Chi is the pastor of a church in Hoc Mon District, Vietnam. He was converted through the witness of his mother who had become a Christian while Chi was in prison. He spent five years as an assistant pastor before he became pastor of his church in 2011.
Testimony of Conversion
I grew up in a family put our faith in Buddhism and ancestors worship. When Saigon, the capital city of South Vietnam, fell to the North Vietnamese forces on April 30, 1975, I left school to earn money to support my family. I worked as a deputy chairman in a People’s Committees in district 8. I used to combine forces to arrest religious organizations many times. In 1998, because of a property dispute, my mother had to sell her house. In 1990, I was found guilty on charges of irresponsibility, causing serious consequence while I was department manager of work. I was imprisoned for two years.
After that, I was moved to Chi Hoa Prison and Ham Tan Prison in Thuan Hai Province. When I was in jail, my family came to know Christ. Two years later, I was permitted to meet my family during my jail time. One day my mother slipped a paper, which is written Psalm 121 into my hand. She told me to learn it by heart and pray to God. Although I did not know who Christ was, I started to pray. I said in my heart, “Please forgive my sin because I ravaged Your Church. Please let me know who You are and deliver me from trouble. Lord Jesus, can You give my family a better place to live?” At that time, I was bitter toward those who harmed me. I thirsted for living to seek revenge.
At the end of the year 1992, I was sent to Chi Hoa Jail, and three days later, I was in Ham Tan jail. It was easier there for me to meet my family so I could read the Bible whenever my mother came. I saw my mom and my brothers had an incredible peace. Sometimes they were optimistic. My mother told me to pray for my enemies, stop cursing them but bless them and pray for those who abused me. Although I had not known about much about God, I lived by faith. He delivered me from evil devices of jailers and cruel prisoners. Their thoughts were against me for evil, and they had waited to take my life every day. I realized He is my stronghold in the time of trouble.
Thank God I was released about three months ahead of my deadline at the end of 1993. I recalled my past every day and came to realize with deep regret about my sinful life. It was a pity that I spent lots of time injuring others. I recognized that everything was vanity and my feeble efforts were nothing. Instead of living in bitterness, I asked God to break the vow of vengeance against my enemies.
At the beginning of the year 1994, I confessed of faith, learned the God’s Word, and went to the church faithfully. I also spent time writing letters of proclaiming my faith in Christ and my forgiveness for my enemies. By His grace, I got married in 1994. From the bottom of my heart, I promised to devote my life for Him.
Call to Ministry
At the beginning of 1994, I accepted the Christian statement of faith, learned the Bible, and went to a Church faithfully. In 1995, I came back to work as a human resources officer in a drug rehabilitation center. I found a way to preach about Jesus for detainee’s every day, but others always hampered it. The desire for preaching the Gospel was burdensome, and I was discouraged until the end of the year 2008; I heard about the Gospel, and a Pastor called my name to serve the Lord when I was in a church. I thought carefully, prayed, and I decided to leave my work in 2006. I became a member to support the senior pastor of Nhi Xuan Church. I began to join in theological classes. In March of the year 2011, the senior pastor laid his hand on me and prayed for me, and now I serve in that role in the church.
I developed a passion for reading the Bible and began to give my whole mind to study the Bible. How great is my Lord! He always make a way where there seems to be no way. I attempt to obey the Word of God; although I have been paying the price for that, I believe in that I am right because I trust in the Bible and it is the only way to be led in His truth. I ask God for His strength, faith, and the understanding about Him to guide His flock, which He gives to me.