Easter Rebirth in Egypt

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When darkness falls, as it did in Libya, I’m amazed at how God sends reminders of His love.

This Easter, I’m reminded of that love by the story of Verena, a mother so depressed she was ready to end her life — and yet, she found a new beginning.

Verena began suffering from sadness when her husband died, leaving her alone with a debt of 25,000 Egyptian pounds (US$3,000) and two children to feed.

She slipped deeper into depression when the bank took over her small monthly widow’s pension, and still further when other creditors hauled away her furniture.

Verena was completely exhausted when Shenouda, one of our Church-based volunteer Reps, showed up at her door in El Marg. She asked him to look after her children, saying she no longer wanted to live.

Rep Shenouda got to work right away. In a sense, he took over the family, starting with the children’s needs. Once he was sure that basic necessities such as food were covered, he focused on education.

Verena’s children had been out of school for some time, because their mother was so filled with despair that she hadn’t managed to get them enrolled. Dropping out had created a huge obstacle in their path.

Shenouda not only gathered and organized the documentation required for Verena’s children to enroll, he also provided them with private tutoring so they could catch up on lessons they had missed.

The dedication, love, and care that Shenouda showed to the children brought back Verena’s hope and rekindled her devotion to her family’s future. “With Coptic Orphans, I was reborn,” she told us.

The bottom line is, this is what your support is making possible: People like Shenouda, serving in their own community, caring for children they really know — and acting out of their faith in God.

Verena’s story shows what we can achieve when we care for each other as One Body in Christ. This Feast of the Resurrection, thank you for being our partner in this story of rebirth.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

 

* Names changed to protect the privacy and dignity of the children and their families.

About Nermien Riad

Nermien Riad founded Coptic Orphans in 1988 after volunteering for an orphanage in Cairo. When she saw that most of the children had living widowed mothers who simply couldn’t afford to feed them, she gathered family and friends to sponsor children in Egypt. Today Coptic Orphans works through a network of 400+ church-based volunteers in Egypt, who visit fatherless families in their homes and make sure they get everything they need to unlock their full potential. That way, they don’t have to get married off as child brides, work as 10-year old family breadwinners, or go to live at an institutional orphanage.