“Widows Ministry”
 
My name is Lydia Weideman, I have been a part of the campus ministry team at CCH for a little more than 10 years. I help with mentoring, Bible studies for our girls, teaching Bible one on with with our international students, and various other ministries. One of my favorites is our widows ministry that involves taking a team of students to visit and serve widows from our local churches. It is the latter ministry that I want to focus on today.
 
During a normal semester I will take a team of two to three students out twice a week and we will visit and serve in whatever ways needed. That includes chopping and stacking wood, cleaning houses, light yard work, lifting and moving needed items, ect. But I would say the number one thing we do is visit and learn from these seasoned saints! We love to visit and see each other and wonderful friendships are formed.
 
For many of them their social contact and interaction is pretty limited. We visit them about once every three weeks on a rotating basis. We are always on someones calendar. Right before this social distancing one of our senior saints (and a beloved staff person) became very ill and passed away. Because of God’s timing we were able to have many visits right up to the day he passed away. Those visits included students from our international ministry and students who visited with him on a regular basis in his home. We were able to talk, laugh, sing, and pray. Right up until the time he went to heaven. Unfortunately, we were unable to have a celebration of his life. But how incredible blessed we were to speak with him while we shared his last days together. Part of that blessing came from our widows ministry who were able to visit his home each week.
 
Community is important to our seniors and the widowed but they have a much smaller circle to draw from than our students. The ministry we do enlarges their circle by bringing youth, importance, and vitality into their lives. As we have experienced our own smaller circle and isolation. I have a new awareness of the vital importance of what we do.
 
Recently, I was able to take my mother with me, who is also widowed, to deliver cards and flowers to the doorsteps of our confined widows. We let them know they were still in our thoughts and prayers even though we were unable to fellowship like we normally do. We heard back from them with notes and calls of the joy our remembering brought.
 
I hope and pray we will all have a new awareness of those among us who do not have a “different” normal to return to. What a great opportunity we have to touch their lives. If everyone who reads this finds just one or two people with limited circles of fellowship to visit and serve how much greater all our lives will be enriched. I close with this verse to share.   
 
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
 
Lydia Weideman – Women’s Ministry