Two Widows, Two Shops
Rev. LeCrecia M. Ali

Imagine with me that you live in a country where having a different faith from the majority is illegal. Imagine that you are a Christian family in this country just trying to get by. As a husband and wife, you are doing your best to raise your children in the faith, but it is challenging. No one will employ you. Neighbors and family shun you, if not outright persecute you and torment you.

Now, imagine you discover that your husband has been martyred for your faith, and now you have to try and raise your children in the faith without a partner, a breadwinner, or a protector.

This scenario is the reality for two Nazarene widows in Africa. We cannot mention their names or locations for their protection, but they shared with our leaders that life was tough for them. Their children could not go to school, their clothes became ragged, and on many days, they struggled to eat even one meal a day.

Yet through the generosity of Nazarenes to the project “Martyrs Widows’ Shop,” the Church of the Nazarene was able to provide these courageous women with the necessary goods to run small grocery shops. Local Nazarenes help cover the cost of rent for three months to enable these new shopkeepers to get started. They also helped build shelves to hold the merchandise.

Small local grocery stores are typical in this part of the world, and owning such a shop allows these widows to support their families without seeking employment from those who would persecute them.

One widow said, “I am eternally grateful to my Nazarene brothers and sisters. My kids will return to school, and we can now walk with heads held high.” The other said, “Because of this shop, my kids will never go hungry again. I already registered them at the neighborhood school. I thank my fellow Nazarenes for their kindness; they have restored my lost dignity to me.”

You can be a part of giving dignity and honor to other widows (there are others still waiting for this opportunity) at