- Grove City, Pennsylvania

October 26, 2011

Machine Gun' depicts Pa. minister's mission to save orphans from LRA

— A western Pennsylvania man claims he has been rescuing children from the snare of the Lord's Resistance Army for years -- and his story was released in a major motion picture last month.

Although it received some bad press from Christianity Today, Hollywood was inspired to make "Machine Gun Preacher" about Sam Childers, an unorthodox an unlikely missionary to Africa. The film is an "explosive, real-life tale of a man who has rescued over a thousand orphans from starvation, disease and enslavement," according to www.machinegun

The site states that Childers was "formerly a drug-dealing criminal" and "ex-biker-gang member who makes the life-changing decision to go to East Africa to help repair homes destroyed by civil war."

Outraged by the horrors faced by the region's people -- especially the children -- Childers builds an orphanage in the middle of a territory controlled by the brutal LRA, against the warnings of more experienced aide workers, it adds.

"The LRA is a renegade militia that forces youngsters to become soldiers before they even reach their teens," the site says.

"For Sam, it was not enough to shelter the LRA's intended victims. Determined to save as many as possible, he leads armed missions deep into enemy territory to retrieve kidnapped children, restoring peace to their lives - and eventually his own."

"Machine Gun" was the official selection for the 2011 Toronto Film Festival.

Actor Gerard Butler "delivers a searing performance as Sam Childers, who is the impassioned founder of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization," the site says, in this "moving story" by Golden Globe-nominated director Marc Forster.

The movie's lead song, "The Keeper," was written and performed by former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell.

A portion of the song's proceeds will be donated to Childers' mission.

Visit www.machinegun for theater information. Published Oct. 22, 2011 in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201A Erie St., Grove City.