Hindu widows, the poorest of the poor, are shunned from society when their husbands die – not for religious reasons, but because of tradition and because they are seen as a financial drain on their families. They rarely remarry. They are invisible to society. Even their shadows are considered bad luck. With little social or economic status, many become destitute, living in the streets. For the estimated 40 million widows in India, this is a harsh reality. In India, a woman is respected only if she is a mother, daughter, and wife. Since women in India are often married off at a young age instead of being educated, they usually lack the skills and knowledge to fend for themselves economically or fight for their basic rights. When a man dies, his widow is seen as bad luck; she is shunned from her community and exiled from family and friends. She is no longer welcome in the homes of those who once loved her. Her presence at family functions is totally forbidden. Most times her grown children even turn her away. The situation is even more extreme within India's rural areas, where communities are much more tradition-bound.
Some widows work in our rice paddies, producing rice for themselves and our orphanages. The rest of their support comes in through the generous gifts of donors. 100% of gifts designated for the widows ministry goes to help their needs. The greatest joy is knowing that as these widows come to us and hear about the love of Christ, they turn to Him for their eternity. They have established a reputation for themselves as they are known as the “Prayer Widows."