by Esther Schaeffer, serving in Burkina Faso, West Africa
Serving widows in Burkina Faso has many challenges; it also brings great joy.
Several years ago, a young woman in our community, Solange,* was widowed after her husband suffered a brief illness. She shared her story in one of our widows’ ministry meetings.
Everyone’s eyes teared up when she held up her young child, saying she didn’t know how they would manage.
Solange had not gone far in school and had been fully dependent on her husband’s income, as are many married women here. She felt inept, uncertain as to what she could do to change her situation.
After that meeting, a number of the women came forward to give Solange advice and encouragement.
A few weeks after sharing her story with us, Solange stood at my front door. We talked and prayed together, and she asked if she could borrow 10,000 francs ($20US). She said she needed the money to start a business going door-to-door selling children’s clothing.
I wasn’t too hopeful Solange’s business venture would be successful, but I was happy to give her the money and some food as well.
Last year Solange stopped by my home to pay back her loan. She was so excited to tell me her business was going quite well, and she now had a permanent kiosk. We again prayed together, thanking the Lord for His provision in her life.
A week ago, Solange again surprised me when she brought a new Bible to my home. She told me she had visited the prison one Sunday and noticed an inmate had a Bible that was falling apart. She had wanted to buy him a new one.
We know from Scripture that we must work, doing something useful with our own hands, so we can share with those in need (see Ephesians 4:28b).
Solange has not only worked to meet her family’s needs, she also is generous to share the little she has to meet the needs of others.
Join the Alliance family in praying for our workers in Burkina Faso and worldwide, who are taking the good news—in word and deed—to some of the most spiritually dark places on earth. Use the weekly Alliance Prayer Requests to assist you.
In the article “Not Forgotten,” Esther describes the blessings believers receive in caring for widows, first illustrated in the Book of Acts.