Single-parent families in the United States represent a mission field as large as the entire population of Central America. The overwhelming majority of them do not attend church.
"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:37-38
"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widows, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt." Deuteronomy 10:18-19
The widow, the orphan, and the alien represent the most vulnerable in God's economy. They are His, and they are not to be abused or neglected.
"When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back and get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless, and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless, and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this." Deuteronomy 24:19-22
Beyond what the widow, the orphan, and the alien were able to glean, they were to be given a tenth of the tithe, that they may be satisfied.
"When you finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.” Deuteronomy 26:12
God sees the widow and the orphan as vulnerable because they have no legal status. God uses His people to provide for them.
"Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless." Exodus 22:22-24
God's care takes the place of the missing parent and the missing husband by protecting the widow and placing the lonely in families.
“A father to the fatherless, defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68:5-6
James tells us that caring for the widows and the orphan is pure religion.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
Jesus cares about taking care of the needy.
“Depart from me you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me," They also answer, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and did not help you?" He will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." Matthew 25:22-24
Our neighbor is in our midst, and the most vulnerable in our midst are the widow and the orphan.
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39