Pastor - Vietnam
Danh was raised by strong Christian parents during a time when Christians were heavily persecuted. He was able to carry out his father's dream of building a place to worship God, where he now serves as pastor.
Testimony of Conversion
I’m thankful that I was born and grew up in a Christian family. My father was a very faithful Christian. At that time Christianity suffered great persecution from the government. My family used to wake up when the sun had not risen at 4 o’clock to read Bible secretly in order not to be detected. When I grew up a little bit more, I was taken to church every Sunday. However, at that time I was not really serious about being a Christian. Going to church was just like a habit to me, that was all. I began to feel tough to be a Christian. Until 1985 when I got married, my life did not change much. I was selfish to live a life for myself and was fulfilled by the desires of the flesh. It was nothing like a Christian at all.
In 1995, the Holy Spirit began work in my life. I asked God to help me change my life. I began to pray hard to Him and read Bible to find out His will on me. I asked God to change every bad habit from my previous life. I prayed to God to help me stop saying bad words unconsciously and smoking. The most difficult problem of mine was to control my temper toward my wife and children. I used to be a real bad-tempered person. I even thought this was impossible, as I had been growing up with that character since I was a young man. But thanks God, “in God, everything is possible”. Eventually I made it. I gave up my bad habits, and took up doing what Bible taught me-prayers do have power. Day after day I pursue to become a better man, as God desires.
However it was not just that easy to me at first. I was in for the opposition from my wife’s parents. Many people misunderstood Christianity. We were thought to be rebels, and people tried to be remove us as far as possible. Especially to my wife’s parents and family, they were afraid of being involved. We were forced to give up being Christian, or we would have no rights as well as any inheritances. We were really upset. We could do nothing but kept praying for them and asked God to have a plan for them.
Years have passing by, and thanks God till now they have been accepting and respecting our work little by little. I’m thankful to God that even two of my wife’s siblings are now Christian! My wife’s family eventually treated us normal again. We keep praying for them, for our friends, and neighbors who haven’t heard of God’s names. Now I’m a leader of a local church. It was by God’s grace to me that I have the opportunity to serve Him in this local area. I’m thankful to God for having a plan on my life. He let me participate in the ministry so that I can help others know about God and come back to Him.
Call to Ministry
One day, a servant of God, Pastor Anh visited me in all of a sudden. He encouraged me to keep up being faithful and pray to God. He also introduced me to a Bible course. Day by day I was taught more things about God, and my faith began to grow up more and more. Coming back home, I realized there must have been a person to take on ministry on my place, as there was no place, so as Christian can gather together, around my place then. It reminded me of my father, who did have a dream of building a place to worship God, but he never could because of social background then. God gave me a vision to build a church for Him.
Pastor Anh approved and encouraged me, saying it was a wonderful thing I should have done. I began to contact to my siblings and gathered together into a church. Years later, God helped us to build a safety place to worship in. We were badly persecuted by the authorities at first. They forbid us from gathering on every Sunday and tried to discourage us by threatens. They said they could put us into jail at anytime if we kept up this. Especially when we took up building the house. So do the neighbors who would love to say rumors. They said that our house was built by money from American and that we were betraying our country.
But thanks God we were not moved by it till nowadays. We just kept doing what God wants to faithfully, and let the rest for God, who always protects the righteous. The authorities are beginning to accept and respect us and let us work more freely. Day after day, there are more and more problems coming up with our church, but God give us strength to overcome everything.
Spouse's (Hanh) Testimony of Conversion
I was born in a family following natural worship. There were numerous gods that my grandparents and my parents believe in. Whenever we met problems, for example when one member in my family got disease, my parents offered sacrifices and begged those gods to save his/her life. Seeing my parents doing so, I imitated them and believed they could save me too, although I don’t understand who are those gods.
Thanks to God and by God’s grace that He saved me from a sinner living under devil’s work to have a bright life. God let me meet and get married to a man who grew up from a Christian family. My husband and my husband’s family began to testify to me of Gospel, of God and Jesus Christ. Afterward, I confessed my sins to God and asked Him to save my soul. And since that time, I’ve become a Christian.
To follow Jesus Christ is not an easy way. Many things have been coming up with my family since we become Christians My parents strongly opposed me being a Christian. They said all of my relatives would be persecuted because of me, and therefore they threatened me so that I gave up that “American Religion.” At that time my husband was usually invited to People’s Committee and Police station to make reports. Sometimes I used to think I couldn’t put up with this anymore.
But thanks to God, these are stories of the old days. God has taken all of our burdens away. My parents’ family has begun to appreciate my decision. They respect what my husband and I are doing. By God’s grace, I testified to my brothers and sisters. And thanks God, two of them confessed their sins to God and have become Christian. God also make the authorities to understand and let us do our ministry more freely. Now I’m an assistant who helps my husband in the church. My husband and I are always trying to do our best to become good servants of God, good leaders of the Church, and godly father and mother of our children. As His grace on my family is so great, it’s my honor to serve Him.
Note: For security reasons a pen name is used for this missionary.