How many times have you wanted to start over in life?
That’s what was on Maroua’s* mind when she went online, looking for direction. She landed on the Salam Maa Allah Facebook page, part of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s (BGEA’s) Arabic ministry.
The Facebook page is an extension of SalamMaaAllah.net, an interactive site that explains the Gospel.
More than 520,000 people have visited this site since the ministry began two years ago. Like Maroua, most are from Iraq and surrounding Middle East countries where there’s a lot at stake for those who express interest in Christianity.
That’s why, at the bottom of the Salam Maa Allah website (translated in English to “Peace With God”), there’s a button visitors can click that takes them to the ministry’s Facebook page. There, they can chat confidentially with a trained BGEA volunteer via Facebook Messenger, which provides an extra level of security.
At a time of civil unrest for Iraqis, when the government sporadically shuts down the internet and blocks social media, staff members with the online Arabic ministry never know when there will be a lull in web traffic, but anytime the “doors” are open, visitors flood through.
Visitors like Maroua who—in the midst of uncertainty in her country—connected with an Arabic-speaking volunteer named Rida*.
“How can I live a different life?” Maroua asked.
Rida shared with her that trusting and following God is the only way to live a different life and the only path to true peace.
Maroua loved hearing what Rida had to say online and wanted to know more. She waited as Rida typed out messages explaining Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness. Rida asked Maroua if she wanted to accept Christ as her Savior.
“How can I do that?” Maroua wondered.
Rida joyfully prayed with Maroua online to commit her life to Jesus, then shared the ministry’s online discipleship course to help her grow spiritually.
Unfortunately, with a weak internet connection, Maroua couldn’t immediately access the course and sent Rida a crying emoji. The next day, however, she got into the course and excitedly sent Rida a screenshot of one of the lessons, a page titled “God saved humanity.”
*Names changed to protect privacy.