Chinese Widow “Lixue” (name changed to protect her identity) Lost her Husband, her Son, and her Will to Live
International Women’s Day is celebrated this week. We are the only organization with a “Save a Widow” campaign that is saving abandoned and destitute widows in China. Watch a short video HERE.
Lixue is seventy-four years old. Her husband passed away 30 years ago from lung cancer. Tragically, her only child, a son, committed suicide in June 2020, at age 26, just one month before our fieldworker found her. Lixue said she was “too sad to live.” We may have saved this precious widow from committing suicide, like her son.
Then, just last month, Lixue fainted in her front yard, right when our fieldworker was visiting her! Our fieldworker moved Lixue out of the heat, with the help of neighbors, and stayed with her as she recovered, perhaps from heat stroke. If our fieldworker had not been there, anything could have happened. Lixue thanked our fieldworker for saving her life – perhaps for a second time!
Lixue has never been to school and she has never traveled outside the town in rural China where she was born. She was infertile, and so adopted her son when she was forty-six years old. (His biological mother ran away when he was one month old.) Since Lixue is from a poor family, no one wanted to marry her son. (Because of the sex-selective abortion of baby girls, there is now a great shortage of marriage-age women. For this reason, a young man’s parents are often expected to provide a home for their son so that he can attract a wife.) Lixue believes her son killed himself because he borrowed money to attract a girlfriend, and could not pay it back. Lixue can’t forgive herself, because she had no money to help him.
When our fieldworker first found her, Lixue said she was “too sad to live.” Was Lixue thinking of committing suicide? If so, she would not be alone. China has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world, especially in the rural areas. Beyond this, senior suicide has skyrocketed over the past 25 years, because the One Child Policy has decimated the family structure and left millions of seniors destitute with no children to care for them.
Our fieldworkers in China are committed Christians who delight in sharing their faith, at great risk to themselves because of religious persecution by the Chinese Communist Party. Lixue says that her neighbors ignore her because her life is so miserable. They regard her as a symbol of being unlucky. But she says that we love her and support her, without asking her for anything in return. She has begun to attend the Christian fellowship in her village, where for the first time she has friends!
We give all the widows an extra $10 at Christmas for a gift. Lixue said that receiving a Christmas gift was beyond her imagination. Instead of buying extra food or heating her room with the money, she decided to spend the entire $10 on snacks for her church at Christmas. She said, “God blessed me for Christmas, so I will give the blessing back to the church members.” The monthly support and uplifting visits of our fieldworker have transformed her life. She says that now, she has hope and peace in her life because she accepts Jesus Christ and she is a new person.
Our fieldworker came to Lixue saying she is a human being deserving of dignity and love. She also offered Lixue $25 per month in practical support. Lixue feels comforted, knowing that there are people in the world who care about her enough to visit her every month and give her the financial help she desperately needs to rescue her from abject poverty.
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is helping Lixue during her time of greatest need, giving her hope and practical help. With our help, she knows she is loved. With the $25 a month we give her, she is able to eat better and heat her little room in the cold winter.
In commemoration of International Widow’s Day, will you help abandoned widows in China?