World Challenge’s partners are working to build a meaningful community for widows in northern Egypt.
For Talia*, a woman from a small village in northern Egypt, loneliness had become a way of life.
Earlier this year, Talia lost her husband to COVID-19. He was healthy and young, so his death was unexpected. Life for a widow in the rural villages of Egypt is difficult under any circumstances, but the fact that Talia’s husband died of COVID-19 made it exponentially worse.
Egypt, like many countries around the world, has seen a powerful stigma against the people affected by COVID-19. In fact, according to a report from AP News, there have been threats and even violence against medical workers, hospitals, people who have fallen ill and grieving family members at funerals. Because of that stigma, Talia was shunned by her community. No one would come near her, and most people wouldn’t even talk to her. Vendors refused to sell food to Talia or her children.
In the midst of her isolation, what Talia needed most was for someone to show her the love of Christ. That is where World Challenge’s partners came in.
A True Community
Very often, especially for widows who live in remote villages, the acceptance and support of a strong community can be life changing. World Challenge’s partners meet that need for women in the villages of northern Egypt through their widows projects.
Every month, the women who are part of this program gather for a meeting where they receive food and encouragement and have the opportunity to hear the gospel. The women are also supported through regular visits to their homes.
This year, the facilitators of the widows’ program had to get creative. By meeting in smaller groups and checking in by phone when in-person visits weren’t possible, World Challenge’s partner was able to continue supporting the women they serve.
Through the love and support of believers, Talia finally found the acceptance that she needed. Seeing the love of Christ at work has had a life changing impact. After hearing the gospel, Talia made the decision to accept Jesus as her savior.
While Talia is still working to find hope and healing from the loss of her husband, she can now approach every day with a newfound sense of peace.
Today, Talia wants to share God’s love with other women who are going through times of pain and loss. She knows that the message of the gospel can change their lives, just as it changed hers.
*Not real name. For safety reasons, we don’t release names or specific locations in highly sensitive areas.