Those same faith folks at Thompson Pentecostal Assembly who brought the movie Fireproof to Thompson last Feb. 22 for about 120 people will be back at it again Oct. 4, this time bringing in the movie Faith Like Potatoes, which Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission and publisher and editor-in-chief of Movieguide, described in April as "like Fireproof on steroids."
Fireproof stars well-known Hollywood actor Kirk Cameron, who also starred as a television journalist in three Left Behind movies, but in Fireproof traded in his microphone for a fire helmet to save his marriage. From 1985 to 1992 Cameron starred on the ABC sitcom Growing Pains where he received two Golden Globe nominations. Faith Like Potatoes is a 2006 South African film directed by Regardt van den Bergh. It is based on a book written by farmer Angus Buchan of the same title, which was published in 1988. It follows from the true story of Buchan and his family.
Set in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands province in South Africa, Faith Like Potatoes is the story of a Buchan, a white farmer of Scottish descent, who leaves his farm in Zambia in the midst of political unrest and racially-charged land claims issues and travels south with his family to start a new life in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, which border Swaziland and Mozambique in the northeast.
With nothing more than a caravan on a patch of land, and help from his foreman, Simeon Benghu, the Buchan family struggled to settle in the new country in 1978.
Faced with ever mounting challenges, hardships and personal turmoil, Buchan quickly spiralled down into a life consumed by anger, fear and destruction and clashed regularly with his farm workers, especially Benghu, at Shalom, where they nicknamed him "Nkosaan Italiaan" because they said he looked and behaved like a mad Italian.
The change in him came, Buchan said, when he gave his life and farm to Jesus during a church service at the Greytown Methodist Church on Feb. 18, 1979. Soon, with the same fiery passion with which he farms, Buchan began to tell people how God had changed his life.
The phrase "faith like potatoes" came from an American lecturer who used to tell his students that they needed faith like potatoes, meaning their that their faith needed to have flesh and needed substance, as in Hebrews 11:1 where faith is described as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen."
During an El Nino-spawned drought, Buchan invited 35,000 people in a stadium in Durban, South Africa to join him in prayer for rain: "To hell with El Nino! We are going to plant this year! And we are going to plant potatoes," Buchan said.
Scientists had warned the farmers not to plant that season unless they had irrigation and Buchan knew he didn't have the necessary irrigation so planting potatoes would be a large risk. Traditionally he was a maize and cattle farmer. Nevertheless he prayed and planted potatoes. The rains came.
Since opening three years ago in October 2006, Faith Like Potatoes has played at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Australian International Film Festival, and was awarded the audience choice award at the 2006 Sabaoth International Film Festival in Milan, Italy, as well as winning best feature at the 2006 Mumbai International Federation International Cinema Television Sportifs (FICTS) festival in India.
Faith Like Potatoes plays Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Thompson Pentecostal Assembly, located at 126 Goldeye Cres., at the corner of Thompson Drive North and Goldeye.