When bikie enforcer and drug dealers' gunman Sam Childers stumbled across the body of a child landmine victim in Africa, it was a defining moment for the self-confessed 'outlaw'.
'That was the moment I said, 'God I'll do anything within my power to help these people,' Childers told nine.com.au.
Since then, the American former outlaw bikie whose life was the subject of the Hollywood film Machine Gun Preacher has saved thousands of children's lives in
war-torn South Sudan
and Northern Uganda after turning from a life of crime to find God.
More than 2 million
people have fled South Sudan
to other countries as a bitter civil war continues.
Childers is heading to Australia next month to tell his story at churches, community organisations, schools and businesses to raise awareness of the plight of the families he is working to help.
'I'm no Bible thumper. I hope my message will inspire and motivate the people of Australia,' the former 'shotgunner' – an armed guard for US drug dealers - said.
Close to 2 million more have been displaced to other places within the country's borders since the conflict began in 2013
He believes if an 'outlaw' like him can change his life for the better, anyone can.
Childers gave up his life of drugs and crime in US outlaw biker gangs after his former wife Lynn started attending church and invited him to attend.
After turning to God, he headed to South Sudan in 1998 as part of a missionary group to help repair huts in the village of Yei.
It was during that project that he stumbled across the body of a child blown apart by a landmine, and he became determined to help.
Many of the orphans he has helped lost their parents due to atrocities carried out by
Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony
and his rebel guerrilla army known as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
Childers started to build his first orphanage in South Sudan after selling his construction business. During the day he cleared the brush to build huts for the children.
But the danger of attack was constant.
He says he slept under a mosquito net with 'Bible in one hand, AK47 (assault rifle) in the other.'
With the orphanage finished, Childers began to lead armed missions to rescue some of the 30,000 children abducted by the LRA.
He thinks Kony – who is still at large – is hiding somewhere in the Congo.
'I believe his days are numbered. He will be brought to justice and he will have to pay for the heinous crimes against innocent women and children,' Childers said.
Today his charity Angels of East Africa runs a network of orphanages and schools. It has also drilled about 40 clean water wells and serves about 13,000 meals to children every day.
He also has a 600-hectare farm in northern Uganda and a truck repair centre where he teaches trades and skills to older orphans.
'We don't want them to be begging on the streets, we want to train them for tomorrow, or give them a skill, a trade and help the smart ones enter university,' he said.
Childers' story was the subject of the best-selling biography Another Man's War which was turned into the 2011 movie 'Machine Gun Preacher', starring Gerard Butler. A sequel is currently planned for release in 2021.
In 2013, Childers became the only American to receive the Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice.
Details of Childers'
speaking dates in Australia
are now available.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019