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Sam Childers

Sam Childers arriving to the Book Signing Event of his book “Another Man’s War,” Beverly Hills, CA on May 5, 2009

Sam Childers (born 1962) is a former gang biker who now dedicates his life and resources to rescue children in the war zone of Sudan. Childers and his wife Lynn founded and operate Angels of East Africa, the Children’s Village Orphanage in Nimule, Sudan, where they currently have more than 300 children in their care.

Contents

Biography

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Early life

Sam Childers was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the son of Paul Childers, a union ironworker. Sam had two older brothers, Paul Jr. and George. He also had a sister, Donna, who died of a heart problem before she was a year old. While growing up, his parents moved from place to place following construction projects. Sam was nine years old and living with his family in Central City, Pennsylvania, when he first felt God’s hand in his life.

In the spring of 1974, a couple months before Sam turned twelve, his family moved to Grand Rapids, MN. He was going into seventh grade that fall, and the two years between then and when he started high school were some of the most influential times of his life. It was in these formative years that Sam discovered cigarettes, marijuana, and alcohol which lead to many years of drug addiction, drug dealing, and alcoholism. Sam also developed a love for motorcycles and the lifestyle that often follows a Hells Angels biker.[1] Most importantly, Sam became a fighter. Sam learned to fight and win from his father; he also taught him respect and a willingness to fight another man’s war. Neither Sam nor his father could stand to see someone bullied and were always willing to step in a fight when necessary. What Sam didn’t know was that these years of hard living and fighting were shaping him for the biggest fight of his life.

Africa

In the summer of 1992, Sam gave his heart to the Lord during a revival at the Assembly of God church. It was this same evening that Sam's pastor prophesied that he would go to Africa. At the end of 1998, Sam made his first trip to the Sudan. In that first trip and the many that followed, Sam was exposed to the atrocious acts of the LRA towards children in the region. [2]

Over 30,000 children have been abducted by the Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the region.[3] Some relief organizations report as many as 50,000 children have been abducted and 1.7 million people have been displaced. The abducted children are generally forced to be child soldiers or sex slaves until they escape or are rescued. Thousands of children of have become orphans as a result of brutal LRA attacks on remote villages in Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda.

Not long after his first trip to the Sudan, Sam and his wife Lynn founded the Angels of East Africa, the Children’s Village in Southern Sudan.[4] The Children’s Village currently houses and educates over 300 orphans[5], with over a thousand children rescued since its inception.[6] The Sudanese staff at the Children’s Village are primarily orphans and widows themselves. This is currently the largest orphanage in Southern Sudan and is unique in its approach of leading armed rescue missions directly into LRA (Lords Resistance Army) territory. The Children's Village is the only NGO (non-government organization) that does not pick up and leave when fighting breaks out in the area.[7]

Sam details the events of his life and his experiences in Africa in his book Another Man's War[8].

It is reported that the movie "Machine Gun Preacher" will depict some of the aspects of his life, including the efforts to help orphans in Sudan. Gerard Butler will be playing Rev. Childers in "Machine Gun Preacher". The movie will be directed by Marc Forester and will be released late 2010.

References

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