Dear Brethren,

Praise God for Vietnam VBS 29-31 July 2013

This is the 3rd year we went to the village Church called Phu Ly which is about 3 hour drive from Ho Chi Ming city. Thank God we can organise a 3-day Vacation Bible School (VBS) for the children and youth in this village Church. The Lord brought about 100-120 children and youth to attend the VBS daily from about 8.30am to 5pm. In the outskirt of the city, this village is rather backward and you can hardly see any cars here. People use motorcycles and bicycles for their transport. Amenities are few and their “orchard road” is just a couple of shops. Our village guest house that we lived in has small toads and insects as our regular visitors.

Despite not having the most comfortable conditions, thank God for the joy to serve Him. This joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh 8:10b) which enables us to serve and minister God’s Word to the children and youth. We came to the Vietnam mission with tired and frail body. We wonder how we can complete our tasks for the Lord. At the end of the VBS, we look back amazed that God has done the work and He has been pleased to use us. Indeed how true is God’s Word stated in Psalm 127: 1,

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

We nearly did not want to go for this mission in Vietnam as we wanted interpreters who are fundamental in the faith and do not subscribe to the Charismatic teachings. The daughter of the Church Pastor shared that she cried when she heard that we may not be coming this year. Thank God for His provision of 4 interpreters to help us in interpreting God’s Word in our 4 classes. One of them is keen to want to study at FEBC after serving together with us.

It is sad to know the teaching of God’s Word is very lacking in the village Church. We had 5 lessons taught of the life of Nehemiah in the 3 day VBS. All the children and youth memorised 5 verses from Nehemiah and it is a joy to see their enthusiasm and zeal to learn and memorise God’s Word. How I wish the Word of God can be faithfully taught to the children and youth the whole year round!

Having been in this village Church for 3 years, we can see the physical and spiritual growth of some children and youth for 3 years. This is good to be able to follow-up and encourage them to persevere on each year. I believe each year they look forward to our coming to bring God’s Word and joy to them. Frankly each year we do struggle to come back to serve as it means some sacrifice of leave, time, money, comfort and lots of preparations. May the Lord help us to do His work while it is yet day, for when the night comes, no man can work (John 9:4).

Holiday Break at Da Nang

Thank God for a short vacation break that we managed to take after the VBS. We flew to DaNang from Ho Chi Ming. It was this city at Da Nang that the first protestant missionary Dr. R.A. Jaffray from Canada came in 1911. This happened about 102 years ago. Vietnam has only about 1% of protestant Christians in the country today. Thank God for faithful missionaries in years past who gave up everything to come to Vietnam to preach the Gospel. On Sunday 4 August, we worship at a protestant Church in Da Nang. The Gospel seed sown 102 years ago is seen in the Churches today at Da Nang and throughout Vietnam. I am heartened to read that Protestantism is the fastest growing religion in Vietnam today.

Today the Lord can use you and me for the Gospel to be shared to people near and far. Are you willing to sacrifice and go and let the Lord use you? Beloved, the night is coming soon and no man can work anymore…

Elder John Leong