11-15 July 2017

Testimony by sister Nyssha Tan
Thank God for the privilege to be part of the Vietnam mission team this year. We arrived on 11 July (Tues) and thank God for a smooth and safe journey to Phu Ly village, which is about 2½ hours from Ho Chi Minh city. God’s provision and grace saw us through the 3-day Vacation Bible School (VBS) from Wednesday to Friday. The theme of the VBS was on the life of Peter. There were about 120 children and youths who attended the VBS this year. We were expecting 100 children but in recent months, the pastor of Phu Ly Church adopted more children from the mountainous region. These children are from the Hmong tribe and a majority of them were destitutes, forsaken or orphans. There were a total of 94 Hmong children living in the Church. Despite the increase, the Lord still provided for all our needs including the materials for the lessons, craft and game activities.

The children were taught 5 lessons regarding the salvation of Peter, his spiritual growth, his denial of Christ and his restoration. They were also taught English Bible songs for them to sing praises to God everywhere they go. Thank God for the provision of 4 interpreters who interpreted well for each class. Thank God for the opportunity to minister God’s Word to these children and show them the love of God.

Sister Lucy and I taught the pre-primary class and most of them were the newly-adopted children from the Hmong tribe. On the first day, we came to know that these children have not learnt Vietnamese, and hence were unable to under-stand properly the first two lessons taught in Vietnamese. The children were listless and unresponsive because the lessons were taught in a relatively unknown language to them. We prayed for God’s provision of an interpreter to aid in the interpretation from Vietnamese to Hmong. Praise be to God who answered our prayers the next day! A student from the upper-primary class helped to interpret the lessons from Vietnamese to Hmong and God granted the children understanding to follow through the remaining lessons on the second and third day. Thank God for using her and may the Lord bless her labour of love for Him. Our hearts were very much encouraged that although the children were not well-versed in Vietnamese, by God’s grace, they were able to memorise the 5 memory verses with some prompting. Thank God the little children were edified by the learning of God’s Word in their native language. May the Gospel seed be sown on good ground and bear fruits of salvation for His glory.

Though forsaken by their earthly parents, God is the Father of the father-less (Psalm 68:5) and will surely take care of all His children. We pray that God’s Word will be hid in their hearts to keep them from sinning against Him. May they continue to grow in their love for Jesus Christ and follow Him faithfully all their days.

Tesimony by sister Lucy Di Wu (Sydney BP Church)
Thank God for another opportunity to go to Vietnam for the mission trip. This trip was my second trip to Vietnam. Without God’s help, it would have been impossible for me to attend this trip and finish preparing all the craft materials and learning activities.

Before the trip:
When I first heard of the initial date for this trip, I thought I would not be able to make it for this mission trip. The initial date clashed with Sydney Bible-Presbyterian Church’s (the church I worship now) 20th church anniversary and church camp. However, my heart desired to serve in this mis-sion trip. After praying, I mentioned this matter to Elder John. Thank God for the change in date of this mission trip.

I also thank God for helping me to prepare all the craft materials and teaching materials for this mission trip. Most of the crafts were prepared during my final exam period. God also sent many hands to help in the completion of my craft preparation during the church camp. God’s timing is always perfect. If the date of the mission trip had not been postponed, I would not have had the extra time and help to finish all the preparatory tasks. Thank God for that!

During the trip:
Thank God for the smooth journey to the Phu Ly church. This year, God brought around 120 students to attend this VBS. It is a great blessing to have so many students attend the VBS. However, we still face some challenges during this VBS.

This year, there was a large number of Hmong tribal children attend the pre-primary class and lower primary class. Many of them are new to the Phy Ly church. They could not get used to sitting in a classroom for 45 minutes, and they struggled to understand Vietnamese. I was assisting Nyssha in pre-primary class this year. There were around 35 students in this class, half of them cannot understand Vietnamese. Besides that, many of them are not used to school life or church life. They had difficulty concentrating during lessons and participating in class activities. It was really difficult to manage the class and the students’ behaviours. Many of the class activities could not be carried out due to their low level of literacy skill in Vietnamese. Nevertheless, Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding”. These difficulties and incidents made me meditate on this verse many times during the mission trip. These challenges also taught me to pray harder and have more faith in God during this mission trip. Indeed, God is merciful and faithful; He provided a Hmong interpreter for my class so that most of the students can understand the Bible lessons and gospel messages in their own dialect. We also noticed that many of Hmong children are interested in art and craft activities. Maybe they were not able to write down their name or sit in the class for 20 minutes without walking around, but they can colour a picture with memory verse for 25 minutes without murmuring and running around. Thank God for this incident so that I was able to adjust a few class activities during the second day and third day of VBS.

The weather also brought challenges for this VBS. During the first day of VBS, there was a heavy storm during craft time. The rain was so heavy so that the rainwater flooded the dining area when students were doing craft. Thank God for the older students who were willing to stand up to drain the flood. It was also very encouraging to see the rest of students continuing with their crafts despite the terrible weather. Thank God the rain stopped before the afternoon lesson. Thank God for providing good weather for the rest of the VBS.

I also need to give thanks to God for protecting us from all the harm and danger, and sustaining us through the VBS. I caught a severe cold before mission trip. My throat was quite painful and swollen when we departed from Singapore. Thank God my voice returned on the first day of mission trip and thank God for preserving my voice throughout the whole VBS.

After VBS:
During this VBS, I learnt so many lessons, especially about trusting God and knowing His will is perfect. This mission trip was my first mission trip after I started my teaching degree. Before the mission trip, sometimes I still doubt whether it is God’s will for me to pursue a teaching degree. Through this mission trip and many other incidents, I can be very sure of God’s will. Through this mission trip, I also noticed lots of things which I learnt through my university courses could help me serve better in the mission field. This mission trip taught me to study more diligently and especially use what I have learnt to serve the Lord better.

During last day of the VBS, I heard one Hmong girl using her clean, pure and unpolluted voice to sing praise to the Lord. The life in a modern city—Sydney is full of temptations. The little girl’s singing reminded me to guard my heart and mind, keep my hands clean and my heart pure, present my body as a living sacrifice to God, and bring all the glory unto Him. All glory to God!