World Challenge’s partners in Peru have felt called to serve one oft-overlooked group of people: the widows of their town.
The Peru team has started a bi-monthly meeting to reach and minister to the precious widowed ladies in their community. “Each visit allows us to grow in friendship and fellowship,” one team member explained, “as well as grow in our mutual relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus. We pray each meeting that we can be a reflection of Jesus to these amazing women.”
Six of the women who were part of the original group have accepted Christ as their Savior, and recently four more received the Lord. The overjoyed team wrote to us, saying, “It is such a blessing to participate in their salvation, and we know that their salvation is the fruit of your being part of this ministry through ample prayers and generosity. You are part of their salvation story!”
All of these women, those who have recently come to Christ and those whose long walk with the Lord is being strengthened, are a blessing to us.
Serving the Elderly Saints
One new member of the group is Rosa Leon Quispe. She is 63 years old and was widowed 10 years ago when her husband passed away due to cancer. They only had one child together who was God’s gift to them late in life and is under the age of 18.
Rosa has worked hard over the years to be her household’s sole provider. Without a formal education, her options have been limited. She collects plastic bottles and sells them by weight. The little she earns from this she uses to pay for food and school supplies for her child. She survives in what we would consider extreme poverty, and she receives no assistance from the government or other organizations.
When Rosa arrived at our partners’ church, they quickly realized that she was Quechua and didn’t speak or understand Spanish. Fortunately, several Quechuan volunteers stepped in to translate and help the whole team get to know Rosa better. They learned that she is a believer who has long relied on the Lord to be her strength and rock in hard times.
“She says God has answered her prayers through this group,” one team member said. “Rosa has an incredible faith and strong trust in the Lord.”
Learning to Read the Word
Most of the widow in our partners’ church are illiterate in both Spanish and Quechua, so the team has begun offering reading and writing classes. The purpose for this is twofold. First, they want these beautiful women to be able to read God’s Word for themselves. Second, the ability to read and write will improve their daily lives as they find work and negotiate for goods in the marketplace.
The team introduced coloring books recently in order to help the women feel more comfortable holding and controlling a pencil. The women were delighted. For many of them, it was their first time coloring!
Please pray for Rosa as well as the volunteers from the church that help our partners reach the widows in their community. Please pray that this ministry can be a place of refuge where our ladies feel secure and are encouraged to grow in fellowship and faith. Pray that the team would always be able to honor the biblical order given to the church: “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. Honor widows who are truly widows” (1 Timothy 5:1-3, ESV).