Faith Like Potatoes is an inspirational film based upon the true story of a South African farmer named Angus Buchan. Angus, a Scotsman born in Africa, moved his family to South Africa after conditions in Zambia became dangerous and intolerable. He started from scratch and faced a series of huge losses in the process. What he never planned on was his encounter with the living Christ in a small Methodist Church. After giving his life to Christ Angus became more than a typical convert. He devoured Scripture, praying and reading the Word even in his farm fields on a daily basis. Soon he became known for his faith and stories about divine power being displayed through his life.
The title comes from a central part of Angus' story. During a drought he planted potatoes. When the harvest came, and the fields were dry and dusty, he harvested a huge potato crop of potatoes that astounded everyone around him. The film ends with Angus telling small children to touch, handle and smell these potatoes. He says, "You must have faith in God that is much like the 'faith I had for these potatoes.'"
Faith Like Potatoes has what Christianity Today calls "an intensity and immediacy that keeps it from seeming too preachy. It's a good thing that it's based on a true story (as found in the book of the same name), because Angus's experiences would be hard to swallow in a fiction film. Angus tells his wife that he's been called to be foolish for Christ, and every seemingly ridiculous choice he makes yields a miracle pointing back to the glory of God."
I personally wish the film would have revealed more of Angus' struggle with faith as well as the clear joys of victory when God answered prayer powerfully. While he is portrayed as praying over a girl struck by lightning who recovers from what appears to all to have been her death Angus' is also left in doubt and confusion when his own nephew dies in a tragic accident while Angus was driving his tractor. This is the very stuff that makes the film so truly compelling. Angus believes God but Angus struggles for faith just like you and I do.
Christianity Today gave a very excellent review of the film last year that is worth reading if the story interests you.
Many Christian films not only lack a compelling story line and too easily slip into sentimentalism. The story of Angus Buchan is told beautifully in this visual art form and the message of prayer, faith and courage is underscored again and again. A 54-minute documentary is one of several features on this DVD disc. Here you meet the real Angus and his wife and family. Here you see why this compelling story works as it does on film. More importantly you are challenged to exercise simple, real, life changing faith. Angus believes God for power to make Christ known and he believes God for miracles that come as answers to prayer and real need. He practices a "faith that works by love." This simple, faithful farmer speaks powerfully to all of us.
I rarely get excited about a Christian film like I did by seeing Faith Like Potatoes. It first appeared in 2009 and is available on DVD from Sony. You can easily find it from the usual rental sources as well as available for purchase on the Internet at a very good price. I intend to buy a copy in order to share it with friends.
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