Pastor - Vietnam
Due was raised by Christian parents in a challenging political and economic situation. After many years of struggling with no good church in his area, he decided to start a church of his own in 2005.
Testimony of Conversion
I was born into a family in which my father and my mother were Christian. My Uncle Ua was a very faithful believer who offered his life for God’s ministry. I was taken to church when I was very young (about 5 or 6 years old) by my parents. My father was a soldier of the Republic of Vietnam’s Army (South Vietnam). After the1975 incident, my family had to return my father’s home village – Bình Định, where there were few Christians. However, because of the persecution of people from Communism my father gave up being a Christian. We had a miserable life, struggling to live because of political discrimination.
It was not until 1986 when we could not put up with that life anymore that my family decided to immigrate to the new economic zones. We left our home village, Dateh, Lâm Đồng Province, to make a new life. Knowing that my uncle tried to visit our family and encourage my parents. He also introduced us to a local church of an ethnic minority family. Unfortunately, a year later that family left Dateh to move to another place. Living under severe persecution and the lack of opportunities to learn the Bible, my faith could not mature. I lived a life like every other young person in this world.
In 1994, the brother in that ethnic minority family returned and visited the place I was living and encouraged me. Even today I still remember what he said to me: “Hiếu, let’s return to God. Only God can save your soul.” I started to find God’s Words and visited a church in the local area and was baptized in this church. I began to ask God to change my life, but because of my poor living condition and because I was very far from that church (about 60km), my faith was challenged.
Until the last year, I had been serving God in a tough condition. However I’m thankful to God that he makes me feel satisfied with everything I have, and He never lets it become too severe for me to live for Him.
My family had been living in a very old and dilapidated house, but God always makes us a happy family. I also have a wife who still loves and supports my work for God. I’m thankful to God that through many difficulties and challenges, I have never thought of giving up being a Christian. I believe that God will still make way for me, for my family, my church, and my country. I can see a new light from my children and the present generation, which they will keep up our work and bring the Gospel to our people and light this country and this world. I keep praying and doing whatever God wants demands. I never stop because He said our labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Call to Ministry
After I was baptized, I began to worship with the local Christianity in a CMA church and lived as a nominal Christian. Gradually, I became more eager to take on the ministry that God had given me. However, I felt uncomfortable with the leadership style from the CMA church. Therefore, I decided to start the ministry by holding a new church with other three Christian families gathered together in my house. I also tried to visit and have fellowship with other churches near my place.
In 2005, I made up my mind to hold my present church – the Dateh Baptist Christ Church. The church had only three families at the beginning, but within 2-3 years many people had come to us. Sometimes, our modest room even could not be enough for everyone and we had to borrow more chairs from a neighbor. Almost all of our church’s furniture and books were from Christian donators, as we could not afford to buy them. Our church met in a horrible and old house (it was also my house then). That place was falling apart and was very damp. Frequently our books, bookshelves, table, and pulpit became musty. My only wish many years ago was to build a new place for better worship condition. Thanks to God and many Christians, we eventually built a better place to worship God.
It’s unfortunate to admit that many came to us for some kinds of financial benefits, and then they left after knowing we are just not rich enough to give things they desire. Even so, this proves that the remaining people are the truly faithful in God. Although our church is not nearly as crowded, I thank God for those wonderful Christians. These people give me a lot of courage to keep up my work. At this time I know I have to do something different to develop this church. I’ve begun to make a plan to promote preaching the Gospel more effectively. I feel the need to spread the Gospel further than the four walls of the church building, and It’s time for my church to be more faithful.
Today, when looking back on my ministry for God, I feel so thankful to God that He had chosen me. I’m grateful to God for giving me a wonderful wife, who always approves and supports me to make the best of my work for Him. Even now the church is still facing numerous difficulties; I believe that God will never leave us or make us walk alone. I pray for my soul, my family, and my church every day to God that He will pour special care and blessings on us who are struggling to follow Him. I desire that God will save many in our nation and make this country a nation for Him.
Spouse's (Hoa) Testimony of Conversion
I was born and grew up in a poor rural area. It was far away from the center, which resulted in a lack of open communication with many people. Our family, like every family around that area, didn’t follow any specific religions but worshiped forefathers and our ancestors. When I was young, I usually heard of Catholic Churches, but that was all. I had no idea what a Christian or who Jesus was. No one had ever told me about it.
I eventually left my home to move to southern Vietnam where I live today. This area is a multicultural area, which has various cultures and people from many regions of Vietnam. Becoming mature, I met the man who would become my husband. At first, he didn’t tell me much about Jesus or that he was a Christian. However, he usually took me to church on special occasions or weekends. I began to know more about Christianity and the Savior Jesus.
Then my husband introduced me to the Bible (especially the New Testament) and taught me about human being’s sin and Jesus’ sacrifice. Honestly, I didn’t believe in God or Jesus at first, but I got into the lessons from the Bible and the pastor’s speeches. They were just extraordinary over any philosophy I’d ever heard before. I felt the power through every word coming out from that Book. Though I didn’t decide to be a Christian, I still enjoyed listening and following these lessons.
Later, I was married to my husband and had the opportunity to meet more Christians and visited the church on Sundays more regularly. My husband began to tell me more about God and Jesus, and he began to reveal the changes in his attitude and his works to prove his faith. Every night, or whenever it rained outside, my husband usually brought out the Bible, and we began to read together. When my husband was away, I even opened and read the Bible on my own. The Bible was tough for me to understand at first. But it turned out to be the motivation, which urged me more and more to make out what this Book was trying to reveal.
The more I read, listened and meditated on the Bible, the more I understood. I could explain the reasons for problems with my life through lessons from the Bible. Gradually, faith was growing up in my soul. I acknowledged the sins deep inside humanity’s hearts, and inside myself. I eventually found the reason of my being—I confessed my sins to God, and I now know my joyfulness is in God.
Note: For security reasons a pen name is used for this missionary.