The 3,000 Squat Buddhist Monk

The 3,000 Squat Buddhist Monk

Joy- Welcome to Ron’s Adventures,” the podcast that highlights the adventures Ron Pearce has experienced throughout his 30-plus years experience following God around the world and the stories he’s collected along the way. With me in the studio are Ron and Charis Pearce. Welcome back guys, I am excited to be here and I know our listeners are as well. What story do you have for us today?

Ron- We are going to be going back to Burma, or Myanmar, and I’m going to tell you the story about when I met a former Buddhist monk who had accepted the Lord. Now this gentleman sat in front of me, he was not the tallest Buddhist monk in the world and he wasn’t the shortest but he was probably around 52” or 53” and he was very muscular. I remember that and I found out from my friend afterwards that he was in military intelligence growing up, as well as being a Buddhist monk. He accepted the Lord and when he accepted the Lord he found that the answers to life were there. The problem that a lot of Buddhist monks go through is that there is no assurance of salvation, so they work hard to do the right things, say the right things, and not do the wrong things and in that they hope they will make it to heaven. whereas this brother would share from the word of God to all the people that he witnessed to because he found this in his own life as well, that you can find assurance through the word of God that God has promised us that we would be saved by trusting in Him, His sacrificial death and that was the sure promise from God. And this is what he would go around telling everybody, that there’s some way to know for sure that you’re going to be saved and that God is happy with you. And, therefore, he would witness all over the place. He was in military intelligence, he worked out all the time, and he was a strong Buddhist monk. Well in his time, after he accepted the Lord he led about 3,000 people to Christ and they were all baptized. As well as that, he led another 70 monks to the Lord. Well, this did not go over very big in that time in Burma’s history shall we say, with the police, with the Buddhist constituency, the hierarchy. And so what they did, they arrested him, took him to prison, and basically put him up on three tables that were stacked on top of one another. They put him up on top of this and told him to do 3,000 squats. In other words from standing to squatting and then standing up again 3,000 times.

Joy- Okay, so just to get a better visual, these tables are stacked on top of each other to a height of several meters?

Ron- Yeah, he’s probably off the ground by about ten feet and he’s on these wobbly tables you might say, and he’s doing these squats. He also had to cross his arms and hold the opposite earlobe with his fingers while doing this. So I don’t know what that purpose was.

Joy- If anyone is listening and trying to do that it might be difficult.

Ron- And while you’re listening to this try and do some squats while you’re doing that as well. So he crossed his arms, did these squats and he had to preach the Gospel loud and with the same intensity all the time or the police would take a whip and whip him on the back. Therefore, he’s doing this and he told us this took hours and days to complete. But God gave him the strength. He didn’t have it in himself but God was gracious to him, gave him the strength. And so he was preaching, while he was doing these squats to all the officers and police officers who were gathered around while he was doing this.

Joy- Sounds a little counterproductive to what they had wanted maybe.

Ron- Exactly, but they wanted him to do was preach. Now the purpose of putting him on the tables was they could legitimately say that if he lost his balance, he fell down and broke his neck, they could say we didn’t touch him, he fell down and he died. In other words, they could plead innocent. So this was a creative way of doing that.

Charis- And what I have been told is that the squatting, holding the earlobes is a very common form of punishment for children in certain Asian cultures. So it’s like they’ve taken a normal punishment, made it worse, and added some grown-up additives to it.

Ron- Now that I didn’t know, isn’t that something! I can just imagine that if he didn’t preach the Gospel in the same intensity and volume and he got whipped all the time…

Charis- Plus the wobbliness of the tables would make it terrible for balance.

Ron- Exactly.

So he crossed his arms, did these squats and he had to preach the Gospel loud and with the same intensity all the time or the police would take a whip and whip him on the back.

Joy- Was he there consistently for days or did he get a rest?

Ron- No, he didn’t get any rest. Apparently, he had to do this and he told me this was a hard thing for him to do and he was in good shape. But at the same time, he did it and God gave him the strength to do it. So after he did the 3,000, he was released. The police officers were very frustrated, but they released him and put him under house arrest. Every Friday he had to go from his house and check-in with the police officer that was in charge of this torture, shall we say, of these squats and all of that. Every Friday he went that way and as he was there he would witness to that police officer about the Lord and everything like that. In two months, the police officer accepted Christ, was baptized, and is now a deacon of the church that this man started. After he did all of this, he then started a church, was trained, and everything like that. When I talked to him he had 200 people in his congregation and the police officer who was in charge of the squat torture is one of his deacons right now. So this just shows that with the determination of this Buddhist monk that he was not going to give up and the fact, and this is probably even more important than anything else, that God is with us through any of the trials and creative tortures that the enemy may throw at us. God will give us the strength to sustain and to come through it. Therefore, he preached the Gospel all the way through. I know I would probably naturally be distracted. But no, God gave him all the power necessary to do this.

Joy- And Ron, really God is just as creative. As he was preaching He knew other people would be listening and being transformed.

Ron- He had a captive audience, that’s it.

Joy- So if this punishment was given to you, do you think you could have done it? I don’t even want to ask it, never mind. 3000 squats!

Ron- No, that’s a good question. See the thing is, we never know what we can do until we find ourselves in that situation and God gives us the enabling or the grace, or as grace has been translated, the hot finger of God. So you get an anointing for that moment in time.

Joy- Because he might have been in the same position to think he could never have done it.

Ron- If he was sitting in this chair right now he would say, Oh I could never do that.” But he did it. So there is a difference.

Charis- And I find it very interesting that when they tell us these stories, they’re not telling us because they are complaining, they are telling us as a testimony of what God has brought them through. So there is not that complaining of oh, I had to go through this or I had to do this, but it was God who brought me through this.

Joy- Probably even there is no pride there saying look what I did.

Ron-No, exactly, he didn’t brag about the fact that I squatted 3,000 times. He made sure he told me, God gave me the power and the grace to do this.” So he always points to Jesus.

Joy- Physically it sounds impossible, 3,000 squats!

Ron- I know but a lot of things that God does He overcomes the impossible.

Joy- Well, there you have it, another story from Ron’s Adventures,” the podcast that probably should have come with a disclaimer this time of do not try this at home, 3,000 squats on three tables. But thank you Ron and Charis and we’ll see you guys next time.

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