His wife lay gasping for air, beaten nearly to death, and Sahar could see his own end approaching. He had strived to protect his family—to protect his whole village—from the harm they would suffer now. But as the noose tightened around his neck, he knew there was no hope. The god he had fought with all his strength had finally won.
Man's Family Embraces Foreign God
For as long as Sahar could remember, his family had been strong in their faith. From childhood he watched his parents demonstrate what it meant to truly believe, and as he grew up, he naturally took their beliefs as his own.
Sahar was a fervent defender of his religion, but he never thought he would have to defend it against his own family.
When his mother and youngest brother announced that they had decided to follow a new god, Sahar was devastated. He tried everything to get them to change their minds, but they refused each argument without hesitation.
Out of ideas or hope for a breakthrough, Sahar tried to hang himself. But before he suffocated, one of his siblings found him and brought him down from the tree.
When Sahar failed to bring his mother and brother back to the faith, he was so upset that he attempted suicide.
Man Suspects Wife of Turning Away
For a while after Sahar's failed suicide attempt, life with his family settled at a livable tension. Sahar taught his children to stand firm in their beliefs, and did the same himself, but all the talk of a different god had his wife, Yamura, curious.
He walked into his neighbor's home and witnessed a harsh betrayal. She was there, not just observing the meeting, but actively participating. Just like Sahar's mother and brother, Yamura had joined the false god's worshipers and made herself one of them.
After Beating His Wife, Man Hangs Himself
Without a word, Sahar dragged her outside and began to beat her. Filled with the rage of three betrayals, he struck with no thought of mercy, deaf to any protest. Every bruise, every broken bone in Yamura's body was a statement to the village. He would not be taken in by this god.
He left his wife half dead and stormed back to the tree where he had attempted suicide before. Sahar believed that committing suicide had terrible consequences in the afterlife, but he didn't care. He pulled the rope around his neck, leapt from the tree and waited for death to come.
Just as he was taking his last breaths, though, some people from the meeting came running toward him, and before he could die, his life was saved a second time.
Man Watches Film on Rescuers' Religion
Over the next year, the new god's followers invited Sahar to their meetings and tried to tell him more about their god. Usually, he fought these efforts, but when two of their leaders came from another village and invited him to watch a movie about their religion, Sahar grudgingly agreed to go.
When the opening scenes played, Sahar stared at the screen like a rock, but slowly he realized there was something special about this man claiming to be the only God.
The man on the screen's name was Jesus, and He really did love everyone. Even though He never sinned, He still let the people crucify Him so that all of them could be saved.
Man's Family Had Turned to Jesus
As he watched Jesus hang on a cross, tears poured down Sahar's face. It was all exactly like His followers had said, but now Sahar could see it for himself. Now he believed.
When the two leaders, both members of a Gospel for Asia-supported film team, explained how the villagers could trust in Jesus, Sahar, his wife and kids were first in line. Having seen and experienced Christ's love, he determined to share it until everyone in the village could see the truth as clearly as he now did.
Today, as Sahar and Yamura earnestly share the Good News with their neighbors, the local believers see an answer to their many fasts and prayers. Through one film team's efforts, their fiercest opponent is now their brother, declaring what God has done for him and leading his family and neighbors to Truth.