Betty Wodilla was a widow for many years. Her experience as a widow in Uganda is very different than here in the U.S. Betty blessed us with with her testimony in the October LOL meeting. It left be deeply convicted.
It's not uncommon in the culture of Uganda for a woman to be viewed as the property of her husband. She has no rights, no legal standing, and little voice. It is also customary that the man's family has rights to all the man's property - house, finances, land, cattle, etc. Whatever he owned is taken - leaving the widow with nothing. Sometimes even her children are taken.
Fortunately, Betty had a good job, and though she lost every possession, she didn't not lose her children. Even the cow that provided milk for her babies was confiscated. Through her faith and undying tenacity, Betty raised those children and even saw them attend college - with God's help. It's a wonderful testimony of God's undying love for the widow.
With her velvety accent, Betty emphasized: "God will take care of His widows."
Today, Betty and her new husband minister to hundred's of widows providing food, and the cherished commodity - soap. (Can you imagine living without something as basic as soap?)
Over the years several of the widows died leaving their children as orphans. In the sub-Saharan Africa there are more than 43 million children who have been orphaned by Aids alone. The government has fallen short in caring for the orphans, often making it impossible to them to attend school unless they are adopted. So, eleven children have been added to Betty's care.
I listened with a giant lump in my throat as Betty spoke. I was moved by her story of struggle and victory through Christ. But I also thought about the times I allowed myself to entertain self-pity when I have a roof over my head and food in the pantry. I thought about the times the Lord had to remind me to practice gratitude. Her testimony convicted me.
No matter what phase of grief we are in there is always something for which we can be grateful. I know it pleases the Lord.
We give thanks . . . not for our trials, but IN our trials.
Please pray for Betty's ministry in Uganda. God bless you, dear friends.