The Least of These: The Life Story of Missionary Graham Staines

The Least of These

The Least of These: The Life Story of Missionary Graham Staines

This film presented events in the life of Graham Staines, an Australian medical missionary who brought his family to a remote village in India. His intention was to serve the lepers and to build a home for them.

In the late 1990s, there are governmental laws against Christians who use inducements to make new converts. Indian journalist Manav moved to the town to uncover speculations about Graham. In exchange, his editor promised to pay for his wife’s hospital bills after the birth of their daughter.

Manav’s motive was to expose and pin Graham for doing something illegal. To his amazement, what he saw was a selfless act of serving the people with leprosy. Graham showed Manav the meaning of God’s compassion and love for the lepers.

However, Manav later found out that the leper on the bus works for Graham at a hospital-home that he built for the lepers. How ironic that a foreigner cared more in aiding the locals deemed as outcasts of society.

A subplot showed Manav taking a video of a Christian pastor baptizing a woman in the river. These scenes exemplify the risk taken by every Christian who goes to non-Christian countries. They are considered unwanted outsiders and their safety get placed in jeopardy.

There were two short scenes that show how common it is for us to judge people based on deformities that we see. The scene showed a leper got kicked out of a bus while another one gets booted out of a village. Due to the fact that they carry a contaminated disease.

These events showed that most people would rather throw them out and ignore the opportunity to help alleviate them from their condition.

Truth always seems to cost something. This line speaks volume in meaning as Manav continued to investigate Graham. We see the admiration in his eyes witnessing Graham’s relentless work. Considering he stoked the anger of Hindus at outreach by inciting that the head of the snake must be cut off.

His speech put Graham in constant danger. And as a result, they burned the Rover which causes the death of Graham and his kids. Manav felt guilty and seeks forgiveness from Gladys. She forgave him and continued the work of her husband. Gladys taught us the power of forgiveness to overcome hate.

The Least of These is a thought-provoking movie that narrates the life of a Christian missionary. The fact that Christians in some areas around the world are suffering from persecution. This movie is dedicated to everyone who served and sacrificed their lives to share the Gospel. And may this film serve its purpose so that we could bring everyone to love one another, especially the outcasts and the least of these.

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Soul Surfer: A Girl’s Determination to Beat Her Odds

Soul Surfer

The film Soul Surfer tells an inspirational story about Bethany, a 13-year-old surfer who enjoys the waves of Kauai Island in Hawaii. Her parents Tom and Cheri were both surfers and equally supportive of her passion. She and her best friend Alana vie for a regional surfing competition, and that is all that mattered to her at that time.

The opening scenes showed us how idyllic life is by the waves and by the shore. Young as she is, Bethany valued her passion for surfing and knew that it was her source of joy. Her character reminds us to identify our God-given talent and make good use of it as it gives pleasure to our soul.

The turning point of the story was when Bethany chose to practice surfing at a far off beach with Alana’s family then join the youth fellowship mission to Mexico. She sends a box of goods instead. She aimed to become the best surfer in the competition. All of a sudden, a shark attacked Bethany and bit her arm away. They met the ambulance halfway en route to the hospital.

In the scenes that followed, we see that Bethany’s parents never blamed Alana’s dad or God for what happened. Alana even had a nightmare about the shark, felt sorry to see Bethany with a missing arm and was by her side until she was able to surf again. The close-knit relationship between the two families showed sincerity and concern over one another well-being.

Several scenes were uplifting in this film. The Islanders called for Tom to see that the shark they killed was the one that attacked Bethany.No one mocked or teased her when she fails to surf in her comeback. Instead, there’s a speedboat waiting for her if she needs to get back to shore. Such is an ideal human relationship where compassion and genuine care prevails.

There’s a brief scene where Bethany questioned why having one arm be part of God’s plan for her. The fellowship teen minister Sara replied that terrible things happen sometimes, but something good will come out of it. True to Sara’s words, she joined the mission to Thailand. She saw the aftermath of a tsunami that hit the town. Bethany was able to share her courage with the kids there and encourages them to swim and surf again. Upon her return to Hawaii, fan mails came stating how her act inspired kids from other places.

The letters encouraged her to join a national surfing competition once more. Her family helped her train to become a strong contender. She almost got first place if not for the biggest wave to come after time ran out, so her final score did not count. Nonetheless, the self-fulfillment was enough for her.  She knew the value of life like surfing, and that is to get right up every time she hits an impact zone, and with faith, anything is possible.

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China Cry Movie Review

China Cry

China Cry: Keeping Christianity under Communist Invasion

The Christian movie China Cry is a riveting drama based on the life story of the main character Sung Neng Yee who became Nora Lam. The setting was in Shanghai in 1941, a decade before China’s Great Revolution. The Sung family belonged to the privileged class. Neng Yee was their pampered princess. Her childhood lifestyle ended when the Japanese army invaded Shanghai. These scenes tell us how a war between nations affects people from all walks of life regardless of stature.

There were several heartbreaking scenes in this film. Dr. Sung got detained in the hospital for days and was unjustly accused of stealing a large amount of money from the hospital. Soldiers marked their door and forced them to leave the house. These scenes pushed her to desire her professors’ respect. She fulfilled a feat when she ranked third highest honor on graduation day. She claims it as a moment that eased their humiliation. It reminds us that those who suffered quietly the most strive harder to overcome trials in life and those whose hurt runs deep endures pain in suffering. For Neng Yee, her graduation was the quiet victory that made her become strong-willed.

The film intensively deliberated on the depth of Capitalism and Communism’s ideology. In that era, officials of the New China insinuate that machines will replace workforce in all professions in the future. They believe that societies will collapse due to modern technology that is why they must impose forced labor.

Neng Yee married Cheng Shen who migrated from HongKong. Both knew the repercussions of their union and yet, they chose to stand by each other until the end. Love and commitment held their marriage especially when each of them went under detailed questioning about their personal lives. Their character as individuals and couple teaches us about trust, holding on and letting go when the situation calls for it.

During her detention, she wrote about her experience in a Christian boarding school. She recalled the learnings of faith and initiated talking to God. A female soldier forced her to admit that she is a Christian. She was punished through a firing squad. Miraculously, a strong wind saved her. By then she knew it was God that saved her. She began to feel a promise of hope.

The family continued to suffer but this time, Neng Yee was hopeful. While looking for milk for her second newborn, she found a small Christian group that prayed together. She joined their sessions until they got raided. These scenes mean that even under a pressured condition, Christians will gather to encourage one another using the word of God.

Neng Yee fought for her family’s exit visa. Like planting seeds of faith, she trusted the Lord’s way of granting them their freedom, one day at a time.

Watch ‘I Can Only Imagine’ to be inspired not to give up on your dreams

I can Only Imagine

I Can Only Imagine Movie Review 

‘I Can Only Imagine,’ may seem to be a statement that refers to situations which are hopeless to be attained but not in the case of this film. This film is a great source of inspiration and hope.

In today’s movie scene, song titles are always a step closer to becoming a movie title as well, making it the most overrated movie. While this film gives an interesting twist as it shows the spectrum of emotions that MercyMe vocalist, Bart Millard, faced in order to come up with the hit song.

The song, ‘I Can Only Imagine,’ is the highest grossing song of its time and even won triple-platinum status for its album. Amidst the superstar status lies a dark story behind. Growing up, the Millard household wasn’t the best household anyone can be in. A divorced family and a militantly violent dad is something Bart had to go through during his youth. As he reached his legal age, Bart moved out of their house leaving his father alone. He went on pursuing his music career while his dad was left off with a huge space to recompose himself and start writing a new chapter for his life.

As Bart continue on with his bandmates going around town inspiring people with his music. They encounter multiple people who may bring them to stardom, but unfortunately, this open door shut down at their faces once again, which haunted Bart deeply. With collections of dark memories from the past and the present rejection, the lead character went to embark on a journey to arrest his past resentments.

This opportunity became a perfect opportunity for crossroads to meet, Bart went home and was startled at the fact that his father took a 180-degree turn from his old self. This moment took the film to shift its gear to go onto an uphill ride as both characters finally learnt the art of forgiveness until Bart’s dad dies.

After the reconciliation leads to another uphill ride for Bart as they make a breakthrough in the music industry with the single, “I Can Only Imagine.”

More than just a happy ending, this Christian movie stresses that the hit song is not just the next good tune to listen to but rather is a fruit of persistence and their family overcoming relational barriers. It highlights the true value of bond within families. This movie definitely rings a bell in that area of people’s lives, as it carries out the fact that families may be as imperfect as it may be but it doesn’t give anyone a free pass to give up easily. Rather, the film challenges its audience to be in pursuit of constant forgiveness and maintain stronger love and bonds with their household members.

The story of Bart and his father may also happen in anyone’s lifetime and this testimony may be a vessel to make it closer to reality. More than just a drama-filled movie to overwhelm the sense of its viewers, it will surely uplift and leave a dent in the motivation system of each one.

Overall, this movie makes a counterflow to the usual themes of today’s Hollywood films. It moves away from the worldly themes of lust, violence, and revenge but rather promotes inclusivity and forbearance among people’s violators. Despite that, it is hugely relatable even to people with secular beliefs as it shows a real-life story rather than just another fictional tale.

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