Picture an Episcopal church called All Saints in the middle of Tennessee with only a handful of congregants. Then picture a pastor who has been sent to that church for the sole purpose of shutting it down and selling the property so that a mega-store can be built on the site.
Then, unexpectedly, refugees from Burma, Christians from the persecuted Karen tribe, arrive in the area. Because their tribe had been Christianized through Anglican missionaries, they find their way to tiny All Saints.
God touches the pastor’s heart as he realizes these people need this church. They need his help to find jobs and provide for their families. Since they have been farmers, the pastor comes up with a plan to turn the church land into a working farm to sustain the refugees.
He challenges the Episcopal authorities with the vision of reaching out to the refugees. Despite meeting with stiff resistance, he persists through trials and heartaches. In the process, Christ’s love is manifested in the community, the church’s attendance grows, and the Karen Christians become part of the larger family of God at All Saints.
To top it all off, it’s a true story.
When I went to see this film, I was wondering if it could really be as good as the review I had read. We all have seen “Christian movies” that have fallen short of the mark, although well intentioned.
All Saints is that truly rare film that combines a poignant story, realistic dialogue, strong character development, professional acting, and a quality of production that is, well, quality.
I give it my highest recommendation. I urge you to see it because it is bold in its proclamation of Biblical truth, offers spiritual edification, and leaves you with the feeling that someone in the film industry “gets it.”
What a joy (and a relief) to come out of the theater with the sense that God had His hand in this endeavor.