Pastor - Vietnam
Giang pastors a church in a remote area of Vietnam. Growing up in a home that practiced ancestor worship, he was converted in 2000 through the witness of a friend who had become a Christian in the US. He was called into ministry in 2005, and his church was planted in 2007.
Testimony of Conversion
I was born and grew up in a family, which worshiped ancestors. I imitated whatever spiritual tradition my parents, my grandparents, my relatives did without understanding its meaning. No one had answered my question: Who am I? What is the meaning of my life? Is this world was all made by accident, or is there an inventor?
Thank God, in 2000 I met a former friend from my school days, who was living in the USA and became Christian. He came back to Vietnam and testified to me of how and why God made us, how great God’s love is, and His plan to save all the mankind through the Savior Jesus Christ. He showed me that I was merely fallen flesh and unworthy of His grace, and only by trusting Jesus could I be forgiven. I confessed my sins to God and was baptized.
I had opportunities afterward to learn the Bible with some believers and seek to understand God’s Words. I began to experience his grace in my life as my life began to be brighter. Day after day, God was changing me to a better and better person. I gave up fighting with my wife and took care of my children, which surprised everyone. However, I encountered great opposition from my parents because I had become a Christian. They said believing in “the American God” meant denying family ancestry, and that if I did not give up that religion, I would lose my inheritance and acceptance to be a member in the family.
My parents dismissed my family from their home, and we had to live in a small shack on our own. My wife gave birth to our second child when we after we had lived in that shack for ten years. I was so poor then that I could only afford to buy tarps to repair the roof leaks. It was a hard time for my family. But thank God my faith was not be shaken.
Not only from my family but also I had to face problems from social relationships. Since I gave up hanging out and drinking with my friends as I had always done before, they sarcastically said I was merely hypocritical. With my neighbors, they usually backbite me saying that I was paid to betray my people and my country. They kept me at a distance so as not to be involved in any troubles since the communist government kept their eyes on me. They tried to cause as many difficulties on me as possible to prevent me from worshiping God every Sunday. That was such a difficult time for me. But thanks God I was not moved by it. God gave me the strength to get over Satan’s temptation and to know that God was still in control. I knew the decision of giving my life away to God would change my life, my family and even my country. I knew it was the wisest choice of my life.
It was by God’s grace that in 2001, my wife confessed her sins to God. I have had a happy family in God who always encourages me to pursue my ministry. Yes, it was by God’s grace that changed my life and helped me overcome many challenges. Now I am a leader of a local church, and I am giving the best of my life to serve God, to go out and preach the Gospel to my fellows, who need a reason for their lives, like I was years ago.
Call to Ministry
I began in my ministry in 2005. I decided to offer my whole life to serve God, as I felt regret for my life before I knew of God. I fought, drank as much as I could, and gambled whenever I had money. In my old days, I had such a sinful life.
Only after that time when my friend testified to me of God did I know the reason for my life. I placed my trust in God and experienced the amazing grace God bestowed on me. He has changed me from fallen flesh to be a good husband, father and a God’s servant. For that reason when I look at my friends and neighbors who have not heard of Jesus Christ, I feel great regret for them. I desire that they might confess their sins to God if I tell them about God’s grace, and therefore they would have opportunities to change their life as I did. And as Jesus said in Mark 16: 15: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation,” I came to them to testify of God and Jesus Christ, who had died for humanity’s sins, so that we could be His children again.
At that time I began my ministry and prayed to God to help me find a church for local believers. Thanks to God, my church was built in 2007. I started to take a course from IBL to gain my knowledge of God's Word and to teach the Gospel in the right way. That was such a gracious opportunity God gave me. I’ve met many great persons who are dedicated to serving God who always shares everything they know to help me keep up the ministry.
As the church grows up, we face many difficulties. Many people come and go. Some come for their beneficial reason. Some easily lose their faith in this world. Developing the church in such a remote area is tough. However, those difficulties won’t ruin my dream for God. I keep praying to God. I know he has a plan for me as well as my country to hear of Christ Jesus and the Gospel.
Spouse's (Hong) Testimony of Conversion
I was born and grew up in a family following Caodaism (“Cao Đài” in Vietnamese). I came to Cao Đài temple when I was very young. That was a habit passing down from my family. I still remember my childhood coming to Cao Đài temples, hearing them praying to God but understood nothing.
I got married and became a family in 1997. Thank God so much in 2000, my husband had a friend testify to him of God. That was a story of how God made this universe and earth, how God made human to worship Him, and how humanity had fallen. But there was also good news, that God still loved us and had a plan to help us be His children again through His only Son, Jesus Christ. Soon my husband confessed to God to forgive his sins. He came to Bible classes with some new friends from local churches. I was surprised by his unbelievable change.
My husband was never drunk again. Also, he gave up hitting me like as he had done when inebriated. He showed real care for his family. I wondered so much why and how he could have those amazing changes. My family experienced a happy life that we had never had before. He began to tell me everything about God and I would be forgiven and have everlasting life as His daughter if I placed my trust in Him. In 2001 I confess my sins to God to live as a Christian and worship God still until today.
Although many troubles have come up since we became a Christian family, I never feel regret of my decision. Thank God that He has made my husband become a good man and a good father. Today my husband is a leader of a local church, and he always has me supporting his ministry to serve God and have a godly life. Now I’m taking on a Bible class for children in the local area where we are living. Thank God so much that His favor gave me the grace to become His servant. I’m thankful for every amazing grace God has done on my family.
Note: For security reasons, a pen name is used for this missionary.