I always wondered what it was like to be free. My name is Marya*. I grew up in Saudi Arabia. Things are very different for girls there. I had no choice in life. I was not allowed to leave the house. I was kept like a prisoner, like an animal in my own home. My parents always told me I was a disappointment because I wasn’t a boy. I was told that God would refuse me because I am a girl.
I tried to memorise the whole Qur’an as I got older, to try to please Allah. But the more I thought about the verses, the more hopeless I felt. How could I ever please him? How could I ever be good enough for my parents? I decided the Qur’an was full of lies. But I didn’t tell anyone what I thought. I couldn’t.
My parents decided to move back to our home country when I turned 18. What was waiting for me there? Probably an arranged marriage. I would go from one prison to another. I had no freedom. No choice. I couldn’t believe or trust Allah – he didn’t want me anyway. My whole existence was pointless. I decided that once we landed at the airport, I would run away and kill myself. It was better for me to die than to live.
In a waiting area, I was planning how to end my life when a woman caught my eye. She raised her hand and gestured me to come to her. I went. She asked me what was wrong. I couldn’t help it – I broke down. She told me she was a Christian from East Africa. She said she would pray for me, right there. She told me that once she finished praying, I had to say ‘Amen.’ I don’t remember the exact words she prayed, but I said ‘Amen’ as she asked me to. When I did, something moved inside me. I cannot tell you what changed, but I felt something I never felt before. The woman left, and at that moment, I decided I wanted to become a Christian.
I found your website and filled out a contact form. I left you my number. I need someone to show me the right way… I hope you are that person.
Our responder Mira* read Marya’s request form and got in touch with her right away…
Marya didn’t know anything about Christianity. She’d been taught that Islam was the truth and Christianity was a lie. But she couldn’t understand why the Qur’an condoned violence, hatred, and murder. Marya couldn’t follow Islam anymore and became an atheist. She felt hopeless until she met the Christian woman in the airport. She said that she felt the presence of God during that encounter. I told her about the gift of salvation. I explained that God had not made a mistake when he created her. He values her precious life enough to have sent his son to die for her sins. We prayed together, and she professed faith in Jesus. Marya expressed how she finally felt God’s love and acceptance. She said she felt God’s healing touch on her heart.
Thank you for reading Marya’s story. Sadly there are thousands of women like her, trapped in their homes, with little to no outside contact. Many are desperate to find something that gives them purpose. Our online ministry breaks through walls and closed doors to isolated seekers, showing them the saving truth of the gospel. We would appreciate your continued support through prayer.
- Intercede for Marya. Pray that she will continue following Jesus despite her circumstances. As she cannot meet with anyone, pray that she will depend on the Holy Spirit to guide her as she grows in her faith.
- Pray that other seekers who are isolated and voiceless like Marya was would know God’s promise that they are never alone. Invite God’s blessing on those who feel purposeless, that they would realise they are created in his image, and that there is hope in Jesus.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to guide Mira and other responders in discipling vulnerable people who are battling depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental health issues. Pray that our responders would seek the Lord’s leading in every interaction with our contacts.
Will you help us reach more people like Marya?
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*Name changed. Image for illustrative purposes