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Wired to Serve

“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.”

John 21:3

Each of you must use whatever gift you have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10

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In the film, Free Burma Rangers, we meet Dave and Karen Eubanks who (together with their children) serve God and people in a very particular way—as foreign missionaries on the frontlines of war. While few of us will
serve God in the same way, the Eubanks’ particular story can inspire each of us to serve God and people in our own particular way. Here are three insights we can learn from their example:

Notice the way God has wired and gifted you. The apostle Peter, even before he met Jesus and long before he spearheaded the Jerusalem revival, was a natural leader and go-getter. In fact, these qualities and gifts were clues about the way God would later use him. Similarly, Dave grew up with missionary parents in the Far East, but felt more cut out for life as a soldier. “I’m more of an action guy,” he thought. Both his upbringing and his experience of war prepared him for his later calling. Karen, not previously experienced in war settings or missionary work, nonetheless found herself wired by God with unusual supplies of emotional and physical resilience (evidenced by her summiting an icy mountain peak on their first date). Open to challenge, she understands Dave’s marriage proposal to her is an invitation to go all-in—she says yes and they dive right into the action by honeymooning in the Burmese civil war!

Love, learn from and serve all people. All gifts are given so that we can serve others. As Dave himself says, “Every person in the world is someone who has something beautiful… we can love, learn from and build them up—every person, everywhere.” Taking this approach to every person we meet will surely revolutionize our lives and ministries.

Especially serve people in need. The Eubanks family didn’t set out to help the 1.5 million people their organization has now impacted. Initially, they merely set out to help just one person at a time. Dave shares his philosophy in the documentary, saying: “I will help one person at least, and they will be glad, and I will be glad. [I will] go to the sounds of the guns, go to the need, and trust God to show [me] how [to] be useful.” No matter how many people we may want to help, we must treat each and every person we encounter with the God-given dignity they deserve.

REFLECT

  • Do you see each and every person as someone to love and learn from?
  • How has God wired you in terms of experience, passions and gifting? How might this be a clue to the ways God might want to use you?
  • What person in need in the next day might you serve?

More

Hope on a Rope

The final rescue scene in the documentary has a way of searing itself into our imagination and memory. A woman, named Iman, shot days before, lies nearly dead in open rubble under the scorching sun. She lifts her hand and quietly calls for help from the Free Burma Rangers. Dave realizes that rescuing her will likely reveal to the ruthless ISIS soldiers the hidden position of the Rangers, and all the wounded people they are carrying to safety. Understandably, his first prayer is that God takes her life. But God intends to bring hope where there is none: his hope comes in the form of a rope. We can learn four things about finding hope when we are in a hopeless situation…

Greater Love

In the documentary’s most nail-biting and heart-stopping scene, Dave is exposed to the murderous fire of ISIS snipers as he seeks to rescue a little girl named Suria who is out in the open, sitting beside the mother she has just lost. Dave’s courageous act of love can inspire the way we love and serve others in several ways.

Trust God

The Free Burma Rangers are not just motivated by love—they are also carried along by faith. They are “sure of what [they] hope for and certain of what [they] do not see.” (Heb 11:1) Their faith can inspire our own in at least four ways…

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