Dear friends, merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your families. During the holidays, those of us who have lost loved ones often feel a sense of sadness or loss, especially with observing traditions; there is an empty chair at our table. It helps to understand and mourn our losses, but also to learn from our pain; we actually have more compassion reach out to others who have also lost a loved one. I love to love the overlooked widows in our world. Clarise and Sarah are widows in Kenya. This Christmas is their first Christmas without their pastor-husbands, who were recently murdered. Won’t you pray for their families? Please use the link below to add your prayer request. Thank you for reaching out to those in need.
All my love, Sheryl
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” James 1:27
Widows Clarice and Sarah are still in shock after their husbands. Both pastors in the Mombasa region of Kenya were murdered in separate incidents on October 20. Clarice’s husband, a pastor at Mombasa’s Vikwatani Redeemed Gospel Church, was found dead of a gunshot to the head in his church. Clarice told a VOM worker she believes he was murdered to scare Christians away from the area. Pastor Charles Matole, 41, was found slumped in a chair, a Bible still in his lap, as church leaders came in to prepare for Sunday morning worship services. His widow recounted that in the months prior to her husband’s death, there were times people would throw stones at the church while they held prayer services. Furthermore, death threats made on the pastor’s life were never followed up on by police.
Like Clarice, Sarah also mourns her murdered husband, whose body was found in a brush pile that same morning in Kilifi, about 35 miles north of Mombasa. Pastor Ebrahim Kidata, who started 36 churches in the region and had recently been named the new overseer of the church in Malindi County, had been out the day before to see his cattle and check on lumber to be used to build new tables for his church. His wife grew concerned when she could not reach him on his cell phone, and her worst fears were realized when he was found strangled to death. In addition to his widow, he leaves behind seven children. Two of the children are married, but five are school-aged and still live in the home. Sarah was shocked by her husband’s murder as no threats had been received and there is little motive for his death. Both murders are thought to be related to unrest between C hristians and Muslims in the Mombasa region, but no one has claimed responsibility.
Dear Lord, would you provide for all widows and orphans, especially during the holiday season, the peace of your presence? Father, as they look to you to provide everything they need, may they grow deeper in love with you as their Heavenly Father who will never leave them or forsake them. Thank you that you are there and you care for them. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 | “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:15