Main Point of Discussion: You have a Heavenly Father who loves you very much.
The Movie Clip: “I am your father.”
Blood Diamond is an Oscar-nominated film about illegal or “blood” diamonds that are smuggled out of Africa and sold on free markets worldwide at a tremendous price to the people of Africa. The film is an action packed docudrama, with outstanding performances by Leonardo DiCaprio (Danny Archer), Djimon Hounsou (Solomon Vandy), and Jennifer Connelly (Maddy Bowen). The inescapable theme of this movie is a father’s love for his children, and the price he is willing to pay to save them.
The clip we are using for this particular discussion features the climactic scene of an African father named Solomon Vandy, who has pursued his kidnapped son, Dia Vandy, across the continent of Africa in order to save him. Weeks earlier, R.U.F. (Revolutionary United Front) guerillas rampaged into the village where the Vandys lived, murdered many people, kidnapped Dia, and enslaved Solomon to work in the diamond fields. During his time in slave labor, Solomon finds a HUGE diamond and buries it, hoping to dig it up later and use it to “buy back” his son. This scene illustrates the passion and struggle of a father who has risked everything to regain his son.
Introducing the Clip:
Tonight I want to show you a clip from the blockbuster, Blood Diamond. If you saw the movie, you will immediately remember this powerful scene. If you haven’t, just know that Solomon Vandy, the African man in this clip, has been in constant pursuit of his son, Dia, since he was kidnapped by R.U.F. guerillas (the bad guys) several weeks earlier. Solomon himself was enslaved by the R.U.F. and forced to work in the diamond fields. He finds a rare diamond worth millions and decides to bury it, hoping it will help him “buy back” his son.
Meanwhile, Dia’s kidnappers, the violent militia known as the R.U.F., has brainwashed Dia and turned him into a killer. He is even given a new name, “See No More,” and is lied to about his family. His captors have conditioned him to be a ruthless killer. The R.U.F. has made him commit terrible atrocities, to the point where he cannot even remember his former identity, or family.
After his escape from slavery, Solomon chases his son across the continent of Africa, risking his life time and again, to save his son. Take a look at what happens when a father is face to face with a son who hardly remembers the life they once shared together.
BEGIN CLIP at 1 hour 56 minutes and 30 seconds (Chapter 28)
NOTE: you may want to put the subtitles up on the screen for this clip because you won’t want your students to miss a word! The father’s words are so powerful but his accent is heavy and may be hard to understand.
- Danny Archer: It had better be there, huh?
Solomon Vandy: Yes, yes. Here.
Danny Archer: You got it?! Have you got it, huh?!! (On screen, Solomon pulls the diamond from its buried position.)
Solomon Vandy: Yes, got it. Oh yes… (On screen, Danny sees Solomon’s son, Dia, train a gun on him and his father.)
Danny Archer: Solomon… (Solomon looks up to see his son pointing a gun at them.)
Solomon Vandy: Dia. What are you doing?! Dia!! Look at me. Look at me!! What are you doing? (Walking towards his son very carefully…) You are Dia Vandy of the Proumanday Tribe. You are a good boy. You love soccer, and school. Your mother loves you so much. She waits by the fire making plantains and red stew. And the new baby…. The cows wait for you, and Bakwu, the wild dog who minds no one but you. Mmm? I know they made you do bad things. You are not a bad boy. I am your father, who loves you. And you will come home with me and be my son…again. (Dia lowers the gun and then they embrace.)
This clip clearly shows how much Dia’s father loved him. Even though Solomon knew what his son had done, he still wanted Dia to come back home and be his son again. He proved that by risking his life to get that message of love to his son.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Let’s start by going around the circle and sharing our name and answer this question—have you ever been lost from your parents (even briefly; lost at a mall or an airport for instance)?
- ASK A FEW: For those of you who said yes to the last question, would a few of you want to briefly share what happened?
- ASK THE SAME FEW: What was going through your mind while you were separated from your loved ones?
- ASK A FEW: In the movie, Dia was separated from his family by force. Would you agree that, today, we sometimes separate ourselves, in a different way, from those around us by poor decisions that we make, or bad habits that we display?
- ASK A FEW: Specifically, what are the “usual culprits” in our lives that separate us from loved ones?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think goes through the mind of your loved ones around you when you do something to separate yourself from them?
Read the Following Passage:
Luke 15:1-10 (NIV)
 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear Jesus.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This Man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
 Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'
 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'
 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Going Further: In these two stories, two “possessions” were lost, a sheep and a coin. Let’s now read a story about a “person” who gets lost.
Read the following passage:
Luke 15:11-24 (NIV)
 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So the father divided his property between them.
 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
 “When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'  So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
 “The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
 “But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
Tonight we have talked about the love our Heavenly Father has for us. We have read 3 short stories that Jesus told to illustrate the love our Heavenly Father has for us. First we see a shepherd chasing after a lost sheep. Then we see a woman searching everywhere for a lost coin. And finally, we see a father welcome a rebellious son back home. Each of these three people (shepherd, woman, father) show us how much God wants to be with us. He chases us like the shepherd chased his lost sheep. He looks everywhere for us like the woman searching for a simple coin. Finally, He rejoices and welcomes back His children when they decide to return to Him, no matter what they did!
Everyone close your eyes and bow your heads for a moment. Only think about this conversation, not about who is around you, or what you have to do when you get home. Think about this, because this is the most important thing you can think about, ever! Maybe you are someone who has never been “found” like a lost sheep or coin…or never been “welcomed back and rejoiced over” like a lost child, by God. Tonight you can meet God! God never says, “I told you so,” or turns His back on us. In fact, the Bible teaches just the opposite: that all of Heaven rejoices when we decide to return to Him. All you have to do is ask for His forgiveness and promise to live your life for Him, and not yourself anymore.
But, maybe you are someone who has been “found” or “welcomed back” by God, but you have wandered your way into another pig pen in life. Tonight, you also, can return to God by asking for forgiveness and a renewed sense of direction for your life. I can make you three promises that are true for all of us. First, we all sin and separate our lives from God. Second, we all experience life-draining guilt about those actions or decisions. But thirdly, we can know for a fact that God forgives us if we ask! 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” You do not have to wonder if you are loved by God. You can know for a fact! (If the leader has a short personal story that would impact the moment, he/she could share it at this point.)
So, no matter which you happen to be, do not leave tonight without talking to one of the leaders about God’s love for you…because you have a Heavenly Father who loves you VERY much.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R. Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.