Living Hope is a documentary that looks at the impact a mission is having on an entire community in South Africa. The focus of this mission began when Pastor John Thomas was in South Africa working at a church there during the early 1990s. This was when the AIDS/HIV epidemic was really striking a blow to the people in Africa. He realized he needed to not just lead people to the living hope found in Jesus, but to be the hands and fee of Christ and help the people find that hope to continue to live in dire circumstances.
The mission has four specific focuses. Living Care is their healthcare ministry. They used to run a hospice where people affected by AIDS came to die. Now, thanks to huge strides in medicine, they have turned it in to a clinic where people come to be treated and given hope for a better life.
Living Grace is their ministry that focuses on homelessness and drug addiction. The documentary tells the story of Leonie Rustin who is a single mom and now a nursing assistant at Living Care. She was once addicted to drugs and left her son (born during the time she was addicted) to be raised by her sister. She is now clean and sober and helping others overcome their addictions and find hope in Jesus Christ.
Living Right is their education and support ministry that helps those living with HIV/AIDS. There are support groups that meet to help support those battling this disease. In every program they run, they also feed the participants from children who receive just a simple sandwich and a piece of fruit (often their only food of the day) to those in the AIDS program. The adults are fed plus given a meal to take home as it's important for them to take their meds with food.
The last ministry is Living Way which is all about economic empowerment, finding jobs to help people support themselves. We met Joey Lankford, a businessman and father of four who moved his family from Tennessee to South Africa after God spoke into his life, who works for this ministry. He realized he needed to change the focus off himself, as he put it, and on to others. He helps equip men and women with jobs. During the DVD they were building grow tunnels and planting cucumbers and tomatoes - thousands of them! The plan was to not only support the immediate families but to also sell the excess to local grocery stores.
This was a very powerful film narrated by Joel Smallbone of for King & Country. The lives that are being impacted are not only the ones in the South African community being served, but those who go to help, those who live there full-time, and those who watch the film. I highly recommend this documentary.
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