PJEFC LIBRARY MONTHLY BOOK REVIEW – MARCH 2020
Miracle Zone in the Jungles of Borneo
By Ronny Heyboer & Donald Sheley
213 pages, Successful Living Publishing
Goodreads rating: 4.00 out of 5
(It’s 4.00 because I’m the only one to rate it so far)
All this talk in church about evangelism, the 4 P’s, vine-growing, moving people to the right, it all sounds pretty easy, right? Until we actually want to do it. Sure, it comes naturally for some of us, but for the rest of us common folk, it’s sometimes a mountain too high. And even when we hear of inspiring testimonies of salvation and deliverance, we sometimes tend to be disbelieving or even worse, cynical. So here is one story that will definitely will move even the most hardened of hearts.
Miracle Zone in the Jungles of Borneo tells the inspiring story of Ronny Heyboer, an Australian boy of Dutch descent who survives a broken home, near broken marriage and tragedy. From a chance encounter at work, he comes into the saving knowledge of Christ, and eventually receives the call to missionary work – into the jungles of Borneo. And we’re talking Kalimantan Borneo, and not Malaysian Borneo. At the time, this area was still very primitive, very tribal, very dangerous, and where witchcraft and death by ‘parang’ was common. So, with limited funding, fervent prayer and a burning desire to preach the good news (and the protection of angels), Heyboer packs up his wife and infant child and enters the jungle. The book is rich with stories and testimonies of God’s greatness and his protection every step of the way in changing the lives of abandoned children, hungry mouths, all that will truly reinforce your belief in God’s power and provision. What started out with just one volunteer with his family, is now a 750-acre town (aptly nicknamed the Miracle Zone) carved out of the jungle, with schools and homes for 600 abandoned Dayak children, training centres, clinic, bakery, etc. All by the grace of God.
This isn’t a far off place in Africa or in the bowels of the Amazon, all this happened in a place just across the border from Kuching. in fact, the Sarawak state capital is mentioned a few times in the book as it is has the nearest hospital throughout his time in Borneo. As comparatively affluent Klang Valley Christians, we sometimes are very disconnected from the plight of our brothers and sisters across the South China Sea. They face a multitude of challenges beyond just Islamization – poverty, starvation, tribal warfare, etc. Perhaps reading this book will encourage us to talk to our colleague in the next cubicle tomorrow.