By Mark Ellis –
Her parents were in the army of the king – the Shah of Iran. After her father left the military, her life took a horrible turn.
“When my father retired he went into business with a man who became his partner,” Bahar* says on the “Sheep Among Wolves” documentary. “He brought his friend to our house. When I was five years old the man raped me. He did this for many years and I was afraid to tell my father.”
Bahar’s mother found out and told her husband. “He started beating me from that day forward,” Bahar recounts. “My father didn’t stop his business with the man. In fact, he invited him more to our home. From that time on, I hated men. I hated men’s faces; I hated men’s bodies.”
Because of the unjust beatings, Bahar’s relationship with her father shattered. Instead of sheltering and protecting her from danger, he enabled the abuse to continue.
Despite Iran’s Shia Muslim culture, Bahar’s mother was an atheist and taught her daughter God does not exist. “She had trained me so well in atheism that I would prove my Quran teachers wrong at my Quran class,” she notes.
Bahar’s hopeless situation led her to despair. “I took 12 pills a day for my depression,” she says. “For two years, I couldn’t laugh or cry because I was so high on these psychoactive drugs. I tried, without success to kill myself five times with pills.”
Like many of the homes in southern Iran, there are hooks on the ceilings for fans. One day she decided she would use the hook to hang herself with a rope.
She ingested all the pills in one bottle of drugs to make herself numb.
But before she hung herself, she said something surprising: “God, if you actually exist, I want to physically touch you.”
Bahar put the rope around her neck, affixed it to the hook, and jumped. “Everything went black and I didn’t understand what was happening,” she recounts. “And for four seconds I saw Jesus. I saw that I am on his shoulders like a child that loves his father. And I always wanted to do this with my father.
“Please don’t put me on the ground,” she said to him.
I promise I will always protect you. I won’t let a rock strike your foot, he told her.
Then Jesus repeated all of Psalm 91 to her:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Bahar thought she only spent four seconds with Jesus, but when she regained consciousness she found herself lying on the bed.
“When I stood up I saw that my noose was open on the floor and my neck was all black. After two years of not being able to cry, I cried for hours.
“I knew that God was healing me right now through my crying and everything in my past was finished.
“In that moment I knew who God was and it was Christ.” In response, Bahar surrendered to Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and was born again.
She stopped taking any more pills and slept like a baby that night.
Sometime later, her father passed away and she attended a service for him. “When I buried my father that man that raped me came to the funeral. He was looking for me and found me in the crowd. I tried to hide from him because I was afraid to see him.”
But the Holy Spirit impressed on her heart, Don’t be afraid. I told him to come. I want you to see him and forgive him.
Bahar found God’s strength to forgive the man who abused her — and immediately her heart was healed.
She has become one of the women at the forefront of the disciple-making movement in Iran, where the underground Christian church is growing faster than anywhere else in the world.
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
To learn more about “Sheep Among Wolves,” click here