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by Cherise Ryan
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Stepping in to Help

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27; New International Version). With this admonition in mind, the Home School Foundation tries to reach as many homeschooling widows as possible through our Widows Fund.

Before Anna Mose’s (name changed to protect family’s privacy) husband was diagnosed with cancer in December 2006, the couple adopted three children, all of whom were discovered to have severe learning needs resulting from brain damage and/or fetal alcohol syndrome. When her husband passed away suddenly last July, Anna’s shock and hardship were only deepened when her family’s means of income, their Tennessee farm, also had a hard year.

“Because of the weather in our area, the worst year in at least eight years, our crops have not grown well and we have lost over half of what we should have made. Also because of my husband’s illness and death, we must wait on others to help us get our crop out. Every day we are losing more money as our beans are shattering,” she said.

Anna will be hard-pressed to pay back the farm loans they took out to plant their crop, much less make a profit.

Yet despite all the difficulties, including curriculum and computer needs and overwhelming medical bills from her husband's illness, Anna still wants to continue homeschooling. “Since my younger children have all turned out to be special needs, I really want to continue homeschooling them in the future . . . but the future looks uncertain at the moment,” she said.

HSF stepped in through our Widows Fund and helped Anna with several of her homeschool needs so she can continue educating her children. Another widow helped by HSF wrote recently:

I loathed the term widow until God began to show me just how much he loves us widows. . . . I will continue to train our children up in the Lord. I was so amazed that your funds came through for us when they did. There have been so many trials since my husband’s passing. I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.

I didn’t know what to do concerning homeschooling this year without my husband. Last year I began to suffer heart attacks. Two days after my husband passed, I suffered my second heart attack. I had to postpone his homegoing service two weeks until I was released from the hospital. But God is faithful and He brought us through. This past June we had our first homeschool graduate. He’s currently applying to Pensacola Christian College.

The Foundation is continually blessed to be able to bring some measure of comfort to these hurting families. Thank you to all who have helped these widows through your prayers, donations, and continued support.

Cherise Ryan is administrative assistant to the executive director of HSF.

From the Director

Chuck Hurst

Think back a few weeks ago to Christmas. Packages wrapped with glittering paper and pretty bows made us smile with anticipation.

God’s gifts to His people should also inspire us with happy anticipation. These gifts come packaged many different ways, in the wrapping of unique and varied people through whom He has chosen to bless us.

The beauty of peace, contentment, and humility often shines forth most brilliantly from the people you’d least expect—those who have walked through tragedy and heartbreak.

“It has been two years since my [husband] went to be with the Lord, and God has sustained us through it all,” writes one widow. “My kids know the pain and sorrow of missing their dad, but they also know where he is and they see that God Almighty takes care of us in many ways. God is good in all things. . . .”

Whether you’re the one receiving financial help from others, or you’re able to help those less fortunate, we encourage you to shine brilliantly before everyone you encounter in this new year.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

—Chuck Hurst, Executive Director

For more details on how you can help, please call HSF at 540-338-8688, visit the HSF webpage, or email