Seventh-day Adventist church members in Santiago, Chile's capital city, joined with Nuevo Tiempo Network Chile to promote a biography of the late Desmond T. Doss, Sr., the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism as a medic in the United States Army.
On the opening weekend for "Hacksaw Ridge," the Oscar-nominated movie about Doss' heroism directed by Mel Gibson, members of the Vive Lakonn Adventist community, visited the Hoyts theaters of La Reina and Plaza Egaña, in Santiago, to pass out copies of the biography, written by his widow and translated into Spanish.
Those who did not receive a book did not leave empty-handed, because organizers prepared leaflets to advertise a websitewhere viewers could request the book "Desmond Doss: un objetor de conciencia" ("Desmond Doss: Conscientious Objector") for free. The church's South American Spanish Publishing House (ACES) published the translation.
The church members spent ten hours in the movie theater, covering a period of three showings of the film, wearing a “Soldier Desmond Doss” t-shirt to identify themselves. Similar movie theater outreach efforts in the United States and in several European nations have sparked public and media interest in the Seventh-day Adventist faith Doss held.
Mónica Posada, a Chilean who is not an Adventist, said she was touched by Doss' story.
“The truth is I did not know what to expect, my son insisted a lot and it made quite an impression on me at the end. His convictions and everything that led him to fight, that is a miracle and I can hardly believe it is real life," she told Nuevo Tiempo. "I have been seeking Jesus quite a lot lately, and this is a very strong message that I found where I least expected it. It taught me about the importance of convictions, of not giving up before anything and about respect, because through his peace and love, he was able to be strong because of his convictions and in the end, he surprised everybody. If we really believe in God and want to fight for Him, we cannot give in.”