Trapped in an endless cycle of violence and drugs, a bar fight ended up saving Sam Childers’ life.
His dramatic turnaround story was so remarkable it was turned into the 2011 Hollywood blockbuster ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ starring Scottish actor Gerard Butler.
“I guess you could almost say I was sort of a bad guy,” says Sam. “I’d been a biker all my life and got involved with drugs at a very young age.
“I was known to be a shot gunner, a hired gun for drug deals. I was living in Orlando, Florida, and one night I almost got killed in a bar fight.
“People were stabbed, others were shot but that night I made up my mind that I was done living that life. I went home that evening and told my wife we were leaving. We moved over 1,000 miles away – and that was the beginning of a new journey.” Although the bar fight was a seminal moment in Sam’s life, it was
another two years until he walked into a church and accepted Christ.
He recalls: “I always knew God was real. I always knew that Christ was alive but I just thought I didn’t need him. When I gave my life to the Lord the change was instant. “You have to keep in mind that a lot
of people from a messed up background will sometimes blame it on their parents. But I was born into the best family you could ever have.
“Both my parents were middle class, born-again, Spirit-filled Christians. When I was a young boy I wanted to become a preacher. But then I started doing drugs at a very young age. The Machine Gun Preacher movie shows me losing faith in Christ. But anyone who knows me knows that’s not true. I may have faith in people, but I never lost faith in my Lord, Jesus Christ.”
The next dramatic change in Sam’s life came about when he went back to church and God first called him to work in Africa.
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