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The Country isn’t Closed to Him
So far it’s been an awesome month in Vietnam with some pleasant surprises along the way. I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel like an extended vacation with the beach being so close to our hostel. We do coffee shop ministry for 3 hours a day and my down time has been filled with surfing, beach running, parasailing, and hiking. But just because its been fun does not mean it has not been fruitful….
I was skeptical about doing coffee shop ministry in a closed country. I’ve always preferred doing ministry amongst the poor in hard places so helping people learn English in a coffee shop didn’t sound exciting or fruitful to me. Vietnam is a closed country which means its illegal to share the g0spel and convert others to [email protected] You can get deported or imprisoned for sharing your [email protected] We didn’t know what we could or couldn’t say about why we were in Vietnam so we played it safe the first week. Honestly we started out way too safe. Despite playing it safe, a young from the coffee shop did convert to [email protected] and is being discipled by one of my teammates.
The second week everything changed. I lead a w0rship session for our team and I asked the team what the L0rd was putting on their hearts. Eric got the word “freedom,” McKenzie felt like G0d was telling her that He didn’t care that it was a closed country, and Emily felt G0d telling us to pray bigger. Our team decided on two big prayers to start [email protected] The first [email protected] was that we would see 7 people give their lives to J3sus. The second [email protected] was that all the staff in our coffee shop would become Chr1stians. We committed to [email protected] these big [email protected] constantly and threw caution to the wind, as we would attempt to steer conversations in the coffee shop toward the g0spel. G0d began to answer faster that we could even imagine.
That night, after we prayed our big prayers, my teammate Krystal was able to share the g0spel with several people and one person accepted J3sus right then and there! The next day, my teammate Emily and I took the morning shift. Emily was able to share the gospel with a whole table of people and another young woman accepted J3sus! We gave her a copy of a Vietnamese Bi.ble and a copy of The Purpose Driven Life. We’ve been guiding her and her boyfriend in their walk ever since that day. That same morning, I met a woman who was engaged to a Chr1stian man, but didn’t know what his [email protected] was all about. I shared the g0spel with her and she also [email protected] to accept J3sus! After less than 24 hours of praying big, we saw three people convert to Chr1stianity and been able planted many g0spel seeds for the kingdom. We have given away all of our Vietnamese Bi.bles and are getting more this weekend! We eagerly await for G0d to reveal the next 3 new belie.vers to us and continue to blow our minds.
In the book of Ex0dus, the Egyptians tried to control the Israelite slaves through persecution. By the grace of G0d the more the Israelites were persecuted, the more their numbers grew. I’ve noticed in Vietnam, the chu.rch operates in the same way. As the government takes away their buildings and makes laws to control their numbers, the chu.rch continues to thrive underground. I think governments fear the spread of Chr1stianity because when we follow J3sus we are freed from ung0dly human rules.
The same day those two woman in the coffee shop converted my sister Stephanie came in town. Its’ been so great having her join us in m1nistry and my team has been so accommodating to her. G0d lined up our Southeast Asia trips perfectly and by no coincidence as she is growing on her own spiritual journey as well. Overall, this week we have learned the products of praying big and sovereignty of G0d in oppressed nations. If your reading this, continue to [email protected] for the chu.rch of Vietnam and for these big [email protected] we have to be answered!
AMAZING! Love this. Thank you for your encouragement.
Feel like the Lord wants to show you what He’s doing in your “downtime” moments as well.
I was very touched to hear the encouraging and powerful story that God did for my country because “HE did not care whether VN is a closed country to Him”. I have learnt a big lesson for ” praying big” for my spiritual life. Love and God bless and cover you as always.
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