Nothing Done for Love is Wasted: Two Rangers Killed in Burma Army Attacks.
We are very sorry to inform you that we have just lost two more of our Rangers while a third was seriously wounded. On the 4th of July, as one our top medics – Silver Horn – was wounded in Karenni State, one of our Arakan Rangers, Nay Zaw Oo, was killed in a Burma Army airstrike in Mutraw District, Karen State. Four days later, on 8 July, a Karenni Ranger, Shay Reh, was killed in a Burma Army mortar attack. This makes 13 Rangers killed in the past year, and the bloodiest year of our history. This is also the most fighting Burma has known since World War II. Over 1.5 million people are internally displaced and in the past few months, hundreds of thousands more have fled their homes in areas previously unaffected. The Burma Army is coming with a speed and force we have not seen – but, in the opposition, there is also a unity and love in Burma we have never seen before, one that cuts across spiritual, religious, ethnic, social, economic, and racial lines. Together, in this new love, we mourn the deaths of our two Rangers, but we also thank God for their lives and we pray that we will see them all in heaven.
The bombing that killed Nay Zaw Oo on 4 July also killed five other Arakan soldiers and wounded 10 more, including an FBR Arakan team leader who is recovering in hospital. That same day, in southern Shan State, one of FBR’s top medics, Silver Horn, suffered life-threatening injuries as he was on the front lines helping treat and evacuate wounded. Silver Horn is recovering, but both these Rangers, and the others wounded that day, continue to need your prayers.
The following is a tribute to Nay Zaw Oo written by one of our team and following that is a tribute to Shay Reh.
“At 12:24 p.m. on 4 July 2022, two Burma Army jets flew over Mutraw District in Karen State, and dropped three bombs, hitting a clinic, a rice house, and a training classroom. Nay Zaw Oo, an Arakan Ranger, was hit in the back and leg by the bomb. He was taken to a nearby clinic but died shortly after his arrival to the clinic. He was 29 years old. Nay Zaw Oo had been an FBR medic, having completed his training this past year. He graduated at the beginning of January 2022 and then went on a mission in Luthaw Township of Karen State.
Besides being a Ranger, Nay Zaw Oo was also a professional soldier in the Arakan Army, dedicated, strong, committed, and loyal. He had a good heart and loved helping people. The last night we were together on mission in Luthaw he organized some food for me. He led me off into the jungle with two of his teammates and they had a fire going and had prepared dinner. We sat and talked late into the night, the glow from the fire reflecting off the teeth of the big white smile that never seemed to leave his face. He told me that before he joined the Arakan Army he had gone to Thailand to work. He had worked as a cook down in a beach town in the south. He said he’d love to return to Thailand one day, to see the beautiful beaches that reminded him of his own home state in Burma.
Before we headed to bed that night, I asked if I could pray for the three of them who had so lovingly prepared the food. They said they would be happy for me to pray, but reminded me that they were Buddhists. I told them it didn’t matter that they were Buddhists and that Buddhists can talk to Jesus too. They looked happy to hear that, and Nay Zaw Oo said, “I’m glad that Buddhists can talk to Jesus, because I want to talk to him.” I prayed for them, and I prayed that Jesus would come into relationship with each of them.
They loved me a lot, and I love them a lot too. Through the entire mission, this group of three constantly kept an eye on me, helping me, encouraging me, making me laugh and just being younger brothers to me. As I heard the news that Nay Zaw Oo had been killed by the Burma Army, my heart broke, for the twelfth time this year. “Jesus, have mercy on his soul, receive him,” I prayed as I grieved the loss of my friend.
Nay Zaw Oo was an incredible Ranger. He dedicated his life to helping other people, putting his own life on the line so others can be free and safe. He dreamed of seeing freedom in Burma, and – on the 4th of July – he was freed from his earthly body. May he rest in peace. He will be missed.”
Shay Reh was a new Ranger and was always cheerful and smiling. He was a favorite of the students. I was told, “He was the funniest guy on our team; how can we smile and laugh anymore? It’s going to be hard.” Shay Reh was from the Mawchi area of southern Karenni State and was only 18 years old he came to the Ranger training in 2021 and graduated at the beginning of 2022. At the end of the training, Shay Reh asked to be baptized as a new follower of Jesus and it was a blessing to be part of that. He was in the same class as Elizabeth and Nay Zaw Oo and together with them went on a mission to help Karen people. During that mission he excelled in the GLC programs, making children happy and putting smiles on everyone’s faces. After the mission, he did an arduous mission back to help his Karenni people under heavy attack. He was consistently at the front, helping evacuate wounded and take care of people up to the moment he was killed by a Burma Army mortar attack on 8 July. He will be greatly missed and we are very sorry.
We pray that the deaths of these two, and the 11 other Rangers we’ve lost this year, are not in vain – and we believe they aren’t, because nothing done for love is ever wasted. God is love and we thank God that he uses the love of these Rangers for their brothers and sisters, and that they are willing to lay down their lives so that others may live. Thank you for praying for their families and thank you for your support.
God Bless you,
Dave, Family, and the Free Burma Rangers