The "Machine Gun Preacher" visits Tucson - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

'Machine Gun Preacher' visits Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The man known as the "Machine Gun Preacher" visited Tucson over the weekend to discuss his humanitarian work for children in Africa.

Sam Childers ministered at the Covenant Generations Church Saturday night and will speak at another service on Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m.

Childers has been helping enslaved children in South Sudan for the past 13 years through his organization, "Angels of East Africa."

Villagers have given him the name, "Machine Gun Preacher" because of his armed missions to save children from rebel militia in Uganda. He also operates one of the largest orphanages in South Sudan, according to Childers.

At least 63,000 refugees worldwide have come to Arizona under the Refugee Resettlement Program since 1985, according to records posted by the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

The data shows 338 refugees from Somalia arrived in Arizona in 2014, with 56 coming from Sudan so far this year. The largest number to arrive in Arizona in 2014 are the 653 refugees that came from Iraq.

Thousands of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America who have arrived in Arizona and Texas have not been formally called refugees, but Childers says the focus should not be on whether the children can stay but on why they left their home countries.

"Maybe what we should be concerned with, these children that's coming in from all these countries, let's try to make their country a better place to live," Childers said.

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