Shortly after Rodney Burton from Northern Ireland got saved, the Lord called him to serve on Logos II. Some time after his time on the mission ship, he and his wife found themselves in Puerto Rico. There Rodney wanted to sign up for the Wesleyan Academy to be trained to become a missionary. However, the Lord called him to sign up for the American army instead – just before the twin towers in New York collapsed. Rodney shares his story; how he had to serve as a field medic in the war in Iraq, and how the Lord used that challenging and difficult time to now bring healing through his music.
“One time I had a dream about a pointy building in San Francisco. When I woke up, I felt the meaning of the dream might be that the Lord called me to the United States. My wife and I prepared ourselves to go there, but in the process we ended up in Puerto Rico, which is my wife’s homeland.
In Puerto Rico I planned to sign up for the Wesleyan Academy to be trained to become a missionary. However, then the Lord gave me a word: ‘citizenship’. When I prayed about it, I suddenly saw that the word ‘citizenship’ was written on a building of the US army right across the street.”
“I felt led to enter the building to sign up for the American army. When I had a conversation with the leadership, they made fun of me. They didn’t take me seriously, but in the end they signed me up as a field medic. This happened a short time before the twin towers in New York collapsed. Many soldiers I was training with, were from New York. Luckily all of their families survived.
I had to go to Fort Worth and joined the combat team there. Their motto was based on Scripture. They would all shout: ‘Who will go?’ And then all would answer: ‘Send me!’ I did well there, I had a lot of favor. But then war broke out in Iraq and a phonecall came; we had to leave in six hours.”
Tip of the spear
“Eventually I was being sent out to Baghdad at the tip of the spear. I saw a lot of things there that I wasn’t prepared for. I saw that Iraqi civilians were being lied to by their own government and that they unwillingly ended up in the middle of the fight.
I had to treat the wounded. One guy was hit by four bullets. He had been working close to Saddam Hussein. He grabbed me and handed me a photograph of his family. The man asked if I wanted to pray for him and ask God to let him see his family again.
I prayed for him that he would live and asked the Lord to heal him. My heart told me that he wouldn’t make it; from a medical perspective it was almost impossible for him to survive. However, God’s love told me he would make it. Then the ambulance came and took him away. He waved at me one last time and after that I didn’t see him again. But I know the Lord went His way with him.”
Sound of worship
“At some point during the war, I ended up in the palace of Saddam Hussein. There were a lot of explosions and a lot of dead bodies in the streets. I got sick of the smell of death. When we started to clean our weapons, I realized that after the war I would end up traumatized.
Then I asked the Lord for a guitar. The chaplain who was around, knew me and brought me one. I just sat there and started playing the guitar. In the middle of war I released a sound of worship. It changed the atmosphere. A lot of soldiers gave there lives to the Lord. Two of them even became pastor later on.”
“I remember another moment when I was in an ambush. Bullets were flying everywhere. At times I carried the plugger and at times my friend did and I remember that the plugger didn’t work.
After the fight, all the guys that attacked us, were killed. Then I looked at the battery of the plugger, and saw that it had caught a bullet. I don’t know if that happened when I had been carring it, or when my friend had been carrying it, but he said: ‘Both of us have been spared’.”
Fullfillment of Bible promises
“Two days after coming home, I got 2 bibleverses that I also got about 10 years earlier: Isaiah 43:2 and Isaiah 45:1-2. I realized both of them had come to pass.
Isaiah 43:2 ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.’
When I served on Logos II, I was on the waters. When I was in Iraq, I literally had to cross the Tigris River. During the war I ended up in fire fights. In all this, the Lord had protected me.
Isaiah 45:1-2 ‘“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that Gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.’
‘…to strip kings of their armor’ – I saw the end of Saddam Hussein. ‘I will go before you and will… break down gates of bronze…’ – literally all the gates we had to break through, were gates of bronze.”
“My first time at home wasn’t easy. I suffered from PTST and was bedridden for over 8 months. One day a friend helped me to go to church. People there were dancing and they asked me to come dance as well. Something broke off me and that day in church I got healed.”
Healing and joy
“Since then I have worked with lots of people who suffer from trauma. My worship has changed. Whenever I sing, there is an element of sorrow as well as an element of joy. I sense that healing from trauma flows through my worship. The sound of the music carries the anointing to heal trauma. For this I am thankful. We are all called to live lives of gratitude and joy. His joy is our inheritance.”