A teacher in Vietnam who married young, had a handsome young husband and was raising two young children was in so much pain that she wanted to kill herself.
Her husband was well known in their area for his charm, but he also drank heavily, gambled away his income and smoked opium. A local ministry leader said that every time Ngoc* got drunk, he beat his wife.
One night Ngoc came home drunk and beat both Anh* and their children. Seeing that he intended to kill her, Anh slept at a friend’s house that night. When she returned the next morning, she found he had burned all her clothes and her university diploma.
“Because she was so desperate, she wanted to commit suicide by drinking insecticide,” the ministry leader said. “But when holding the bottle of insecticide intending to drink it, her two children were holding her and hugging her and crying.”
She put the bottle away, and before she could figure out who might take care of her children upon her death, within days a native missionary knocked on the door of her home. The message of a Savior to whom she could bring all her burdens and suffering lit a candle in her darkness.
The light that charged into her soul when she put her faith in Christ Jesus filled her with hope, even hope that her husband could change. The newfound hope compelled her to ask him to attend a worship service with her, to which he replied, “No, never.”
Spreading the Light
Over the next few months, Ngoc witnessed how gently and charitably she responded to his hostilities.
Her transformation before his eyes softened his resistance when she and their children entreated him to come, as the fathers of other families at church did, to the worship service, the ministry leader said.
“Praise the Lord, he went to church with his family,” he said. “The local missionary pastoring the church welcomed him, as did all the church members. After the service, the pastor shared the gospel with him, and he received Christ.”
When they returned home, the leader said, Ngoc told Anh: “The Holy Bible is very good, but I can’t understand it. Can you teach me the Holy Bible?”
Anh and local missionaries helped him to learn basic Bible doctrines, and after four months he was baptized like the rest of his family.
“His life was renewed day by day – drunkeness, gambling, fury, lying and opium were no more,” the leader said. “Everything was changed and renewed.”
Ngoc’s transformation was none too pleasing to his gambling, drinking and opium-smoking friends, the leader said. Chiding him for falling in with boring house church members, their only response to his effort to share the gospel with them was, “No, go away.”
When three of his friends were injured in a drunken fight that sent them to a hospital, however, Ngoc visited and found them more willing to listen.
“He shared the gospel with them, and all three of them received Christ in the hospital,” the leader said. “Later church members went to visit, taking care of them and praying for them. Praise the Lord, the three new Christians were living new lives, and their families also received Christ. Now there is a small group in the village, thanks to God.”
Churches among the Unreached
Amid both pandemic restrictions and bans on travel under Vietnam’s 2018 religion law, workers with the native ministry still managed to bring the gospel to unreached people groups, the leader said.
Local missionaries began two small groups among people from two ethnic groups, he said. In the first ethnic group, four people put their faith in Christ, and two people were saved in the second group, the leader said. Workers also planted a church among a previously unreached tribe in another province, he said.
Among an ethnic group where the gospel had already taken root among 1,460 people in 32 villages, the ministry began work to expand the kingdom last year. A local missionary mobilized church members to visit one village without a Christian witness each week.
“After one month, thanks to God, there were nine new believers in two villages,” the leader said. “They invited the nine new believers to a house church in a nearby village. After six months, the nine new Christians had learned basic doctrine and were baptized. Earlier this year, each village had 11 Christians, and there were two new small groups in the two villages.”
The ministry is training 18 native missionaries to be sent to nine new unreached peoples, he said. Please consider a donation today to help workers expand the kingdom of heaven as they bring Christ to the hearts of people among reached and unreached areas.
*Name changed for security reasons