The Blessing of a Buffalo
In the eyes of her society, Pyari was cursed and one of the poorest of the poor—a widow. Blamed by her husband's family for his death and cut off from her own family since marriage, Pyari, like millions of widows in India, had few options for survival. She could continue to live with her husband's family and assume the role of a servant. Or she could suffer degradation and become a beggar sitting outside a religious temple.
Remarriage—and thus a secure future—is usually out of the question for widows in India. This is one reason why, in previous centuries, widows often chose to throw themselves on their husband's funeral pyre and enter into death with him. That practice has been outlawed, and today millions of Indian widows exist in lives of quiet desperation.
Pyari was doing her best to provide for her two children after her husband's death. She moved to a small house near her sister Rani's home in Andhra Pradesh. Rani was a Christian and told Pyari about the Gospel. Pyari was an ardent worshipper of idols and was not interested. But when she saw Christian love in action, she began to comprehend what the Good News was all about.
Like many children from poor homes, Pyari's son, in the ninth grade, dropped out of school to support his family. Her daughter, Athira, a sixth grader, was enrolled in a GFA Bridge of Hope center in their village. Early this year, Pyari learned that her family was going to receive a water buffalo donated by a Gospel for Asia supporter through GFA's Christmas catalog.
Although a buffalo could provide milk for her family, Pyari was hesitant to take the gift, fearing that she had no way to feed both the animal and her children. But Pyari quickly learned that the buffalo could be a double blessing. She could sell the milk, earn enough to care for the animal and still have enough milk and money left over to meet the needs of her household. Pyari was thrilled.
After experiencing the love of Jesus in her life, Pyari also received Jesus as her Savior and is now worshipping God at a church in her village. And this new believer has already found one person in the Bible to whom she can relate.
“As the widow of Zarephath was fed by the Lord miraculously, I am also being taken care of by Him, both physically and spiritually,” says Pyari.
Through a gift like a water buffalo, you can help another widow or family be reached with Christ's love.