Hope and dignity for India's 'blamed and rejected' widows

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Information about Hope and dignity for India's 'blamed and rejected' widows
Spiritual

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: ubsbible

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Widows in India face rejection, isolation and even destitution. The Bible Society of India, in partnership with churches, is working to change that through the 'Hope Givers' program, which strengthens and equips widows to not only provide for themselves but also reach out to others in their communities. Read the story here: http://www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/news/5277-dignity-and-hope-for-indias-blamed-and-rejected-widows/

Hope  and  dignity  for  the  ‘blamed  and   rejected’  widows  of  India Tuesday, 4 March 14

Women  in  India  face  many   challenges.  Although  things  are   slowly  changing  in  some  parts  of   the  country,  inequality  and   discrimina@on  are  widespread,   with  boys’  educa@on  priori@sed   over  girls’.  Many  women,   par@cularly  in  rural  areas,  are   illiterate  and  dependent  on  their   husbands  or  male  rela@ves.   Tuesday, 4 March 14

Some  end  up  in  desperately   unhappy  marriages  but  have   no  way  out.  Ruth’s  husband   of  50  years  leG  her  with   physical  and  emo@onal  scars.   She’s  now  a  widow  and   although  she  has  a  suppor@ve   family,  she  worries  for  other   widows,  who  face  rejec@on,   poverty  and  loneliness.   Tuesday, 4 March 14

You  are  widowed  because  you  did   something  wrong  in  your  previous   life:  that  is  the  view  in  this   predominantly  Hindu  culture.  So,   whether  a  widow  is  from  a  rich  or   poor  background,  she  faces  blame,   mistreatment  and  rejec@on.  Many   are  kicked  out  of  their  homes  and   leG  to  fend  for  themselves  and  their   children,  leaving  them  in  a  desperate   situa@on.  That’s  why  we  started  the   ‘Hope  Givers’  program  -­‐  these   women  need  to  feel  loved  and  see   that  their  lives  mean  something. -­‐  Dr  Leelavathi  Manasseh,   Bible  Society  of  India Tuesday, 4 March 14

Through  the  ‘Hope  Givers’  program,   the    Bible  Society  of  India  and  its   partners  offer  prac@cal  help  and   hope  to  widows  and  other  women   facing  difficult  situa@ons.   Tuesday, 4 March 14

It  runs  workshops  to  teach  the   women  prac@cal  skills  so  that  they   are  able  to  support  themselves. These  include  candle-­‐making, Tuesday, 4 March 14

...juice-­‐making Tuesday, 4 March 14 and  pickle-­‐making.

It  also  provides  counselling  and  legal   advice,  helping  the  women  to  access  the   government  help  they  are  en@tled  to. Tuesday, 4 March 14

“We  don’t  start  by  giving  them  the  Gospel,”  says  Dr   Manasseh.  “We  help  meet  their  needs  and  when  they  ask  us   why  we’re  helping  them  we  tell  them  about  Jesus’  love  for   widows  and  other  vulnerable  people.  It’s  a  surprising   message  for  them  and  many  want  to  know  more.” Tuesday, 4 March 14

For  those  who  want  to  know  more   about  Chris@anity,  the  program   offers  seminars  and  Bible  study   groups,  helping  the  women  to   understand  God’s  love  for  them. Tuesday, 4 March 14

Esther  Rani  Lakshmi  lost  her   husband  to  AIDS  four  years   ago,  leaving  her  with  two   children.  Discovering  she   was  HIV  posi@ve,  she  faced   even  more  ridicule  and   rejec@on  than  other  widows.   She  was  helped  by  the  ‘Hope   Givers’  program.  Esther  now   pastors  a  small  church  and   reaches  out  to  other  widows   and  suffering  women   through  the  program. Tuesday, 4 March 14

God  has  worked  so  many  miracles  in  my   life.  I  believe  that  the  Bible  is  God’s  own   heart  -­‐  that’s  what  I  teach  in  my  church  and   when  I’m  reaching  out  to  other  widows.   They  need  to  be  loved  and  cared  for  and   they  can  find  that  through  the  Bible  and   through  the  love  they  receive  from  us. -­‐  Pastor  Esther Tuesday, 4 March 14

Around  5,000  women  are  helped  and  trained  each   year  through  the  program.  Each  of  those  women  go   back  into  their  communi@es  to  help  at  least  another   5  women.  Some@mes  as  many  as  50,000  women  in   difficult  situa@ons  are  reached. Tuesday, 4 March 14

I’ve  been  a  widow  for  four  years  and  the   lack  of  money  is  a  constant  worry.  The   skills  I’ve  been  learning  through  this   program  are  really  useful  because  I’m  able   to  make  a  li[le  money  to  live  on.  I’m   anxious  about  ge]ng  ill  and  not  being  able   to  support  myself  but  I  have  my  church   and  my  Jesus  -­‐  he  is  our  Helper. -­‐  Puspa Tuesday, 4 March 14

My  marriage  was  not  a  good  one.  My   husband  treated  me  badly.  I  now  live   with  my  sons.  I  come  to  the  ‘Hope   Givers’  program  because  I  need  peace  in   my  heart  that  only  God  can  provide.  My   favourite  Bible  verse  is  Psalm  34:5  -­‐  ‘The   oppressed  look  to  him  and  are  glad;   they  will  never  be  disappointed.’ -­‐  Glory Tuesday, 4 March 14

I  was  happily  married  for  35  years.  Now  my   husband  is  gone,  I’m  having  a  tough  @me.  I   live  with  my  daughter,  who  makes  life  very   difficult  for  me,  and  I’m  afraid  of  what  will   happen  to  me  in  the  future.  I’ve  been  a   Chris@an  all  my  life.  This  program  reminds   me  that  I  can  put  my  trust  in  God.   -­‐  Gracy Tuesday, 4 March 14

“What  God  the  Father  considers  to  be  pure  and  genuine  religion  is  this:   to  take  care  of  orphans  and  widows  in  their  suffering  and  to  keep  oneself   from  being  corrupted  by  the  world.”  (James  1:27) Tuesday, 4 March 14

PLEASE  PRAY  FOR  THIS  WORK,  WHICH  IS  BRINGING  HOPE   TO  INDIA’S  WIDOWS  AND  OTHER  SUFFERING  WOMEN To  find  out  more  about  our  work  around   the  world,  visit  unitedbiblesocie@es.org Tuesday, 4 March 14

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