In some African countries, the acquired wealth of a man belongs to his parents and male siblings at his death. If there aren’t any male siblings or parents who survive him, his wealth goes to his male relatives. His wife and children do not have a claim on any of the material possessions that were gained by their husband and father. The widow does have the option of marrying a brother or male cousin to keep the wealth in the family, but if she refuses, she is cast out and left with nothing. Of course, many Christian widows will not become a second wife or marry a nonbeliever. This was the story of Philagona.
Philagona was married to Wafula for ten years and had three beautiful children—two girls, Diana and Daisy, and one son, Davis. Tragically, in 1999 Wafula contracted a severe case of malaria and died. Philagona and her children found themselves homeless and penniless. (I will never understand how a grandparent could take the home and belongings of their grandchildren and leave them destitute, but this is common in some African nations!)
Philagona took any small job she could find just to put food on her table. For shelter, she rented one room of a building made of dung and clay. Primary school is provided by the government in Kenya, but secondary schools cost money, so her daughter Diana had to drop out because she couldn’t afford the school fees.
With the help of a few caring friends, Philagona took a course in sewing and tailoring. Her dream was to open up her own shop and sew women’s clothing, men’s suits and table cloths. As the saying goes, “It takes money to make money.” Philagona didn’t have any money, so her dream seemed impossible.
Thanks to you, however, Philagona now owns two sewing machines and rents a business place where she started her own tailoring shop just last month. Her shop will provide for all the needs of her growing family, and she is already thinking of ways to expand her business to hire some other needy believers!
Truly, God has made a way for Philagona and her family, creating a river in the desert. Thank you for helping to make Philagona’s dream a reality!
In the past nine months fifty-six widows have been helped in five different nations because of your compassion. Thanks so much.
To Jesus belongs all the glory,
Learn more about how you can help widows through Heaven’s Family.