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Man’s Life Changed by Wife’s Dream

Art dealer Ron Hall shares how his life changed when his wife befriended a homeless man. He also discusses the new movie based off his book, Same Kind of Different As Me. Read Transcript


It started with the dream of a woman named Debbie Hall.

She dreamed about a wise man who changes the city.

Well her dream came true and produced a best selling

book, a movie, and a movement.

Take a look.

NARRATOR: Ron Hall was an international art

dealer with more money than he and his wife, Debbie,

could ever possibly need.

They had everything, but a loving marriage.

We don't share the same life.

We don't share anything.

You can leave.

You choose.

NARRATOR: When Ron's unfaithfulness

was brought to light, Debbie asked

Ron to serve with her at an inner city rescue mission.

It was there that their lives were changed forever,

when Debbie befriended a homeless man named Denver.

A new movie hits theaters October 20th.

Same Kind of Different As Me.

It stars Greg Kinnear and Renee Zellweger,

and is based on the true story from the bestselling book.

MAN (VOICEOVER): I worried I was so different from other people,

but what I found was, everybody's different.

Same kind of different as me.

Please welcome to The 700 Club, Ron Hall.

It's wonderful to have you here.

Thank you, Terry.

Your marriage with Debbie was actually in trouble

when you guys first started working together

at this homeless center.

Tell me about where things were at.

Well actually when we started working there,

we had put things back together.

But just a few years before that,

our lives had taken a-- we were both believers,

but I chose to stay.

And I made a very conscious decision to do.

It was no accident, I made a conscious decision

to destroy a marriage.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Wow.

RON HALL: And she gave me Christ-like forgiveness.

And through my sin as far as the East is from the West,

I never brought it up again.

Only to promise that I would not be unfaithful again.

And for that, I promised her that I

would do anything she asked me the rest of our lives together.

So it was just a few years later,

that she had a dream of a homeless man.

Then she asked me to be his friend.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Wow.

What did you think when she looked at him and said--

well first of all, tell us about her dream.

And then she said, I want you to be a friend to that guy.

Well we had just moved into our dream home

in Fort Worth, Texas, which I had

wanted to build for years to house our art collection.

We were art collectors and I was an art dealer.

And so in this dream home, she began to dream.

And the first night, she dreamed of the most beautiful mission,

homeless mission that would ever be built.

And the second night, she dreamed

a literal dream of a man.

She said the next morning it was like a verse in "Ecclesiastes

9:15" where Solomon wrote, "there was found in the city

a certain poor man who was wise.

And by his wisdom, he changed the city".

And she said, I believe that if we

can find this man of my dream, I'll know it's from God,

and I think we'll see revival in our city.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: So you're working together at the center.

Well that morning, she asked me

to go with her to look for this man of her dreams.

So we started driving around the inner city.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: That's amazing that you did this.

RON HALL: Well again, that's the first thing

she had asked me to do.

And I'm still believing that I need to pay the price.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: You're following the promise.

So we started driving around.

We didn't see him, so we stopped late that afternoon

and volunteered to start serving an evening

meal at the homeless shelter, which

was called The Union Gospel Mission in Fort Worth, Texas.

And we had been there serving a couple of weeks.

And everything was going well after I

got over my initial affront to the all the smells.

And it was just a run-down old place.

And so a couple of weeks in to our serving there, this man--

giant African-American man with no shoes,

and no shirt, and just some raggedy old

britches-- storms into the dining hall and says,

I'm going to kill whoever done it.

I'm going to kill whoever stole my shoes.

And she said, that's him.

And I said, that's who.

She said, that's the man I had the dream about.

And she said, and I think I heard from God

that you have to be his friend.

And I said, but honey I wasn't at that meeting you

had with God.

And if I'm going to be friends with someone who

wants to kill everybody, I think I should go talk to God myself.

Well and Denver, this man, did not exactly

open his life up to having friendship with the world.

How did you bridge that gap and become Denver's friend?

Well it took five persistent months of almost pursuing him

daily through the inner city.

He was not looking for a friend.

He didn't speak to anyone.

People on the streets called him suicide

because they said, messing with him

was the equivalent of committing suicide.

He's dangerous, he's crazy.

So you need to stay away from him because he'll hurt you.

But Debbie's insistence, she knew that God

had a plan for this man's life.

And she was going to live and not

only, he was going to live to see it.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: So eventually, you and Denver

did become friends.

You and Denver and Debbie became friends.

Yes we did.

How did God change you through that?

Well God took a very arrogant, self-centered man,

and he used this homeless man, who turned out to be not

so crazy.

He was prophetic himself.

And he used him to save our marriage, to save our family.

This is not a white savior movie.

This is a man--

an African-American man-- who really saved our family.

He repaired my damaged relationship with my father.

He totally transformed my life.

The art became so meaningless to me

and he, and the homeless cause, became

what God put on my heart to begin working with.

Well at a later point, the unthinkable happens.

Debbie gets sick and eventually dies, but she had a dying wish.

What was it?

Well her final words to me were, don't give up on Denver.

God is going to bless your friendship

in a way you can never imagine.

And so--

TERRY MEEUWSEN: God did that.

God, oh did he ever.

What did he do?

You and Denver had--

after Debbie's death, such an even deeper relationship

with each other.

It really, for both of you, gave vision

to a bigger issue in the community.

The city was changed.

What happened?

Well, first of all, I did abandon him

right after her death.

I did exactly what she asked me not to do.

And I left and I went away to Italy

for about five months just to kind of get my head straight.

And I began writing the book there and all of a sudden,

I realized that the real story was back in the hobo jungle,

by a dumpster in the inner city.

And I would never really have told the real story

unless I go back.

So I went back to Fort Worth, Texas.

I ask him to move in with me.

And so he joined me.

And my two children were living there at the time,

so he joined us as our family.

And then they moved out shortly, as they were

getting married and things.

But he began to transform my life.

He became my professor and I was his student.

And one of the first days on the streets, he asked me.

He said, are you one of those Christians?

And I said, yes, I am.

And he said, well can you tell me

why all you Christians worship one homeless man on Sunday,

then turn your back on the first one you see on Monday?

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Wow.

That'll stop you in your tracks.

He said, Mr. Ron.

You never know whose eyes God is watching you out of.

And they ain't going to be your preacher or your Sunday school

teacher.

He said, might be a fellow like me.

He said, it ain't me, but it might

be a fellow that looks like me.

So be on the lookout.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Wow.

That'll give you some food for thought.

Eventually, where did your friendship

lead as far as the issue of homelessness went?

For your heart, for the way you saw people, and for Denver?

Well, he told me.

He said, you know the courthouse is full of judges, Mr. Ron.

God's not looking for any more judges, but god is looking for

and needs servants.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Wow.

And he said, so if you're going

to walk the streets with me, you better not judge

and you just better start serving.

So I started serving with Denver.

And we started walking the streets,

trying to make a difference.

And in fact, our movie is about making a difference.

It's about, we mix black and white,

we mix poverty and wealth, and we throw them all together,

and we come out with a message of hope that hopefully,

can be healing our nation.

This is a movie for this time, right now.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: What was that like for you to see this story

untold on screen?

You'd written the book, but now to actually see it.

RON HALL: Truthfully Terry, I love the ending.

But the beginning is so painful for me to watch.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: I'm sure.

I just can't imagine.

But in the end, you have created something that even

in sharing what you just shared about the things

that Denver said.

Things that make people think.

Yes.

That make us see it differently.

Yeah.

RON HALL: He gave me new eyes.

He gave me eyes to see the homeless

through the lenses of God.

And this is what I want people who see our movie.

I want them to leave wanting to make a difference

in their communities.

We just started a new campaign for our movie

called Making a Difference Across America in 175 Cities.

We want people to begin random acts of kindness that will just

translate into love, and showing the love of Christ

to people all across America.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: But it takes pains sometimes,

to get us to that place.

And you have to be willing to pay the price

to see the miracle come true.

Thank you.

Thank you, too.

Thank you.

Well OK let me get it together, so I can just tell you.

There's so much more to Debbie, and Denver's story,

and Ron's book.

His story as well.

It's called The Same Kind of Different As Me.

Get the book because it's wonderful.

It's available wherever books are sold.

And then you don't want to miss the movie starring Greg

Kinnear and Renee Zellweger.

The Same Kind of Difference As Me

opens in theaters starting on October the 20th.

You don't want to miss, it could change your life, really could.

Thank you, Ron.

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