James 1:27- Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
1 Timothy 5:1-28- Do not address an older man harshly but appeal to him as a father. Speak to younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters – with complete purity. Honor widows who are truly in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them. For this is what pleases God. But the widow who is truly in need, and completely on her own, has set her hope on God and continues in her pleas and prayers night and day. But the one who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.
Reinforce these commands, so that they will be beyond reproach. But if someone does not provide for his own, especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
No widow should be put on the list unless she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband, and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised children, practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress – as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works. But do not accept younger widows on the list, because their passions may lead them away from Christ and they will desire to marry, and so incur judgment for breaking their former pledge. And besides that, going around from house to house they learn to be lazy, and they are not only lazy, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not. So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household, in order to give the adversary no opportunity to vilify us. For some have already wandered away to follow Satan. If a believing woman has widows in her family, let her help them. The church should not be burdened, so that it may help the widows who are truly in need.
Again, as stated in the book of James (above), to be living by a religion that is pure and blameless in the eyes of God you must care for orphans and widows in their time of need (misfortune). LLIFTT is committed to taking care of the orphans and widows in our churches and our community.
In regards to Orphans:
LLIFTT is committed to visiting local orphanages and caring for the needs of the children in those orphanages. LLIFTT will coordinate it's efforts to care for orphans that have been adopted by people in the local community. Care will be given in the form of spending time with the orphans and letting them know that they are not alone in this world and that they have friends in LLIFTT. Monetary care will be given when possible and when deemed necessary.
In regards to Widows:
LLIFTT will define 'widows' using some guidelines from the Bible (seen in 1st Timothy above). Such guidelines help to determine which women should be considered widows in need.
The commands given above may seem unloving to those widows who are grandparents or younger women, because they say that grandparents should be taken care of by their children or grandchildren and the younger women should manage their own households rather than the church being burdened with their problems. The heart of this message was not to cast people aside, but rather to train people to take care of each other and, in turn, love one another as Christ loved them. In telling children and grandchildren to look after their grandmothers who have been widowed, they are forced to have compassion on someone who has lost a loved one and is all alone. Telling young women to work towards getting re-married, manage their households and to raise their children keeps them busy. It also keeps them focused on the life they are living for Christ. If a young woman keeps busy, then her idle time will be cut short and she will be less likely to become lazy or to gossip and talk about things that she shouldn't.
LLIFTT's role in the care of widows is to first identify women who fall into the category of a 'widow'. This process will done to determine which women need the most immediate care. These persons would be women which fall into the following category(s):
- elderly women who have retired from the work force
- elderly women who do not have children or grandchildren in the immediate area available to help them
- elderly women completely on their own
Other widows, elderly with children and grandchildren able to care for them and young widows who are able to care for themselves will also be cared for. In caring for the elderly of these women, care will be taken to bring recognition of their needs to their families. Families who are willing to care for their elderly family member will be given assistance in order to help them care for the needs of the widowed family member. Elderly widows with families who are unwilling to care for them will not be overlooked. These elderly women will be honored and loved. This will be done not only to care for their needs, but also to show their unwilling families what unconditional love truly is. Young widows who are able to care for themselves will be cared for, but not given the chance to become lazy at the expense of the members of LLIFTT. Young widows will be assisted, encouraged and empowered to find husbands, manage their households and care for their children.