Sermon Illustrations

Dave Roever (REE-ver) arrived in Vietnam in late 1968, serving our nation as a member of the elite Brown Water Black Berets. He was a Christian and really loved the Lord.

During his tour, he patrolled the Mekong Delta area until July 26, 1969 when he was severely wounded. As his boat rounded a corner of the river, a sniper bullet pierced his hand and went right through the phosphorous grenade that he had raised within six inches of his head.

The grenade exploded and blew up the boat. Phosphorous is a metal that gets white-hot and can’t be extinguished by water. Dave was on fire, lying face down in the river, with part of his head blown off and his body severely damaged. Large amounts of his skin were floating around him as he was rescued from the burning water.

As they carried him to the helicopter the burning phosphorous caused him to burn right though the stretcher and he landed right on his head as he fell to the ground. He was having a really bad day.

Later, on the way to the hospital, the doctors on the helicopter thought he had died. So they took his dog tag and got ready to pound it between his teeth, indicating his death. Dave thought to himself, “This is going to hurt.”

Suddenly Dave opened his eyes and it so scared the helicopter crew that they almost crashed.

Nearly 40 years later, Dave is still spreading the word about love and hope through faith in Jesus. When he first popped out of the water for a few moments in terrible agony, before falling face down again, Dave had shouted at the top of his lungs, “I still love you, Jesus!” He still shouts it today, through his actions, as well as his voice, as he shares God’s message of love through the Roever Evangelistic Association.

For most of us, all of our worst days combined wouldn’t add up to the suffering Dave has endured. Yet he finds the strength to continue his mission and purpose, not on his own, but through his faith in Christ. Dave would never have made it on his own, and he’s the first to admit it.