My college suitemate has been Skyping a man from Iraq, only he doesn’t show his face. She says she wants to help the Muslim people and show them God. He’s told her that he wants to be a Christian and is looking to raise money for some unnamed organization to help reach Christians where he is [located]. She’s planning on making posters and setting up a table at her church to ask for donations so she can send him the money. Don’t get me wrong, my friend is one of the sweetest, most kind, loving, generous, trusting people I know, but she’s also totally innocent and incredibly naive. She thinks everyone has this thirst and burning desire for God. I myself get Facebook messages from men over there, and I just ignore them because they’re either looking for a way into the country or are running some kind of scam. And that’s what I’m afraid is happening to my friend. I know she’s been in communication with other men as well, some here in the States. I’m worried for her because, for all I know, they could steal her identity, kidnap her, scam her…nowadays the possibilities are endless! But she won’t listen to reason. She just brushes it off and says she thinks they’re being genuine. How do I get through to her? I’m really worried.
Hi, and thanks for your question.
While the Internet is a great resource, it’s also a dangerous one. Seriously! It’s like the whole world is on the other side of the screen. And really, it is, because you have contact with the whole world through the Internet and the world has contact with you, if you allow it.
I don’t know anything about this man, but in this day and age with terrorism around the world, Christian persecution, pornography, human trafficking and so on, it’s just really unwise to communicate with men you don’t know. Especially a man who’s not willing to reveal himself. I understand that she has a desire to want to help those who are suffering, but there are still people in our own country and even our own community who need our help.
I agree with you that your friend’s openness may just lead her into dangerous waters. You just can’t be too safe. But I’m also concerned that if you insist that she not contact these people, it may just encourage her to help this stranger and others even more.
So here’s what I think you should do:
- Take some time to read up on the news about Christian persecution in the Middle East, if you’re not already up to date on it. Also know that many terrorist organizations are using social media to recruit people in the U.S. and around the world to join and fund their cause.
- Meet with your friend and take time to explain to her that if the man is not willing to show his face, he could be dangerous.
- Research reputable Christian organizations in the U.S. that she may be interested in volunteering for. Tell her that if she really wants to help, it would be wiser to work with organizations that are transparent. Maybe her church or yours knows of such organizations.
- Get an adult involved. Contact your friend’s parents or maybe a professor who she’s more willing to listen to. Involving an adult she respects may stop her in her tracks, and she may be more motivated to listen to them.
Good luck and God bless!
Need some advice? Ask your questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!