Welcome to Paradise: A Leap of Faith
Transitions in life are inevitable.
The film Welcome to Paradise tells us the story of preacher Debbie. A widow with a teenage son, Hayden. She described his son as having difficulty coping since his father’s death. Bishop Jim misinterpreted her attitude as arrogance. She disrobed at the pulpit during church service one time that displeased the bishop further. He took that incident as a way to send her off to a small community church in Paradise.
These scenes showed us how one false move can lead to different consequences. These events affected Debbie’s job and her son’s disposition towards the aftermath of moving residence. It is clear that Hayden detests going to Paradise. This show how a person usually behave when forced out of their comfort zone.
In Paradise, Debbie saw a homeless guy Trevor who sings along the street to earn some alms. Impressed with his singing, she invited him to sing during church service. He was reluctant at first knowing that the well-off people who go to church may not like seeing him there. He accepted Debbie’s invitation and came to church the following Sunday. When Debbie called on him to sing in front of everyone, he sang his heart out that Sunday. Through Debbie’s encouragement, he felt he was welcome at the church.
Frances, another homeless person, shared thought-provoking ideas during their potluck after church service. She told everyone her misfortune. She admitted that when her husband died, it left them with a huge debt. This was due to his medical bills which is why she ended up losing her house and everything she owns. Frances reminds us how quickly we judge a person upfront that we missed to know that they have a story.
This film revolved around giving second chances. Debbie was given another chance to be a good church leader and a better mom. She told Hayden that despite Dyslexia she couldn’t ask for a better son. She pointed out that everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and that he has other talents other than reading.
Frances accidentally neglected a lump of small burning coal when she slept outside the church that led to getting the entire structure burned down. Later on, the church members forgave her and even gave her a room to stay at the barn that became the new church.
After the fire incident, it was found out they cannot build another church on the same lot anymore because the contract got revoked due to missed payments. Patsy offered her old barn while Bobby commissioned John and the other men to work out fixing the barn to become the new church. The support given by church members including the homeless showed what Christians can accomplish by faith and resilience.
We go through struggles and transitions in life. What made Debbie’s transition purposeful is her strong faith that no man can stand in the way of the kingdom of God.