WHILE engaging in the house-to-house ministry, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on the door of a home. A distraught man opened the door; behind him was a rope hanging above the stairs.
When the man invited the Witnesses inside, they asked why the rope was there. The man said that he was about to hang himself, but when the bell rang, he decided to open the door one last time. The Witnesses reasoned with the man and accompanied him to a doctor, who provided help.
That story appeared in a Belgian newspaper. However, that is not the only time that Jehovah’s Witnesses have helped to save a person from suicide. Consider other similar stories from around the world.
A woman from Greece wrote: “
I suffered a cruel disappointment by my partner and went into major depression. I felt so much pain that I decided to take my life. The very thought of committing suicide brought me relief—I wanted to stop the pain.”
Instead, the woman sought medical assistance. A short time later, she contacted the Witnesses, began to study the Bible, and started to attend meetings. “
I have received from the brotherhood the unselfish love that I was looking for all these years.” She wrote: “
I have gained true friends whom I can trust. I feel calm and joyful, not worried about the future.”
A Witness in England writes: “
An acquaintance of mine called me in a very distressed state, reporting that she was going to end her life that night. Using points from an article in the May 2008 Awake! that discouraged suicide, I reasoned with her and shared comforting scriptures. She no longer wishes to take her own life, despite her problems.”
In Ghana, Michael, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, started a conversation with a young woman who sells goods at his workplace. One day, Michael noticed that she was deeply depressed, and he asked her why.
She said that she wanted to kill herself because her husband had rejected her and had taken another woman. Michael consoled her and gave her two books that explain the Scriptures. The information she received stopped her from committing suicide. The woman continued to study the Bible and is now one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
A newspaper in the United States reported that a young Witness engaging in the ministry noticed a parked car with the engine running.
“I saw a four-inch dryer hose attached to the exhaust pipe,” said the young man. “The other end went through the car window, which was sealed shut with tape.
“As I hurried toward the car, I looked in the window and saw a woman weeping, surrounded by thick exhaust fumes. ‘What are you doing?’ I shouted.
“As I reached to open the door, I saw three young children in the backseat. I opened the door, and she said: ‘I have to go! I have to go! I have to take my children with me.’
“I said, ‘Please don’t do this, this is not the answer!’
“She replied: ‘I have to go to heaven. I have to take my children with me.’
“As she continued weeping, I got on my knees
—I was now in tears myself. Again, I said, ‘Please don’t do this.’ I then reached in, put my arm around her, and gently pulled her out of the car.
“She then shouted, ‘Save my children!’
“They stretched out their arms to me. There were two girls aged four and five and a boy aged two. They sat quietly in the backseat of the car, unaware that in a short time they would have been dead.
“Once all four were out of the car, I turned off the engine. The five of us then sat on a low stone wall, and I said, ‘Talk to me.’”
Jehovah’s Witnesses view life as a precious gift from our Creator. Throughout the earth they endeavor to provide comfort to those who have lost loved ones through suicide, and to help those who have attempted suicide.
What can make a person view death as a friend?