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Lessons from the Jungle

Young woman in Burma

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited and paraphrased from the interview)

Ron Morse is a gospel worker in Southeast Asia. Recently Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio interviewed Ron about his experiences growing up on the mission field.

Ron’s parents and grandparents were missionaries in Asia, and Ron lived with his parents in Burma (Myanmar). When he was 13, his family needed to leave Burma because of new government policies. But it was almost seven years before they got permission to leave. During those years, they lived with the Lisu tribal people in the jungle.

“I believe there was a reason for all that,” Ron told Todd. “My generation had to grow up. We grew up to really face the facts of life in the jungle.”

Life in the Jungle
“Salt and blankets, shoes, socks, changes of clothes, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste. All of that did not exist after the first few months,” Ron continued. “We had to clear fields and farm, surviving with the worst food you can imagine. We had jungle cakes made of rotten trees.

“We learned from parents and grandparents not to complain. Instead, ask, ‘Lord, what do you want me to learn from this?’

“We started a school for the kids. We made blackboards using battery black and egg whites, and we made chalk sticks that worked. Airplanes that had crashed in World War II were scattered all over. Melted-down aluminum from the planes became pots and pans.

“I taught Sunday school in the Lisu language for three years. We went through the whole Bible three times. Some of the students were as old as I was. To this day, a lot of the people who were in those classes are in ministry.”

Getting Through it Together
“I think God allowed those seven years in the jungle for us to come to terms with what is involved in serving God,” Ron said. “It’s not just glamour. It’s the actual nitty gritty daily work of survival.

“We learned that life can be tough, but everything will pass. It just may not pass as quickly as you want it to…. But you know what? When you are in it together and you have a sense of humor, you can get through anything.”

To Talk About
*Instead of complaining, what did Ron say we should do when we face difficult situations?
*What do you think would be the hardest part of living in the jungle?
*What have you learned from challenging situations in your life?

Enter “Burma” in the Search box to find stories of Christians in Burma or download “Bold Believers in Burma” from the Downloads section.