Betty Krooneman, one of our volunteers, shares her story about a young woman from Sri Lanka. We call her Sri.
“Sri is 21 years old. She lives in Sri Lanka and she is searching for the meaning of her life. The terrorist attacks in her country on Easter Sunday 2019 hit her hard. For all of her life she has been haunted by the thought that she was never supposed the be born, that she shouldn’t be alive Her father wanted to abort her when she was still in her mother’s womb. Until this day, her father is chasing her, meaning to kill her.
The conversations I have with her over the internet are a consolation to her. Every now and then she joins her grandmother to a church service, but she can’t help but find the services boring and the sermons too hard to understand. Yet she persists in attending once in a while. Not many young people attend her grandma’s church and Sri hardly feels close to anyone there. I try to encourage her to keep attending, because the Word of God is preached there. She tells me that the atmosphere is peaceful, that she finds herself praying sometimes when she had drifted off because the sermon was too hard to follow. She likes listening to Hillsong music. When she tells me about the songs she listens to, I see an opening for bringing the conversation to a deeper level. What does she like about those songs? It may well be the longing for Jesus, for His guidance and his strength in her life.
Around the time of the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, I was also in close contact with Sri. She lives near one of the places that was struck and she knows some of the victims. At first she was very grateful that she had been spared. After a couple of weeks, however, she was very dispirited and she told me that she was disappointed that she hadn’t died. She would have been free of pain and sorrow, then. Life is a struggle for her. She longs for her life with Jesus in heaven. She has often thought of commiting suicide in the past. She strives to not think of that anymore, but from time to time it is still on her mind as a last resort.
In the chat I learn about how deeply lonely she feels and how pointless her life seems to her. She lives with her family, but they’d rather not have her. Her mother is absent (“She lives abroad and sends money to provide for me”), she has no siblings, no real friends and no job. She struggles with her education due to concentration problems, she does not live in a safe environment and her father is always after her. It is no wonder that she loses hope sometimes.
At the moment she’s following courses (among them English and computer science) to find a job. She hopes to live abroad some day. The last time I spoke to her we prayed for her exam, about a week ago. After failing an earlier exam, this one seems to have gone well. This earlier exam she had failed, brought our conversation back to the perceived meaninglessness of her life. I told her that people in my church are praying for her. This tells us something about the meaning of her life. God gives her life meaning, even though we don’t see or understand it.
This is the story that I tell people whenever I want to talk about consolation and encouragement over the internet. The story shows how much something we consider small can mean to someone. These seemingly small acts that the love of Jesus Christ accomplishes in us may well have a very large impact in the life of someone else. It may give someone the strength they need to not give up. To them, it might be the difference between hope and despair. This is the wonderful work we are blessed to do at GlobalRize”