Combating Isolation

Written by: Bethia Barber.

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” [Psalm 25:16]

Even David, the beloved of God, had to deal with feelings of isolation. Despite the advance of technology and social media, increasing numbers of people today suffer from loneliness, feeling like they’re journeying through life alone. While agony aunts such as Virginia Ironside, who works for The Independent, are in high demand in our culture, those in more remote areas have no such point of contact.

One of the questions Reach Beyond faces as the voice and hands of Jesus is how to combat this. Our new Arabic ministry partner seeks to answer this question. Begun September 1st, the initial response has been encouraging – with the music and programmes directed to an audience of Arabic-speaking women, their Facebook has quickly grown to over 10,000 followers, who represent 13 of the 22 countries in the Arabic-speaking world.

This outreach is clearly appreciated.  Many people have been responding to and contacting the new station, mainly early in the morning and late at night. The feedback has also been positive. “I’m very happy to have something like this just for women”, said one listener; others expressed joy in the efforts made to communicate with them suggesting “more marriage advice” and “topics about love”. This focus on relationships is by no means unusual. One woman stated, “You have to be cautious because if your heart is broken, it’s hard to repair it.”

Yet the emotional needs of these women are not restricted to relationship advice. We heard from a listener who says she has considered and is still considering suicide, and another who said simply, “I just want peace”. Please pray for the follow-up team, whose schedule now goes until 2am local time in order to provide quick responses to the women who contact the station. Pray that opportunities may arise for them to share the love and assurance of Christ.

As our partner team continues to give practical and emotional support to these women, many of whom are part of large families and communities, our constant message is “you do not journey alone”. Pray that they may continue to reach out to these listeners with messages of hope and comfort, and that many may come to know the truth of Jesus’s promise to the disciples – “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age”. God has begun a great work and we are blessed to be a part of it. All the glory is His!

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