Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.
Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped the “Man” – in the 1960’s – by hopping a train. Non-trusting, uneducated, and violent, he spent another 18 years on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth.
Meet Ron Hall, a self-made millionaire in the world of high priced art deals -- concerned with fast cars, beautiful women, and fancy clothes.
And the woman who changed their lives -- Miss Debbie: “The skinniest, nosiest, pushiest, woman I ever met, black or white.” She helped the homeless and gave of herself to all of “God’s People,” and had a way of knowing how to listen and helping others talk and be found – until cancer strikes.
Same Kind of Different as Me is a tale told in two unique voices – Ron Hall & Denver Moore – weaving two completely different life experiences into one common journey where both men learn “whether we is rich or poor or something in between this earth ain’t no final restin’ place. So in a way, we is all homeless-just workin’ our way toward home.”
The story takes a devastating twist when Deborah discovers she has cancer. Will Deborah live or die? Will Denver learn to trust a white man? Will Ron embrace his dying wife's vision to rescue Denver? Or will Denver be the one rescuing Ron? There's pain and laughter, doubt and tears, and in the end a triumphal story that readers will never forget.
Continue this story of friendship in What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing, available now. Same Kind of Different as Me also is available in Spanish.
Ron Hall has dedicated much of the last ten years of his life to speaking on behalf of, and raising money for, the homeless. Formerly an international art dealer, Ron is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and writer/producer of the Paramount/Pure Flix film Same Kind of Different as Me. A Texas Christian University graduate, Ron was honored in 2017 with the Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition to traveling and speaking, Ron and his wife, Beth, run the Same Kind of Different as Me foundation (SKODAM.org), which meets emergency needs for those who are less fortunate.
Denver Moore served as a volunteer at the Fort Worth Union Gospel Mission until his death in March 2012.
Lynn Vincent is the New York Times best-selling writer ofHeaven Is for Real and Same Kind of Different As Me. The author or coauthor of ten books, Lynn has sold 12 million copies since 2006. She worked for eleven years as a writer and editor at the national news biweekly WORLD magazine and is a U.S. Navy veteran.
For more than five months the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant uncertainty and danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection—and all of this by their own choice. They wanted to find out if their faith was real, if they could actually be the Christians they said they were apart from the comforts they’d always known…to discover first hand what it means to be homeless in America. What you encounter in these pages will radically alter how you see your world—and may even change your life.
At the age of twenty, Milwaukee native Chris Gardner, just out of the Navy, arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. Considered a prodigy in scientific research, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance. Yet no sooner had he landed an entry-level position at a prestigious firm than Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him as part of the city's working homeless and with a toddler son. Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving among shelters, "HO-tels," soup lines, and even sleeping in the public restroom of a subway station.
Never giving in to despair, Gardner made an astonishing transformation from being part of the city's invisible poor to being a powerful player in its financial district.
More than a memoir of Gardner's financial success, this is the story of a man who breaks his own family's cycle of men abandoning their children. Mythic, triumphant, and unstintingly honest, The Pursuit of Happyness conjures heroes like Horatio Alger and Antwone Fisher, and appeals to the very essence of the American Dream.
No other word better describes our modern-day suffering. It reveals one of our deepest and most painful conditions—not having a sense of belonging. However, Alan Graham, founder of Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Community First! Village, is improving the quality of life for a large quantity of people through sharing his personal story of becoming more human through humanizing others. Graham believes the more we can give people dignity, the power of choice, and genuine community, the better we’ll be able to offer solutions that will have impact on the world at large. And while his missionary work is focused on giving a home to the physically homeless, he also wants to transform the lives of every living person by shifting the paradigm in understanding what it means to be “home.” In Welcome Homeless, Graham delves deep into what it means to be connected to God, the earth, and each other. In doing so, he shows us the home we’ve all longed for but never had.
Welcome Homeless is about becoming fully human by being fully present. It is about finally connecting with the disconnected and finding our identity through knowing the true identity of others. Graham wants to engrain the human story in you so deeply that you start being who you were made to be—that you start finally being like the image from which you were made and start empathizing instead of sympathizing with the people around you. Similar to how we can become 100 percent fully human by mimicking the ultimate image, we can shape a better world by mimicking the picture of the new heaven and the new earth—a picture that has reality at the heart of it but is beyond our imagination. Alan Graham also shares his personal story, the stories of the homeless, and the stories of those whose worldviews have been shifted by the homeless. Because of his raw, humorous, and honest voice, he achieves a rare and profound universality. Houses become homes once they embody the stories of the people who have made these spaces into places of significance, meaning, and memory. Home is fundamentally a place of connection and of relationships that are life-giving and foundational. Graham invites you to make everyone feel truly at home by finally inviting those living on the fringes of society into your heart.
This is why Welcome Homeless is about doing, not saying. It is about taking the ultimate and forward-thinking vision of a new heaven and new earth and literally breaking the soil so that new earth can exist here today. It is about realizing that homelessness is not fundamentally a consequence of moral and spiritual inadequacies; but rather it is often the logical and economical outcome for a large part of our population.
So, what does your vision of humanity and love look like? Whatever the vision, it should look like community. People should feel more alive after they meet you. When your consciousness changes from one of self-absorption to a consciousness aware of its human desire for connection, compassion, kindness, and beauty, you will start seeing things differently—and others will start seeing you made anew as well because the absolute greatest self-help occurs when you help others
Perfect for your individual study or a small-group discussion, the Same Kind of Different As Me Conversation Guide will be your companion as you watch the DVD, providing insights for a convicting lesson and thought-provoking questions for discussion.
Appealing to many audiences, Same Kind of Different as Me compares one man’s experience with 20th-century “slavery” and homelessness in the United States with another’s portrayal of his own complacency and wealth.
From a burning plantation hut in Louisiana to an upscale New York art gallery, you will see the heart of God in this unexpected tale of the transforming power of love and friendship. Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, Same Kind of Different as Me is an inspirational true story that crosses the barriers of society.
For use with Same Kind of Different As Me DVD-Based Conversation Kit (ISBN 9781418542863).
“Do you remember the hospital, Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, mommy, I remember,” he said. “That’s where the angels sang to me.”
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery–and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.
With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how “really, really big” God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven Is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.
Continue the Burpos story in Heaven Changes Everything: The Rest of Our Story. Heaven Is for Real also is available in Spanish, El cielo es real.
Workin’ Our Way Home describes the ten years Ron and Denver lived together after Miss Debbie’s death. Written in both Ron’s and Denver’s unique voices, their inspiring (and often hilarious) adventures include:Their sometimes-bizarre life together in the Murchison Mansion,Denver accidentally almost burning the house down—twice,The challenges involved with making a movie,Two visits to the White House,Travelling the country to raise awareness about homelessness,And much more.
With both wit and wisdom, these pages reveal God’s plan lived out through these men and those closest to them, including their passion to fulfill Debbie’s dream of easing the pain and humiliation associated with homelessness, poverty, and inequality.
“Whether we is rich or whether we is poor, or somethin in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless—ever last one of us—just workin our way home.”