World Challenge’s partners are offering help and hope to widows in the war-torn villages of Ukraine.
In many parts of Ukraine, like other cultures around the world, women who have been widowed rely on family members to care for them. Sadly, that family support system is not always in place. Some widows have no family at all, and others have relatives who live too far away or are unable to take care of them.
For widows without much help from family, life can be incredibly difficult. Those who have no real way to make a living due to age, illness or disability often lack food and money for basic necessities.
The challenges for widows in these cultures go beyond their physical needs. Many times, these women have to endure the loss of their loved ones and abandonment by their families. Left alone in the world, what they need most is a friend.
Friendship When It’s Needed Most
MIR Ministries, a partner of World Challenge, is working to care for the widows they support on every level possible. The provide for physical needs through food and care packages, emotional needs through personal visits, and spiritual needs through the gospel of Christ.
So far, volunteers have been able to care for and share the gospel with over 300 widows across the region. One of them was a woman named Galina.
When Galina joined the Widow’s Care program, she had lost both her husband and her son and was struggling with deteriorating health. The only family she had left was her daughter.
While Galina’s daughter worked very hard to care for and support her mother, she had health conditions of her own and struggled to make ends meet. Debts were piling up, and they often lacked access to food.
Understanding the Love of Christ
When team members from World Challenge’s partner met Galina, they felt that God was calling them to care for her. They were able to bring baskets of food to make sure that she had enough to eat and helped her get the medicine she desperately needed. They were persistent in showing her love and being there for her.
Over the next few months, Galina’s medical condition worsened. Even though Galina had not been receptive to hearing the gospel, the team members who had come to know her held out hope, faithfully visiting and praying with her.
One day, World Challenge’s partners brought Galina a medicine that she needed. One team member shared, “She couldn’t even speak, she was so overwhelmed with gratitude.” That simple act of kindness helped Galina to finally understand the love of Christ in a tangible way. That night, she prayed to accept Jesus as her savior.
The next morning, World Challenge’s partner got word that Galina had passed away. Those who knew her were incredibly thankful that her heart had softened toward God in the final days of her life. Thanks to the relentless care of people who wanted the best for her, Galina got to experience firsthand the love of Christ.