A missionary’s husband passed away at the age of 37, leaving her with seven children aged seven months to 14 years old. Her husband was in the process of emigrating from Argentina to Brazil, so she received no widow pension from either country. She lived in Foz do Iguaçu, a city in the border zone between Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. Her sisters offered to help raise some of her children, but she decided to keep the family together.

With the help of a friend she kept her husband’s small silk-screen business alive, and like many of the people living there, set up a small-scale import-export business—T-shirts from Brazil to Argentina, potatoes and garlic from Argentina to Brazil, and electronic goods from Paraguay to Brazil.

Once, when finances were tight, she was taking a fax machine from Paraguay to Brazil for a friend when she saw an elderly woman, a couple, and a crying baby walking in the hot sun. She gave them a lift, and it turned out that the man was from the same neighborhood in Rio as she was, and needed a fax like the one she had. He offered to buy it from her, and the small profit was the exact amount she needed to pay her back bills.

Throughout those difficult years, she clung to God’s promise: “I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace.” 1 She read the Bible with her children every morning and prayed for every need they had.

When her mother died, she was able to secure a grant for the schooling of her children, even though the paperwork took three years to complete. Then she moved back to Rio to be close to her sisters.

Now all her children have become upstanding adults, some with children of their own. During those difficult years she clung to the promise of Psalm 121:1–2: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

How do I know all that? I was that woman!

  1. Isaiah 54:13 NLT