Samuel spoke to them of how there were so many valid and powerful stories but often no-one to listen to them or share their troubles. He affirmed repeatedly the love of the leadership for the women, that they were God’s servants to them and had open hearts towards them.
He spoke of wanting to create a place of trust, confidence, inner healing and mutual tears and support to enable the stories to be shared and the healing process to take place. The loving compassion was obvious.
‘A pastor but one of you’
This lady summed up the whole ethos. She was a leader of the group, and had been away for some of the time in South Africa, at the Bible College in Siyabuswa, but a local Zimbabwean widow now serving the group. As one supremely qualified to understand the lives of those to whom she ministered, she spoke of the deep theological truths regarding true identity and reminded me so of the incarnational principle of Jesus.
She was 45 years old, her parents had died; and only one of five siblings still alive; she had lost her husband. As with most people, surrounded by death in every generation. When, two years ago, her only child had died, her only hope for living was gone. She recognized the bitterness and anger she had felt and yet was able to thank God that through his grace - and the ministry of Samuel and Liza - that her true identity wasn’t in those things.
That her identity was in Jesus Christ. That even if a person had no children or a husband, she was still valid because the Kingdom of God was the basis for all life. She said that the work with the widows had saved her life.