For most of us the Vietnam war speaks of a tragic unnecessary war that resulted in horrific loss of human life. What a blessing it was to hear a positive aspect of this war as MTM traveled to Vietnam for a pastoral leadership seminar near Quang Ngai. Many of these Vietnamese brothers said that it was the American troops that first brought the gospel to their region of Vietnam during the war. Some of these dear brothers were actually Vietnamese soldiers during the war. But now they are soldiers for Jesus Christ and are taking the gospel to there own people. God takes tragedy and redeems it into triumph !!! Blessed be God!!!
Wow … A MTM Conference in Vietnam
A land of lush green rice patties. Fields of sugar cane and peanuts doted with workers planting, plowing, weeding, and harvesting. Cattle and water buffalo grazing. Dogs and chickens scurrying to and fro. Honking horns, trucks, buses, taxis, tractors, bicycles, pedestrians, motor bikes, motor bikes,and more motor bikes weaving in and out of traffic. Spirit houses for Buddha worship beside the public highways and a continuous sea of faces stamped in my mind two realities. One is a reality of the beauty of God’s Creation. The second a heart wrenching truth that in a land of 90 million people less than .5 of one percent are Christian. 80% claim no religion at all. A growing question lingers in my mind, why should some people hear the Gospel numerous times while many others have never heard the life-changing message of Jesus once?.
The heart beat of the conference reflects the call of Jesus for all to be involved in the work of evangelism empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses (martyrs) for Him in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the world. Pastors and youth leaders caught this vision and prepared their hearts to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit’s power to spread the Gospel message through out all of the Vietnam and the regions beyond!! Their testimonies of enduring severe persecution by a faith that proclaims ‘you can do anything you want to my body, but Jesus lives in my heart and you cannot make Him leave’! This is very humbling and challenging! We were bound together in Christian love as we prayed, sang, made confessions, wept, ate (off the floor), dodged security and used motorbikes for transportation in one accord!
The conference was spear headed by two young men on their motorbikes who posed as a modern day Paul and Silas team. Under the constant watchful eye of security they fearlessly and boldly witness for Jesus. We also took a short trip to a village to encourage each other to be steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord for we know that our labor in the Lord in not in vain.
MTM creates a unique opportunity for pastors and church leaders living in remote places to attend a Bible conference. It allowed me to be a faithful steward of God’s blessings, Bible knowledge, finances, etc. and to invest them eternally in the Kingdom of God. It was the fleshing out of a vision I received from the Lord as a very young Amish boy with a desire to do something for God and to be involved in taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth, a far away place! Vietnam was that far away place. PTL!
Editors Note; The above article was written by brother Loyd Gingerich from Illinois. Brother Loyd has been serving in prison ministry in USA for more than 25 years. God has gifted Loyd with a tremendous spiritual blessing of empathy for those who are hurting and in bondage. His teaching at the conference was a tremendous blessing and encouragement to all. Thank you brother for allowing the Lord to use you in this way. Blessed be God !!!
Testimonies From The Vietnamese Brothers At The MTM Conference
I am so grateful to God for allowing Pastor Raymond and his friend to come to teach us in three days. What they teach really blesses me a lot and put fire of the Holy Spirit in our heart that we can move forward for Jesus. I again find the purpose of a Christian life through their teaching. Know Him and Make Him known are the two great passions in God’s heart. I also learnt the excellent leadership of Barnabas whose raise up leaders in his Gentile church and lift them up and sent them out. He copied exactly Jesus’ leadership when He was on earth. I found out the wonderful truth and principle of a good leader are seeing the grace of God in others, serving others, lift others up, and seeing the potential in them and give them space to grow. In general, Thanks God for using his two great servants to come to put fire in our heart for the lost souls. We believe that with the fire of the Holy Spirit we are able to burn whole Vietnam for Jesus. Amen. (Written by our Vietnamese MTM Conference Coordinator)
Thanks be to God for His goodness. Thanks for Pastor Raymond and his friend for coming and putting the fire of preaching the Gospel in our heart. Thanks for stirring up the gifts that God has put in our heart. We have been through a great persecution and by God’s grace we are still faithful and Pastor Raymond and his friend have shown us how to continue to preach the Gospel even among the persecution and love and release the forgiveness for those who persecuted and hurt us. We are very appreciated all your labor of love to come to serve us with the Word of God. Thanks for coming on time to encourage and lift us up in a higher level for Jesus’ glory. Thanks for supporting us with financial during three days of conference. May God bless you for that. We love you. Shalom. (Written by a Vietnamese pastor who attended the MTM conference)
Pastor Raymond and his friend have reminded me of Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” which is the last words of Jesus when he was on earth. I have learnt that we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but it is not all. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be witnesses (martyr) for Jesus in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. We need to go out of our comfort zone and bring the Gospel to far more than Jerusalem, bring His love to the despised people groups, different culture … the Antioch church is a great model for us today. It is Self Governing, Self Propagating, Self Supporting church. By faith in His grace, I believe that our church is one of a very pioneer church in bringing the Gospel to all the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam and conquer all Vietnam for Jesus. (Written by another Vietnamese pastor who attended the conference)