"Suicide has touched almost every family in the US as well as families from around the world. Please join us in prayer that our online encouragement will make a difference as we point our readers to hope and to a God who really cares." -Linda Evans Shepherd
(Longmont, CO)—Bestselling Christian author, Linda Evans Shepherd, has been ministering to the suicidal since New Year's Eve, 2003.
"That night it occurred to me to use Internet marketing tools to put our interactive Gospel presentation into the suicidal lanes of the Internet," said Shepherd.
"Before the night was over, we saw 20 people come to faith. Since then, we've added tools for the depressed and helped over 300,000 come to faith while preventing literally thousands of suicides," she said.
Shepherd's nonprofit ministry, Right to the Heart, began to see its website's visits drastically decline when Google changed its search algorithm.
Looking for a solution, Linda took online marketing classes.
But the incident that prompted her to implement what she'd learned happened this past November 28th.
It was 10:35 a.m. when she heard sirens screaming down her street. Later, on the local news, she was shocked to learn that a beautiful 22-year-old neighbor, who had just graduated with honors from University of Colorado Boulder, had purposefully ended her life by throwing herself in front of an 18-wheeler.
That this suicide happened three blocks from her home, only feet from her church, the very church which helped to sponsor her ministry's efforts to reach the suicidal, was not lost on Shepherd.
Shepherd said: "I was heartbroken when our newspaper reported that Katy's last online search was 'how to kill yourself.' How I wished she could have found our helps for hope, life, and faith, instead of those ghastly instructions on how to die."
Twenty authors agreed to write for the new blog, www.ThinkingAboutSuicide.com
Shepherd began reaching out to her Christian-author friends, all members of her ministry's Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.
"It's our hope that by creating over 200 new articles per year on suicide, featuring bullying, military, teens, marriage, divorce, job loss, depression, surviving the loss of a loved one, survival stories, chronic pain, and illness, that we will populate the Internet with help and hope," said Shepherd.
Shepherd says the ministry is already making a difference. Since its launch in March, the blog Thinking About Suicide has reached over 1,000 people per month from around the world. It has already helped to prevent suicides, connect the hurting with helps, and seen over 800 people come to faith.
"Suicide has touched almost every family in the US as well as families from around the world. Please join us in prayer that our online encouragement will make a difference as we point our readers to hope and to a God who really cares," she said.