More than Just
Tears in Her Eyes

Waves of memories flooded Minosha’s mind as she recounted her life story to a GFA-supported field correspondent. Sorrowful memories about her husband, whom she never got to say goodbye to; about giving birth to their son alone, wondering where her husband was; about the day she learned she was a widow. The endless tears. Yet by the end of their conversation, a smile shone in her eyes—she also remembered the day she met Jesus.

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More than Just Tears in Her Eyes

Minosha and this woman both lost their husbands unexpectedly. Widows in Asia are often left alone in their grief and shunned by society.

The Grief of One Widow

When Minosha was only 25 years old and pregnant with their first child, her husband vanished. Violence had ravaged her nation for decades, leaving behind a swath of destruction and grief, and now her own family bore its mark. Devastated, Minosha searched everywhere for her husband and prayed to her traditional god faithfully. After a few years, she lost hope of ever seeing him again. Grief consumed her; she could hardly eat, and days of weeping left her weak.

Five years later, it was confirmed: Her husband was dead.

In many places, if a mother, sister or neighbor lost her husband suddenly, she would likely receive notes of condolence, flowers and gifts of hot meals or offers for watching young children. But instead of receiving help, Minosha gained the responsibility of financially providing for her parents and brother, who lacked a viable source of income.

No longer waiting for her husband’s return, Minosha decided to go abroad to find work so she could give education to the son he never met. Her heart might be broken, but her boy still depended on her for survival.

The Grief of 46 Million Widows

The plight of many widows in Asia like Minosha is hard to grasp; their lives are so unlike how many would wish to be treated as a widow—or how God wishes them to be treated.

Some widows find great support from their loved ones and friends, but in many places, that is not the cultural norm. For many of Asia’s 46 million widows, the loss of her husband may mean she also loses her standing in society. She may even be declared cursed by the gods and shunned, as though she did some great sin that caused her husband to die. She might even be forbidden to attend her husband’s funeral or be forced to watch from a distance, so great is the ostracism. Her adult children might cast her—their widowed mother—from the family home, and society would not raise an eyebrow.

More than Just Tears in Her Eyes

These women are widows, as Minosha is. In their culture, where color equals beauty, widows are expected to wear white, signify that color left their life when their husbands died.

In addition to the emotional wounds of widowhood, women who are isolated can be easy prey for those with malicious intent. Even women whose husbands are alive but have abandoned the family are often treated as widows and face many of the same hardships. Poverty traps them in desperation and can force them to make decisions they don’t want to make, such as entering prostitution or sending their children to work as child laborers.

This is the life for many women in Asia whom society labels “widow,” and Minosha now bore that title.

Vain Efforts

Once more, life for Minosha did not go as she planned. She developed serious health issues while overseas that left her unable to walk properly. Instead of saving up money for her family, she required abdominal surgery. After three years abroad, Minosha returned to her homeland. She bore both the emotional scars from her failed attempt at financial success and physical scars from a hysterectomy.

Still weak, she could no longer support her son. Their roles reversed, and her precious boy stepped out of school after 10th grade and found a job as a mason. Still in his youth, he joined the ranks of millions of other children who must work to provide for their families.

More than Just Tears in Her Eyes

The children of widows—or of women whose husbands have abandoned them—endure many hardships alongside their mothers.

The children of widows—or of women whose husbands have abandoned them—endure many hardships alongside their mothers. Leaving school early or never even setting foot in a school are just some of the impacts of fatherlessness. According to the United Nations, there are up to 150 million children who are roaming the streets, at risk of trafficking, forced labor and gang involvement.1

Disappointment after disappointment marked Minosha’s life. After all her hard work to ensure her son would have a bright future, he now had to stop his education to care for her. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Her husband wasn’t supposed to die so young. Her teenage son wasn’t supposed to be her provider. As the years rolled on, she hoped one day there would be something more to life than tears.

There are up to 150 million street children worldwide.

Finding Something More than Tears

Minosha was alone in her home one day when she noticed two people approaching her house. Instead of brushing her aside as a widow, they seemed to want to intentionally meet her. Curious to know their purpose in visiting her, she invited them in. As she talked with the GFA-supported pastor and his wife, Minosha received a small leaflet. Desperate to find an answer for her problems, she eagerly talked with her new guests.

“Pastor Basar and his wife, Naomi, explained to me about the Lord Jesus and His life-changing power,” Minosha recounts. “As I was living very close to the church, which I daily see when I walk to buy things, I wanted to attend the Sunday service.”

Naomi warmly invited Minosha to visit her any time and offered to pray for her needs. Her kindness made a significant impression on Minosha’s heart—and then Minosha discovered Jesus held an even greater love for her. She began attending worship services every Sunday and a Bible study every Saturday. As she matured in her relationship with Christ, everything in her life changed.

More than Just Tears in Her Eyes

Minosha found acceptance and love from her local GFA-supported congregation, like this one. After reading God’s Word and hearing about His great love for her, Minosha received deep joy into her life.

“I really experienced a great peace and joy in my heart,” Minosha testifies. “I got a new hope for living my life, even though many sad things happened to us.”

“I got a new hope for living my life, even though many sad things happened to us.” —Minosha

The relationship with her Savior lifted her out of despair; He gave her hope for eternity and comfort for this life. What’s more, relationships with other children of God gave her the courage and aspiration to start a small business from her home. Every morning, she began making and selling traditional foods to passersby. She even approached local soap vendors and partnered with them, helping them sell their soap products. With her humble earnings, she is able to contribute to her family’s income and express her gratitude to God through her tithes.

Today, Minosha praises God for His goodness displayed in her life, saying, “I thank God for the blessings given to me and my son and for the peace in our hearts. I earlier had only tears in my eyes because of the problems I was facing alone. But now I am so full of joy and hope and have a reason to live.”

Show Love to Widows and Orphans

Minosha’s story is one of heartbreak, healing and triumph. What made the difference in her life was the chance to hear about Jesus and start a relationship with Him.

Millions of other widows and children need that same chance.

More than Just Tears in Her Eyes

Geeta (pictured) received critical help through GFA’s ministry to widows and abandoned children. At a time when prostitution or eviction were her only options, GFA-supported workers arrived with food and rent money. Now, her new church family means she is no longer alone.

“I earlier had only tears in my eyes because of the problems I was facing alone. But now I am so full of joy and hope and have a reason to live.” —Minosha

Your gift to GFA’s Widows and Abandoned Children Fund will equip national workers to minister Christ’s hope to at-risk women and children. This fund provides items like income-generating gifts, shelter, counseling, food and, in the case of abandoned children, a chance to be reunited with a suitable family member when appropriate. Above all, God’s love will be displayed in both word and deed to the helpless, just as He commanded in Scripture.

Bring widows and children a reason to smile again!

Help Widows and Abandoned Children


*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.

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