A Panic of Loneliness

Can you imaging surviving on $84 a month. Especially if you are an ailing elderly citizen who cannot work? That’s what Sima survives on. But this 81-year-old Jewish widow’s poverty is nothing compared to her loneliness.

Sima worked her whole life in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, but now must make do on just an $84/month pension. She has no way to buy the food and clothing she needs or pay her rent and utilities.

But she must also make do all by herself. The surviving members of Sima’s family long ago made aliyah (immigrated to Israel). But Sima couldn’t.

The stress of her predicament weighs heavily on her, affecting her mental health and and well-being. She suffers from numerous health issues and chronic sleep deprivation. Her sorrow is obvious in her face, and in her body language.

“I’m in a panic since they left,” she says. “It’s a panic of loneliness.”

As the holidays approach, Sima’s loneliness only grows more painful. Sima tries to fight her depression and sadness.

Further aggravating Sima’s situation are two other factors. Her small apartment is in obvious need of renovation. Everything from the walls to floor to furniture and appliances is old and dilapidated. Paint is peeling in the bathroom, the floors are cracked, and the tiny kitchen is barely functioning. But there is no money for repairs.

But this precious soul knows she can count on The Fellowship and our faithful friends. Monthly food boxes are delivered to her home. Each week a homecare worker helps Sima with the tasks she can no longer do herself. And Sima also receives help paying for heat during the frigid winter months.

In her younger years, Sima volunteered to help those in her local Jewish community. But now that she’s receiving much-needed help, she’s grateful for the Christian friends around the world who make her feel less alone. “Thank you for remembering me,” she says.

This holiday season, you can let a lonely Jewish widow or impoverished elderly person in Israel or elsewhere around the world know they are remembered and they are not alone.

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