Good Life Club
The Good Life Club program is the component of FBR that focuses on children’s needs in the conflict zones of Burma. The Good Life Club team is comprised of men and women of different ethnicities and faiths with a desire to help children, and they provide assistance to all people regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. They believe that good life is not just physical but emotional and spiritual as well, and is something God desires for all people everywhere. They try to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the different communities they visit.
Even though there are Buddhist and Animist team members in addition to Christians, all agree with the possibility of abundant life even in the midst of hardship, and individuals’ ability to help share this life. The GLC is based on the words of Jesus in John 10:10: “For the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” The aim of the program is to strengthen the spirit of the people, encouraging them to persevere in building a new Burma with the tools of love, truth, courage, freedom and reconciliation.
This program began in 1999 when Karen Eubank, wife of founder Dave Eubank, was on a relief mission with FBR teams to villages frequently attacked by the Burma Army. The children here were very shy and fearful and she envisioned a program that would give spiritual encouragement of faith, hope, and love through songs, games, crafts and stories; as modern medical care is infrequently available, the program also grew to include
preventative healthcare education. The GLC program is included in FBR Leadership and Relief Team trainings followed by a 1-2 month ‘School Tour’ to visit school children in rural IDP communities; the newly-trained counselors help lead this tour and thus have a chance to practice what they have learned with their instructors present. They are the one person on their respective FBR teams whose duty is to minister to the needs of the children the team meets as it goes on missions throughout the year.
Good Life Club Program and Counselors
Each four-to-five-person FBR relief team has one member who is the designated Good Life Club counselor and whose duty is to focus on children at each site the team visits. The Good Life Club counselors are given training and supplies for a program addressing spiritual and physical health as well as providing relief supplies such as clothes or personal necessities when available. They encourage teachers and do education assessments in villages and IDP sites visited. The Good Life Club counselor is one person the children can look to whose main job is to address their special needs spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Good Life Club School Tour
The school tour is part of the mission that is the capstone of the basic Ranger training and brings a program to 5-15 IDP sites during a 1-2 month period. Students from surrounding villages will travel, sometimes from as far away as a day’s walk, to come to the program. The program includes singing, spiritual and moral encouragement, drama, crafts, games and healthcare relevant to the local health issues (e.g. malaria, malnutrition, and sanitation). During the program, the medics conduct a clinic for all who need medical care, while other team members construct a latrine or do other village development projects. Interviews are conducted to assess the educational, security and other material needs of the village. Money and school supplies are given to the teacher; and each child, as well as many of the mothers, receives a gift, such as a shirt, a warm hat or a pack that includes vitamins, a toy, and an article of clothing.
In the Junior Ranger program we teach the older students we meet about service and servant leadership. We tell them they are all beginning to be leaders, as the younger children in their schools start to look to them for guidance and the adults look to them for help. We tell them that being a leader isn’t just about having power, but also about being able to really help and provide a real service to their people. Being a leader is about serving, and being together with your people when they need help. So we also teach them a practical skill, something they can use to serve. The Rangers teach basic medicine and wound care; map, compass and GPS navigation; and reporting, and video or digital camera use. The students choose one of these subjects to focus on for the rest of the day. These skills are potentially useful now in the students’ lives, and give them a small introduction to something they might be able to do in the future.
The GLC connects children around the world with families who are receiving help. The GLC serves as a way to build relationships with children wherever they go by learning about their situation, and then taking action by assembling a small gift pack, specific either for children or mothers and babies. The list for children includes: nail clippers, toothbrush, comb and mirror, a small toy, a postcard from the sender’s home, and a photograph of the sender. The postcard is very valuable to children who possess almost no information on the world outside their home and the photograph reminds them that although oppression may isolate them geographically and politically they are not isolated from the love of many wanting to help them. The packs for mothers and babies include: fingernail clippers, plastic teether, small shirt, postcard and photograph from the sender.