Faces of The Fellowship: Matat

The Fellowship  |  July 22, 2021

Elderly Jewish man sitting next to a mirror looking directly into the camera.
(Photo: JDC)

All that 77-year-old Matat has left is you. This elderly man lost his wife and has suffered with depression and loneliness ever since. Recently, he actually felt like there was no reason for him to live anymore. And he wondered why he was still alive if his wife was already gone.

“When my beloved was around things were fine – we dreamed together, made some plans. Now they have all collapsed,” Matat says.

After losing his wife, Matat was left alone in Kyrgyzstan, in the former Soviet Union (FSU). Just as his depression was at its worst point, Fellowship-supported Hesed knocked on his door to check on him. It was a homecare worker who immediately recognized that Matat needed care, and this homecare worker has stayed by Matat’s side as he continues to battle depression that often feels overwhelming. But just knowing that he isn’t completely alone, has given Matat some hope: “Nobody ever helped me the way The Fellowship does,” he explains.

And faithful Fellowship friends also provide a light for elderly Matat’s life. This precious Jewish widower receives a monthly food card, with which he can buy groceries. When the frigid winter months in the FSU arrive, you provide winter heating assistance. “Without this assistance I’d probably be gone long ago. Or I’d be completely down, surviving instead of living,” Matat says.

It’s heart breaking to hear Matat speak of his vulnerability in the face of old age, but also goes to show how important faithful Fellowship friends are in his life: “You are my last hope. I have no other hope at all.”

Your gift today will provide everything –  food, medicine, and other basic needs – that elderly like Matat need.