The idea of marriage can vary from culture to culture. In one community where we work, marriage is not a legal process bound by law. Couples “marry” by living together, having a family, and setting up house. If the husband or wife wants to have an affair, they simply abandon their old family, leave, and have no responsibility towards them. Even though the consequences of such an idea have profound effect, these actions are normal and commonplace in this culture.
In one particular family, the husband had abandoned his wife and left her with sole responsibility over their two small children. To make matters worse, a storm came through the area not long after he left and completely destroyed the woman’s home, leaving the broken family without a place to sleep. The woman and her children were desperate. They had lost all their crops, their home, and everything in it. Who would help this woman in her time of need?
The church saw this woman’s situation and mobilized 20 people, along with sand, cement, and all the necessary equipment to rebuild her house. They helped in her fields and cleaned up after the remains of the storm. Once the house was complete, she said, “Thank God that He sent the church to help this family. If the church doesn’t help me, no one will.” Called by God to respond, the church was a loving example of light during a very dark time for this woman and her family.