In September 2023, the Cambodian Communities out of Crisis team met two elderly widows living in Phnom Penh. One was looking after her grandchildren while their parents were working in another country. The other was on her own. Both had to endure poor living conditions, and one had had her rent increased following the landlord’s repair of a leaking roof. We were happy to start providing a monthly grant to each to supplement their meagre incomes. Both ladies were Christians and members of a church that meets near their homes.
After less than a month, one of these dear ladies died. We were honoured to attend her funeral and help towards its cost. We discovered that when she had become a Christian, she had been rejected, abused and abandoned by her husband and family. She had insisted that she must be given a Christian funeral, and a son- or daughter-in-law persuaded the rest of the family that her wishes must be respected. However, her children refused to allow the body to rest in their home overnight or to arrange the funeral.
Thus, it was left to the lady’s church to organise and pay for everything. However, the family did attend, and they were moved by the love that the lady’s brothers and sisters in Christ were showing to their beloved sister, and they remarked on how the church worked together to do everything in a respectful way.
This widow’s life was not easy. She had few worldly possessions, and she experienced the heartache of rejection by those whom she loved. But she was resolute in her commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, and it was our privilege to express His love and the love of His people for her in a small way in the last month of her life.
We continue to support the other widow that we met, and have found another lady living nearby that we can assist as well.