Walking with Widows

Robert Kuntzman missed going to his Life Group. He hadn’t been in a long time, and he missed the teaching and the people. In January of last year, he and his wife knew it was time to go back— back to community and building relationships. And for the Kuntzmans, being in a Life Group meant going even deeper—it meant joining others in service opportunities. Robert’s first Sunday back, the Lord put an opportunity right in his lap. Jim Shoemaker, his Life Group leader, came to him with an idea, serving in Widow Home Assistance.

Widows can face difficulties when needs around the home aren’t as easily accomplished alone. This can become especially daunting when they need someone to fix a leaky roof or pour concrete for a walkway. Typically, they can’t do these tasks themselves, but Robert can. He owns a construction company, and he can easily meet these real, practical needs, so Robert wholeheartedly agreed with Jim’s idea. Reaching and helping this group of women is important for Jim Shoemaker’s Life Group, and their motivation is plain and simple.

“Well, it’s what the Bible tells us,” Robert said.

In 1 Timothy 5:3 Paul spells it out, “Honor widows who are widows indeed.” And in Isaiah 1:17 we’re called to “plead for the widow.”

As this Life Group began to obey those verses and take ownership of the ministry, Alan Swafford, another Life Group leader, started to plan how widows could be honored in the most efficient way. He created a system where couples in the Life Group would “adopt” a widow.

“There’s just a great need to reach out to them to let them know that somebody at the church knows who they are, we care about them, and there’s somebody they could talk to,” Alan said.

Companionship is something everyone needs, and it’s also one way widows feel seen and loved. Another way to do that is by recognizing and making sure their needs are met. Volunteers who serve with Widow Home Assistance do this in a variety of ways like mowing their lawn, sitting with them and reading the Bible, advising them on their finances, or performing home repairs. Whether the widows need a friend or a repairman, this work is not only necessary but also rewarding.

“Every time I walk away from a project or doing something for the Lord, I walk away with a smile on my face or tears of joy,” Robert said.

And these projects extend beyond Bellevue Loves Memphis or Jesus Loves Memphis Workdays. Widow Home Assistance is a ministry to be involved in presently and regularly.

“There is a need in our church for this, and I think it would be a great ministry for anybody to participate in,” Alan said.

There are many ways, like Window Home Assistance, to serve locally. During Missions Week 2024, there will be other opportunities to discover how Bellevue strives to serve Memphis through compassion ministry. To get plugged into more local service opportunities, visit bellevue.org/pathways. If you’re interested in serving with Widow Home Assistance, call the Missions office at (901) 347-5540.