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Prayer Requests from Somebody Cares

As we pray for our ministry partner, Somebody Cares Ministries in Malawi, we have the opportunity to bring the pressing needs of their community before the throne of grace. In the midst of great challenges and uncertainties, their trust and hope are in the One who hears and holds the power to bring about change.

Pray for God’s Intervention

Jehovah Jireh is our provider. The Malawi fields have not yielded as expected, and the cost of staple maize has quadrupled, placing a heavy burden on families. We are asking God to intervene and ease the strain on those facing a tough year ahead.

Pray Justice Prevails

Pray for the widows who have been victims of land grabs by greedy relatives. May God’s righteous judgment bring restitution and protection to those who have been wronged, securing their rightful inheritance and peace of mind.

Pray for Continued Passion

As SCM volunteers continue to serve the people in their community, let’s pray for their continued passion for God and love for Him and others among the team and volunteers. May their hearts be steadfast in devotion, their actions fueled by love, and their service a reflection of Christ’s selfless love.

Pray for a Spiritual Harvest and God’s Will

Along with providing physical care for the vulnerable, Somebody Cares Ministries desires to see more and more people come to know Christ and experience the transformative power of His grace. May the Holy Spirit move mightily in their midst, drawing hearts closer to God and igniting a revival that spreads far and wide.

Also pray the church in Malawi returns to God and rediscovers a true focus on the people of God. Pray for a revival of spiritual fervor, a renewed commitment to biblical truth, and a unity that advances God’s kingdom.

Lastly, as Malawi prepares for upcoming elections, submit petitions for God’s guidance and sovereign will to prevail. As campaigns begin, may righteousness and integrity mark the proceedings, and may the outcome be according to God’s divine purpose.

As we unite in prayer, trust in the promise that God hears and answers our prayers.

Yours in Christ,

Somebody Cares Ministries and Wow Mission

Working Together for 14 Times the Impact

“Tomorrow you are going to Chibolya. The driver will pick you up at 9:30.” 

Kathy and I had just flown to Lusaka, Zambia to spend a few days with WOW’s ministry champion CHRESO, our partner for 25 years.

Chibolya… “Where’s that?” we asked.

“It’s in the centre of Lusaka,” they said. “It’s the most dangerous place in the city, maybe in all of Zambia. Most Lusakans avoid it. And they would probably warn you to stay away because you’ll be seen as rich foreigners.”

“But you work there,” Kathy responded.

“We do, by God’s grace. He protects us from the drug dealers, hostile gangs, and disease. It may be one of the most violent, virulent slums in Africa but we felt we needed to have a presence there. A light in the darkness! (We’ve not taken you in the past because of the danger. But we think you need to see where WOW’s meds are being prescribed and delivered.)”

As we drove into Chibolya the next morning, the street was so narrow our vehicle’s side mirrors were almost scraping the market stalls on either side. And it was our first experience driving on a street “paved” with compressed layers of garbage, the acrid smell adding another dimension to the atmosphere.

Apart from mainly curious but occasionally hostile looks from the teeming crowds making way for our truck, and shouts of “mzungu!” (“white person”) from the children, we made it to the clinic without incident. It was hidden behind a cement security wall and a heavy steel gate. It looked like a prison compound.

The clinic was a simple structure of bare cement blocks and a low, flat roof, unglazed windows with rusted burglar bars. It housed two-and-a-half dimly lit rooms. The reception desk, a small pharmacist’s table, and a few chairs were the only furniture in the main room, and an examining table behind a curtain was in the back room. The registrar, the pharmacist, a nurse practitioner, a medical officer, and five angelic volunteers comprised the staff. There were about ten patients crowded inside.

The registrar worked with pen and paper, the pharmacist with a few boxes of medications (supplied by WOW), and the nurse practitioner and medical officer examined and prescribed treatment with minimal equipment but great expertise and a loving touch. The volunteers (I do mean “angels”) brought in the critically ill patients from the streets. They knew there was risk each time they left the clinic to find the sick and the dying.  

As we took it all in Kathy and I felt we were on holy ground. 

To this point our exposure to CHRESO’s medical ministry had been limited to visiting their mobile medical clinics in the remote rural areas of southern Zambia where WOW’s pharmaceutical supplies were/are being administered to 5000 patients per month. But now we were seeing the urban side of our ministry and the overall impact was/is humbling and inspiring.

There’s no doubt the Lord has led us to “the least of these”.

As you know, once a year WOW challenges you with the opportunity to fund life-giving medications for our champion partners in Africa. We’re able to do so in partnership with Health Partners International Canada (HPIC), a marvellous Christian ministry who source their pharmaceuticals from the major pharma companies. And it’s all done with matching dollars.

This year we’re so grateful to the Lord that we can offer a 14:1 match!

One dollar from you becomes 14 dollars of medications for humble, godly ministry to the poorest of the poor. The impact is incalculable.

We, of course, do not take you for granted. We know your gifts are prompted by the Holy Spirit and are bathed in compassion. We truly are “labourers together”.

So we thank you for your heart and commitment to extending the hands of Jesus to these needy ones. They are his children.

In conclusion, I’m reminded of the scripture that declares, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for what he has done” (Proverbs 19:17).

May the Lord bless you for your compassion and kindness.


Pray for Ukraine: Supporting Those on the Frontlines

In times of crisis and uncertainty, prayer is a source of comfort, strength, and hope. Today, we ask you to join us in lifting our brothers and sisters in Ukraine who are facing immense challenges amidst ongoing conflict. Ed Dickson, Overseas Director at Loads of Love Humanitarian Aid and Mission Society, shares some specific needs and has invited us to join him in praying for all those impacted by the war.

Pray for Protection

Pray for protection and empowerment for Loads of Love’s workers. Their workers risk their lives daily to deliver essential supplies like food and medicine to the front-line areas in Ukraine. Pray for God’s protection as they carry out their mission. May God’s strength and wisdom empower them, knowing that they are not alone in their efforts.

Pray for Spiritual Transformation

Let’s pray that as Loads of Love meets physical needs, God would also bring people to their team who are ready to address their spiritual needs. Loads of Love delivers food and medication, and the volunteers are also sowing seeds of spiritual transformation. Let’s pray earnestly that God would draw these individuals to Himself and that their hearts would be receptive to His message of love and redemption. May thousands more come to know God intimately, finding peace and purpose in Him.

Pray for Discernment

Finally, pray for discernment and clarity for the workers. May every effort be saturated with God’s wisdom and grace and bring about lasting transformation and healing in the lives of those they serve.

As we unite our hearts in prayer, remember the words of Psalm 34:17-18, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Together, we can make a difference. May God’s peace and provision abound, now and always.

With gratitude,

WOW Mission & Ed Dickson from Loads of Love

One Hand Up. One Hand Down.

Kathy and I will be in Africa as you read this letter.

We try to be there at least twice each year in compliance with government “monitoring & evaluation” requirements. But we find it’s so very important to be there to meet with our champion ministries and their orphans and widows both to inspire and to be updated in person. Every visit, however, we wonder who’s inspiring whom.

The widows inspire us with their child-like trust in God even as they live in abject poverty and disease.

They love Kathy especially. Whenever we enter a dusty rural village the children gather about her and follow wherever she goes. Sometimes a group of them will reach up and take her hands as she walks. One time I saw four children on each hand!

This total trust in “Momma Kattie”, as they call her, has often reminded me of a little song we used to sing as children in Sunday School:

And the picture of their hands reaching up and Kathy’s reaching down captures it.

We are just like them in so many ways. We may not be impoverished or diseased but we ARE ultimately  totally dependant on the Lord. This may be why Jesus said we’re to be like “little children” in our trust and obedience. We reach up even as our Father reaches down.

This hand-in-hand relationship is what the Father seeks.  He has taken the initiative. He has reached down. And his love captures our heart – so we reach up.

You need to know that our entire ministry with WOW is predicated on this truth. The orphans and widows in their desperate plight are reaching up to the Lord by reaching up for our hands. We too reach up to the Lord and down to them. As we do so we see ourselves as your hands extended to them in the name of Jesus. This truly is a partnership between heaven and earth.

So it’s one hand up and one hand down. Our faithful offerings  of our time, talent, and treasure are the evidence  of our trust and obedience as we humbly seek to do His will.

We truly value you! You are proven friends of “the least of these”. We’re so grateful for your support.

It’s Something Extraordinary!

Once a year WOW does something extraordinary!

In cooperation with a proven Christian global organization, “Health Partners International”, we are able to provide desperately needed medications to our African ministries at a 7:1 match. This, of course, means that our donated funds are magnified 7 times, as is the volume of pharma we are able to ship.

One of the areas where we administer these vital medications is in the Siavonga region of southern Zambia. Situated on the shores of the man-made Lake Kariba and bordering Zimbabwe, it is a semi-arid, harsh, remote area thinly populated by the historic Tonga people. It is unserviced and impoverished in every way. Thankfully, with our Lusaka-based ministry partner CHRESO, we are engaged in vital health care for approximately 5,000 of “the least of these” every month.

A saintly nurse practitioner named “Suitebertha” (pronounced Sweet-Bertha), with a skeleton staff and a well equipped 3 ton box van, does a circuit to 27 remote, rough hewn clinics. Faithfully, week after week, she and her driver-cum-triage nurse- cum-orderly-cum-mechanic process up to 150 people a day. She is truly an “angel of mercy” to her suffering clients. The people gather at these humble way stations as dawn breaks and patiently await her arrival. A cheer erupts as they see the dust trail of the van on the horizon and they greet Suitebertha with joy and not a few shouts of praise to God.

Every patient has a file and every medication is recorded, as is their current health status. It’s a totally efficient operation. We travelled to Siavonga last September and it was humbling for Kathy and me to witness the relief and gratitude on the people’s faces. As they gave thanks to the Lord so did we!

The medications we are able to provide are the “over-the-counter” products like pain killers, cold medicines, topical skin salves, antiseptics, etc. – all of which are unavailable apart from what we can provide. Our costs also include shipping, which can range from $16,000 to $20,000 for the air transport of meds overseas.

So with gratitude in my heart I encourage you to join us in this extraordinary opportunity to give a generous gift at a $7 – $1 ratio to the Lord’s dearly loved Tonga orphans and widows in Siavonga.

Together we have been faithfully ministering to thousands of orphans and widows in Jesus’ name for 23 years. What a privilege, what an honor! Such a blessing to bless others and hear them, from their hearts, give thanks and glory to the Lord.



A Thank Offering

Gratitude to God is a critical core value of the believer – both for who God is and what He faithfully provides.

Closely allied to thankfulness is remembrance. The Lord wants us to remember Him, not only when we worship, but in our daily life choices as well. And it’s always important to praise Him. Indeed, our prayer life should be more about thanking than asking.

So, in this brief letter I want to thank the Lord for you, our faithful supporters, and I want to thank Him for our champions in sub-Saharan Africa who are so true to their calling in caring for dying orphans and widows. Together we are a team representing the hands and feet of Jesus to “the least of these”.


Over the past 23 years we have partnered with you and our champions in ministering to literally thousands of at-risk orphans and widows. Some of these vulnerable ones have died but many more have lived. In fact my heart swells with gratitude when I see a lot of our current local church based volunteers active in care for the dying when only a few years ago they were dying too. They tell me they do it as a thank offering to the Lord for saving their own lives. They remember and they’re grateful. And, by the way, a “thank offering” is very biblical! (see Leviticus ch.7).


We’re thankful for CrossConnect in SA with our champions Kyle and Niki Tolman caring for over 3,000 in an area stricken with abject poverty, crime, and hopelessness. The new “House Nehemiah” (which you helped purchase) is providing much needed refuge for women and children needing emergency rescue.                                                                                                                                       


We’re thankful for Eric Mwambelo and his team bringing Home Based Care (HBC) to a multitude of orphans and widows in central Zambia.We were thrilled to see the increase in enthusiastic, next-generation volunteers taking hold of the vision for HBC.


We’re thankful for Theresa Malila and Keta Ngosi of Somebody Cares who touch the humble homes of thousands in the rural villages of Malawi with faithful Home Based Care.


And we’re thankful for our Indian champions caring for the poorest of the poor on the streets and in the slums of a major city (due to recent crackdowns on Christian charities in India we’ve been asked to refrain from any online or social media reference to our partners by name).



And last but certainly not least we’re thankful for our ministry partners in Ukraine whom we’re assisting with food and warm winter clothing for a myriad of displaced orphans and widows.


So thankful that Kathy and I have decided to double our monthly gift to WOW this month as our “thank offering”. Perhaps you’d like to do the same? Or your thank offering might be an amount over and above.

Whatever the case let’s offer up a thank offering to the Lord…

For great is His faithfulness!

Jim Cantelon – President
WOW – Working for Orphans & Widows


Wrap up a Bicycle

In September Kathy and I flew to Africa to visit our champion partners in South Africa, Zambia and Malawi. It had been Three Long Years since our last visit. So good to connect in person rather than the stopgap ZOOM meetings we’d conducted during the Covid pandemic. We were grateful and humbled to see that our ministry to at-risk orphans and widows has grown and is thriving.Kathy called it “The Fruit of our Labor” trip

It was especially gratifying to see that the workforce of local church-based volunteers continues to grow as well with the involvement of a whole new group of fresh young twenty-somethings! Many were vulnerable orphans when we first met twenty years ago. Now they’re “giving back” in Jesus’ name.

As we accompanied the volunteers we discovered that many of these “angels of mercy” walk an average of 20 miles a day (!), to provide Home Based Care (HBC) to the many suffering souls in very remote areas. That’s 20 miles over rutted, almost impassable roads in relentless heat.
20 miles of blowing dust and exposure to the elements… 20 miles of thirst…

Women walking alone can be especially vulnerable to the risk of sexual assault.

I stopped and “Did the Math”. At an average walking speed of 2.5 miles an hour that’s 8 hours per day! At an average speed of 10 miles per hour on a bike their travel time would be reduced from 8 hours to 2 hours. Can you imagine their relief?

It was clear to us that they needed bicycles. A bicycle for them is like giving a car to someone in North America. It’s HUGE.

The last time we gave bicycles to our volunteers was 10 years ago. We saw many of those 10-year-old “work-horses” at a recent gathering of over 600 people at Kapunula Village in rural Malawi. Parked under the trees, row upon row of well-used (& well-loved) bicycles. We were pleased to see them in good working order and highly valued!

Bicycles are needed! The number of new volunteers requires a new infusion of these two-wheeled wonders. We need to provide scores more.

With a bulk order we can purchase them for about $100 per bicycle. And another $10 will provide a repair kit. For such a small amount we can literally liberate a godly volunteer.

And what joy to celebrate Jesus’ birth by the gift of a bicycle to dedicated volunteers working as his hands and feet providing vital life giving ministry to “the least of these”.

So I’m inviting you to “Wrap Up a Bicycle” this Christmas! Let’s do it for love’s sake!
And Merry Christmas!

Jim Cantelon – President
WOW – Working for Orphans & Widows


A Double Blessing

I think we’re all troubled by the world of hurt in which we live. On the heels of a slow three-year COVID-19 retreat we’re suddenly facing serious environmental news – major rivers drying up (Germany’s Rhine, the Colorado in the US, the Yangtze in China, and even the Jordan in Israel), horrific pollution of “sacred” rivers in Nepal and India, scorching heat in Europe and the UK, wildfires and drought threatening global food supply, flooding and earthquake… to say nothing of the universal collateral damage of the ongoing war in Ukraine. As is often the case in history Africa seems to be bearing the brunt of much of this adversity.

As a valued partner in WOW’s ministry you’re committed to bringing some healing to the beleaguered “least of these” as Jesus put it. Because you care I’d like to bring you an update on the recent challenges of our African and Indian ministries and what your prayer and giving is accomplishing.

As is the case everywhere costs have escalated. Fuel prices have doubled, porridge is up 81%, bars of soap are up 300%, while the local currency (the Kwacha) has been devalued by 25%. These increases directly impact the Home Based Care (HBC) of thousands of at-risk orphans and widows. And the “lowest of the low”, elderly widows, are suffering the most.

Yet there has been an increase in local church volunteers who have initiated a program linking young Christian teens and adults with what they’re calling “surrogate grannies” so that these senior souls will be comforted and cared for.

What’s more our “Home of Mercy” in Lilongwe is expanding. YOU responded generously to our Matching Fund appeal to build added facilities for this vital safe house compound for young widows and at-risk girl orphans who’ve been sexually abused. And, to further encourage you, our champions “Somebody Cares” report that their evangelism outreach has never been greater. It’s dark out there but SC is lighting a candle in 35,000 humble homes.

My wife Kathy and I began WOW’s ministry 22 years ago, responding to the ravages of the HIV&AIDS pandemic in South Africa. We’ve been engaged there ever since, even as we’ve expanded to Zambia, Malawi, India, and most recently Ukraine.

Our ministry champion in SA is “Cross Connect” who has established an effective ministry in an “irregular settlement” (read squatter camp). With strong support from a partner church, WOW has recently funded the purchase of a large home to be a safe house for orphans and widows in duress called “House Nehemiah”. Much needed renovations are almost complete. They’re already flooded with desperate calls for help. It’s such a privilege, and responsibility, to be the Lord’s hands and feet for these precious souls.



WOW has a significant signature in Zambia comprised of two champion ministries.“Impact Community Outreach” (ICO) in Kabwe is centrally located in the nation with a semi-urban/rural HBC ministry to hundreds of HIV&AIDS and COVID-19 afflicted orphans and widows. All costs have doubled, in some cases tripled, during the COVID pandemic.When the local clinics prescribe medications there’s often no drugs to fill the prescriptions, and when there are drugs there’s no money to purchase them. So ICO relies on WOW to help fund those vital meds.The latest news is a bit disturbing: there’s a sudden resurgence of drug resistant TB (tuberculosis). Much prayer for protection of the vulnerable needed. Nevertheless ICO is soldiering on with more impact than ever in its history. All in Jesus’ name…

Our other Zambian champion ministry is CHRESO (from a Greek word “crezo” – “need”).Their work is comprehensive and national in scope. WOW helps support their work with orphans and widows afflicted with HIV. Our engagement with CHRESO is both urban with a clinic in Lusaka for those living with HIV, and rural via mobile clinics in impoverished villages. The need is relentless. Costs have doubled.

Due to a recent governmental crackdown on Christian charities there is little that can be said in terms of the name and location of our champion ministry in India.Yet there is great progress in spite of the adversity. Our ministry there has just increased its reach to the number of orphans and widows suffering from both HIV and COVID-19 complications and they have recently included two unreached people groups who are considered sub if not non-human by Indians: Gypsies and “Snake Catchers”(!).The Gypsies are homeless and the Snake Catchers are outcasts as they catch venomous snakes to protect rural villagers.Talk about the “least of these”! Their costs, like our other champion ministries, have doubled.



As you know WOW has been helping fund the feeding needs of hundreds of widows and orphans as they flee the war and are temporarily housed in churches that have become refugee centers.We are only a small player in this massive crisis but by God’s grace we, and YOU, are making a difference. We need to double our support.



A Double Cost requires a Double Blessing!

I’m calling on you, especially if you’re a monthly donor, to consider increasing or even doubling your gift to WOW at least for the short term. We don’t expect the COVID pandemic in Africa and India nor the war in Ukraine to last indefinitely. But between now and then, at this very vulnerable time,WOW is committed to meeting the need “according to God’s riches in glory”.




Please do your best as always.

Jim Cantelon – President

WOW – Working for Orphans & Widows

Light a Candle in the Darkness


I don’t think any of us of the post-Second World War generation have ever experienced such dark times. There’s no need to list the litany of troubles facing us from natural disasters to pandemics and brutal regional wars. Our world is in a dark place.

But as tough as it is for us, living in the relative peace and abundance of North America, think of the pain experienced by the poor and war torn. As a supporter of WOW you’re invested in their plight.Whether it’s orphans and widows in sub-Saharan Africa and India afflicted with two pandemics – HIV/AIDS and COVID-19, or in Ukraine subjected to “Putin’s War” and fleeing in their millions, we are in a small but committed way lighting a candle in the thick darkness.

Our little light is shining in Ukraine where we are assisting a network of churches caring for desperate orphans and widows by providing food. So basic yet so necessary. Your response to our “Ukraine Rescue” appeal has been amazing!

Sexual abuse (Gender Based Violence or GBV) of young widows and girl orphans is a grim ongoing darkness in many of the countries in which we work. A few years ago we funded the construction of a safe house in Malawi for these vulnerable females through our partner “Somebody Cares”. The home is called the “Home of Mercy”. Scores of abused women and girls have been given refuge there. It is is now a walled compound of peace and serenity and has gained national prominence as a Christian response to GBV.

It has reached capacity, however, and there is an urgent need to expand its facilities. One of our long term supporters has just offered to provide half of the needed funds as WOW raises the other half – a TWO to ONE MATCH. The overall cost will be in the range of $100,000.

Here’s an opportunity for us to light another candle and dispel the darkness of GBV in Malawi.

It’s simply a candle, but as the old saying states, “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness”. Yes we are that candle. Together we are chasing the night shadows away. Will you help?

I’m sure you will. In Jesus’ name we will light the flame.

Summer is upon us. Ours will probably be a time of rest and relaxation but let us not forget the unrest of others. Without our help, theirs will be “a summer of discontent”.

I want to thank you for your faithfulness. And for remembering WOW. You are pillars!

Let’s keep the candle burning.

Many blessings,

Jim Cantelon
Founder & President