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Much has been done to help widows in India since I met Ruth Singson, founder of Widows Welfare Association (WWA) on my first trip to India, where the Lord broke my heart and changed my life forever.  But there is so much more work that needs to be done.
 

In India, 80% of the population is Hindu. Within this belief, when a man and woman marry the wife in effect divorces her family and is devoted to her husband and his family. She is often treated as property by his family. When the husband dies, extended family is allowed to take all property and are free to throw the wife and children out into the streets often with anything. Women turn to drugs prostitution or devoting their lives in a Hindu temple to worship one of their gods, Krishna.  And for this they might receive a handful of rice and a couple rupees.  Many of these women are also forced to become prostitutes with proceeds going to the temple caretaker. Children; become orphans, are often taken into the sex slave industry, forced to beg for others, fall victim to many unsavory circumstances or starve to death. Widows are not allowed to remarry or even attend their children’s weddings as they are despised and considered cursed, unlucky, and disgraceful.
 
Ruth approached me in the Book Store at the Operation Mobilization facility in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. She had been praying in the library when the team of six of which I was a part, had come through on tour. She focused on me and prayed to the Lord if I was the one to approach, apparently so.
 
I still remember her bustling down the isles between the bookshelves toward me, very excited to tell me about all the work she was doing for the widows in India. Over the course of time in our relationship, Ruth told me about her life and family. 
 
Her father had been a Christian Minister while she was growing up. She had known the Lord Jesus all her life. She married a Minister and together they had five children. Before their last child turned one, her husband perished in a tragic traffic accident, he being on a motorcycle which collided with a bus. Ruth made it to his side before he died. Shortly after he passed away at the scene and though mourning his loss, she knew he was safe in heaven. Ruth was able to minister to the people at the scene. She knew her husband was safe with Jesus Christ, so there was a certain peace about her that caused her Hindu and Muslim neighbors to become curious. She told them about the great love of God through Jesus Christ who died for our sins and was raised the third day. And that whoever would believe in Him and call upon His Name to be their Lord and Savior, that their sins would be taken away and that they would live forever in heaven when this life was over. Many received the Lord right there at the scene of the accident.
 
 
Though her family was Christian, there was still much Hindu culture ingrained in them from the society. Her brothers and uncles came to remove her and her five children from her home. She refused and cried out to God to help. Many nights she would cry and pray asking the Lord how she was to care for five children. The Lord assured her that if He could feed 5000 with five loaves and two fish, that taking care of her and her five children was not too difficult for Him and that she needed to trust Him. And though her brothers and uncles ultimately burned down her home, she and her children fled to another city where she began to minister to the Hindu and Muslim widows. The Lord provided a place for her and her children. It was also big enough to house several widows and orphans. She taught them textile skills to help them to support themselves and make a way for their families. Day-by-day, the Lord made provision for her and day-by-day her children grew and made their way to adulthood. The Lord had kept His promise. She continued working with the poorest of the poor. She would minister the Gospel, teach skills, and give food, clothing, and medicines. Many donors gave to help the ministry build a chicken farm where the proceeds continue to go to support widows and orphans.
 
I was able to work with Ruth several times since our first meeting, joining in her outreach efforts, conferences and additional opportunities to share God's word as the Lord led and opened the way.  And though for all that has been done in a country of over one billion, so much more can be done. To many this work will seem small, but to our God, each life is precious.