It can happen to you: your husband dies, you are left with seven children and then you are rejected by your family.
This is what happened to Kawawa, a widow from Kenya. Her husband, pastor Nicholas Kawawa, died earlier this year as a result of Covid. He had a great drive to preach the Gospel. ‘As long as people are still unconverted, I need to bring them the good news.’ Pastor Nicholas is no more. He has been ‘promoted to glory’.
He left behind a wife and seven children. Three of his own children and four foster children. And as is customary in the African context, the care of this family is entirely the responsibility of the in-laws. After all, that is what the dowry was for. Her own family has transferred the care to the in-laws.
Now that she is alone with her seven children, however, her in-laws do not care. For them, she no longer exists. She has become too expensive. A reason to disown her, apparently …
Last week there was an entrepreneurial trip to Kenya, organised by NET Foundation. One of our contacts had given us a sum of money for ‘where the need is greatest’. But how do you determine that? During a lesson we gave in a study centre, in connection with the course ‘Living for Christ’, which is about giving help, both incidentally and structurally, we asked the people: ‘What need has the highest priority for you at this moment? Where could you make a difference in your community? The answer was very quiet. When we asked Eric Ngala, our coordinator in Kenya for NET Foundation, he said that the need is high everywhere. There is a lot of domestic violence, often fatal. Society is disrupted. One of the biggest causes he mentioned were the measures taken because of the global pandemic.
We told him about the money we had received. Eric: ‘This is for Pastor Nicholas’ widow! He told us how her family had disowned her after the death of her husband, how her children now have no money to go to school. She has no income. Together with Eric, we drew up a plan. Meanwhile, she has received the first part of the amount for her own living expenses and for the study of her children. She will get the rest later on to set up a small business to be able to provide for herself on a structural basis.
Outcast from the family, but incorporated into God’s household. A Man for widows and a Father for orphans. He cares for and inclines the hearts of people.
Let Him govern, watching over them.
It is wisdom what He does.
He will make everything so,
That you have to be wonder.