Part III – War Brings Horror (ft. Ranko Ristić)

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Picking up where we left off in Part II, special guest Ranko Ristić shares about his brushes with death as war consumed his home country of Yugoslavia.

War, neighbor fighting neighbor, is the end of a country.

Can it possibly be prevented?

Hear what Ranko has to say on this episode of ‘It’s Not About Us.’



Elaine Beck 0:11
Hey everyone, Elaine Beck here and as always on pleased to be here, I love talking to you and sharing good news. Today, again, we are on a series with a wonderful man by the name of Ranko restitch. And he is from Yugoslavia originally. And he is sharing his story, this will be the third segment, that he’s sharing his story about what it’s like to live in a country, that behind the scenes, people are planning to take over the country. And people are, you know, sort of like, we call it the deep state, the the underground, that things are happening and people know, but they don’t want to admit it, or people are living it. And they still can’t even conceive and they trust. You know, we’re Christians we trust, we trust God, we trust that if we pray, we trust it, you know, and God is awesome. And he will get us through things. But he doesn’t promise that there will never be wars, there was wars, all throughout history. God has always been here. But he’s picked us up and carried us like they did Ranko and Ranko survived the war. But we’re going to tell you the rest of the story about how things looked like they could get better. And that’s what we talked about last segment in Yugoslavia and that his family was staying at uncle’s houses and that thinking things, you know, it’ll, it’ll all blow over kind of feeling. So what happened next?

Ranko Ristić 1:57
right, at that time, when we when we arrived to a village we exited our house. We were hoping we will go back in few weeks, my or we’re saying okay, everything’s gonna be fine. And now from this perspective, I look at back, it was still time to fix things. The war was still preventable, right? There is no mass killings, there were no widespread firing. There were sporadic killings. But still, politicians had a chance. And people had a chance to say no to war. Right, right. But then as weeks were passing by, because we lived in, in Muslim majority area, Muslim started attacking Serbian villages now burning them. And then some of my friends died. And it was getting closer and closer to village where we were. And then one day, I remember this very well. And this is first time maybe. Maybe I got a sign that there is a God that maybe God wanted to save me. I was driving my dad’s car from one side of the village to another. And I was stopped by my my father’s friend who was in a uniform. He had the rifle so he was already in the military guarding the village. And he asked me to give him a ride. Because his pickup truck on the way to another village to he had a flat tire. Right? So I told him okay, get in because I was happy to do something. Sure do the right thing. So he was going around the car, open the door, and then another pickup truck was approaching. And then he said, Oh, don’t worry. I know this guy. He’s a mechanic. So this this person arrived just two seconds before this dad’s friend got into my car. If we sat in the into the car, we will be leaving. And then I asked him No, no, I’ll drive you don’t worry. He said no, no, he has a pickup truck. He has to so he convinced me Okay, so I left. Two hours later, I actually went to my uncle’s house, I fell asleep. My dad woke me up. He said, Let’s go there was attack. This gentleman that asked me to give him a ride. And the person who was driving him were ambushed by Muslims. So they already came to near to a village. And then we went there to see to retrieve the body. He was on the road. massacred. And this is first time I saw a dead person. This is first time I carry dead body and it’s somebody that I knew. That was my cousin’s my friend’s uncle. And he was friends with my father. So somebody that was really close to family was killed. And then I got scared thinking those two seconds. If I was driving him, I would be there. And then I realize, okay, maybe we will not go back home. My now I see here. Yes, yeah. And I see that they are coming. And we were very, very scared because now there was no road that was the only safe road to another Serbian village. Otherwise, we are surrounded,

Elaine Beck 5:43
right? So so so this only safe road now has become Yes, certainly.

Ranko Ristić 5:48
And then we stayed there for another month or so. And then my dad decided to move to another part of Yugoslavia where it was safer. And then only to learn that now this village was overrun. And that my grandfather’s sister, who was over 70 years old, her name is COVID Carry stitch was raped, and then killed with a knife. And her body was massacred. And this was documented by international court. I receive also a photo a few years later from the investigation, but no one ever went to court for that.

Elaine Beck 6:40
So when you look back now, I have to ask you this right now, this is a very tough part of the story. But when you look back now, if you had to do it over again, is there anything you could have done differently?

Ranko Ristić 6:56
I would maybe then try. But I was young. I was I was high school. My if I was a little bit taller, maybe I would try to organize people against the war, to try to make some sense if it’s possible, to fight more, not to be naive and just wait. I will not leave. I will stay there to fight against the war. Because war is a failure. No matter who is. There is no good guys in the war. Especially civil war. It’s different when somebody attacks your country. Somebody comes to my house. And you know, I defend it. I am a good guy. That’s a bad guy. But in a in a civil war when neighbors to turn on neighbors. That’s that’s something that everybody should know. That that should be avoided at all cost. Don’t think if war happens, you will gain something? No, you will lose for sure. Something 100%

Elaine Beck 8:01
I mean, somebody’s gonna win. Somebody’s gonna lose. You know, it’s one thing to talk about a basketball game that somebody’s going to win or lose, you know? And that you should be a a good loser. But there’s no good losing. When it comes to war and fighting and people being their lives being destroyed, their homes being destroyed, their families being torn apart. I’m sure you saw some of that.

Ranko Ristić 8:31
I saw a lot of that. Yes, yeah. So because later, when we moved again, the war came to that region. And then I had to join the army because military service was also mandatory. I already turn 18. Right. And then I felt much safer. With a rifle in my hands. I was not any more in situation when somebody can pull me out of the car. And under gunpoint order, my dad told me to do whatever they want. Then, then things got a little bit more serious. And then I knew 100% There is no going back.

Elaine Beck 9:07
And so now at this point, you are literally what they call living in the trenches. You’re in a war. I hate to do this to you, but can you describe to me what that felt like? And some of the things that you’ve faced?

Ranko Ristić 9:26
It felt then the something in your brain switches I think it’s survival mode. Instinct, then you don’t think about protests and then you are protecting yourself your family. I was I was in the trenches. In Bosnia. I had my friends die on my arms. Shot next to me sitting next to me and the sniper shot them.

Elaine Beck 9:58
I mean, you got a picture that people I mean, I’m sorry. But this show and meeting this wonderful man is intended to open our eyes. And not to think negative all the time, I’m not suggesting the matter, are to say that everything that’s he saying is going to happen. I’m saying, be prepared, Put on the whole armor of God every day. You know, think of your family, and go through scenarios of what if? And what would I do? And what could they have done better? That’s why I’m asking him questions like that. So, you know, I, it really breaks my heart. But you know, sometimes we have to say to ourselves, if that was my best friend, and I had to hold him in my arms and watch them die, or have them sitting beside me, and have them blown up or killed. And then the after math of carrying those bodies away, and, you know, this has happened, there’s veterans out there listening to this right now that this is taking you back to a time that you lived through this. But we need to help the people understand that we love God, we know he’s there for us. But we have to pray that he’s going to see us through this, and that we have to be strong. And we have to know that if it can happen in Yugoslavia. And all these like Israel, and it can happen in Israel. God, it just kills me what’s happening in Israel. Those are God’s chosen people. That I know that God promised that He would save His people. And so we all know something’s going to happen. We just don’t know what. And your real story is so important right now, so that we can all find that place in our heart and in our head to first thank God, we’re not there. First, first, and always thank him. And secondly, count on the fact that he will be here there just like he was for you. Because you’re here to tell us the story. You’re here to share what it was like, and what it could be like, if we don’t stand up. Now, if we don’t go and vote, if we don’t get out there and speak for God, and for our country, if we don’t become patriots, with courage, not just talking about it to the neighbors, but instead being courageous and talking to our children, and telling them what they would need to do if something like that happen. We must be because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Am I right? Yeah. 100%, right. Yes. And I mean, just knowing you Ranko gives me more courage, just hearing your story helps me to understand that, you know, there is a happy ending. But there’s a long road in between if we’re not prepared a long road. And you lived through so much more after that. And we will get more into that, as we get into the next and final segment of this time that we’re doing this and talk more about what it’s looking like and what our country looks like. And just such a blessing to have you here. And thank all of you for coming to be with the show today. And I hope that if you haven’t seen the previous segments, you always know you can go to the You’ll see all of my shows. But we will post these so that they’re in the right segment, we will make sure that you can watch each and every one of them. You can hear the full story. And I guess you’d call this story. The realities of not what is but what could be and what we should be prepared to do. In case it does happen, that we’ve got to not be in denial at times in our life. So you know, I always pray for you, you know that we’re always here for you. Reach out to us. And we’ll be happy to answer any questions and have a blessed day. God bless

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