The Reverend Jaleb Manurung came to Sarawak in the 1950's where four of his daughters were born. He first served in Kapit where he and his fellow workers went by long boats to all the different longhouses to evangelize. It must have been a great sacrifice for him and his family to live in rather stringent conditions in Kapit in those years when transport and all amenities were really minimal. But he had a heart for his fellowmen and he believed in bringing Light to them. Even though there were lots of tribulations and uncertainties for him especially and also for his growing family he consistently marched on.
when he and his family came down to Sibu they had to ride in the double decker motor launch which would take two days and a night. A stay in Sibu would mean putting up at the Hoover House for a few nights. Mrs. Manurung would see a dentist or a doctor and perhaps buy some materials for making clothes. Some meagre necessities would also be purchased .
He and his family lived in No.72 Lanang Road during the last few years of his service in Sarawak. They returned to Indonesia when his contract with the Methodist Iban Church was complete in the late 1960's. One of his daughters remained in Malaysia to continue serving the Sarawak Government with great distinction.
Rev Manurung was a man of great talents. He could sing and play the organ besides preaching very well in Iban in longhouses and in the various Iban Churches in Sibu and Kapit. He was a very humble and low profile man. Perhaps behind his thick glasses he had that twinkle in the eye.
All his children are brilliant in their studies because he and his wife made sure that they studied well and did all their homework.
His command of the Iban language was remarkable and I remember listening to him preach with great awe.
Mrs. Manurung was a great tailor and a sewer of cross stitch besides being a great helper to Rev Manurung.
She kept the house in Lanang road absolutely clean and tidy. I miss swimming in the Rajang River behind their house. Those were my growing up years with the Manurungs and perhaps that was also one of the factors which helped me become more global in outlook. Thanks to this family I have a big world view . I am still happily in touch with the daughters in Indonesia via email and facebook. Their second daughter is still in government service in Sarawak..