When we glimpse the heart of God in the Bible, we find widows, orphans and the fatherless. There are more than seventy verses about taking care of the widow. In nearly fifty additional passages, orphans are mentioned, with a mandate to keep them from falling through the cracks of society. Scriptures remind us to protect the fatherless.
God loves them, defends them, and commands us to care for them. He opposes those who threaten or bring them harm. Psalm 68 verse 5 says:
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
My husband Richard is International Director of WOW (Working for Orphans and Widows). Three years ago, he and founder Jim Cantelon visited a poor community in Northern Uganda. In a mud hut with only a little clay oven and a grass roof that allowed rain to pour in, they met Eunice and her sister Sharon. The teenagers had lost their parents and lived with an uncle who was always drunk. The shame on their faces told the full story of his abuse. To add to the tragic portrait, Sharon is blind. Jim told the ministry partners, “Something has to be done.”
Last June, just off a dusty highway in NWOYA district I was with the missions team, visiting a handsome residential Girls’ School that was full to the max with 134 girls in academic and skills training.
After touring the impressive facility, Jim remembered the sisters they had met near this site, three years earlier. “What happened to Eunice?” he asked. “She’s here!” was the surprising response.
Moments later, the tall, uniformed young woman was before us. Eunice was now in a safe, nurturing environment, hoping to become a nurse. Earlier that very week, she had visited her sister Sharon, who for one month had been attending a school for the blind! Already she could write her name in braille!
Fairytales don’t get much better than this. Typically they begin when the love of Christ compels —“Something must be done.” A hug from heaven follows!
Written by: Moira Brown