Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winning Families: Suicide

About GodTest.com
Linda Evans Shepherd

U.S. Suicide Statistics
  • 1.3% of all deaths are from suicide.
  • On average, one suicide occurs every 16 minutes.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 25-34 year olds, as well as college students.
  • More people die from suicide than from homicide.
  • There were over 800,000 suicide attempts in 2005.
Sometimes good things happen suddenly. It was New Year's Eve 2003 when I  considered all the people contemplating ending their life that very night. As a person who has also experienced a dark night of the soul, I understood how a crisis, circumstance or depression could create a state of hopelessness. It’s only by the grace of God that I survived my dark night to live a life of joy.

Sometimes all it takes to survive a dark time is a little hope and encouragement as well as a fresh perspective of God's love. That's when I decided to hook up my interactive website, GodTest.com, with the suicidal lanes of the Internet.

That night 20 people came to Christ. By Monday morning 100 people had escaped suicide and found faith. Two weeks later, we were at 12,000 hits and 2000 souls coming to faith.

I soon added other features to the site. With each improvement, we experienced greater statistics. More than that, we received personal reports to show the site served a purpose. A depressed pastor wrote, "Thank you. This was the worst ministry day of my life. Your site helped me feel better."

A dad of a disabled child wrote, "You saved two lives tonight. You see, I was going to kill both myself and my child, but your story has encouraged me. The two of us will live."

Since then, we have seen thousands of suicides prevented and over half a million people have come to faith. Millions have found the encouragement they need. We’ve recently redesigned the site and hope this will attract even more people to the site and encourage them to draw close to God.

As the president of a tiny nonprofit, Right to the Heart, we are delighted to help and encourage so many. Please visit the site, link to it from your online presence, and spread the word.

Linda Evans Shepherd

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