The Missional Community in Caring for the Widow and Orphan

by Phoebe

Recently, we personally experienced what it means to care for the widow and orphan when our friends at The Last Resort asked if we could take in a young single mum and her 8-month old baby son as the family environment is abusive. We agreed quite readily but were also concerned about the transition of the baby as he would have to be transferred out of his infant care in Hougang. It also felt untimely as we recently sent a youth who just got discharged from boys’ home to a couple friends’ home in Hougang – if only we knew about this mum and baby earlier, they would have been able to stay in Hougang!

So we asked another friend who lives near to the mum and son whether he could ask around to see if anyone in the neighbourhood would be keen to take them in. We remained hopeful and prayed that God would open a door of a Christian family to host this mother and son.

However, all doors closed.

My heart wept when I received this news from our friend. We had some glimmer of hope that fellow Christians would understand the need and be moved to take action. But it is still a very new and radical thing to do, especially in this society where the idea of the ‘family’ is very narrow and protected. I was disappointed that the idea of hospitality within the church body is still very much limited to other Christians, or at most people we know. But how about the stranger, widow and orphan?

So Jon and I decided that we were the last, last resort and agreed to take the mum and son in. If God closed all the doors, surely He is leading us to be obedient to offer up what He has given us – our home, which we knew from the beginning is not our own, but His and for Him to use for His purposes.

I started to get nervous about this whole endeavour – first time for us to have a baby sleep over at our home, and for us to care for a baby boy (totally new for Jon, and almost new for me cos I have only cared for my baby sis). How are we going to organise the play pen? Will we get sleepless nights? What happens when baby falls sick? How do we transport the baby around? Where do we get cheap formula milk? Friends from our small group who have small babies warned us about the level of energy and sleeplessness involved in caring for babies at home, and directed us to online groups where we can get baby supplies. One couple also offered to come over with their baby girl to have a play date with the baby. I began to see what a missional community is about.

Then we found out from the mum that she was not able to transfer her baby to the infant care near our place. Imagine commuting from Jurong West and Hougang every morning with a baby! If I were the mum, I would question the meaning of my life. In our desperation, we called for help within the Home for Good fostering network. Would anyone offer to shuttle the mother and child from Jurong West to Hougang every morning? We also received a suggestion to raise funds for taxi for the commute.

To our surprise, someone in the network responded to say that they can take the mother and child in since they live only 4 MRT stops away from Hougang!

My heart leaped, but not long after, the lady texted to say that due to some concerns on the end of her husband, they are not able to take the mother and child in.

My heart dropped and we were back to square one. I mourned for a few days until the day before the mother and child were supposed to move in with us. The lady from the Home for Good network managed to find someone who is willing to open his home and even drop them off at a station near Hougang!

This is least expected! God provided at the last moment, when all seemed lost. His heart is for the widow, orphan and marginalised and we should never underestimate His love for them. We recently contacted the young mum to check in on her and we are happy to find out that she is settling well into the new home. Praise God indeed!

This episode is a reminder that we are not alone in caring for the stranger, widow and orphan, and that we need a Christ-centred community to work together and support one another in carrying out the command to love our neighbours as ourselves.





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