Too many people today are frustrated by the injustice and evil in our world, and all too often are resigned to defeat, because the opposition seems to big, too powerful, too pervasive to fight. Attempts to resist seem futile at best, and more often than not, appear to only offer personal pain and persecution. So we do nothing, except maybe complain. All the while, we are aching on the inside, because somebody ought to do something! Maybe that ache is more because our own lives seem pointless in the face of the real things that matter–the bigger battle of good vs. evil, justice vs. brutality–yet we can’t seem to muster the courage to follow our passion into our purpose.
I was blessed in my years living in Alaska to have a friend, and a mentor, who was also a storyteller. He often shared with me the stories he was working on, while we met each week to share coffee and life together, helping one another (ok, mostly him helping me) navigate our own stories. Over the past year, Rick shared with me the most amazing story that he was living, while preparing to write his latest book. Late night satellite phone conversations to interview guerrilla leaders hiding in the jungles on the other side of the world, researching exotic languages and the history of a country where people lived the most austere lives, fighting against nature and an oppressive government to liberate a nation–the things that young (and old) boys’ fantasies are made of! Rick was preparing to tell the story of a man who did what he was made to do, and in the process has provided relief to over 1 million people engaged in a brutal struggle against evil in a place most of us can’t even find on a map.
I just finished the product. In “Rangers in the Gap: Act with Courage. Never Surrender”, Rick tells the story of Dave Eubanks, a child of missionaries who becomes a successful US Army Special Forces officer, but finds his real purpose in life as the founder of the Free Burma Rangers. Dave, and his teams are leading what might possibly the most radical, unconventional guerrilla campaign in history. Against impossible odds, what began as one man has become 260 teams, defending the displaced ethnic people groups being ravaged in Myanmar (Burma), while simultaneously fighting a war against evil itself, using the only weapon that will defeat it.
I’d encourage you to download the Kindle book linked above to get the full story. If you can’t, at least check out the Free Burma Rangers web page. The story is inspiring. Hopefully it’s inspiring enough to challenge each one of us to step into the role we were each given, to make a real difference in the world around us.