Though Steele Haven is still making progress towards construction of our “Tiny Havens” for hosting among others, those who have been recently widowed, we have found ourselves presented with two opportunities to serve, bless, care for, support, and love two widowed women. Please take a moment to read their stories and to consider the sacred opportunity to help in providing these women with support in their time of need and as they find sustainable means of income for the future. Your donation will be received by Allegro, a 501(c)(3) organization and is tax deductible.
The first woman we want to tell you about is Karima. Along with her husband, Ali, and their three little boys, Adyan 8, Aayan 5, and Roshan 2, she fled Afghanistan as the Taliban came back into power and began persecuting believers, reformers, and educated women in Afghan society. Tragically, Karima was just 34 years old when her husband was killed in the Himalayan Mountains on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Our understanding is that while this family was awaiting approval of their Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) in Pakistan, they had continued to help other Afghan refugees to escape and Ali was killed in the process. The SIV is reserved for those Afghans who are facing perpetual risk due to their service to the U.S. government. On October 5th, Karima was granted her SIV.
Although she has lost her husband, there is hope for Karima. She is coming to America with a Bachelor’s degree and is completing her MBA online with Brentwood University in California. She is being welcomed to Johnson City, TN by a core group of committed volunteers who have secured housing and transportation along with ESL courses if needed and assistance with schooling for her two older boys. Karima and her family are arriving to open arms of love, but she needs your help to get back on her feet while she adjusts to this new life, completes her degree, and finds gainful employment. Please consider making a monthly donation to help Karima.
The second story, though less dramatic, is perhaps even more tragic. On December 6th, 2018 Candice had to make the horrible decision to turn off the life support machines that had been keeping her husband, Phillip alive for the previous 28 days. This had followed 9 weeks of misdiagnosis that he was merely suffering from an inner ear infection when in actuality, he was a victim of Wegener’s Granulomatosis, a rare, but treatable disease.
Candice and Phillip had been together from the early ages of 16 and 17 years old and were married for 35 years when she finally kissed him goodbye. At the age of 22 and 23, gave birth to two twin boys and they later adopted another son, all of whom she homeschooled and sent out into the world. Prior to Phillip’s death, Candice had already faced the sorrow of one of her sons taking his own life.
For 20 years, Phillip had been a pastor and preacher and his identification with his calling is reflected in the fact that if you speak with Candice, she refers to him as, “Pastor”. Despite this devotion to his calling, the tragedy of Candice’s situation springs from the lack of care provided by their church.
Although Phillip had only been senior pastor for 17 months, the church has been unable to provide for her in her time of need. And while their house was paid for and they had some savings, Phillip only had a small life insurance policy and now, four years later, even with frugal living, those funds simply aren’t enough to sustain her until she can qualify for social security benefits.
Having married young, and not having worked outside of their home, Candice’s prospects for employment are limited. This is made worse by the fact that she suffers from Factor V Leiden, a blood disorder which prevents her from any work requiring her to sit still for long periods.
Please consider stepping in where her small church family has been unable, and make a monthly donation to help Candice.