Updates from Washington, D.C.
30 August 2017
Thank you for your love and support. We are in the US now and want to update you on our last D.C. visit. In Washington we felt a new spirit of faith and love. Every meeting we had was warm and we could pray and talk about our savior. It was so good that after we left a series of State Department meetings I missed the people we met! We were able to fully explain the situation as we saw it in Burma, Syria, and Iraq, as well as encourage them to more action. We went to the White House three times as well as having two National Security Council meetings- all ended in prayer and warmth. We gave briefings on the Hill with congressmen who are engaged and caring. At the Pentagon we met with the Army Chaplain leadership and have good friends there. In between the meetings we had opportunities to give interviews on TV and radio and to share what we have seen God do. We finished with a press conference at the National Press Club organized by Congressman Frank Wolf (a national and international champion and servant of Jesus) and it went well. We were invited back and spent three more days in D.C. filled with meetings. We appreciate your prayers and will report. Here is a short summary of the main points we shared:
Lessons Learned from War
God has a solution for all problems each of us face. In all we do we want to be led by love, justice and freedom not by fear, comfort or pride. We have been able to conduct relief missions for over 20 years in war zones because we try to listen to God, we seek the good of those we serve on their terms, go as a family and we share danger and discomfort with them. From this we gain real friends who help us beyond all we could imagine. “You brought your most precious thing- your children, we give you our most precious thing, our country. We are in this together,” said a Kurdish General when he met our family during the fight against ISIS. In terms of our recent experiences in Iraq, Syria, and Burma I want to give the following recommendations:
For both Iraq and Syria the US helps to defeat ISIS and our presence enables Iraqis, Kurds and different Syrian groups to work together.
1) Iraqis are grateful for our government and see the difference of increased support. The day we left Mosul a Moslem Iraqi General told our team, “Tell the Americans, we love them, please love us. We are in this together and thank you for showing us what it means to follow Jesus.” The Iraqi Moslems we met want to please God and we do too.
2) The Iraqi Army is key for a better future for Iraq. They understand the costs and the way forward. The mostly Shite Iraqi Army have paid a heavy and bloody price but are defeating ISIS and also showing mercy to the Sunni families who have been under ISIS. They told me, “Allah wants us to be merciful and if we are not, the people (Sunni), will hate us and the war will never end.” They are heroic.
3) The US military has done well in minimizing civilian casualties and helping the Iraqis destroy ISIS. Force levels seem good as they are but they need more freedom to operate and take it to ISIS. We need to be bold and not to be led by fear. Our soldiers joined to do good and stand against evil.
4) Christians, Yizidi, Jews, and other minorities in Iraq need diplomatic as well as humanitarian help for them to return to and rebuild their homes, hospitals, and schools as well as to live in freedom and safety.
We are are the right side (Kurds- YPG/SDF) and doing a very good job – continue it. The Kurds with our help are defeating ISIS and they are accepted by many Arabs in eastern Syria. This is a functioning partnership.
There are some positive changes but the Burma Army remains in power and attacks against ethnics continue. There is a government that was elected but the Burma Army is the foundation it rests on and has final power in all matters. Keep making friends with the Burma Army and provide humanitarian assistance to the ethnics who were our allies in WWII and who are under attack now. At the same time encourage the Burma Army to stop attacking them. Doing both can help the Burma Army to change while developing real friendships throughout the country to give us a stable ally we can trust.
I am a prior service US Army Ranger and Special Forces Officer, recently returned from missions to Mosul, Iraq. My wife and I founded the Free Burma Rangers 20 years ago and my children have grown up in the conflict areas such as Burma where our 70 multi- ethnic relief teams give, help, hope, and love to people under attack by the government. We go as a family because we love to be together, we feel this is God’s way for us, we each have a mission and role with families who suffer in conflict areas, and we believe that all people count the same. For the past three years we have taken small teams from Burma to help people at the front lines in Iraq, Kurdistan, and Syria who are under attack from ISIS. The last eight months we have been in Mosul working to support the Iraqi Army and help IDPs. There we lost many friends and three of my team were shot; I was shot and one of my team was killed. But we are committed to keep helping in Iraq as we also continue to provide relief in Burma, Syria, and when possible to people under attack in Sudan.
We pray for the leaders of our country and are grateful for their service. To share our cowboy roots I have included some rodeo photos of the kids competing in Cody, WY between D.C. trips.
Thank you and God bless you,
David Eubank, family and the Free Burma Rangers