Mother Teresa Award goes to biker-turned-activist fighting to free child soldiers
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "This award belongs to the thousands of children in war-struck Sudan, and in many other parts of the world, who live a daily life with the constant fear and threat of attacks. I thank the Harmony Foundation for this honour," said Sam Childers, a biker, as he thanked the Harmony Foundation for the 2013 Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice. The Pennsylvania native led a life of drugs and violence, which he left to embrace Christianity. For the past 13 years, he has waged a "war" to free enslaved child soldiers in Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan, Africa.
The award ceremony took place yesterday at The Leela, in Mumbai. "Never put limits on what we can do for the life of a child," Childers told AsiaNews. "Often I am told that I am violent, which is not true, but I cannot accept or believe that innocent children should be dismembered, [. . .] have their ears, noses, arms and legs [. . .] cut off. When it comes to social justice, it is essential to [. . .] get it."
Even Sister Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, sent a message to congratulate the award winner.
Known by his nickname, Machine Gun Preacher, Childers said, "Blessed Mother Teresa was an amazing lady, and I admire her courage. Even though she was 'hacked' on a lot, she never stepped down from her mission" because of her "thirst for Christ."
In fact, "I follow her example," he said, adding, "Do not limit what you can do for God, and He will not limit what he will do for you."
Founded in October 2005, the Harmony Foundation works to ensure that the legacy of Mother Teresa is honoured and that social justice prevails.
The Foundation "strives to restore belief in compassion and egalitarianism," said Abraham Mathai, founder and president of the association. "By acknowledging individuals and organisations working for society, we hope to highlight and reinstate faith in tolerance, social equality and peace!"