David Tun Aung Kyaw joined Free Burma Rangers in 2003, part of the first class of rangers to graduate from Tah U Wah Camp, the main training camp. He was also the first to be baptized there, as he became a Christian during that training. He became one of the best and most courageous video-cameramen in FBR, getting Burma Army footage no one else got, sneaking close to camps and operations, going undercover, filming under fire - taking risks few people are willing to take. At the same time, he got into trouble. He needed money and sold some solar panels belonging to FBR; he was kicked out of his district. The FBR leadership offered forgiveness and a second chance and he took it; with their help he was also able to reconcile with his district leaders for a new start. He has continued to be one of the FBR's best cameramen, and to seek God as he navigates a life with much separation from his family, with an uncertain future, and where he regularly risks his life for his people. Two years ago, while on a mission, he broke up a fight between two rangers who were drunk - but he was embarrassed, as he had also been drinking. He decided that, as a leader, he needed to stop drinking - and he did. This story is his testimony of God working to reunite him with his extended family, and his prayer requests for his family.
AnswerBy David Tun Aung Kyaw
Matthew 7:7 says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." I asked "why?" and that was the answer God gave me; He gave me everything I asked for, sought, questioned and the permission I asked -- all was fulfilled by God as He promised in Matthew 7:7.
I am from Rangoon but had been separated from my parents and relatives for 18 years; I felt hopeless I would ever meet them again because of difficulties in my livelihood, finding enough money, and no opportunity to travel back. But sometimes I prayed, "Dear God, give me the opportunity to reunite with my parents and relatives." I was especially concerned for one of my aunts, who worshipped spirits and was a fortune-teller. I wanted to help her to return to God. I did not tell anyone about this except my friend, Doh Say. I thought, "I do not have any talent to help her" -- but at the same time I well know that things man cannot do, or even consider, God can do it.
Unexpectedly, I had a chance to a go on an FBR mission to Arakan State. Later, when we arrived to Rangoon on the way back from the Arakan mission, my friend Ka Paw Say said he would help me to visit my parents. Though it suddenly seemed like it would be possible, now I was not sure I really wanted to visit them; they are poor, and when I left my home, I made a decision not to go back unless I could support them. I was also unsure about whether they were still there or not. As I tried to decide, one word from Doh Say, that had motivated me before, came into my mind: "I hope you do not regret as I did" -- he too had left his family when he was young, determined not to come back unless he could take care of them, and his parents had died before he could return. So I decided to find them. After so many years, I didn't remember the way; many tricycle and taxi drivers came around, asking where I was going, arguing with each other about who was going to drive me to my aunt's. I couldn't remember where to go so I told them my aunt and uncle's names, and one of the drivers knew them. They still lived in the same section. So he drove me, and when we arrived he yelled out: "Here is a visitor."
My aunt came out and said, "Where is he from? I don't know him." I took off my glasses, she stared at me for a little while and finally recognized me. And so I was reunited with my family. At that time, I was happiest because I was able to see my grandmother. She had been released from the hospital just ten days before, where she had been because of a problem with breathing. But she was alive, I was able to meet her alive, and that was a blessing from God. My aunt made a phone call to my mother to let her know I was back. In the evening, my mother, uncle, cousins, brothers and sister happily arrived. I could not recognize anyone except my mother and uncle, because they had all been very young when I left; now they were all adults and some were married and had families. We had to re-introduce each other. Then we had a great joyous and reunion.
They had both good and bad news to share. One of my eldest uncles and my youngest aunt had passed away. My uncle had died after a lifetime of hard work -- it became too much for him. My aunt died in a car accident. She was just two years older than me; we had gone to school together when we were children. She had not had an easy life: her husband was killed by Shan soldiers over a misunderstanding while he was working in Shan State. Their son was just seven years old at the time. When my aunt died she was taking care of both her son and her old mother. The driver of the car helped a lot with the funeral and did what he could but my grandmother still was still nearly mad with grief. Many Buddhist Burmese next to the village loved my aunt very much and came to the memoriam party, and donated a lot of money, but this only seemed to make my grandmother more sad. At first, my aunt's son, who is now about 18 years old, went to Rangoon to work to feed his grandmother. He is very clever. But just last month I found out that his grandmother had died and no one knew where the son, my cousin, went. Please pray for him, and that we could find him, and that he would be comforted.
I also found out that one of my younger brothers was not doing well; he drinks a lot and even joined the Burma Army. He escaped from the army after a mission in Arakan State, and seeing battle and many soldiers dead. He was arrested and put in prison by Burma soldiers. When my mother found out, she went to the army prison to see my brother. When she arrived to the prison, she told the soldiers that she wanted to see her son. They brought out a prisoner, who looked very thin and had very dark skin. My brother actually has pale skin, but he had been tortured by the soldiers. My mother did not recognize him, so asked the soldiers again if she could see her son. The soldiers replied, "This is your son." My mother felt very sad when she realized the man in front of her was her son; she shouted at the soldiers. The soldiers were surprised and dropped their guns. My mother gave her son food and water and later on he was released from prison.
After that, he just spent his time drinking every day, and his brain was not normal anymore. Still, my mother told me that on the days my brother does not drink he works very hard and finishes everything that needs to be done in the house. He still has some good in him; no matter how much he drinks, he always brings coffee mix, sugar and a pack of peanuts for my grandmother. God has continued to protect him. But I would like to request everyone to pray for my younger brother to stop drinking.
My mother, who fed and raised me up since I was a child now faces suspected breast cancer. She is not able to pay for that; she doesn't have enough money to go to a hospital at all. So, I hope everyone who reads this will also pray for her. There is nothing God cannot do. I believe and accept that God is the only one who can do everything for us and He is the king of kings. This builds up my belief stronger.
Finally, I found out that God had changed my aunt's heart before I visited. She doesn't worship the spirits anymore and has quit doing fortune-telling. Now, one of her daughters has been baptized. I told Doh Say that even if I do not have money or wealth, I can help my aunt's heart change through prayer to God. Doh Say also helped through prayer. Everything is in God's hands.
I hope everyone who reads this letter will truly trust God and give their lives into God's hands. And pray. As the promise from Matthew 7:7 says, you will receive.