The Terebinth Ministries Widows Ministry is the culmination of many other aspects of the ministry. Pastors from the School of Discipleship are selected with their churches to be a part of the program. A committee is formed from servants in the church who are then trained by the pastor. These committees are trained in a discipleship program written in Acholi and animated by a local artist. The program goes through the story of the Bible and God’s greater plan for redeeming people back into relationship with him. The committees are also the ones selecting and screening the widows to be admitted into the program. They search in and around their local churches and interview potential program members to assess the needs of the women.
Once a widow is selected to participate in the program, she is put into a small group with other women in the program. Once a week they meet with a committee member and go through the discipleship curriculum together. Often, the families and communities join those women in fellowship, Bible study, and prayer. This allows for strong community to be built and a safe place for these women to share together and be encouraged by the church.
Women in the program are provided with a monthly food package. This food package includes high quality posho (a staple food of Uganda), beans, rice, sunflower oil, and eggs from BAM Enterprises. This not only meets the immediate physical needs, but allows for the women to then save the money they’d have otherwise spent on food. Each group of widows is also given a sustainable work program (for those who are physically able to participate). Because each church/program is situated in a different location, a specialized work program is designed for each location to give these widows a chance to make and save a little money for the future. Some of these programs include: farming, posho sales, work at BAM Enterprises, etc.
The desire of this program is to provide for immediate, physical needs, future physical needs through sustainable work, and to provide community. However, our number one desire is to help these women deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ through consistent discipleship. This program is designed to equip the local churches to fulfill the commission of God to care for their widows and to share the gospel of Jesus.
What makes our widows program unique?
The purpose of this ministry is to fulfill James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Our desire is to see the widows in and around churches provided for in their physical needs, but most importantly, to know Jesus in a real and personal way. We desire to not only provide for the immediate needs of the women in the program, but to help them find sustainable income for the future. Many of these women have the ability to work, but lack opportunities for jobs. This program provides a way to provide for themselves, while receiving assistance from their local church.
It also utilizes the local church instead of implementing an outside program. Local pastors, believers, and servants are meeting the needs of their neighbors and friends in order to honor God.