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Colombia: Film addresses cycle of violence

ICC Note:

Jesus transforms life of Colombian youth

1/6/2010 Colombia (MNN) ― Several years ago, Carlos was a typical youth in urban Bogotá: he was desperate to escape the violence and abuse in his home, and gang recruiters were offering him what appeared to be a solution. In order to join the gang, Carlos had to kill a man.

The gang wanted to kill a pastor in the area who had been recruiting people off the streets and out of the violence. It assigned Carlos to kill this man, and Carlos began following him around and plotting to kill him. But God had other plans for Carlos. OneHope had ministry going on in the area, and Carlos’ girlfriend received a Book of Hope.

“She knew the incredible turmoil that Carlos was going through, so she gave him the book and said ‘Carlos, please read this,'” related OneHope’s Rob Hoskins.

The night before he was to kill the pastor, Carlos read the book. The message of salvation from sin convicted him, and he broke down in tears. In the back of the book, he found a sticker with contact information for a local church and its pastor. The pastor was the man Carlos had been assigned to kill.

“So the next morning, he went to the church and spoke to the pastor. He said, ‘Pastor, I came here today to kill you. But I read this book last night, and instead, I need to know — is Jesus alive and can He really change my life?'” Hoskins said. “And the pastor was able to lead Carlos to the Lord. That was several years ago, and today, that young man is actually the youth and worship leader for this pastor. It’s an incredible story of transformation.”

Now OneHope has made the story into a dramatic film geared toward high school students, call “En Tus Manos,” which means “In Your Hands.” The film grew out of OneHope’s project, “Spiritual State of the World’s Children,” which surveys the beliefs and attitudes of children around the world.

The purpose of the project, Hoskins said, is “so that we as the church can better address those systemic issues and create evangelism and discipleship programs that are really getting to the real needs that kids are having, and being able to measure whether we’re making a difference in our programs in these different countries.”

“We have a wide open door right now to address this issue,” Hoskins said. “And we believe that if young people can see that the answer is not in violence, but Jesus can break that cycle of violence that existed in their homes and in their nation, then true transformation can come, true hope can come.”

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