Tag: Malawi

Wrap up a Bicycle


Recently, I asked our champion partner Theresa Malila of “Somebody Cares” Malawi (SCM) about the importance of bicycles in our ministry to critically ill orphans and widows. This is her answer:

The volunteers most times travel the long distances to bring much needed supplies and meds to the critically ill patients on the bikes. The priority is to be able to get to the patients quickly and provide immediate care and support. The bicycle is key!

If the patient needs urgent care, the bike becomes the ambulance. Usually, they have someone sit behind the patient to hold them. Two are able to sit behind sometimes. Others even tie the patient to their backs — like we do to carry babies — and ride at a slow pace. If they find the patient is unable to sit on the bike, they then pay for the oxcart to transport them as they cycle ahead to the hospital with the caregiver.

The volunteer can go to clinics to get the patient’s meds and,if possible, transport the clinician back to the patient. “Our doctor” at St. Gabriel’s, Dr. Elizabeth, is usually collected on a bike by a volunteer and taken “side-saddle” on the rear carrier to visit critical patients.

Last Christmas, we gave you the opportunity to Wrap Up a Bicycle as a gift to our dedicated and vital Home Based Care (HBC) volunteers. Your response was “over-the-top” and the relief it brought the volunteers was/is palpable. When Kathy and I were in Africa in September, we witnessed bicycles in action and were humbled by the gratitude expressed for them. They are a prized possession! We were reminded that a bike not only can carry a patient to the hospital (or a doctor to the patient) but it also can reduce a volunteer’s travel time by two thirds – in some cases cutting a round trip from nine hours to three.Our champion partner Eric Mwambelo of “Impact Community Outreach” (ICO) in Kabwe, Zambia said this about the bicycles WOW provided this year:

Bicycles are a blessing in several ways: A bicycle reduces the time volunteers spend walking to visit just one client. They can now visit more patients in a single day, increasing outreach and impact!

A bicycle also serves as a means to carry clients to medical centres, giving rapid access to healthcare for the patient and, in turn, for the entire community.

WOW has grown significantly this year. Our partners have requested EIGHTY (!) bicycles for 2024 in order to meet the greater HBC transportation needs. What’s more, they’ve asked if we can provide bicycles that are tougher and stronger and longer lasting. (These ‘heavy duty’ bikes, of course, are at higher cost.)

So you can see why we’re asking you to Wrap Up a Bicycle again this Christmas. What an amazing gift!

With your generous support, WE CAN DO IT.

Everything we do we do in the Name of Jesus whose birth we celebrate this Christmas season. Our champions and volunteers give Him joyous praise.

And so do we.

Let there be peace on earth, and Merry Christmas!






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



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”




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