Christina Noble had faced struggles and adversity for most of her life when she had a transformative dream one night about the desperate conditions in Vietnam — a Southeast Asian country that was thousands of miles away from her native Ireland.
At the time, Noble had never been to Vietnam and had no idea that she would one day launch a massive effort to both save and impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese children who suffer in immense poverty and need.
That dream was a message that Noble believes God sent her nearly two decades before she ever set foot in the foreign country — and it's a vision that the famed charity worker points back to when she shares her story of overcoming personal trials to serve her fellow man.
Noble, the remarkable founder of the Christina Noble Children's Foundation, is the subject of the recently released movie "Noble," a biopic that takes viewers through the inspirational charity worker's life and legacy.
"She was born in the 1940s and was a kid in the 50s when Dublin was a poor place, and her life took a terrible turn when her mother died at 10 … and that was really the start of a hard journey," Stephen Bradley, the director of "Noble," recently told TheBlaze. "She ended up as a teenager homeless in a big park."
An orphan who was separated from her siblings and without a place to call home, Noble understood firsthand what it meant to suffer.
When she was 18, she moved to England, married a man and had three children. But her plight continued when her husband allegedly became abusive and she decided to leave him. It was in the midst of her ongoing personal turmoil thatBradley said Noble had an "amazing dream" — one that was entirely random, but that played a role in changing the trajectory of her life.
"She was in a situation where she was working very hard in a chip shop in England … during the Vietnam War, and she was reading about it in the newspaper — and that fed into this dream that she had about her vision about Vietnam," Bradley explained. "It was really strong in her mind … that her destiny was there."
On her foundation's website, Noble describes that dream in detail:
"I don't know why I dreamed about Vietnam, perhaps it was because the country was so much in the news at the time. In the dream, naked Vietnamese children were running down a dirt road fleeing from a napalm bombing. The ground under the children was cracked and coming apart and the children were reaching to me. One of the girls had a look in her eyes that implored me to pick her up and protect her and take her to safety. Above the escaping children was a brilliant white light that contained the word 'Vietnam.'"
It was a dream that Noble believes "was sent by God." But it wasn't until nearly 20 years later in 1989 that Noble, then 44, finally visited the Southeast Asian nation — an act that that was pivotal in her life, as she learned about the thousands of street children in dire poverty and need.
Since that time, she has launched over 100 projects in Vietnam and Mongolia to help more than 700,000 kids and adults cope with the difficult situations on the ground there by providing a clinic, education programs and community development initiatives.
"It's a pretty extraordinary story," Bradley said, noting that Noble gave him license to creatively tell the harrowing tale through the feature film, which includes three different actresses who portray her at different phases in her life.
God — both in the movie and in Noble's life — is a central character.
Go behind the scenes of the film here:
Bradley said that he became interested in the movie after his wife — Irish actress and stand-up comedian Deirdre O'Kane — became entranced by Noble's story. At the time, the husband and wife were looking for a project to collaborate on and, thus, the concept for "Noble" was born.
"She was very happy with the film," he said of Noble's reaction to the final product. "And I genuinely haven't had any any complaints on any points."
Bradley is hoping that audiences will be "rabidly influenced by the way that Christina has lived her life," garnering important lessons from her adversity and the generosity that she has so fervently shown Vietnamese children.