Forty-Five warm hugs and smiles greeted us when we entered a pastor’s home in response to his call for teaching in Vietnam. Most families had arrived from nearby villages tucked among rice fields, and several more families traveled from four distant mountain tribal areas. Many participants were pastors, most were married, and they listened eagerly to inspiring teaching from the Bible by Brother Merle about marriage, including sessions on the Designer, the Design, and how husband and wife become one. Mark provided sessions presenting the topic of Devotion in words, blessings, and relationships.
Our intent was to go as a team, teach and encourage, yet we found ourselves immeasurably blessed by the love, singing, and spiritual fervor of our Brothers and Sisters there. We came away with more learning and growth than we could ever offer. We found that in fellowship together we were mutually built up in faith and hope and knowledge. Although the lives of many of our Brothers and Sisters in Vietnam is difficult in some ways, hardship seems to weld the hearts of people together in the crucible of trial, and they have come forth refined and spiritually on fire to live the Gospel in their homes, to take it to their neighbors, and like firebrands, to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout their country and to lands far beyond.
With 1% of the Vietnam population being Protestant, there is much work to do. Pastors such as Nehemiah and David and many others have been faithful through past and present trials to disciple workers and take the Gospel to distant places. Challenges do not hinder them sharing the Gospel. Their peaceful countenance and cheerful smiles infected us, their embrace in prayer revived the church, and when we prayed together the Holy Spirit breathed on us all warmly.
The Vietnam Full Conference Group
During one difficulty, God provided a little child to come to us to lighten our hearts with warm embraces. A Brother stood over us whispering, “peace, peace, peace…,” and God gave us peace. Realizing how much we owed these people of love and the Gospel, we set out with renewed vigor to break a little more of the Bread of life to them. We were reminded of Ps 34:7 that “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and He delivereth them.” God was truly present as we sang together, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…because He lives, all fear is gone.”
Knowing the church more intimately, feeling work hardened hands, looking deep into sparkling eyes, hearing blessings caused our hearts to burn with love for them. Experiencing their passion for Christ inspired us afresh to know that our labor really is worthwhile. Pouring God’s truth and love out to them produced immediate fruit and promise of greater work. The result is the passion in our hearts that there is no place we would rather be at this hour and no work we would rather do than to speak forth God’s Word.
We ask that you participate in the outreach and protection of our Brothers and Sisters in Vietnam who faithfully, obediently go as Jesus taught us to do. Pray for their families and their personal sanctification. Pray for more workers in the fields which are white to harvest.
Editor’s note: The above article was written by MTM guest teacher, Brother Mark, who currently serves Christ with his wife, Sister Judy, in Asia. Mark and Judy sacrificed their own resources and time to serve Christ in this region of Vietnam. Thank you, Mark and Judy, for being in the Kingdom for such a time as this.
Assistant MTM Director
Merle D. Flory
Testimonies from 3 Native Attendees:
Pastor Phuc, I have learned about marriage several times but this is really a blessing to me. What I learned in this conference is biblical and practical. I will apply these truths and teach my people.
Pastor Nehemiah, Thanks God, We found the right people to teach us about this very important subject, marriage. Yes, pastor Merle and his team has done a great job. We are all encouraged, set on fire for Jesus. Yes, revival in the home will lead to revival in the church, in the nation and in the world.
Pastor Loi, this is the first time I have heard such a teaching at this. I am so blessed and encouraged and I hope that you can come to my villages and teach all my people. Thank you.