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Fatherlessness – The Pivot Point of Poverty


We’ve read the reports and have seen the videos of countless migrants desperately trying to reach Europe from Africa on leaky inflatables. Some make it but many perish.The look of fear and panic on the faces of those pulled from the Mediterranean is soul crushing.

Many of these migrants are young men, some of them orphans. At the root of their distress is systemic fatherlessness. They grew up without a dad to nurture and defend them. Their abandoned and/or widowed mothers did their best but were overwhelmed by poverty.

I call Fatherlessness the Pivot Point of Poverty.

Psalm 68:5 says, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling”. He loves “the least of these”. And so He calls his Church to become his hands and feet in their care.

WOW has responded to that call. We’re only one player in a large cast of Christian NGO’s but we’re unique in our partnership with African and Indian church-based ministries. I call them our “Champions”.


21 years ago, when WOW was still an infant ministry, we began partnering with Theresa Malila in Malawi as she walked the dusty paths from village to village armed with a Bible and a bottle of anointing
oil. The Gospel of Jesus and his healing touch were all she had to offer.Today her ministry,“Somebody Cares” is reaching into 30,000 humble mud huts with Home Based Care that has become a nationally recognized standard. Food security, medical attention, blankets and clothing are administered by over 1,000 volunteers with gentleness, compassion, and constant prayer. Those who are dying are prioritized, and when they die they die in the Lord.


CHRESO began with The Reutters, two of the most productive missionaries I have ever known. (One needs to Google “CHRESO” to get an overview.) WOW plays a critical role in their expansive rural mobile medical clinics for orphans and widows, and also by providing crucial medications at their Lusaka clinic with its client base of over 50,000 people living with HIV & AIDS. The Reutters are nationally known, respected and loved.


ICO (Impact Community Outreach) in Kabwe cares for 5,000 orphans and widows with a large volunteer base. It
is unique in its food production at “Rob’s Farm” a remarkable agricultural enterprise founded in memory of our daughter’s husband who died doing missionary work in Zambia 10 years ago. Pastor Eric is spiritual father and defender to so many more than those in his vital church congregation.

CROSS CONNECT COMMUNITY OUTREACH, a young ministry recently begun in a vast slum area of Krugersdorp South Africa, was established by Kyle and Nicole Tolman.WOW is a found- ing funder of their work. In just 3 years they are caring for over 3,000 households headed by impoverished widows.The prevalence of sexual violence against these vulnerable young women and their little girls is so great that CCCO recently opened a house of refuge called “House Nehemiah” that can provide safety for up to 40. WOW, with the support of a compassionate and generous church in Canada, has covered the cost of defending these vulnerable young women.

MIZPAH Ministries in Chennai India is our newest champion. Working with local church pastors Vincent and Premnath Samuel, WOW is now engaged in caring for orphans and widows in that massive city’s biggest slum. Declared a COVID hotspot, Chennai is in great need.Their newly-elected city and state government recently reached out to MIZPAH for help in providing their frontline workers with COVID prevention kits.This engage- ment by government with a Christian ministry was/is unprecedented. WOW dug deep and came through with the added cost.

I want you to know that WOW
is addressing the Pivot Point of Poverty.


Together with You, our faithful friends, we truly are “fathers to the fatherless and defenders of widows”. Size is not the issue. Faithfulness is.

As the year draws to a close we can look back on God’s faithfulness in our lives and in the lives of “the least of these”. As you consider your year-end giving I want to thank you for your support in the past and in the days ahead.

I can’t thank you enough!

Founder & President
Working for Orphans & WIdows