Counter Revolutionist

Counter Revolutionary Warfare Rebellion

Captain Shane Stevens is the strong silent type, a man’s man. He is acquainted with pain, having survived bullet wounds on several occasions when he led the Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) unit in action. These soldiers are the elite commandos of the Fijian Army. They are highly trained in the principles of warfare, including quick and decisive hand-to-hand combat.

In November 2000, Shane led a military rebellion because of the mistreatment of his men as a consequence of the unit’s involvement in the Fijian coup d’etat of May 2000. Although Shane himself had not been part of the coup, a few men from his unit were involved, and had suffered at the hands of the regular army.

During the CRW uprising, several soldiers had been killed. As a result, Shane and the others involved were jailed to await their court martial. Early in their period of incarceration, they found Jesus as their Saviour and Friend. Their conversions were sincere and wholehearted.

Then came their court martial: the court proceedings were closed to all but a select few when the day of sentencing arrived. Starting with the lower ranks, the jail terms were read out. As leader of the rebellion, Captain Shane Stevens received the toughest penalty … death, commuted to two life sentences (to be served concurrently).

Then the judge did something unusual … he asked the soldiers if they would like to address the courtroom before being led away. One-by-one, they openly declared their newfound faith in Jesus, and their deep sorrow for what they had done.

Shane Stevens was the last to address the crowd. He rose to his feet and humbly asked forgiveness from all those he had influenced. He asked the wives and children of those he had misled to forgive him; and he sought forgiveness from the commanding officers against whom he had rebelled.

There was not a dry eye in the courtroom. Judge, lawyers, family, friends and reporters were filled with emotion. Tears flowed freely as people saw the soldiers’ heartfelt repentance.

They were returned to Suva Jail where they found favour from inmates and warders alike, as their reputation as men of God continued to grow. Ministers who visited prison to encourage them were themselves encouraged. The soldiers sang beautiful praises to God; so beautiful in fact, that many prison warders turned to God because of the example set by the CRW soldiers.

Meanwhile, another scenario was being played out in the suburbs of Suva. Shane’s wife and two year-old daughter had arrived home to find an intruder ransacking their house. The surprised thief drew a knife and held it to his wife’s throat, demanding whatever money she had. After getting all that was available, he ran off, leaving Shane’s wife and young daughter badly traumatised by the encounter.

Within the next few days the police caught the thief and put him into the same jail that Shane was in!

Shortly afterwards, Shane came face-to-face with the man in a relatively unpatrolled area of the jail. There were no warders around at the time, as Shane confronted the man who had held a knife to his wife, and had distressed his helpless young daughter. Knowing Shane’s military background, the thief realised he was in serious trouble, but to his amazement, Shane merely took his hand and said, “I forgive you!”

Prior to becoming a Christian, Shane would have taken his revenge, and thought little of it, but Jesus now reigned in his heart. Though he loved his wife and daughter dearly, there was simply no room for unforgiveness in his heart. His only desire was to please God.

Later that day a prison warder stood at Shane’s cell door. There with him was the thief, with tears of repentance running down his face. He had requested to be taken to Shane’s cell where Shane introduced him to the Great Forgiver of sin.

Shane continues to reside in prison together with George Speight (leader of an earlier coup d’etat attempt) who has also become a Christian. Shane says forgiveness is simply a natural by-product of the Life flowing so abundantly through his heart. There is no hate or unforgiveness in his soul, because he has encountered the love and acceptance of Jesus.


“Father … forgive us our sins, as we forgive those that have sinned against us.” (Matthew 6:12).


Excerpt from When Angry Hearts Forgive by Robert Warren