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