Sam Childers: 'There's a bloody civil war there right now'
FORMER outlaw motorcycle riding bad boy Sam Childers, aka the Machine Gun Preacher, arrives in Australia next week for a four state tour which also takes in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
Childers is in Australia to raise awareness for what is happening in South Sudan at the moment.
"There's a bloody, civil war happening there right now,'' he says.
"They say there's a supposed ceasefire... all we see is hundreds and and hundreds of women and children hiding from the war".
In 1998 - Childers saw the body of a child torn apart by a landmine that lay in the burnt grass of Sudan.
Sam recalls that he stood over that child's body and said: "God I'll do anything within my power to help these people.
"Little did he know at that time - that would be the start of an incredible journey to saving thousands of children' s lives in South Sudan and Northern Uganda.
Childers is coming to Australia for a month-long speaking tour to youth detention centres, prisons, schools, churches and businesses with the hope that his story will inspire the people of Australia.
He believes that if a 'scumbag' like him can make a change for the better, anyone can.
Sam Childers gave up his life of drugs and crime in the US Outlaw biker world after his former wife Lynn (a dancer at a strip club in Florida), who had started going to a local church, invited him to come along.
Fast forward to today, there are more than one million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.
A huge number of them are in Bidi Bidi (Northern Uganda) - one of the largest refugee camps in the world.
They're mostly women and children fleeing from the civil war of South Sudan.
Childers built his first orphanage in Nimule, South Sudan after selling nearly everything back in the US to keep his promise in helping the Sudanese and Ugandan children.
Most of the children have lost their parents due to terrible atrocities conducted by the then warlord Joseph Kony and his rebel band known as the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army).
Childers rescued many child soldiers and sex slaves from local militia groups such as the LRA and the then SAF (Sudan Armed Forces - Northern Sudan - who were at civil war with South Sudan 1983 to 2005)
"Kony was wanting to destroy me ... and I wanted to get a hold of him to pay for his heinous crimes against innocent women and children,'' Childers says.
He reckons Kony is now still alive and hiding somewhere deep in the Congo.
With an AK47 in one hand and a bible in the other, Childers has become internationally recognised as the 'Machine Gun Preacher'.
His story was published in his best-selling biography Another Man's War which was turned into a Hollywood
motion picture in 2011, called The Machine Gun Preacher, starring Gerard Butler.
Childers' charity known as Angels of East Africa today has 7 orphanages, 8 schools and has drilled around 40 wells for clean drinking water.
He also has a 600 hectare farm in the north of Uganda and a new truck-roadhouse (partially built) where he teaches trades and skills to victims of war.
Childers organisation also prepares around 12,000 meals most days.
"We don't want them to be begging on the streets, we want to train them for tomorrow - give them a skill, a trade and send the smart ones to a university.
"We want them to be national leaders, but we cannot do that unless we give them an education (something Childers says he never had).
Childer's Australian tour will take in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay, as well as centres in South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales.