The inspirational Disney film "Queen of Katwe" includes a Biblical reference emphasizing that every life - no matter how small or seemingly insignificant - is important in the eyes of God.
As reported by the Gospel Herald, the film is inspired by a true story about the bond between Christian missionary Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi, a girl growing up in the slum area of Kampala, Uganda. Katende is a well-educated young man who wants to make a difference in the country because of his devotion to the Lord.
Mutesi's family is among the poorest of the poor with no hope of a life outside of poverty. However, she meets Katende, who runs a program teaching children how to play chess. Thanks to Katende's encouragement, selflessness, and patience, Mutesi becomes a Master chess player, and her success in local competitions and tournaments opens the door to a chance to escape from a life of poverty. In one brief but powerful scene in the Disney movie, Mutesi holds up two chess pieces and smiling, says, "In chess, the small one can become the big one."
"Phiona learned so much more than how to play a game," said Katende. "She learned about life, because chess is one of the most effective tools for empowerment and teaching life principles, because whatever you go through in life, you actually find it on the board."
Today, Katende, a missionary and refugee of Uganda's civil war, continues to mentor children in Katwe and teach chess. According to Museum of the Bible, in a true-life story, Katende's Chess Academy and Mentoring Center in Kampala are front and center in giving children a sense of significance wherever they are. More than 300 children come to the chess centers every day in five locations. 40 coaches help mentor the children, teaching them discipline and patience in their lives. Although it's chess that draw them in, there's also a Bible study. "Queen of Katwe" highlights the importance and joy of Christian missionary work and outreach.
Katende said: "God gave me purpose, and I saw what that purpose was - to help others. As the Bible says, to lay down my life, my desires for others. That's what Jesus did for me. It is an honor to be called by God to do the same."