The Beauty of Christ v. the Ugliness of Cancer
People with cancer in Vietnam are not suffering through their painful treatments in clean hospitals with meals provided.
From Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City in the south, cancer patients eat only what their families bring to dirt-laden hospitals that are so overcrowded that the sick are often lying in the hallways. There are not two patients per room, but often two patients per bed – sometimes with two patients under each bed as well.
To these people go native missionaries who bring the hope of Christ to people in physical, emotional and spiritual agony. A native ministry that also runs an orphanage even sends its abandoned children to the hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, complete with milk and cookies, to sweeten the patients’ day and give them a chance to hear testimonies of Christ’s transforming power.
“We also gather these patients together at the nearby church each month to share the gospel,” the ministry leader said. “Approximately 60 of them accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. In several cases, patients have been healed by prayer, and by this miracle many of their relatives also came to faith in Christ.”
There are not two patients per room, but often two patients per bed – sometimes with two patients under each bed as well.
As follow-up, the ministry sent a pastor from a local house church to their homes to teach the Bible and keep them growing in Christ.
“Some of these small groups suffer persecution from non-believers and the authorities in the villages, but they remain strong in their faith,” the director said. “Please continue praying for them.”
Many of the patients come from tribal villages where the gospel is unknown. Largely illiterate, ethnic people from the lowlands as well as patients from large cities have no knowledge of Christ, and a ministry working in Hanoi has reached them with gospel-loaded MP3 players.
They come to know Christ from memory sticks containing the Bible in the Vietnamese and Khmer languages, as well as follow-up materials for those who have put their faith in Christ. The ministry relies on memory sticks and eight-gigabyte MP3 players, with plans to expand the audio materials to Hmong, Koho and Ede languages.
Patients’ family members are typically present caring for them, and they hear the message of Christ’s salvation too.
One worker recently saw 50 people put their trust in Jesus over the course of two days, the director said. Patients usually stay in the hospital no more than two weeks, and native workers later follow up with them in their homes.
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