Veil on Suffering of ‘Invisible’ Widows Lifted by GFA World

Veil on Suffering of ‘Invisible’ Widows Lifted by GFA World June 21, 2024

WILLS POINT, TX — GFA World is lifting the veil on the incredible suffering of millions of “invisible” widows around the world — many even cast off by their own families.

In many places, widows face extreme hardships, abuse, exploitation and sexual violence.

Even their own families show them “little or no mercy,” according to GFA World (, a faith-based organization that helps rescue widows suffering abandonment and neglect.

No Mercy: Texas Mission Lifts Veil on Suffering of Invisible Widows
RESCUING ‘INVISIBLE’ SUFFERING WIDOWS: Organizations like Texas-based GFA World ( are helping widows in “forgotten corners” of Africa and Asia where they’re struggling to survive in societies that show them little or no mercy.

“Many (widows) end up as beggars and are often exploited for slave labor or are sex trafficked,” said Bishop Daniel Timotheos (Yohannan), the organization’s vice president. “In some cultures, widows are treated as outcasts, disowned by even their closest family members and thrown out of their home when their husband dies.”

International Widows’ Day on June 23 draws attention to their suffering — a plight the United Nations says is largely “invisible” to the world.

According to the U.N., out of approximately 258 million widows worldwide, nearly one-in-10 live in extreme poverty, often forcing them to beg or engage in sex work.

Huge numbers of women are widowed due to conflict and war. In some parts of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for example, it’s reported that a staggering 50% of women are widows. In Iraq, there are some three million widows; in Kabul, Afghanistan, more than 70,000 in a single city.

During armed conflicts, many widows are raped, mutilated and infected with the HIV virus, the U.N. reports.

Cruel Rituals

“Widows are coerced into participating in degrading and even life-threatening traditional practices as part of burial and mourning rites,” the U.N. says. “Rites may involve sexual relations with male relatives, shaving of the hair and scarification.”

Organizations like GFA World are helping widows in “forgotten corners” of Africa and Asia where they’re “struggling to survive in societies that show little or no mercy toward them,” Timotheos (Yohannan) said.

The Texas-based organization provides food, clothing, shelter, medical care, income-generating farm animals, literacy classes, and vocational training — giving desperate widows hope.

‘Rejected By Her Own Daughter’

Mysie, a 56-year-old widow, showed up in Pastor Surin’s village in Asia after being driven out of her home. Even her own daughter had no pity on her. For three years, she drifted from village to village, begging, digging for food scraps in garbage piles, and sleeping rough.

“But God had not forgotten her,” Timotheos (Yohannan) said.

A member of the local church built her a simple two-room mud house, right next-door to a family that helps look after her. GFA World supports thousands of village churches like Pastor Surin’s.

“Everything we do is wrapped in the hope that is found in the love of Christ,” Timotheos (Yohannan) said.

About GFA World (formerly Gospel for Asia)

GFA World is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Africa and Asia, and sharing the love of God. In a typical year, this includes thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in hundreds of villages and remote communities, over 40,000 clean-water wells drilled since 2007, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 150,000 needy families, and teaching to provide hope and encouragement in 110 languages in 14 nations through broadcast ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit the Press Room at

For more details and to arrange an interview, contact: Gregg Wooding @ 972-567-7660 or

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