Pastor - Vietnam
Due was raised by Christian parents in a very difficult 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 in 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 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 were having a miserable life, struggling to live because of the 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 of 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 very hard 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 on.
My family had been living in a very old and damaged house, but God always make us a happy family. I also have a wife who always 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 a 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 just keep praying and doing whatever God wants me to. 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 normal 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 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 every one 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 very bad 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 really sad 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. It’s time for my church to rise up.
Today, when looking back on my ministry for God, I feel so thankful to God that He had chosen me. I’m thankful 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 own soul, my family and my church everyday to God that He will pour special care and blessings on us who are struggling to follow Him. I have a dream, that through us, God will save our race and make this country a nation for Him. I believe God has a special plan for the next generation and our land.
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 the 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 country to move to southern Vietnam where I live today. This is now a multicultural area, which has various cultures and people from any 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 on weekends. I began to know more about Christianity and about the Savior Jesus.
Then my husband introduced me to Bible (especially the New Testament) and taught me about human being’s sin and about Jesus’ sacrifice. To be honest, I didn’t really believe in God or Jesus at first, but I really got into the lessons from the Bible and 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. I had chance to meet more Christians and visited 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 own faith. Every night, or whenever it rained outside, my husband usually brought out Bible and we began to read together. When my husband was away, I even opened and read Bible on my own. The Bible was really hard 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 really trying to reveal.
The more I read, listened, and meditated on the Bible, the more I understood. I could explain the reasons of problems with my life through lessons from Bible. Gradually, faith was growing up in my soul. I acknowledged the sins deep inside mankind’s hearts, and inside myself. I eventually found the reason of my being. Eventually, I confessed my sins to God. Ever since, I find my joyfulness in God.
Note: For security reasons a pen name is used for this missionary.