responses are and get some more good ideas. Love the family picture – you are SO cute and beautiful, both inside and out! πŸ™‚

Heidi - July 27, 2010 - 8:34 pm

you pushed me over the edge .. I have been wanting to write about my mom for weeks now just wasn’t sure how to do it and your post today inspired me to finally take a leap of faith to share.. My mom is a widow and sometimes you don’t have to look far to find them .. they are all around us:) again I just love following along

Bobi Bobbitt - July 27, 2010 - 11:57 pm

Great post as always, Andrea! This has inspired me to take my three boys to visit widows in our local nursing home next week! My heart goes out to these precious women! Bobi

Jordan - July 28, 2010 - 12:03 am


First time commenter here. I am so inspired by your blog! I am passionate about grief and widow care and the role this plays in our local churches. I can’t recommend the book “From One Widow to Another” by Miriam Neef enough. She challenges churches to take the call to care for the widow seriously and offers amazing advice on ways the church can reach out to the widows in their communities and congregations. She also gives heartfelt insight into accepting the “new normal” that a widow/widower faces and encouragement for the road ahead. I know you are so busy right now, but this is a great book to consider when you have time for reading again!