By Our Reporter
The movie, The Machine Gun Preacher, played by Gerald Butler made headlines in 2011. It was a blockbuster about Sam Chidler, and how he used his experience as an ex-marine to swat atrocious attacks from the LRA, much to the benefit of the children in northern Uganda and southern Sudan who were affected by the same attacks. He, given that background (and more), also won the Mother Theresa International Social Justice Award in November 2013, which makes him the only American to own it.
Yet he keeps a low profile, executing his feats of philanthropy in near discreetness. It is no wonder it took this platform 3 days to get hold of him. He revealed, in an interview about his works in Africa, that he was going to do a donation in Nothern Uganda, Adjumani and Southern Sudan. “I am donating a full lorry of rice on Friday, 23rd December. The amount of rice I am donating, if sold, would amount to 7,000 dollars. But that money could change people’s lives. It could give someone out there a bigger reason to live. He will donate the rice together with 3 cows and whatever other donations he will gather along the way.
All the authorities of those areas will be there to witness this act,” relayed Chidler. Childers has been booked to share his “story of hope” in places around the world over the last eight years including Christian venues, secular venues and even at factories, he said. Sometimes, like Sunday evening, he will stand in the pulpit and preach. “Some people say I’m a motivational speaker, some say I’m a preacher.
I just carry a message of hope. I don’t ever preach at people. I just tell my story,” he said. A fighter for his cause, Childers at times has been called a mercenary. His Christian deeds, however, have been acknowledged internationally. Recognizing his humanitarian contributions, the Harmony Foundation in 2013 presented Childers with its most prestigious award, the Mother Theresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice. At a ceremony in Mumbai, India, Childers became the first American to receive the award.
Growing up in Pennsylvania, Childers has spent more than two decades in Africa where he now lives full-time. He said his organization employs more than 250 people seven days a week. He said while the movie about his life indicated he went to prison, he was jailed five times but never convicted of a felony. His life story is revealed in two books, “Another Man’s War” – on which the movie was based – and his most recent release, “Living on the Edge.” “A lot of those bad stories led to the biggest award in the world for social justice,” he said of the Mother Theresa award. “It’s a God thing. I’m able to be involved in a lot of things because I am not a convicted felon.” The man who 30 years ago could not read or write said he is very successful because he has had “a little help from Jesus.