Answer to prayer: Stay in US or Go to Kurdistan to Help Now19 October, 2016
Thanks so much for praying for us, encouraging us to listen to God, for the scriptures, and for your love. This has been a difficult decision for us but we have decided that Karen and the kids will continue with the mission here in the US while I will go back to help in Kurdistan during these attacks. Our US plan remains the same but without me- Karen and the kids will be sharing and meeting you all as per our schedule. I will go and put together a team to respond to the crisis in Kurdistan and around Mosul. Our purpose will be to share the love and truth of Jesus at the front, to treat wounded, to help people displaced by the attacks and to tell the story back to you all and the world. In all this we want to be Christ’s ambassadors, whether in the US with you all whom we love in the land we love, or in Kurdistan among all peoples there. Then if needed Karen and the kids will join us to help IDPS after this US trip.
I want to share with you how we came about this decision.
We were invited to Kurdistan while on a relief mission in Burma in February 2015. We were deep in Shan state and surrounded by the Burma Army. It took a lot of walking around them to get to where we needed to serve the people. One day I received a satellite email from a friend, Victor Marx, asking me to go to Kurdistan,” in seven days”. I answered that it took us 19 days walking around Burma Army positions and units from where we were and the border. There was no way to get to Kurdistan in seven days unless the Burma army who was blocking us and following us got out of our way. There was a shorter route but right now the Burma Army was on it. But I wrote we would pray and see what God did. We prayed with our ethnic FBR Burma team and all of them agreed that if God moved the Burma Army out of the way we should try to go to Kurdistan. We prayed on the mountain side and the next day over 1,000 Burma army troops blocking us moved out of our way and we were able to walk to the border in three long days and nights. It was a miracle entailing getting thru the blocking Burma Army for us to make it back across the border and go to Kurdistan in seven days. Once in Kurdistan, on the Nineveh plain looking at the black flag of ISIS, I asked God what FBR should do here. The answer was, “Give up your own way, give up the Free Burma Ranger way, come help these people.”
So we went again, bringing with us ethnic FBR medics, pastors and video men from Burma along side our family and other volunteers. Burma continues to be our main mission but we also have been to Kurdistan 6 times now and Syria twice. All along in Kurdistan we promised that when the big attacks to liberate Mosul began we would come to help. There will be over 1 million people displaced and in great danger and need. We can not meet all those needs but we can stand with the people in the gap and help as God enables us.
Last week we came out of Syria and Kurdistan for this trip to the US but within a day of arriving in Alaska the offensive on Mosul began.
I was torn between my promises to the Kurds, the role of FBR in emergencies and my commitment to you all in the US. I received a message from one of our closest Kurd friends and team mates; ”Uncle David, my idea is you should come here because it is a really important moment in the history of this region and also you were here at the beginning when ISIS captured our land here in the Nineveh plain..and you should be here with us when they are defeated. Your prayers will come true (that ISIS will be stopped) and you should report all of this… I love you and what ever you decide I will be happy. p.s. I need your prayers always , Shaheen.”
I then sent out the prayer requests and you all gathered around us and prayed. Karen said she thought I should go and that she would be willing to do all of the programs we had planned. She was behind me going right away but I was not sure. While at the Church on the Rock missions conference here in Alaska, I was in turmoil and gave up to God all my reasons for going; keeping a promise, being with the Kurds we had trained, treated and loved in a crucial time, helping to treat wounded and save lives, to be at the front to help the families who are already fleeing and in desperate need and doing the work of FBR- help, hope and love to people under attack. And I addressed my other motives; love of action and not wanting not to miss something so big.
I prayed and put up all the motives- good and bad before God. Very quickly God and showed me my heart. That action and ‘being there’ were motives but not my main motives and that I loved the Kurds and wanted to keep my promise. At the same time I also really wanted to stay with my family and to see you all in the US. It made me very sad to think of going, leaving my family, you all and the beauty of this country. Then I believe God showed me my role was to go and He would let me know when. Suddenly I had peace and trusted Him when to go- not too late, not too soon. I would be happy either way and also sad either way, but with God’s way it would be ok and our family would have peace.
Up to that time our kids did not have peace. The kids cried at the thought of me going back. Suu said, “ But daddy can not do this without us. He needs us.” And Sahale said, “ At first I did not want you to go. I did not agree and I was afraid. I was afraid of what might happen to you, I was afraid of all that we would have to do here in the US without you and our inability to do it as well as you. I felt this way all along until the last night of the missions conference a lady told me, ‘Don’t be afraid of man, put your trust in God.” My fear went away and I changed my mind. It is sad for me but I know now it is right that dad should go.” Later Suu told me,” I do not want you to go but it is the best thing to do right now.” Pete said, “I feel fine about it, if God tells you to go you better go”. Meanwhile we received your messages to listen to and trust God and that you would be behind as God led us.
That same night up on stage at the end of the conference, I realized how deeply I loved the people here and how I was equally desirous to stay and complete the one month speaking trip or to go back to Kurdistan- both were equal in my heart and I only wanted to God’s way. I still thought that I should go but the timing was unknown and I was grateful for every day here in the US.
Late that night we gathered as a family and prayed. We did not have an answer but we all had peace that I should go but did not know when. I went to sleep not knowing how God would lead. The next morning I rose early to pray and read the Bible. Still there was no answer but I had a deep peace and I felt that I would know my answer based on the circumstances in Kurdistan. Later in the morning on the way to a meeting, I talked by phone to our coordinator who is alone there in Kurdistan now. “The offensive began a few days ago to our south and now they are beginning to start in our area. I think you should come.” I instantly felt sure about going and when to go. I said, “Yes I will come. But I need two days to finish a few things; a speaking engagement tonight, seeing our missionary pilot friend Dwayne King who lost his wife this month and make sure Karen and the kids have all the information they need to do this US trip without me. Right away I felt peace, joy and energy. My family agreed and even though all of us are very sad to leave each other we feel it is right.
So that is the best we can do. We may be wrong, but I know no other way to listen to God and we put all of this at His feet and yours and ask for your continued prayers. Here is our family schedule below again and here is Karen’s email so you can coordinate directly with her. firstname.lastname@example.org tel; 360- 712-9260
I look forward to seeing you all and sharing what God has done in all of our lives. Hopefully that will be this coming summer. Thanks for helping us, God bless you, Dave, Karen, Sahale, Suu, Peter Eubank in the beauty of Alaska and all of FBR Luke 4:18-19
> 15- Alaska- Church On The Rock -COTR-Wasilla
> 16- COTR, Palmer am, noon speak at prison, pm at COTR- Talkeetna
> 17- COTR-Wasilla
> 18- COTR Palmer final night
> 19- am Victory area- Lee’s, see Dwayne King at Kingdom Air and in pm speak at Glacier View
> 20- Victory area
> 21- Victory area
> 22- to Fairbanks, stay with Goetz family
> 23- Fairbanks Churches- Freinds and The Landing
> 24-to Anchorage, Arnolds
> 26- fly to Port Alsworth, stay with Alsworths
> 27- 30 Port Alsworth- speak at Tanalan Bible Church
> 31- to Anchorage
> 1- Anchorage- At Arnolds. Myanmar Christian Fellowship and FCC joint program between 1-3 November.
> 2- Anchorage- ”
> 3- Anchorage- ”
> 4- fly to Jackson, TN- Freeman’s at Green Frog
> 5- mission conference in Jackson, TN
> 6- 1st Baptist Church, Jackson, TN
> 7- Drive to TX
> 8- Dallas- meetings
> 9 – Dallas- graduation for team member at Bush Library
> 10- Dallas- meetings
> 11- to Houston, program in the pm New Life Fellowship House Church
> 12- to Wimberley
> 13- speak at am services at both churches- Cypress Creek Church, (CCC), Chapel in the Hills
> 14- am Johnson’s and Curtis families, pm at prayer meeting at CCC and then at Baldwin Community Church group, Wimberely
> 15- am Wimberley, pm program at College Station, Antioch Church
> 16- am Waco- Antioch Church , Bobbitts , pm Dallas
> 17 fly to WA
> 18 fly to Thailand
> 19 arrive in Thailand
Thank you and God bless you,
Dave, Karen, Sahale, Suu and Peter Eubank