Sudden widowhood in this heavily Muslim, Central Asian country often signals a long and endless road of poverty. When Baghou’s husband died, she was like scores of other women: Her children’s well-being depended on her economic survival, and she had no relatives who could help her. It looked like the beginning of a fate faced by so many widows: a withering, dead-end existence for an entire family.
Yet unlike many others in her circumstance, Baghou was literate. She had been taught to read by a Christ-centered church group that serves the community through a literacy program. Baghou had also set aside money with savings practices she learned from the same caring group. Thus, when Baghou was widowed, she was far from helpless. In fact, she was able to start a business at the urging of her group, which provided her with an interest-free loan. Today Baghou makes a good living delivering food from the market to a grocery store. Her children have been able to continue their education. And she is showered with love from her supportive small group—a gathering that is a direct result of World Poverty Solutions.
Equipping Christians to Love Their Muslim Neighbors
World Poverty Solutions partners with a vibrant, Jesus-loving church in the region to empower a handful of other congregations to minister wholistically within their Muslim-dominated locale. By providing training to these churches in all areas of life—spiritual growth and knowledge, health and hygiene, finances and legal recourse—World Poverty Solutions equips Christians to bring meaningful help to their neighbors in everyday life and in crisis.
After a Muslim festival that involved animal sacrifice, a group we trained cleansed the streets of animal waste using sanitary practices. Realizing there was no foul smell or risk of illness as in previous years, civic leaders pledged to join the clean-up effort next year. Another one of our groups helped quell panic in a village attacked by rabid dogs, stepping in to treat wounds, instruct about rabies and direct villagers to hospitals for ongoing care. And a woman moneylender decided to lower her notoriously high interest rates once she learned about serving others through her small group’s biblical teaching.
This kind of gospel work is slow and gradual. Through each act of faithful service, lives like Baghou’s are changed and given hope in Jesus, communities grow healthier, and poverty is alleviated. This opens the eyes and ears of a grateful community, as happened at a Christmas celebration held by four churches participating in this ministry. Some 800 locals listened intently as the glorious story of Christ’s birth was preached from the Kitabul Mukados, a Bible with Muslim-friendly language. Joy was shared between neighbors—all made possible by your support and prayers. Today several other local churches are being trained. Thank you for helping to make gospel transformation a reality in the Muslim world!