Thomas Lowery

My 11-year-old son and I recently returned from the Harmony Outreach teaching trip in Saigon.  We couldn't have been more blessed.  Jesus was present the entire time, the Spirit was moving in prayer and in the study.  The students poured themselves into the studies and really blessed us with their personal stories and testimonies.  The accommodations and logistics were top rate, the food was excellent, and the opportunities for witnessing were delightfully endless.  This will be an annual trip for Calvary Chapel Bartlesville. 

--Thomas Lowery, Calvary Chapel Bartlesville, OK


Brent Fees

First of all, I would like to share just how well done this trip is for the teaching pastors.  From the beginning, the communication with Harmony was great!  Travel plans were completed for us in good time as well as attaining a Visa through Red Tape Solution.  The only thing we had to concern ourselves with was the material we would be teaching.

Once we landed in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), we were personally greeted at the shuttle area and a taxi was waiting to take us to the hotel.  The Elios Hotel was well above our expectations.  Very friendly staff and the hotel was clean and accommodating. In addition to the breakfast buffet at the hotel, the new "food court" plaza across the street offers many options for anyone concerned about what you may eat.

We spent a couple of days walking the streets around the hotel, including the Ben Thanh Market where we had fun haggling with the local vendors. We also paid for an inexpensive "City Tour" where we learned a lot about the history and culture of the Vietnamese people and traditions. Although we were very conscious of our surroundings and didn't stay out real late, we felt very comfortable in the area and never felt unsafe.

Our hostess, our translator and the Pastors we spent time with during our trip were such a blessing.  We were constantly challenged by the testimonies of the early church in Vietnam, the perseverance that has been displayed and the incredible things that God is doing still today.  I would describe this trip as a step back in time to the book of Acts.

Lastly, the classes were so much fun to be part of.  The students were so excited to have us and they were like sponges.  The were very attentive, took pages of notes and they especially loved the end of our sessions when we had a Q&A. Sometimes they would ask about the subject we just taught and other times they asked about some practical things they are experiencing in their house churches.  Maybe the biggest answer to prayer for us was the translator.  She was very smooth working between the teacher and the students. 

Overall, our experience was terrific.  I recommend anyone considering this trip to "go all In!"  It was such a stretch in faith but God met us every step of the way.

--Brent Fees, Calvary Chapel Des Moines, IA

Steve Briner

The trip was wonderful.  We loved the people we met.  Sunday preaching went great, and we had a good response from the teaching time.  Our time with everyone was encouraging.  They were so hospitable.  Lots of great food and conversation.  The hotel is nice and allowed us to see a lot of the wonderful downtown area.  We took a trip to Trang An and really enjoyed the mountains, row boats and temple.  Walked to the Temple of Literature, Hao Lo Prison, and Military Museum.  Shopping was fun also.  

David and I loved it!  If it would be helpful (and you got good feedback about us) we would be interested in teaching in HCMC next year when our class topics come up.
Thanks for the ministry opportunity!  

--Steve Briner, First Evangelical Church, Vancouver, WA

Mark Neely

The trip was amazing and the people were more than delightful.  Our travel was seamless both ways, albeit fairly long!  The accommodations were more comfortable than we had anticipated.  I would definitely stay at the Elios again and/or recommend it to others.  The breakfasts were great, and we took advantage of the restaurant for our meals on several occasions.  

The classes went well.  There were about 50 students that represented about 40 different churches from the region.  The interpreter, Ai, was top notch.  We bonded almost immediately, and he did an outstanding job of adjusting to my mistakes and communicating effectively to the people.  

Thank you for the great opportunity to serve.  I will definitely pray about going back in the future!

--Mark Neely, Calvary Chapel, Tulsa, OK

Bob Huff

We had a great week.  As you can imagine with teaching four days—something   
like 12 hours—on the Holy Spirit, we were able to get pretty in depth. Gerald taught on the gospels, and it was amazing at times how the Holy Spirit  intertwined the messages.

The people were great.  Great hunger for the Word.  We had body ministry and prayer for the Holy Spirit on the last afternoon and had some amazing ministry—people redeemed, healed, freed and filled. Gerald and I enjoyed it very much.  Thank you for the opportunity to meet and speak into the lives of these leaders.

--Bob Huff, DaNang International Christian Fellowship, DaNang, Vietnam

Larry Hansen

I know that many of you were praying for me while I was in Vietnam. Thank you so much!  The Lord really did go before us and prepared the way. 

Those in attendance are in some form of leadership—some pastors, worship leaders, home group leader, an administrator for one of the six Drug Rehabilitation centers—while others have recently come to faith and desire to grow a deeper relationship with the Lord while desiring to serve as a leader at some time in the future. This went extremely well.  The translators were very good and were able to communicate our teachings well. 

We met Pastor Song and Pastor Trung, both amazing men of God. They oversee just about 300 national churches. Pastor Trung leads 30 churches in the Hanoi region while Pastor Song cares for churches as far south as Ho Chi Minh City. 

My favorite quote from the few days we were there: "Walk quickly and speak no English" This was told to us several times.  As we attended a local church to teach and fellowship, it was necessary that we did not draw any attention to ourselves. They are only allowed to meet in groups of 30 or less and cannot be led by a foreign national. We complied and were as quiet as possible. 

What I learned was that these men and women are brave, faithful and kind. They are excited to see the gospel go out.  They in fact see a revival in their country and many are open to Jesus! They are very family-oriented and included us as family sharing meals together. Much of their church growth has come from their Rehabilitation centers.  They have a two-year program, and if a man or a woman completes it, they have a 90% success rate, and a solid follower of Christ. 

I was encouraged by these folks—to be hungry for God’s Word and to be ready to share my faith—even if it cost me time or even imprisonment. They count it all a blessing from the Lord! 

--Larry Hansen, Calvary Chapel, Murrieta, CA