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Friday, April 11, 2014

From Sinner to "Savior" --The Machine Gun Preacher (How to Help God Change your Husband/Son Through Prayer and a Godly Life) PART 1

It is easy to Biblically submit to a husband who is generally loving, kind and caring with only some "minor" flaws and faults that seem easy to "correct". But how can one Biblically submit to somebody who is abusive, selfish and extremely sinful, waaaay over what people usually deem as tolerable? You know, the divorceable types (ang sarap hiwalayan!), the ones who should not even be touched with a ten-foot pole?!?!

I have never had any experience of abuse from my loving, but passive husband, Dong. He has never done anything to hurt me physically, mentally or emotionally, consciously. Much of the struggles in our relationship in the past were brought about by a misunderstanding of each other's feelings, a deep spiritual blindness or unawareness of our own faults, and from our disordered roles in marriage; but were never due to an active participation from one or both parties to really purposely sin against the other. He has never sinned against me in ways that would have made me lose trust in him, like adultery, so I could not really be an authority on those sorts of marriages -- the ones wherein the husbands are actively and consciously sinning against God and against their wives; the ones who really need a great miracle from God in order to change. 

What I am about to share though is a two-part series on some AMAZING stories of God's Great Power and Mercy to convict, forgive, and to bring people to Himself, using sinners for His Purpose and for His Glory. These were very, very, very (did I say very?) sinful men, who because of their godly wives' and/or mothers' unceasing prayers and godly behavior, were brought to Jesus. With Christ, there is no "hopeless case." With God, nothing is impossible!

Read and be awed by God's Mercy and Love!





 - a teenage drug dealer with a propensity for violence
- was always in fights, sold hard drugs and slept with married women  
- a shotgunner or an armed guard for high-profile drug dealers (met his wife, a stripper while in that job)
- a heroin addict
- would not even flinch drawing a knife blade on somebody's throat if that person irritated him



"I met her at a drug deal. She was a stripper. She came to the Lord about two years before I did. I knew that God was real but I just kept running from Him. She would go on asking me all the time, “Sam, why don’t you go to church?” I would say, “Okay, okay I will go.” I think that I more or less wanted to shut her up. Then, I went to church with her and everything changed from there." 

His wife, Lynn, accepted Jesus Christ and helped bring him to Christ as well. After committing his life to Jesus, Childers kicked his drug addiction, built a church, became its preacher and managed a thriving construction business in Pennsylvania.

"Now, she runs the entire church by herself now. I would have been the Senior Pastor, but I am not around anymore. (Note: He is often in Sudan saving the orphaned children from the LRA.) So I cannot call myself a Senior Pastor anymore. So, she runs the entire church there." 


"My mom was prophesied over, before she even conceived me. She was told that she would have a child who would be a preacher and would travel the world. Then it happened again when I was in her belly. Then it happened again when I was a small child standing next to her and again when I was about five or six years old. She had the same prophecy for many years. I always joke that when I was about 17 or 18 years old, my mother thought that they were all liars. 
The truth is that she never gave up praying saying, “God, you told me that my son would become a preacher.” 


Where: At the Assembly of God Church Revival Meeting

When: June, 1992 at age 29

How:  "It was a Sunday night. I was raised in a Pentecostal church, so I already knew what God was but I just didn’t want to accept Him at that time. As a child I was born again, but I walked away from it all. I knew at that time that something different had happened to me but I was just too afraid to get up from my seat. The pastor came walking right back to me and that night I gave my life to Christ. But I knew that I wanted more so I went back the next night and sat right in the front row of the church."


- He founded a Christian Church and became pastor of The Shekinah Fellowship Church.
- He now dedicates his life and resources to rescuing child soldiers in Sudan.

- Childers and his wife Lynn founded the Angels of East Africa and operate Children’s Village orphanage in Nimule, Sudan, which houses and educates numerous orphans.

- He has rescued hundreds of African children from the war zone in Sudan. 

- He was recently in India (January 2014) to receive the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice organized by the Harmony Foundation. 

- He was felicitated for being an angel of peace at the war zone. 


What are you happiest about in the film?

"Everything in the movie is based on the truth — it’s just that the timeline is a little messed up. The action scenes are amped up some. I think the thing that bothers me a lot is that when I look into who I was and remember the people that I hurt. I think the greatest thing the movie shows is that I came to a point in my life that I knew I had to change. And there’s a lot of things we can do to change our life, but I chose Jesus Christ."

With the one who played him in the movie, actor, Gerard Butler

I’m thinking of the scene where your character goes to a bar wearing a striped collar shirt.

"I will tell you this much, since you brought up that scene in the bar: After I started walking with Christ, I have never gone back and started drinking or doing drugs. Ever. One time. So that was a piece of Hollywood. At one point I started to gripe about that scene, and a pastor of a megachurch said to me, “Well, you know, Sam, that scene shows for the person out there that might slip up again that Christ will definitely accept them back again — no problem.”

When the movie goes to the third act, after his crisis of faith, it seems to me that your character finds peace — but we never see him pray or talk about God again after that or connect with his family. It seems like there’s something missing there.

"Right. That’s a very, very good point. My take is: That’s what we look for as Christians. But for the ones who aren’t, who are total nonbelievers — the ones I work on touching every day of my life — I believe it’s a good seed planter. Last night, I went to an after-party for the film, and the questions from nonbelievers were incredible. They got the point. They knew it was about God. If you make it too godly of a movie, then it’s for religious people. For who this movie is going to be reaching, I’m satisfied with it."

Did you go through a crisis of faith like what we see in the film?
"You mean like doubting my faith? No. I can honestly say that. Now, do I stumble? Do I fail? Do I question God sometimes? Absolutely. I would be a liar if I said I didn’t. But as far as questioning if God is real — no. I don’t do that."


For many years now, the fearless Childers has been rescuing thousands of orphans from the hands of ruthless child abductor, rapist and killer, JOSEPH KONY. 
One of Kony's victims, only one of many... :(

If before, as a rogue youth, he had no direction and no hope; now he professes,

“I never saved any children in the Sudan, they saved me. If it wasn’t for the children in the Sudan and in Uganda, I wouldn’t know where I would be today. They’re the ones that changed my life...”

Another Kony victim
According to Wikipedia, Kony is the "the leader of the "Lord's" Resistance Army (LRA), a guerrilla group which used to operate in Uganda. While initially purporting to fight against government suppression, the LRA allegedly turned against Kony's own supporters, supposedly to "purify" the Acholi people and turn Uganda into a theocracy. 
Children are part of his guerilla.

Kony proclaims himself the spokesperson of God and a spirit medium, and has been considered by some as a cult of personality, and claims he is visited by a multinational host of 13 spirits, including a Chinese phantom. 

Ideologically, the group is a syncretic mix of mysticismAcholi nationalismIslam, and Christian fundamentalism, and claims to be establishing a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments and local Acholi tradition.
Kony has been accused by government entities of ordering the abduction of children to become sex slaves and child soldiers. An estimated 66,000 children became soldiers. And from 1986 up until about 2009, there were at least 2 million people internally displaced."


 "In your actions you give service to the Lord. He's not interested in your good thoughts... your good intentions... He wants your hands... your backs... your sweat... your blood to pour into the foundation that will build up his kingdom!"

" But God don't only call the good. I reckon every now and again he calls us sinners, too, and I was about as bad as they come."

"I am not some radical Christian who gets on his knees every day and prays for an hour in the morning. I am the kind of Christian who prays constantly in everything that I do. To have a relationship with God, you should be able to talk to Him and listen to Him."

"I believe that my views on the church in America are the same around the world. I believe we have lost our true call. There are so many times that we believe that the church is for the religious people and Christians. It is not. The church is to be for the nonbelievers and sinners. We need to have a church which isn’t condemning, (but) open and loving."

― Sam Childers, The Machine Gun Preacher
A child soldier of Kony

“As much wrong as I did in life and as many people as I hurt, I can say that God never stopped talking to me. I just stopped listening.” 

“Some presence had a hold of me in that moment that would change my life from then on. I didn't know what that change would look like or how it would happen. All I know was that it was there.” 

“Since that day there is nothing anyone could ever say to convince me that one person cannot change a nation. One person can do unbelievable things. All it takes is that one person who's willing to risk everything to make it happen.” 

Sam Childers was as 'bad-ass' as they came. He even looked the part! But when the Lord convicted him of his sins, thanks in great part to his wife and his mother's unceasing prayers for his conversion, Sam Childers found purpose -- to be the Sudanese children's "savior", against the evil Kony.

God used Sam's toughness, strength and bullheadedness to protect His Orphans and Children in Sudan. 

                                Deuteronomy 10:18            
"He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice."

Christ came not for the saints, but for the sinners. 

Mark 2:17 
When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

So, the next time you are tempted to give up on your husband because he is 'difficult', here's hoping you remember Sam Childers' story and realize that 
with God, everything is possible!

Grave sinners can turn into "saviors"! 

But for Him to manifest Himself, we need to pray for our errant husbands or sons or whoever it is who needs conversion. It is only through the power of prayer that God creates miracles. Let us never lose hope!!!

May there be more Sam Childers in the world. Let us pray for the children not only in Sudan, but from whatever part of the world they may be in, who are abused and robbed of their innocence repeatedly. :( 
May God comfort them in their bereavement and despair. 


I was able to watch "The Machine Gun Preacher" in early 2012, but decided to watch it again the other day, upon my husband's sudden recollection of the "Jesus" element and Biblical submissiveness of the wife in the film. I watched it again with fresh eyes, having had my own conversion experience and regeneration in Christ in September 1, 2013, followed by my decision to Biblically submit to my husband, after I have given up my life to God.
All the scenes and lines from the movie, then, are still fresh in my mind.

To add to this post, I also researched on Sam Childers and found very substantial info from the following sites:

1 ) Criticize This! Interview: The Real Story Behind the Machine Gun Preacher by Andrew Parker

Hope you can watch it, if you haven't already. It's very inspiring and convicting!
Five Stars for God's Goodness and Mercy! :)

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