Women Egypt | 10-4-2024

From Despair to Fulfilment in Egypt


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It’s not often we get the chance to hear directly from our field workers. It’s even rarer to get a first-hand glimpse of their direct work. But this is one of those special stories.

These are the words of an Open Doors field worker.

The first time I visited Mariam* was on a cold winter’s night in a town just south of Cairo, Egypt. The town is on the western bank of the Nile River, where Mariam lives in a small house with her four children.

Mariam got married when she was 17, and she has four daughters. For many years, her life was happy. Her husband worked as a contractor, and the family’s financial situation was stable. She recalled it happily.

“My husband was very helpful and loving,” Mariam says. “He loved God and used to serve Him. He lived as salt and light for his surrounding community.”

Mariam’s husband worked in a different place than the town where the family lived.

“He was well known in his workplace and the surrounding area because he used to help lots of needy people,” Mariam explains. “This area where he worked, was known [for having] intense persecution. However, my husband never felt afraid and used to help the Christians there and donate to sick and needy people.

“That’s why radical Muslims wanted to get rid of him, and they used to threaten him a lot; [they wanted him] to stop helping needy Christians in the area. My husband was a brave man and never listened to them and continued helping others.”

Horrifically, the extremists’ warnings weren’t merely words.


“They killed him! They killed my soulmate and my life partner.”

“The disaster happened in 2017, when radical Muslims in the neighbourhood ambushed my husband and slaughtered him in his workplace,” Mariam told me. She burst into tears, even years after the fact. “They killed him! They killed my soulmate and my life partner. He left behind four young daughters who were in real need of their father’s love and care.”


The family was devastated. “My heart was torn apart,” Mariam says. “I can remember the day I received the news of his death as if it was yesterday. Everything turned upside down. Nothing returned the same as before.”

Mariam blamed God for the loss of her husband and for all her difficult circumstances. Her heart was full of resentments and bitterness towards God. She was afraid and felt unsafe—and she had no hope. She grew angry and aggressive.

Her daughters were traumatized. They were afraid and felt unsafe; they lost self-confidence. Mariam was not able to deal with the situation on her own.


“Did all of this happen because my husband loved God and wanted to serve him?”

She quickly realized losing her husband was more than just an emotional loss. The new school year had started, and Mariam was not able to provide her children with school supplies. “I tried hard not to make my daughters feel less than their peers at school, but I failed,” she says. “[These years] were totally horrible for me and for my daughters. My husband was not just a husband. He was a friend, a father and a partner. He was just everything for us.”

Mariam looked me in the eye and bombarded me with questions: “Why did God do [this]? Why has He left us in our fear? Why did God leave my four girls to be fatherless at such a very young age? Why did I become a widow while I’m still so young? Why has He forsaken us? Did all of this happen because my husband loved God and wanted to serve him?”

Finding Hope

I took a deep breath. How can one even begin to provide help in a situation like this? 

For starters, it was important for Mariam to know that her feelings were understandable. We talked about her husband and about the devastation she still feels. 

Eventually we turned to Romans 8: “The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

From that day forward, our ministry team and partners started a journey of support with Mariam and her children.

First, we helped her set up a small business project to start raising poultry to help her generate regular income and provide for her daughters.

Then we provided an inner healing program for her and her daughters, and regular pastoral visits. We wanted to show God’s love to them in a practical way.

And thanks to your gifts and prayers, the lives of Mariam and her daughters started to change and flourish. We can see the progress and success of her business. Now, she is able to provide for her children their needs.

“I still miss my dad and wish to see him one more time to have just one more hug! However, I know he is with my Heavenly Father now and we will all meet soon,” said 12-year-old Sylvia*, the oldest daughter. “I learned to forgive those who have hurt me, and I want to help others like my dad did; I am sure my Heavenly Father will never forsake us. It’s now the beginning of the school year, but this time is different, because our Heavenly Father provided income for my mother so she can provide for us.”

We also enrolled Mariam in a discipleship group. She is learning and growing emotionally and spiritually, including more opportunities for participation in her local church.


“We stopped blaming God, and we worship Him instead.”

“I have seen God’s practical love through your love, care, and presence,” Mariam told me. “I believed that God is my Heavenly Father and He has never forsaken me. I am blessed with the small business project, and it is now working very well. We stopped blaming God, and we worship Him instead.”

Although life’s daily challenges continue for Mariam, she has been able to find hope and fulfilment in the Lord.

*For security reasons, representative names and images have been used.
please pray
  • Praise God for Mariam's husband, whose courageous faith is an example for all of us. Pray that the good work he did among his community will continue to bless and lead people closer to Jesus.
  • That Mariam and her four daughters will keep on growing in Christ, knowing that God is their father and husband. 
  • That the women of the persecuted church will be strengthened with all grace and equipped to extend God's grace to others.
please give
  • Every HK$190 could provide Scripture material to four women, to nurture their faith
  • Every HK$260 could give a Christian woman food to help her family survive for a month
  • Every HK$430 could help a persecuted woman start a small business, giving her financial security
*Any excess funds will be used to strengthen other persecuted Christians where urgent help is needed.