The widow’s home:
In 1997 God spoke to us about the widows of Varanasi. He told us to build a home for them where they can live in dignity and where others can come and earn a living by doing income generating projects like sewing, soap, candle and jam making.
>Varanasi is one of India’s most holy cities. Thousands of pilgrims come to this city to bathe in the river Ganges, to wash away their sins. The belief is that if you die in this city, you will go straight to heaven. This is one of the reasons why so many widows are here.
Another reason is that many of those who come here on pilgrimage leave their widows behind, so that they don’t have to take care of them any more.
Because of this the city is filled with widows living on the streets, having no one to care for them. There is an estimated 10,000 of them. They earn a living by begging, working as “maids” or by prostitution. Some have lost their sanity due to the desperate situation they are in. Consequently, the city is defiling itself, because it is not doing the will of God. He wants us to take care of the widows, so they can lead peaceful lives.
Our vision is to help these widows and to employ 1500 of them in various income gene-rating projects. We want to house 50 widows who are in desperate circum-stances, and provide for them and their children who often accompany them. We will equip younger widows with skills so that they can earn a decent income and experience the Hope that they never had. This will take time. We need a lot of staff, finances and know-ledge. We have built the home and have started taking in widows.
At present we have 25 widows living with us ( including 9 widows working) . We have trained and employed between 50 -100 widows in various income generating projects and have opened a small shop selling some of their products.
As widows are very much on God’s heart, we are committed to show God’s love through the 2 handed gospel - by discipling them and in a practical way, by providing them with skills that will help them to fit back into society. We see the widows as individuals, precious in the eyes of God and desire to treat them with that same respect, not as mere numbers in an institution. Our goal is to have 50 widows living in the home by the year 2010. These will be widows who are living on the streets; those who are sick, handicapped or have mental problems. Our goals is to employ 1500 widows by the year 2010 who come daily to learn and earn through various micro enterprises i.e. handicrafts, , baking, tailoring, soap and candle making, peanut butter and jam making, and making jeweler. etc. These articles will be sold in a shop, which has been built on the same property and in other venues.
As our location is surrounded by many villages, part of the widows whom we train, will work from their own houses and bring their produce to the centre once a week. As well as being a place to cater for the needs of widows the home will also be used to run various YWAM training schools and seminars. Children’s ministry will be a part of this home especially as some widows will come with small children. It is to be a place where staff can live comfortably with the widows to enable them to minister more effectively.