Many of Vietnam’s 97 million people have very few opportunities to hear of Jesus. Yet those who travel overseas often have more opportunities to hear the gospel and then bring it back to their homeland. Meet three people who have done just that:
Paul* was born in the UK. His mother had fled Vietnam as a young girl with her parents, who were among the many boat people, who left their country in desperation to find a new and better life between 1975 and 1997. Paul’s mother’s family ended up in the UK, where she grew up, was educated and also found faith in Christ.
Almost 40 years later, Paul went on a 6-month placement to learn and serve in the country of his mother’s birth. Although he knew little Vietnamese, he had grown up hearing his grandmother speak it and he learnt relatively fast. He was welcomed by young men in a church that was quite new and growing, and joined them in leading worship and playing music for services. He was flexible and ready to help out with English teaching, and brave the roads on a motor scooter, the most common means of transport throughout Vietnam. Many opportunities for service and relationships presented themselves and he responded positively.
He returned home, Vietnam having made its mark on his life, and he too had made a difference to the lives of those he had worked with in Vietnam.
Hien* a bright and ambitious young woman from northern Vietnam, had never met a Christian before she went to study in Canada. She was hosted by a Christian family who shared Christ with her through their lives and words. Over time she came to faith in Jesus, got connected to a Christian campus ministry, and grew as a disciple of Jesus through small group Bible study and prayer times.
When that campus ministry decided to collaborate with OMF to send a short-term team to Vietnam to pray and learn more, Hien signed up. She was deeply impacted by meeting local Christians, and the opportunity to worship in a local church. She was able to translate for her team and after the official trip was over, she took a couple of the others to visit her family. God used the trip to give her a burden for her own people and a desire to return in the future to share Jesus’ love with them.
Growing up in Vietnam, Nam had hoped to go to Korea. When that didn’t work out, he ended up joining his older brother working in a factory in Malaysia.
There a group of local Christians got to know them and shared the gospel with these young men. Nam’s brother came to faith first. Initially, Nam was antagonistic to his brother’s newfound faith and argued with him. However, when they heard their mother was sick and he thought he might never see her again, the prayers of his brother and the other Christians made a deep impression on him.
God spared his mother, and Nam came to faith as well. Returning to Vietnam, Nam was introduced to a pastor working at a nearby Bible school and Nam began to help out with a new church plant. Now both he and his brother are studying at Bible college and use their musical gifts in leading worship at new churches being started in their city.
- Find out more about OMF’s work to share the good news of Jesus with East Asians around the world
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