The movie adaptation of Bethany Hamilton’s life Soul Surfer was #7 at the box office this weekend! Bethany’s story is incredible and clearly points to her faith in Jesus Christ. As of right now, there have been over 10,000 commitments to Christ through the movie’s official outreach site, SoulSurfer.com. How amazing is that?
If you or your youth group kids haven’t seen it yet – as always if we want more movies like this we need to vote for them by buying tickets. I met Bethany Hamilton’s youth pastor, Sarah Hill, at a conference I attended a few months ago. She is an incredible woman and I asked her a few questions about the movie and her role as a youth worker through this crisis. Here’s some of our discussion:
1) Tell me about your part in Bethany Hamilton’s story?
I am a youth leader on the Island of Kauai. I have been here doing ministry for 10 years and Bethany was a precious young girl in my youth group. We did discipleship together and would surf together and just have a great time hanging out. After she was attacked by the shark her brother Noah called me after he got the news. As I picked him up to head to the Hospital, I was asking God to help me understand how he could have a plan in this happening. As Noah, held his head out the window, the Lord began to minister to my heart. That is where the Lord brought Jeremiah 29:11 to my mind. From that moment on I felt Gid wanted me to really help support and walk Bethany through this time of her life.
2) What was the scariest moment?
I think the scariest moment was waiting for the ambulance to get to the hospital. We were not sure how bad it was or even if Bethany would survive.
3) Going through all of this — did you ever imagine how God would use it?
After go spoke Jeremiah 29:11 to my heart for Bethany I felt Him impress that although Bethany had always been a light for Him he was now gonna use her as a voice. I had no idea that within two hours i would see this come to pass. While Bethany was in surgery we had every media outlet calling the hospital for an interview. Jesus always knows the outcome of our situation. He is faithful to use them and when we surrender all to Him, we can take a deep breath knowing He has a plan.
4) What did you think of the movie? Did Hollywood portray you well?
I am so proud of the movie. I think it definitely tells Bethany’s story. I have heard so much great feedback and hears so Many incredible stories of how the movie has inspired others. I feel they did a great job getting an accurate portrayal of me. It was great being on set and having the opportunity to read and help with the script.
5) What encouragement would you leave other youth workers with, too.
To make sure they are taking those personal time out to hear from Jesus. So often we get so busy and so bogged down dealing so many hurts and family needs around us that we put ourselves on the back burner. You can’t lead publicly where you are going personally. Jesus himself knew how important that was as He too went to be alone with the Father.