Six years ago, Miriam Neff walked into a Family Christian store with her daughter, Valerie, and three adopted grandsons, who were in foster care at the time. Our store was hosting an orphan care event, and while the boys enjoyed a craft and snack, Miriam struck up a conversation with a store manager, expressing how impressed she was with the event for orphans and adopted children.
She was thrilled to learn about our commitment to supporting orphans and widows in need through James 1:27, which says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (NIV)
“That’s awesome! Most people don’t get it. They may do the orphan piece, but they don’t understand that it also says widows,” Miriam said, reflecting on that day.
In 2006, Miriam became a widow after her husband, Bob, lost his battle with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Immediately she felt ripped apart—feeling as if she was no longer whole—since when people marry, they become one, and Bob was taken away from her.
Unfortunately, before his passing, Miriam had scheduled her retirement for that same year. So halfway through 2006, she was without her husband and a job.
It left a large void in her life—one that she was unsure how to fill.
At first, she tried to find resources that would provide her with guidance financially, emotionally AND spiritually, but what she found was very limited.
Then she sought to find fulfillment by spending time with Bob’s friends and trying to connect with memories she struggled to hold onto.
One of these trips led her to Burkina Faso, Africa, where she was asked to teach a group of widows about the Bible. The widows enjoyed it so much they asked her to come back at the same time the next day.
That night, which also happened to be the seven-month anniversary of Bob’s death, Miriam was sitting in her hotel room when she realized God was calling her to serve widows.
“I’d never had a calling before,” Miriam said, adding that God asked, “‘Miriam, if you’re not finding these resources, what are you going to do about it?’”
That was the birth of Widow Connection.
Miriam began by launching the website, WidowConnection.com, which has grown substantially into a place where widows can seek comfort by reading shared stories from other widows and find resources for their own current situation.
Next , Miriam wrote her book, From One Widow to Another, and then began thinking about how she could further spread the word about her ministry and serve more widows—that’s when she asked us about our widow outreach, and our partnership would begin.
Join us in giving hope to widows around the world. Donate $10* to Widow Connection by texting FAMILY to 52000.
*Your one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your pre-paid balance. Message & data rates may apply.