Sunday, February 27, 2011

Warfare vs. The Bosnian Soldier and the Hippy

 “The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God requires a struggle…” More than ever, there has been quite an amount of warfare going on considering the closeness we are to Korea…and we can’t forget the events and protests going down in Libya…How about internal self struggles??
Since I’ve been in Saipan I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by quite a diverse group of people. One man in particular catches my attention. Born and raised in Bosnia, Goran is middle aged and ruggedly handsome. I first heard him speak after church and was instantly hooked on his love and mission in life. This man speaks of God like He should be spoken about…I don’t think I’ve ever heard a discouraging or negative comment be uttered from his lips. He knows the Bible back and forth and can spit out Bible text’s like bullets…He and his daughter, who is in 2nd grade and more on fire for God than I am, are contagiously kind.
BUT wait…did I mention Goran only has only one leg? The story of Goran is insane, and I still insist we make a movie about his life…but again, the man is unforgivably humble. Goran was a soldier in the civil war against the Catholics and the Orthodox religions in his country. He was drafted into the army near the end of the 1995. He stepped on a landmine, needless to say-lost a leg. Yet, while in this predicament he was able to save one of his fellow soldiers, stepped on ANOTHER land mine and lost the remainder of the same leg. Yes, twice…and he is alive. You would think his battle would be himself…but He gave his life to Christ after stumbling across an SDA book seller in Bosnia. Now, his battle is to fight the down hearted, to fight on God’s side…and to help win the battle against evil while living through example. WHAT a win.
Later this weekend I was invited to Banzai Cliffs for a monthly “Moon gazing”.  Every full moon Silvia and David’s diving instructors put on this pitch-black with a headlamp party to celebrate the love of life and check out the full moon over the cliffs…with some locals, hippies, and other chill islanders here…needless to say it was quite the shin dig. I was lucky enough to hear a man with a sweet gray pony-tail and a laid back Wisconsin-ish accent talking about sailing…instantly it caught my attention and I introduced myself. I met Rom and his wife “Moon”. Yes, Moon was quite the Thai woman-hippy-chef. (Now Silvia and I are well aware of the band ‘Decembrist’ lol).  Anyways, this man got into discussing with me issues about trade winds, and current changes, polar ice caps, glaciers, and the North West Passage opening up for the first time in 400 years…This was Rom and Moon’s battle. He was at war with the harmer’s of the environment…this to him is the most important battle ever to be fought.  
I myself have been struggling with my own battles…graduating college is a grenade…being half a world away from family and best friends is a trench… culture and language barriers at work are my cannons. Yet, despite all these weapons of stress I put on my game face, strap on my bullet proof vest (composed of amazing friends here…and daily talks with God) and go to battle. Yet, everyday is an adventure… It makes my battles seem all the more small hearing my students ramble in broken English about their boyfriend problems…or their hair not being brown or blond..and my favorite-wanting to stay in English schools.
SO my battle…myself. Being a model to these kids…to my friends…to my family. I am up for the challenge…with soldiers like Goran on my side I don’t know how we’ll lose the battle for eternal life and making our world…though disintegrating according to Rom… a better place. Encouraging people to live for a purpose…live to the fullest…and most important fight your battles WITH God..not against Him.

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