Tag: WOW

The Cost of Survival

 

As I sat down to write this letter to you my WhatsApp pinged with a message from Pastor Kyle Tolman,
our partner champion in South Africa. Read it and weep…

 

The United Nations designates orphaned children raising children as “Child Headed Households”(CHH). We care for scores of these children in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and India. They are “at risk” in every conceivable way. They break your heart. Truly they need “a Father to the fatherless and defender of widows” (Ps. 68:5). And the Lord calls his children to take up this challenge in his name.

WOW has been faithfully doing so for 21 years. Literally tens of thousands of orphans and widows have been cared for in our Home Based Care programs administered and championed by our vast network of pastor/champions and their local church volunteers. It’s a great story of God’s love shining through his servants to those lost in desperate need.

The Covid-19 pandemic has added more than an edge of urgency to this ministry, not only in terms of added sickness and death, but also in terms of the cost of providing basic commodities (cornmeal, cooking oil, sugar, blankets, medications, etc). The rise in prices for these basics is in the range of 300%. Needless to say this puts our partners under enormous financial stress.

“Cost of Living” is now “Cost of Survival”.

 

This is not a gimmick. This is brutal reality for our thousands of orphans and widows, especially for those humble mud hut households where children are raising themselves. Their “cost of survival” is now 300% higher than it was before Covid-19 began ravaging our world.

We are more than able to reach into our abundant resources and reach out to a world of suffering. WOW is one of many ministries doing a great job. But we are in relationship with you. You trust us and we trust you. This is strength. Strength to meet the challenge of the “cost of survival” for our vulnerable little brothers and sisters in need.

 

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.

Blessings,

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”

 

 

 

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