David Eubank, a former member of U.S. Army Special Forces and a Ranger officer, is the founder of the Free Burma Rangers (FBR), which is a multi-ethnic and faith relief organization. David and his family share the love of Jesus in Burma, Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria and Sudan by giving help, hope and love, while shining a light on the situations of the people in these troubled areas.
The fiercest urban battle in recent history, to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS, lasted nine months. Thousands were killed, millions were displaced. In David’s new book, Do This for Love: Free Burma Rangers in the Battle of Mosul, he, along with Hosannah Valentine, gives us the compelling true story of learning the difference between justice and revenge and loving others at all costs.
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The Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Yes, many. There was an invitation from the Wa tribe in Burma to come and help in 1993 that started our ministry there; a 2014 invitation to help in the Nuba mountains of Sudan where the Sudanese Armed Forces bombed us every day; in February 2015, an invitation to help Kurds under attack by ISIS in Kurdistan, Iraq and then a 2016 invitation to help in Syria.
All of these were unexpected and surprising, and also each response needed miracles for us to be able to get there. God did those miracles by opening doors and helping us avoid capture and death and empowering us with His love. These all expanded our work and relationships in unexpected and blessed ways.
You’ve been a warrior for much of your life. What inspired your family to join you in your fight to free the oppressed?
We are inspired and compelled by the love of Jesus and each other. My wife, Karen, and I were married in Malibu, California and three days later we went on our first mission to Burma. When our kids were born, they were carried into Burma by Karen and nursed as we walked. My son Peter was only three weeks old when he was carried in and all my children grew up serving alongside us and with the ethnic people that are now family to all of us. We work in war zones, and if there are still families in the area, my family stays with them.
Let’s talk about your new book Do This for Love: Free Burma Rangers in the Battle of Mosul, written with Hosannah Valentine (Fidelis Books, July 2020). Please tell us about it.
Do This For Love is about how God led our family and organization into one of the fiercest urban battles in recent history to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS that lasted nine months. Thousands were killed and millions displaced. How could such a small group as ours help in such a massive and desperate situation? Only by God’s leading and help. This is the story of how the Free Burma Rangers (FBR), a small organization from Burma, answered that question with GO. Give up your own way, help the people, share love.
As coalition forces led by brave Iraqi soldiers on the ground who slowly pushed ISIS out, the brutality of the terrorists was turned against thousands of civilians as they fled the fighting. There was no humanitarian template for responding to such ruthlessness. To attempt to help would take total commitment.
Birthed in the war zones of Burma to stand with villagers under attack by the Burma Army and provide medical care, relief, and reporting, the Free Burma Rangers came to Mosul with twenty years of war zone experience in the jungle.
Led by me, the founder of FBR and a former Ranger and U.S. Special Forces officer… medics, cameramen from the teams in Burma, other foreign volunteers and my wife and three children came to fill the gap between the frontlines and the humanitarian community. We came, living by the conviction that every person counts and the only force that can defeat hate is love. Four of our team members were wounded and one killed as we lived out that conviction with total commitment. This is our story, and a story of the power of Jesus.
What led to the idea of the movie?
We wanted to share what we had seen God do, to thank God and all who help us, and to let people see how wonderful the people we serve are. We felt like one of the people that Jesus healed, and who wanted to say thank you.
What Bible passage or story best describes your personal journey of faith?
John 10;10, Is 1:17. Is 8;12, Pvb 3;5-6, Ps 23, Luke 4:18-19, John 3:16
One last, fun question. . .
What favorite food do you miss most when not working overseas?
Rice and fish sauce with peppers.
Thanks, Dave! It’s a pleasure to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.
Thanks and God bless you all at Divine Detour in Jesus name!
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For more information about Dave and his organization, visit the Free Burma Rangers website or follow Free Burma Rangers on Facebook. Twitter and/or Instagram. Click here to learn more about the movie.
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