Sleep eluded Sabela. Every time the 48-year-old widow almost drifted off, the cold wind sliced through her home, rousing her. She couldn’t afford warm clothing or a blanket, and her relatives certainly wouldn’t help her. No matter how many articles of old, threadbare clothing she put on, they proved insufficient to stave off winter’s frigid air.
The Struggle of a Lonely Widow
Sabela was one of the 19 million widows in South Asia living in extreme poverty. She lived by herself on a small plot of land, which she tilled to grow crops to sell and eat. Sabela’s relatives refused to help her after her husband’s death, scorning her for being a widow—and a believer. She was left to fend for herself—a tragic byproduct of widowhood in South Asia.
Barely able to make enough money to buy food, Sabela could not spend her money on items like warm clothing. The cold winds brought to her doorstep threats of sickness and pain, and all Sabela could do was brave them as best she could.
Meeting Her Need
Like many widows in extreme poverty in South Asia, Sabela shouldered her burdens alone—until Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Jabarri, the leader of Sabela’s church, came to her rescue.
Pastor Jabarri organized a gift distribution to give away warm blankets to 50 men and women, including Sabela, whose poverty prevented them from adequately protecting themselves from the cold weather. The blanket warmed her heart; it became a testimony to her of how God would never forsake her and would take care of her in her time of need. Now, she could sleep through the night and sleep in peace.
“I am a poor widow,” Sabela said. “I hardly could arrange my daily needs. I was unable to purchase a blanket for myself, but today, I thank [the church] for providing me a good-quality and warm blanket. It really helped me greatly to protect myself from [the] cold night.”
 “World Widows Report.” Risto F. Harma, M.Sc. The Loomba Foundation. [pg. 36] https://www.theloombafoundation.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/WWR.pdf
 “World Widows Report.” Risto F. Harma, M.Sc. The Loomba Foundation. [pg.121] https://www.theloombafoundation.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/WWR.pdf