What Happens When a Widow Loses Her Only Son?

Ancient Stories Come to Life

A Pioneers worker crafts stories from the Bible to share with her unreached friends who know little about Jesus. “Learning and telling the stories of Jesus over the past month, I find that He is more compassionate, more powerful, and more kindhearted than I ever dare to believe,” says Hannah.

We shared a bit about Hannah’s experience with this kind of ministry in Hannah Prepares for Story Night. For a deeper dive with some helpful tips, read Storytelling with Nomads. Telling Bible stories is not just for women and children, either. See The Earth-Shattering Parable of the Prodigal Son through the eyes of an East African man, the friend of a Pioneer serving there.

Introducing people to the Bible is a big part of what most Pioneers workers do. We find nothing else has the power to touch people’s lives and meet them where they live the way the Bible does. Many hold Bible studies, or just get together to read or recount scripture, as Hannah does. Others put together media strategies that include links to download the Bible and other compelling scripture-based content. Sometimes it is as simple as repeating a verse or story for a friend, in conversation, or sending it to them by text message with a word of encouragement or blessing.

Jesus Heals the Widow’s Only Son

“Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to share about the healing of the Widow’s son at Nain,” explains Hannah. In her friend’s (very warm and very muggy) living room with the eager attention of four kids and a few adults seated around, the story began.

“Jesus was on his way to a town called Nain. His disciples and a large crowd were traveling with him. Just as he neared the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the town was also with her.”

Hannah’s friend, T, gasped. For families in Asia, a widow losing her only son meant she was completely without support. Hannah continued.

“When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said, ‘Don’t weep.’ Then he came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And he said, ‘Young man, I tell you, get up!’ The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.’”

Introducing people to the Bible is a big part of what most Pioneers workers do. We find nothing else has the power to touch people’s lives like scripture does.

Smiles spread across faces as once again, Jesus did the impossible.

“Then fear came over everyone, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us,’ and ‘God has visited his people.’ This report about him went throughout Judea and all the vicinity.”

Reflecting on the story, the group considered, “What do we learn about Jesus from this story?”

T. responded, “God comes to the poor and the needy. He comes and helps those who need him.”

Then they asked, “What should we do after hearing this story?”

T. said, “We should go tell people.”

May those who listen, hear.

This family has been listening to Hannah’s stories for a few months now. “Every week they seem a little more engaged, curious and interested,” she says. “Please lift up this precious family. As we keep going through the stories we step closer to the cross. May their hearts be ready to hear and respond as the Holy Spirit leads. Pray for protection over their home and family, and that they would put their faith in Jesus.”

Let scripture speak.

Find yourself taking the life-giving words of the Gospels and other scripture for granted?

  • Pray and ask the Lord to open your eyes and read scripture as if you’ve never seen it before. Then read the story of Jesus healing the widow’s son for yourself. Try writing it out or illustrating it. What stands out?
  • Consider picking up a less familiar translation, listening to an audio Bible or watching scripture videos from a source like The Bible Project. What do you notice that you might not have seen before?

Stories from the pursuit

Five Reasons to Be Involved in Global Missions

Why should we go through all the effort, trouble and expense of leaving home to preach the gospel all around the world? Why missions?

Storytelling With Nomads

A Pioneer serving in the Arab world shares how she learned to become a storyteller and offers tips for telling stories from the Bible.

Photo Essay – Life in a Fishing Village in Southeast Asia

Life in a coastal fishing village—in Southeast Asia, or really, anywhere—can be both rugged and refreshing. Can you picture God at work here?