Farida* is a bright, confident 26-year-old woman who can normally be found with a huge smile on her face. Born into poverty in Egypt and then broken by personal tragedy, she is a shining example of how God’s love can transform any situation.
When she was 20, Farida’s family arranged for her to marry into a wealthy family. But tragically, six months after the wedding, her husband died. She was pregnant at the time.
‘They took my baby’
Her husband’s family then turned against her: ‘They used to insult me, accusing me of bringing them bad luck and being the main reason for my husband’s death,’ Farida tells us. ‘After the birth of my baby they drove me out of their house. They took my baby and didn’t let me see her’.
Heartbroken, she went back to live with her family. ‘I was full of sadness and disbelief. Even my family neglected me. But God did not leave me; He helped me to recover my baby.’
An open door
Farida turned to the church – ‘It was the only door still open,’ she says. Whilst there, she was introduced to Tearfund partner Think and Do. She was invited to join their Widows' Ministry, which teaches women new skills and helps them discover their inner strength.
She received training in hairdressing and was given the equipment she needed to start her own business. Now, Farida is thriving. ‘I am the only women's hairdresser in my community,’ she beams, ‘It generates a very good income for me.’
But Farida didn’t stop there. Inspired by Jesus’ servant-hearted love, she decided to help other poor families by giving away some of her income in the form of micro-loans. Not only that, but she has also opened a literacy class in her church to teach women in the village. This one woman, her life changed by God’s love, is now transforming her entire community.
‘I thank God for his great love, which let me know Him more and empowered me through the work of the church.’
Pieter Bakker, Tearfund’s Logistics Adviser says, ‘For me, Farida's story is an incredible illustration of how broken lives can be made new by God's love in action through partners like Think and Do. We are so thankful for our supporters who help this work come to fruition- thank you!’
*Name changed to protect identity
Praise God for this wonderful woman and her servant-hearted faith, which is shining Jesus’ light in her community.
Ask God to give us the courage and conviction we need to be salt and light in our own communities.
Thank God for the work of our partner Think and Do in Egypt, and pray that their work will continue to go from strength to strength.