Sound of Hope - The Gospel in Action

Sound of Hope - The Gospel in Action

You've probably heard the Gospel story of the Widow's Mite (Luke 21: 1-4). It describes Jesus sitting opposite the temple treasury, observing rich and poor making their donations. He praises the widow's gift of a single penny, "all she had to live on," as the one who gave more than all the others.


This Gospel story describes well the people of Bennett Baptist Chapel in Possom Trot, East Texas. In the late 1990's, 22 families of this congregation adopted a total of 77 children out of the local foster care system, giving the traumatized and troubled kids no one else wanted a home.


Their story is told in the new film from Angel Studios and DailyWire+, Sound of Hope: The Story of Possom Trot, coming to theaters July 4th. For more information on this film, visit their official website here.


Donna Martin (Nika King), wife of Reverend Martin (Demetrius Grosse), loses her much beloved mama. While mourning, she's inspired to use the love she has in her heart to be a mother to a child no one else wants. She visits Susan Ramsay (Elizabeth Mitchell), who works for the State of Texas placing foster kids and learns about the process of adoption. Susan warns Donna that the kids she's asking about are problematic. They've been traumatized and abused.


When Donna tries to sell the idea to the reverend, he balks. They already have two children, one of whom needs special care. The church is barely making ends meet and their water had been turned off due to non-payment more than once. Admittedly, Donna uses a little "Christian guilt" to get the reverend to come around. Didn't Jesus tell us to take care of the little ones?


When they learn from Susan the extent of the suffering of the foster kids, they not only adopt their own but encourage others of their congregation to do the same. So did a new life begin for so many of God's suffering children.



Elizabeth Mitchell as Susan Ramsay in "Sound of Hope."  © 2024 Angel Studios. All Rights Reserved. 


Just because they did good, it didn't automatically follow that life was wonderful from that point on. No, the ordeals suffered by the children made it difficult for them to integrate into new families. Donna and Reverend Martin were tested again and again, especially by Terri (Diaana Babnicova), a teenager so traumatized that she coped by acting like a cat. They made mistakes and sometimes wondered if Terri would ever come around, but they just kept on loving.


There is much symbolism in the film that makes it a joy to unpack. Especially meaningful for Christians is baptism. The baptism in the film is different from what Catholics will have experienced but the meaning remains the same: baptism washes us clean of original sin and makes us a new creation in Jesus Christ. Witnessing a baptism at Church, Terri wants to experience this new life and become a new person.



Diaana Babnicova as Terri in "Sound of Hope."  © 2024 Angel Studios. All Rights Reserved. 


I usually don't get personal in my film reviews, but Sound of Hope: The Story of Possom Trot hit me close to home. When I was twelve, having just lost my two-year-old sister in an accident, my parents adopted a child. He wasn't from the foster care system and was only one day old when we brought him home, but as he grew up and experienced all the difficulties life doles out, I experienced just a bit of the emotional ups and downs the families of Bennett Baptist must have experienced with their children.


Sound of Hope is more than just a movie. It's a call to action. Don't forget to stay for the credits as you'll find out what the children portrayed in the film are doing now. And there's a special message from the real Bishop and Donna Martin about their work. They tell us that if every one of the 400,000 churches in the United States had a family who adopted one child out of the foster care system, it would soon be emptied.



Diaana Babnicova as Terri in "Sound of Hope."  © 2024 Angel Studios. All Rights Reserved. 


What is the widow's mite you are being called by God to give? Maybe it's worth spending some time in prayer to answer that question for yourself. It might not be adopting a foster child, but, then again if you're open, it just might be.






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