Listen: Sam Childers chats to Laura Bennett and Duncan Robinson on Hope Breakfast.
In 2011 Gerard Butler starred in the movie Machine Gun Preacher. It followed the story of Sam Childers, a former Outlaw Bikie member whose radical conversion to Christianity led him to rescue child soldiers in South Sudan.
Since his conversion 1992, Sam has established the largest orphanage in Southern Sudan, which more than 200 children call home. Unfortunately there are still many Sudanese children suffering and in need of rescue.
He recently finished a speaking tour of Australia sharing a message of hope.
“I find around the world that people want to know, what changed me to go from one extreme to the other,” he told Hope 103.2. “That one defining moment for me was God.”
Sam contends that many people have had an experience with God, but for him, he was completely transformed by it.
“If you look deep enough into my life, there are enough miracles that if you were a non-believer, you have to stop and say, ‘Wow, there’s gotta be something out there’.”
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In 1998, his Sam’s life was changed on a mission trip during the Sudanese war. They went into a village and Sam encountered a young boy who had been torn apart by a landmine.
“I was devastated that this could go on in the world and no one hear about it. You’ve gotta understand that it is still going on today,” he said.
At that moment, Sam dedicated his life to helping those children and has launched seven orphanages throughout Sudan. He and his team have drilled over 40 wells and delivers over 12,000 meals every day.
Sam’s had his fair share of eye-opening moments on this journey including having his car shot up by militia.
“I keep having to point people back to God, because without him none of this would be possible,” he says.
Sam’s trip to Australia was to bring a message of hope and encouragement, for people to look no further than across the street for their own mission. His goal isn’t to recruit people for trips to Africa, but to help us realise that our mission work begins in our own backyard.
“My first goal is to motivate you to get up and do something, he says. “God can use anyone. I mean if you look into my life, 30 years ago I couldn’t read or write. I’ve now got two books that are sold worldwide. I have no education at all, but I teach in universities and colleges all around the world. I didn’t do anything for it; it must be someone else. That someone else is Christ.”
Find out more about Sam and his ministry at http://www.machinegunpreacher.org/