When James 1:27 teaches “look after the widows and orphans,” today we tend to think of this is a first century cultural thing. Of course back in Jesus’ day women were considered chattel. Orphaned children were left to run the streets if no family member was willing or able to take them in. A woman couldn’t own her own land or home. Her security rested in her father, then her husband, and eventually, hopefully, in her son.
Today it is vastly different! Today we have welfare for widows who need help and foster care for children who have been abandoned or removed from the home. Besides, women in our culture are able to buy and sell land, homes, cars and property of any kind. Our women can work and save and if wise and lucky enough, plan well for retirement. Right? (tongue in cheekiness)
In India, however, the women are not far removed from New Testament situations. Many Indian widows are not permitted to remarry. In fact, up until the 1950’s, it was legal to burn the wife on the funeral pyre of her dead husband. If her children are young, or if she doesn’t have children, or if her children refuse to take care of her, these women have no way to make a living. They are not allowed to work in most situations and end up as beggars. They have no welfare, no foster care.
This week Noah and Dave went to a church that is meeting 22nd century needs with first century commandments. They attended a Christian Church that is feeding the widows in their area. These women come on Sunday and receive a bag of rice and another bag of food. They are given sari’s or head coverings. They are loved and cared for by these Christians. Many of these women are not Christians. They are Hindu, but how beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News! Slowly, these women are learning about the love of Christ and weekly they are having those physical needs met. These are their photos.