Vietnam is Harmony's newest focus in Southeast Asia. As in other countries, our work in Vietnam encompasses two areas: Spreading the Good News and helping the vulnerable.
Following the end of the Vietnam War in 1978 and the Communist takeover of South Vietnam, there came a period of consolidation where what was formerly two countries became one. This was a highly ideological period where the Marxist North Vietnamese imposed Communism on the South.
In the intervening 35 or so years, country after country across the globe has abandoned Communism. And while Vietnam is still controlled by the Communist Party, many of the Vietnamese have abandoned the utopian ideals of Communism.
One lasting effect of Vietnamese Communism is that most Vietnamese claim no religious affiliation. And while evangelical Christianity in Vietnam makes up a very small percentage of the population, it is growing rapidly. It is our belief that in the same way that South Korea was swept with Christianity and China is currently being swept, Vietnam—and indeed much of S.E. Asia—is following. The soil in Vietnam is very fertile for the Gospel, and we are thrilled that God has called us to Vietnam for such a time as this!
Spreading the Gospel
Harmony Outreach began work in Vietnam in 2013. The focus of our work is spreading the gospel by working together with pastors from the underground church.
It was during Harmony founder John Bentley’s first trip to Vietnam that God orchestrated a meeting with a pastor from the underground church. For two hours John and pastor Daniel sat in a coffee shop in Saigon getting to know one another. It was only toward the end of their meeting that John discovered that the "pastor" he had been talking with was the overall leader of the underground church movement in Vietnam—comprised of 6,000 churches from 29 different movements!
At the end of that meeting, pastor Daniel asked John if Harmony could help the underground church by bringing pastors from the West to teach/train their Vietnamese counterparts. Harmony has joyfully accepted this invitation and organizes pastors from the West to teach Vietnamese underground pastors at safe houses in Saigon in the south and Hanoi in the north. Additionally, we work together with pastors and churches in remote village areas.
Vietnam Allows Large Public Worship Service
Helping the Vulnerable
Vietnam has a large number of tribal minority groups who live in remotely located villages and are very poor. Many of these villages do not have access to clean water. Harmony Outreach provides water wells on church property in these tribal villages. Providing an ongoing source of clean water not only saves lives but transforms life for these villagers and causes the church to be seen as a source of blessing to the entire community.