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Author: Jim Cantelon

June 2021 Update

I answered a WhatsApp call in the early hours of the morning. It was Prem, our church partner in Chennai, India. He confirmed my worst fears: “The pandemic is ravaging the city. The infection rates are soaring and people are dying. But, a wonderful thing has happened, Pastor! The state government has reached out to us as a trusted Charity and have urged us to provide “COVID Kits” and “Medical Kits” for those under our care. Can you help us?” What could I say? “Of course we will help!”

We’re all too aware that the COVID-19 pandemic is proving relentless. Here in the West, with the rollout of vaccines, there is incremental traction against it but in most of the developing world the crisis is growing exponentially. WOW’s fields of ministry are right in the middle of it, especially India.


We’re a small but trusted and effective player on the world scene with a footprint that includes South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and South India. Our focus, as you know, is providing and equipping local church-based volunteers in an effective Home Based Care ministry. The “clients” are at-risk orphans and widows, all vulnerable to what is now a double pandemic of HIV&AIDS and COVID-19.


We have for several years been providing medications (non-prescriptive – painkillers, ointments, cough syrups and cold and flu relief) sourced through our terrific partnership with Health Partners International.

Once a year we do a 7 – 1 match, one dollar providing seven dollars worth of meds

What your gift funds, of course, is symptomatic relief (we cannot provide vaccines or anti-retroviral drugs), but it makes a huge difference for the afflicted!

We are again sending a shipment to our partners in Africa. Indian law makes it near impossible to ship meds, so we’re sending funds for our church partner in Chennai to purchase locally sourced supply.

I know you are motivated to give when your gift is multiplied Seven Times!

All this is done in the name of Jesus. It’s humbling and gratifying to hear “the least of these” not only rejoice but thank God for WOW’s medical intervention.

I thank you for your prayerful and generous involvement in this vital work.


Jim Cantelon – Founder/President
WOW – “Working for Orphans & Widows”






Pandemic Relief – Update from Malawi

As I write we’re into Year Two of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. We all feel the impact. And we’re ready for it to end. We’re tired. 


But, ironically, we’re also renewed in the sense that we’ve been forced to re-examine our lives, our values, our relationships, and our spirits. We’ve been “orphaned” from loved ones and from church community. We’ve been forced to go it alone.

And yet…

many of us have been surprised by the nearness of God in our isolation. It’s like we’re back to square one in our walk with Him and it feels good. Faith has been purged of much of the religious trappings that had attached themselves to the simplicity of the Gospel and we’re back to James’ clarion words:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)

Your partnership with us has enabled WOW to continue to grow in these troubled times.

As you know we work in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and Southern India. Our focus is Home Based Care, through local church volunteers, for at risk orphans and widows in their thousands. Amazing work in the name of Jesus is being done.

I’d like to highlight our partnership in Malawi.

Here’s a bullet point summary of just some of our ministry there in the past few months:

And this is just Malawi! WOW’s ministry in our other countries is thriving as well. God truly is “a Father to the fatherless and Defender of widows” (Psalm 68:5).

Because our champion ministries buy supplies locally we are faced with the COVID reality of doubled costs. We’re doing our best to adapt. So we’ve decided to provide our beleaguered partners with a COVID supplement. To do this we’ll need our support base (that would be you!) to add a little extra to your funding this quarter.

What a joy and privilege it is to link arms with you in loving these dear ones!

Thank you for your sensitivity to the heart of God.

Many blessings,

Jim Cantelon – Founder/President
WOW – “Working for Orphans & Widows”




2020 Update from Somebody Cares Ministries

2020 Update from Somebody Cares Ministries

by Rita | Mar 4, 2021

Here’s an update from one of our partners, Somebody Cares Ministry, on the wonderful work that they’ve done in Malawi.

In 2020 SCM was able to provide 450 blankets and 100 bed mats to 350 Home Based patients. They were also able to provide medication for community run ‘pharmacies’ reaching an average number 1,700 people each month.There was also a monthly restock of off-the-counter medication to volunteer medical kits for Home Based Care volunteers reaching out to over 4,000 patients. The life giving supplement, selenium was also distributed to 11,000 beneficiaries!
1,100 Critical patient support packs were distributed benefiting 3,670 Home Based Care patients and their dependents. Patient transport comprised of 200 trips monthly for 12 months to 2,014 Home Based Care patients and their primary caregivers.1,900 blankets were distributed to the elderly (originally, we intended to distribute 2 per home but the need was bigger and so reverted to giving one per home).

2,400 Volunteers Appreciation packs were distributed to help support volunteers working with critical patients and orphaned children. The packs benefitted 1,480 community volunteers and their dependents (some volunteers receive monthly while others occasionally) reaching over 7,400 beneficiaries.

They were also able to distribute monthly child headed homes support packs that include maize and food supplies to 20 child headed homes supporting 74 children. Construction on the House of Mercy was completed and monthly support was given to orphaned rescued families that include maize, food and toiletries, school fees and supplies, including support to house mothers.

Fortified porridge was provided 5 days a week to 1500 vulnerable children (this number grew to 2,800 in the month of May to August due to COVID19 effects including closures of schools).

The Berean Biblical training provided to 70 pastors and church leaders responsible for over 13,736 people affecting the church’s response to injustice as well as providing sound biblical teaching in villages. Support was also given to counsellors working with over 100 child survivors of sexual assault. Crisis packs, that are given to immediately support victims of sexual abuse, were also provided to the counsellors.As well Gender Based Awareness campaigns conducted in villages sensitizing communities on various gender-based violence, working with chiefs and community leaders reaching over 1,500 people.

600 masks were made and distributed to volunteers that continued to work within community during COVID19.Covid-19 response with distribution of 500 water buckets and 31,000 bars of soap reaching 19 marketplaces and 31,000 households to help curb the spread of COVID19.

All of this possible because of your generous donations. Thank you!

Update and Prayer request from SCM in Malawi

Update and Prayer request from SCM in Malawi

by Rita | Mar 15, 2020

During the Covid 19 pandemic our partners (Somebody Cares Ministries) in Malawi are doing their best to keep their volunteers and those they serve safe.

Key volunteer leaders are explaining the importance of hand washing. Tablets of soap given to all of them to take back their communities to use and instruct others.
Key volunteer leaders are explaining the importance of hand washing. Tablets of soap given to all of them to take back their communities to use and instruct others.

Chief Theresa shared with Focal Area Heads and Community Heads on the current Covid-19 pandemic, how it is effecting the world, and the importance of proper CDC guidelines being used. Also encouraging them to rely on our Father for strength and wisdom.

This week our partners in Malawi assisted 200 widows and grannies who are sick and/or live along with maize during the hunger gap and soap to use for Covid-19 prevention. “Soap is a luxury I can’t afford. I often go to bed hungry as I can’t afford maize. Praise God for sending both to me today!”

Prayer Requests

We are thankful that you keep us in prayer as we do for all of you. We are going through trying times as is everyone all over the world. It is by the Grace of God that the ministry was able to distribute Selenium in March to help build the immune systems of those in our communities. Soap was also distributed to community leaders, HBC volunteers and widows & grannies as they were informed of the importance of hand washing and social distancing in these trying times.

Please pray for the nation

1. In the past week the first 8 cases have been indentified with one death
2. Our health system is unrealistic even with some CDC recommended measures in place.
3. 85% of the population including those in peri-urban slums cannot afford soap or other basic needs and live hand to mouth daily
4. With loss of jobs in certain sectors many people will go hungry as the majority of livelihoods is on a day to day basis.
5. Pray for our Government for transparency and accountability and taking responsibility for citizens and keeping citizens abreast of current situation

Please pray for the Ministry

Divine protection, wisdom and support:
1. In ways of getting information and resources to the needy, marginalised and vulnerable
2. Our volunteers in Home Based Care to remain healthy
3. Transportation  and movement of volunteers, supplies and resources using best practices in light of the current situation
4. Support to our team and way forward for vital ministry programs
5. Protection of our team as we determine the way forward now
5. How best to reach out and remain safe
6. Strengthen our resolve to depend on God even more

And anything else the Holy Spirit brings to mind.
Thank you for your prayers. God bless!

Stories from ICO in Zambia

Stories from ICO in Zambia

by Rita | April 1, 2020

My name is Richard Sokotela and I am 56 years old. I am a former Zambia air Force civilian employee and now retired due to health challenges. I was diagnosed with HIV last year in 2019 after a series of sickness. From that time my life has never been the same, due to sickness I stayed home most of the time and could not manage going to work and so I had to resign, I was often bed ridden and I would only depend on my wife who has been on my side through these difficult times.

Since last year I have failed to provide for my family. My children have dropped out of school, I can’t afford to help them with their basic needs. My concern is that they will soon fall prey to teenage pregnancies or marriages, which are so prevalent in our community.

I thank God for the team who have helped me with a monthly food package, that way they lessen the burden of putting food on my table. May the Lord continue to bless you and provide for you as you provide for us. I also want to say thank you to the supplement Selenium that has greatly improved my appetite and my well being. I can now I can sit up and I’m seeing great improvement.

Please Pray:

  1. For God to give me total recovery so that I can get back to my feet and help my family.
  2. For the Lord to provide schooling opportunities to my Daughters so that they would be different from the girls in this community.
  3. For the Lord to protect me and my family from this new Virus that is going round. (COVID-19)
My name is Ntandiwe and I’m 15 years of age. I live in Zambia with my Aunt. I was born HIV positive, I was diagnosed at birth in 2005. My chances of survival were incredibly slim. I lived in hospitals the first several years of my life. I have been on HIV treatment ever since.

Before I came to Kabwe, I stayed in Nakonde with another Aunt of mine. Life was very difficult for me because most of the time I was sick. My Aunt was not giving me my medication because she was ignorant about the virus and the importance of ARVs.

My growing up has been surrounded by a constant negative lesson on HIV, and trying to understand what HIV is and it’s been so hard. I lost both my parents when I was eight and due to the pain of losing my loved ones I resented the doctors, HIV/AIDS and even God.

One day, some people whom I call my angels visited me with good news. They encouraged me from the word of God and spoke positively about HIV/AIDS and the importance of taking my medication on time. These people brought hope in my life and I’m now positive that one day my dream of becoming a nurse will be fulfilled. Thank you to the volunteers for their encouragement. Once I recover and have the strength, am going back to school!

Please Pray:

  1. That I could go back to school
  2. For God to heal me

Update from Rob’s Farm

Update from Rob’s Farm

by Rita | Mar 27, 2020


We continue to enjoy His divine protection from COVID-19 pandemic and we give Him all the glory.

  1. It is now four years ago since we dedicated Rob’s farm to the Lord in memory of Rob Hall; a Canadian missionary who died at Trans-africa Theological University in Kitwe. We have given a facelift to the memorial placard and the thatched hut on the hill.
  2. We have been slashing and cleaning up the surrounding and the exercise continues.
  3. Weeding, spraying and application of fertilizer continues in the vegetable gardens. This week we sold green pepper, eggplants, okra, lemons and green beans
  4. The turkey chicks are doing fine and we are grateful to God. We love you and stay blessed.

Update on Covid-19

Update on Covid-19

by Rita | Mar 17, 2020

Dear Friends,

The world has been blindsided by the corona virus. We’re all facing unchartered territory. For the next few months (maybe longer) we’ll be faced with a new normal of restrictions, “social distancing”, shortages, reduced essential services, travel bans, and serious suffering. The only comfort is that the Lord has not been taken by surprise. He still loves and provides for his children.

Africa is just now reporting on the daily rise of Covid-19 in its many nations. We are very concerned because we work with thousands of HIV victims in Africa and India whose immune systems are already compromised. This, in concert with the limited medical services of Africa, means as one of our African partners put it,”We’re sitting on a time bomb”.

We need to remember these precious orphans and widows in prayer and in our gifts. I’m asking you to contribute via our website if possible. It may be that postal services personnel may be required to self isolate. The ministry must go on.

Many blessings to you!

The Impact of Selenium

The Impact of Selenium

by Rita | Mar 10, 2020

Through our partners we are able to provide Selenium — the immune boosting mineral — to people who’s health is fragile or deteriorating (elderly, those living with HIV etc.). Selenium has shown such a great impact to all that are taking it that more people are joining into our groups in the communities in order to receive this precious commodity!

“I’m living testimony because of Selenium which has restored my health. ” – HIV Support Group Member.

“After walking 15 km to the centre, I know I can do anything. Selenium is the answer to my strength.” – Widow

The people expressed their joy as they were receiving selenium because they know already about the impact it has in their bodies. These people are thankful to God, and our donors, for putting the people on their hearts and for coming to their rescue.

20 Years of Faithfulness

20 Years of Faithfulness

by Rita | Dec 4, 2019

In 1999 Jim Cantelon stood on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Here he felt called to minister to Orphans & Widows impacted by HIV and AIDS. Fast forward to 2019 and he was once again able to stand in the same spot.It started with what/who he knew: African pastors and churches who had brought him from Jerusalem to guest speak in the 1980’s. The relationships established in those years gave the ministry an access point for our first few years of WOW’s engagement with thousands victimized by the HIV and AIDS pandemic. And those pastors and churches became our first frontline “champions” in our Home Based Care (HBC) ministry to affected orphans and widows in desperately impoverished regions.

Indeed our “first responders” and ongoing angels of mercy were/are all local church based volunteers. This is vital because a core value of sustainable ministry must be the “hands and feet of Jesus” from the community reaching out to the perishing.

A big part of founding WOW was casting vision to African pastors to engage their congregants in a vast coordinated commitment to HBC in their towns and villages. So we convened, sponsored, and spoke at several pastors’ conferences with anywhere from 20 to 4000 in attendance. The vision caught on and we were able to identify and engage with small (now large) ministries who have become a significant inter-country network. Hundreds of thousands of man hours have been expended in ministry to “the least of these”(Matthew 25:40-45) by these faithful partners. It’s truly humbling to see Jesus at work through these servants of God.

WOW just keeps on growing. That’s because the Lord is “a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows “(Psalm 68:5). That day the Lord gave him 2 words: “Catalyst” and “Every Church a Mother Teresa”. And for 20 years we have been faithful to that call!