Bridging the Gap
Vietnamese people grow up with a mixture of traditional ancestor worship and folk Buddhism, in addition to the more recent communist atheistic teaching. Within their understanding, Ong Troi, or the god of the heavens, is believed to be the one who created the heavens and the earth and continues to influence daily life, rewarding the good and punishing the bad. Though Buddha may be worshipped and other deities and spirits are believed to exist, Ong Troi is considered to be the highest-ranking and most fundamental power.
Lan was searching for a more personal spiritual power in her life. Ong Troi seemed too distant a god. She had searched earnestly for something more personal – she became devout in attendance at the Buddhist temple with her mother, however there she found only religious practices that failed to meet this longing.
‘I was searching for a god whom I could know personally’.
One day Lan was invited by a friend to go to a meeting at the local church and she was struck by one man’s testimony.This man described coming to know Duc Chua Troi, the Lord of the heavens, who had not only created the heavens and earth but had also expressed His personal love for us through the sacrifice of His only son. This was what Lan had be thirsting for and she happily accepted Christ into her life.
Thuy grew up in a communist family in which all mention of religion was pushed to one side. However, Thuy had also heard of Ong Troi and understood him to be the creator of the world, so when she faced problems in life she would pray for his help. As a result, when Thuy heard of Jesus’ sacrificial love for her she understood what it meant to have a personal relationship with God, who was much more than just someone to turn to in difficult times.
Like Lan and Thuy’s experiences, the concept of Ong Troi is a recurring link in the stories of Vietnamese people coming to know the true living God. Christians are able to use this existing understanding as a bridge to share the full truth about the Lord God of heaven.
- Pray for foreign workers in Vietnam to have deep insights into the culture to enable them to bring the message of salvation to those they meet.
- Praise that Vietnamese churches understand how to use these bridges to reach people.
- Pray that Vietnamese people will cross the bridge from Ong Troi to Duc Chua Troi.
- Pray that a recent booklet, ‘Vietnamese People and Ong Troi’ would be an effective tool in reaching many in this land.