Ratan’s life would be over soon, and his wife, Kuvira, would become a widow. But he knew she wouldn’t be without hope.
“I am going to leave this world,” Ratan told his wife. “But after I die, go to the church because no one else will take care of you and our children. Just be with Sister Latha; she will take care of you. Apart from Sister Latha, I cannot trust other individuals. She is very faithful.”
Missionary Helps in Time of Need
When Ratan was suffering from kidney failure, a neighbor, Gospel for Asia-supported missionary Latha, reached out to him and his family. For almost a month, she helped Kuvira take care of Ratan. She and other believers in her church prayed and fasted for Ratan’s healing. And she, along with another woman missionary, brought a specialist doctor to Ratan’s home for medical treatment.
Sadly, Ratan didn’t recover. But during this time, he came to know the love of the God in whom Sister Latha trusted, and he encouraged Kuvira to seek help from the local church and from Sister Latha. Then he passed away, leaving Kuvira to care for their son and daughter.
Widow Encourages Another Widow
As Kuvira entered the world of widowhood, Latha could identify with the struggles she would face. Latha was a widow herself.
The woman missionary had lost her husband nearly 15 years before, when her two sons were only ages 2 and 11 months. She moved in with her older brother and battled to provide for her boys by working as a housemaid. Eventually, she was able to start serving full time as a missionary.
As someone who could empathize with Kuvira in the struggles she was now facing, Latha encouraged Kuvira to trust Jesus.
“We have to live a life for our children,” Latha told Kuvira. “When my husband died, my elder son was 2 years old and younger son was 11 months old. I struggled a lot to raise my children up and give them education, but God helped me through these situations. I placed my faith upon God and did my duty. … God opened the way for me. At present, I am living independently and serving the Lord. God helped me to educate my two children. Therefore, have faith in God and live your life. He will help you to raise your children and live a good life.”
Through her example and her sincere prayer and counsel, Latha befriended Kuvira and supported her. More important, Kuvira found an even better friend than Latha: Jesus. She started attending the local church, as her husband had counseled her, and she put her faith in the God who had met her in her time of need.
Woman’s Faith Grows Despite Hostility
But Kuvira’s challenges weren’t over. She faced a host of opposition from her neighbors and from Ratan’s relatives for her faith. One day, some villagers stole Kuvira’s goat, killed it, ate it and then threw the goat’s skin and bones into Kuvira’s house. As Kuvira faced this fearsome hatred, Latha prayed for protection for her and her children, and she encouraged Kuvira to stand firm in the Lord. Despite the villagers’ harassment, Kuvira continued going to church services.
Persecution came from Ratan’s relatives, too. They attempted to chase Kuvira out of her husband’s home. But Latha stood up for her.
“Where were you when her husband was sick? Why didn’t you take care of him in his time of trouble?” Latha challenged. “Now Kuvira has a hope in Jesus Christ to continue her life journey. What wrong has she done?” Chastened by the rebuke, Ratan’s family members stopped harassing Kuvira. Meanwhile, Latha continued visiting and encouraging Kuvira. Latha taught the new believer how to pray to the Lord and depend on Him in the face of all her challenges and needs.
Now, Kuvira is continuing to grow closer to the Lord and participate in the activities of the local church. She thanks God for redeeming her life and for leading Latha to support her during a time she most needed a friend.
“Because Sister Latha came as a woman missionary to meet with us, we are saved,” Kuvira said. “If she would not have come to our house, we would have not seen this day today. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father, One who made a plan to save us from our sinful nature.”
Women Missionaries Serve Fellow Women
God used the struggles Latha had endured to help her share His compassion with a woman facing similar trials. Throughout South Asia, women missionaries like Latha are sharing Christ’s love with other women in ways a man could not. As a result, many women are experiencing the mercy and grace of Jesus.
Read a testimonial from sponsors of Latha
"We began supporting Latha 15 years ago on April 3, 2001. As a woman missionary and a widow, she is able to reach out to a segment of society that male missionaries are prevented from reaching out to because of cultural barriers. That was the main reason we decided to begin sponsoring her. [...]
"It has been a privilege to be a part of what God is doing through this missionary’s life, and this story about her ministry was very encouraging. As women and widows in her culture face a lot of discrimination, it was really a blessing to see how God has put her in a unique position to demonstrate the love of Jesus to others. He also has given her the boldness to stand up for someone else who was in real need and still grieving the loss of her husband.
"I look forward to the day when we will meet as we worship around the throne of our Heavenly Father."
—Latha's sponsors in TexasClose
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.