Loss of a Ranger: Dabyano

21 February 2024

Karenni State, Burma

Dear friends,

It is with great sadness that we report to you the loss of one of our most outstanding Rangers, and very special Good Life Club (GLC) counselors. Dabyano, of our Karenni Ranger team, was tragically killed and leaves behind a grieving family and newlywed wife. He also leaves behind all of us, his FBR family, who loved him so much.

He was killed on 21 February 2024. We did not post about his death right away because of the circumstances. He was murdered by someone in the community, not the Burma military. The killers hid the body and then tried to cover everything up. It took time for the investigation. We were with the family during that time, comforting them and helping them as we could. The culprits were captured and confessed, and were recently sentenced to 20 years in prison. We are grateful for the people who conducted the investigation, and for the justice system. We pray the hearts of the killers will change, we pray for justice, and we pray for comfort for everyone who mourns Dabyano.

Dabyano was an extremely physically powerful man, but he did not join the resistance to fight the Burma Army. He did not want to do that. He said, “I want to help save people and make children happy.” For three years he risked his life numerous times, braving machine gun fire, mortars, and rockets, to save civilians and resistance soldiers. There were many occasions where he ran through almost impossible-to-survive gunfire to rescue the wounded that had no other way to get out. He used his strength to carry people on his back great distances. And then, sometimes, the very next day he would be in a hiding place with children, singing and dancing, making funny faces, and bringing joy to them. He was an absolutely unique individual. This loss is a huge tragedy and it’s made even more difficult by the fact that it was not the Burma Army but it was his own people who killed him.

This murder reminds me of the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, ”Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an un-uprooted small corner of evil.”

We pray that the hearts of those who killed Dabyano are changed to love by the power of Jesus. We pray for supernatural comfort for his family, and for all of us. We thank God we will see him in heaven, and until then we honor his memory and will do our best to care for his family. His aging mother, his brothers, sisters, and his beautiful young wife, are all our family now. Thank you for caring about all these things and all these people with us.

God bless you,

Dave, family and FBR