In 1998, Sam Childers made his first trip to Sudan to help rebuild villages destroyed by civil war. After stumbling over the body of a child torn apart by a landmine, Sam made a pledge to God to do whatever he could to help the people of Sudan. He has been a controversial figure as a preacher with a Bible in one hand and a machine gun in the other. Sam rose to fame after Hollywood released the film The Machine Gun Preacher, starring Gerard Butler.
Although the film Machine Gun Preacher was not 100% accurate, due to Hollywood rights to sensationalise the story, it gave Sam a platform to tell his true story and support his ministries. He has since preached his message through 11 world tours. Negotiations for a follow-up Machine Gun Preacher Hollywood film and documentary were put on hold due to COVID. However, Sam will be ensuring he has a say in the film script to ensure accuracy in the second film.
‘I’m not just a preacher with a gun. For the past 15 years, I’ve owned and operated an armed security company in Sudan. So, when you operate a security company in a third-world country, you have the same rights as a police officer,’ said Sam.
Not only does Sam have a legal right to carry a gun, but his mission statement is to serve and protect the people. While his intention is not to harm people, he’ll do whatever it takes to rescue kidnapped children.
Demon Possessed Rebel Soldiers
Sam has been rescuing people in the Congo, where he battles against rebel groups called ADF, who have teamed up with the Islamic state and ISIS.
‘A lot of these rebel leaders are like a cult. They’re demon possessed. Somebody has to go save the children,’ said Sam. ‘There are people in the Congo that are a lot worse than Joseph Kony ever was … They make Joseph Kony look like an angel. It’s unbelievable what’s happening in the Congo right now. In the past few years, there’s been over 7 million people displaced. There’s been over 100,000 people murdered in the streets, and that’s women, children and elderly.’
God’s Miracles Keep Sam Alive
The movie Machine Gun Preacher portrays a crazy preacher with a machine gun, but Sam states that his book, Another Man’s War, is the true portrayal of his story. His book gives examples of how it was not the power of his gun but God’s almighty power that kept them alive. There were unbelievable miracles that protected him and helped him rescue the children. One such miracle was when they were driving towards a village that was being attacked by over 200 LRA rebels. Sam had one of the local men standing in the back of his truck with a machine gun. He heard God telling him to drive faster and faster.
When they drove around the bend and saw the rebels, Sam gave the command to start shooting. He looked in the rear-view mirror and saw a cloud of dust as far as the eye could see. Then he saw the rebel soldiers running for their lives. They thought an army was coming down the road. The army was Sam’s two trucks and five men. That’s all it took to defeat the rebels and rescue the village. Sam believes God’s miracles have consistently protected them for the past twenty-five years since he started his mission in East Africa.
Another time they were ambushed by the LRA, and Sam drove his truck into a ditch. There were only three of them at that time. They fought the LRA for around two hours. When they had left that morning, they only had one magazine full of ammunition for each AK, and after two hours of battling the rebels, the magazines were still full of ammo.
‘We never lost one bullet. Now, how can that happen? God still does miracles in the battlefield,’ said Sam. ‘I believe when we are a believer, that means we’re going into battle with Jesus Christ at our side and also in front of us and in back of us. We should be surrounded with the Holy Spirit when we go into battle, whether it is a spiritual battle or a physical battle.’
Leading Rebels to The Lord
In Sam’s book, Another Man’s War, he wrote about how the government was giving amnesty to some of the rebels. Sam heard about one rebel in particular who had killed so many children and done horrible things to people. He was not only receiving amnesty, but the government was giving him a farm and farming equipment. Sam was so enraged about it that he went looking for this rebel to fight him. Instead, he ended up leading him to the Lord through the sinner’s prayer. When he left a few hours later, he felt angry that this man who had murdered so many people was now saved and hadn’t been punished for the atrocities he’d committed. But God gave him peace about it.
‘Sometimes getting revenge is not the way we want it, but it’s the way God wants it. So instead of taking that person’s life because of the horrible things that I thought he needed to pay for, I led him to the Lord. So the old person was gone, and the new person was born,’ said Sam.
Wars and Starvation
Sam says wars are going on all over the world that people have no idea about. Over 3000 children under the age of ten have been murdered in Ethiopia, and over 6 million people have been displaced in the last few years. It’s predicted that nearly 50 million people will experience some type of starvation. World Food Programme and UNICEF are saying 28 million people in East Africa will die of starvation by the end of 2023.
Angels of East Africa Projects
Sam welcomes anyone who desires to serve God to book a mission visit with the Angels of East Africa. They run 3 to 4 mission trips annually where people from all over the world come to share their skills and participate in the mission work. They run the following projects:
MGP Security goes on missions to rescue children from war zones. The children are then cared for at Sam’s orphanages.
The farm is on 1000 acres and employs or trains up to 80 people. The rice and crops produced on the farm are used for the feeding programs and to feed the children at the orphanage.
This is a training service that employs and trains victims of wars in a trade so they can earn their own living.
Sam and his team of doctors, nurses and security guards go deep into the bush on 4WDs taking medical supplies and blood labs with them to treat children for malaria and other diseases.
Children are rescued and brought to orphanages where they are given 24/7 care and educated. Students who work hard are given the opportunity to attend university.
Over 50 wells have been drilled over the years at a cost ranging from $8000 to $12,000 USD. More than three dozen wells have been repaired.
Education is a priority to free people from poverty. They are currently building their eighth school.
Over 10,000 meals are provided daily, which is becoming difficult with the cost of food increasing significantly.
There’s more to Sam Childers than a machine gun. He has a heart to serve God and protect the vulnerable and has brought thousands of souls to Christ. Sam will be touring Australia again from February to April 2023. Click the link if you would like to book Sam to speak at your church, organisation or business.
This article was inspired by Sam Childers’ interview with Neil Johnson, host of 20Twenty. Please share this article to help spread the message.
To listen to Sam’s full interview, click on the link below:
Feature image supplied by Kevin Evans.