Good Shepherd Chapel
Fort Collins, Colorado
Christ Centered, Bible Believing, Non-Denominational
Spirit-Filled, World Missions

Pastor John E. Dubler

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Steve Ritchie's F-4 - Six Mig Kills - He Had Five

Vietnam Testimony

by Pastor John E. Dubler

The year was 1972.  I was flying daily combat missions in my Air Force F-4D Phantom II aircraft when it first struck me as reality—I could be killed or captured on any mission.  Outwardly I was composed and confident—we had superior training and equipment when compared to the enemy—but inwardly I had a healthy aversion for being shot down and captured by the incredibly brutal North Vietnamese.  Death would have been preferable.  Some of my friends had already been killed or captured. 

We were all proud of our outfit, the famed 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron.  Our motto was “Largest distributor of MiG parts in Southeast Asia.”  The motto was more than mere words.  We were the premier MiG-killer squadron during the Vietnam War.  Winning that assignment to Vietnam, and especially to the Triple Nickel had been my primary goal in life.  But after narrowly escaping being shot down on more than one occasion I began to realize that my turn might come any day.   Sometimes I would awake with one thought on my mind: 

"If I were to die today, I would be separated from God forever."

God's help arrived in the person of another Nickel F-4 backseater and friend, Billy Graham.  He was NOT the famous evangelist, but, true to his namesake, he was a committed Christian and a fellow air crewman.  He insisted that I go with him to an officer's Bible study.  As my fellow officers introduced themselves, we realized that in this small group of five men, there was a Matthew, a Mark, a Luke, myself—John, and Billy Graham.  It was in this setting that I first believed the good news of the scriptures that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is alive today.  I was able to see that the Bible accurately portrays the facts concerning Jesus:  His sinless life, the atonement of His Blood for my sins, His death on the cross, and His bodily resurrection from the grave.

As I prayed asking forgiveness for my sins and inviting Jesus to be Lord and Master of my life, I knew that if I died I would be in the immediate presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It was He who said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life" (John 6:47). His promise of eternal life for me when I believed has never faded, and to this day I do not fear death.

"I am the resurrection and the life:" said Jesus, "he who believes in me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26). There is no more important question for you to answer: "Do you believe this?" If you do, you too shall live eternally and need not fear death.

If you have not done so, I would like to invite you to confess your sins before the Lord Jesus who is someday returning to judge all the deeds done by everyone who has ever lived.  Ask Him to forgive your sins and to be the Lord of your life.  He will not reject anyone who approaches him with a repentant heart and believes that he is the Son of God, risen and alive from the dead.  When you sincerely pray, acknowledging Him as Lord, and asking him to forgive you, you will be accepted as one of His own.  You will be saved from eternal death.  Then the Holy Spirit will come to dwell inside you, guiding you as you grow in the new life which you will have in Christ.

If you would like more information or have a question, please call John Dubler at (970) 377-0403.  You may also send me an e-mail message.  If you have become a believer by just now by asking Jesus to be Lord of your life, I would very much like to hear from you. 

May God bless you as you make the single most important decision of your life.

Pastor John Dubler 

Billy Graham 555TFS IMG128
John with F-4Emed
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