Sam Childers is no stranger to criticism as a simple google search will show, some of it aimed at his method of ministry, specifically calling to light his earlier use of force when protecting, and rescuing children from abduction into the LRA. The movie highlights this in a somewhat sensational way, and Sam distinguished between the Hollywood moments and reality in an hour long Q & A (there is a documentary currently being produced, due for release in coming months which should depict quote: '…the real Sam Childers').
When discussing his use of force in protecting the mission, and how he saw that in light of his faith, Childers said '… sometimes as men, we gotta be a little more concerned about what we don't do, than what we do do.' He added later that our God is not a God of violence.
When asked for a response to the recent Kony crusade over social media by Jason Russell's Invisible Children advocacy group, he said stated that the awareness it raised was great, but about 10 years too late.
Childers believes the real problem in that area (South Sudan and Darfur) today is the president of Northern Sudan (Omar al-Bashir), listing crimes such as genocide against his record. 'He is the only president in all of history to have war crimes placed on him, warrants for his arrest, and still be in office.'
Overall, I'd have to say that it was a great night for fellas to get real encouragement from a straight up talk about what it means to be a man of faith. For sure, God is love, and His grace is unsurpassable, however sometimes amongst the many messages about His forgiveness, one can easily take it as a license for complacency. I really appreciated a no nonsense message about resolutely sticking to your convictions despite fierce resistance, and endless criticism.
Childers has been in Australia for about four weeks speaking, and fund raising for two new orphanages, one in Uganda. He is hoping to raise an additional $248,000 to complete the building. You can see audio / video of the night on Bayside church's website (video at http://www.baysidechurch.com.au/content/view/618/30/)
Ben Kitzelman has spent the last 4 years travelling between Australia and Zambia, serving for one as a missionary, and is now an IT professional in Melbourne.
Ben Kitzelman's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/ben-kitzelmen.html