Coronavirus curtails newfound freedom

Inge* facilitates a development work for unemployed women in Eastern Europe. While she loves them all, one woman has touched her heart in a special way: “Sara* always did everything one hundred per cent. She couldn’t be half-hearted. After her husband died, we met at his funeral. She was very, very strong, that much was obvious, and I liked her immediately,” shared Inge. “Although sad, she was free. Unlike the other women.

“After a time, Sara joined our development work for unemployed women. She wanted to be a volunteer, to help and serve in any way possible. And she did, more and more.”

For many women, and especially for those with no husband, the women’s groups became their new 'family', a place where they felt free and not judged by others, Inge explained. Many women told her they had not experienced this kind of freedom since they were little girls.

“We live in an environment where gossip rules,” explained Sara. “Many women, like me, rarely leave their house. They stay at home always, as they cannot handle the gossip. ‘There is no future if you lose your husband,’ they say here. And if you don’t have a husband and leave the house or find work outside the home, you’ll quickly be marked a prostitute.”

However, right from the start, the number one rule in this ministry was ‘no gossip’. If it becomes known that a participant has gossiped about private issues relating to another woman in the group, the gossiping woman is banned from attending. The strict rule has proven effective: From the very first time the groups met, the women were openly sharing with each other. They cried together, laughed and encouraged each other. Like a family.

And then the coronavirus hit the country. The groups had to close; no more meetings, telephone contact only. For Inge, it was difficult to call Sara about the news: “It came as a shock to her that all the projects were closing. She had hoped… her voice cracked, she was on the verge of tears and said: ‘What will we do, only staying at home…?’”

Her new family had to be shut down, and for Sara it meant back to the house, her ‘prison’, to the boring days without her new family. Yes, it is possible to connect through the internet. Yes, they make jokes trying to keep their spirit up. But it’s sad for the women who had relied on their community.

These women had discovered something new: grace, respect and value. Many had shared: “The most important thing I learned at the training was that I have value [that] I did not know. It was very important for me.”

Nobody knows how long it will take before the women’s groups and other development projects can re-open or what the world and the local situation will be like when this is over. Please pray.

*name changed

Share this Resource

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

OMMS Power BI Developer International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThis role exists to support, by providing analytics and reporting, for Personnel, Finance, Financial Development and Mobilizing.
Full Details
B4T Developer International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you an experienced business owner or manager? Would you like to use your business skills, experience and contacts to build entrepreneurs?  Join us as a B4T Developer. You will work to grow Kingdom Businesses in some of the most needy parts of the world. Select entrepreneurs, train them in business skills, bring in investors; it is a tough job and not for the faint hearted. Our vision is to see Kingdom Business fulfill its vital role in the Great Commission.
Full Details
Web developer (OM EAST – Literature and Media, Austria) International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleOM EAST is looking for a skilled web developer to manage and develop their eBook websites to share downloadable Christian media among people groups in hard-to-reach places. Use your skills to share the hope of Christ by making resources available in areas where there is little or no Christian literature in the local language!
Full Details
IT support person (OM EAST – Literature and Media, Austria) International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleOM EAST is looking for an on-site IT support person to ensure the smooth running of their literature and media ministry’s infrastructure. As you support a creative team of graphic designers, app developers and eBook programmers, you are making it possible to produce Christian media in the heart-languages of people groups around the world.
Full Details
Event Manager (Run 4 the World – R4TW) International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWe’re looking for an Events Manager to organize one (or a few) Run for the World (R4TW) events within the serving country/area. If you have skills in event planning, networking and organization, this could be your dream job. Run for the World (R4TW) is an open-source global sports event - running and making a positive impact on the world around you. It is a God-given opportunity to use sport to transform the lives of young people locally and globally.
Full Details
eBook Programmer (OM EAST – Literature and Media, Austria) International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleUse your skills to convert powerful Christian publications into downloadable eBooks that can travel to hard-to-reach places. Share the hope of Christ by making resources available in areas where there is little or no Christian literature in the local language!
Full Details
Public and Media Relations Manager – Global Brand and Marketing International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have skills and education in marketing and media relations? Have you wondered how you could put those skills to work for the glory of God? You could do that with OM as the Public and Media Relations Manager with our Global Brand Management team. As part of Global Brand Management, you would guide the annual Public Relations and media strategy to publicly champion the work of God through OM around the world.  Could this be the right place for you?
Full Details
Communications and Media Manager International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you a motivated, creative self-starter with innovative ideas who enjoys removing obstacles and solving problems? We need someone like you to direct and manage the communication and promotion of our products & services in the hearts and minds of our various stakeholder communities. OM’s Micro enterprise business ministry is passionate about helping people transform, uplift and empower their communities through business. Join us, help renew hope and see lasting change in people's lives.
Full Details
Video Editor – part-time International    Go & Live    As soon as possiblePlay a vital part in creating powerful videos or animations, which help OM teams communicate the gospel with specific people groups around the world!
Full Details
Financial Development Officer – Sportslink International International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you a gifted, passionate and experienced leader and fundraiser who can build local and international financial partners to support our ministry? If you answered yes, we need you to help us raise necessary funds and resources for OM SportsLink International operational and catalytic initiatives. You would have a key role in developing creative strategies to generate sustainable income.
Full Details
Sportslink International Team Communication Facilitator International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWe see God at work through our sports ministries, but we need someone to help us to tell our stories better. We need someone who is dedicated, dynamic, creative, team minded and has great communication skills. Are you the person who can effectively tell the story of what God is doing through Sportslink?  Join us and use your gifts and skills to share God’s stories across the globe.
Full Details
Instructional Designer International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleUse your mix of training talent, creative skills, IT savvy and project awareness to design interactive and engaging content to equip our people for mission, online, wherever they are in the world. Instructional Designers with eLearning experience are encouraged to apply. However, training is available for candidates with solid in-person teaching skills.
Full Details