Film team members were out distributing Gospel literature when they encountered anti-Christians, who later had Pastor Philemon thrown in jail and tortured.
Sahil was the village leader where Gospel for Asia-supported pastor Philemon Sandhu served. He often helped Pastor Philemon with matters concerning the village and its people. But it wasn’t until he witnessed the amount of suffering and hardship his pastor endured for the sake of the Gospel that Sahil decided to take a more proactive role in sharing the Good News.
A Sudden Interrogation
A group of GFA-supported film team members arrived in Sahil’s village desiring to get permission to screen a film on the life of Jesus. After they received Sahil’s approval, they didn’t delay in going door to door to hand out Gospel literature and inform the villagers of the film show that would take place later that night.
But as the team was out doing ministry, they stumbled upon a group of anti-Christians who began interrogating them. They asked many questions concerning the Christian faith and about the film team’s reasons for handing out Gospel literature. Not satisfied with the team’s responses, the anti-Christians called the police to complain.He stood shocked to see the pastor’s physical condition, but his heart was deeply moved as he witnessed Philemon’s commitment through suffering for the name of the Lord.
False Accusations and Threats
Before the police arrived, the anti-Christians arranged for some people to give false reports about the team. When the police began their investigation, one by one, the people began to accuse the film team of forcing people to convert to Christianity.
“Sir, these men are converting the people and this is happening not only today but every day,” one person told the police.
And then another said, “They are getting lots of money for converting the people.”
As the false accusations piled up, the police officers became furious. One turned to a film team member and said, “Tell me correctly what you are doing here, otherwise I will put you in prison.” Not assured that the first police officer’s inquiry would be truthfully answered, another policeman chimed in, “If you are asking without harming them, they will not tell. Give me that stick; I will ask properly.”
Then he took a stick and began threatening the film team.
The missionaries stood firm, honestly and politely informing the police they were only distributing Gospel literature and nothing more. Then someone suddenly called out, “Yesterday these people came to our house and told us to become Christians, saying they would give us money if we would become Christians.”
As the tension escalated, one of the team members slipped away to find Pastor Philemon and inform him of the situation. Pastor Philemon rushed to the scene. The police caught hold of him and began asking several questions that were difficult for Philemon to answer. Believing he was the head of the team, the police took him to the station where they tortured him.
The Fruit of Suffering
When Sahil, the village leader, found out what happened, he immediately went to the police station to see Philemon. He stood shocked to see the pastor’s physical condition, but his heart was deeply moved as he witnessed Philemon’s commitment through suffering for the name of the Lord.
That day Sahil dedicated his life to work for the Lord and help the pastor in ministry.
After Pastor Philemon was released from jail, Sahil began to accompany him as he traveled house to house sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Through Sahil’s renewed devotion, many have come to know the Lord as Savior.