Chinese Orphan-Turned-Missionary in 1950s Rescues Orphans in Vietnam

Missionaries from China is not a new idea.  Here is a story found in the archives of Ho Chi Minh Christian Library about a Chinese believer who went to Bible school in Hong Kong, but couldn’t return when the Communists took over in 1949, so he went to Vietnam as a missionary and built an orphanage.

Below is a picture of the orphanage that he built in Saigon while it was under construction.


A tall, lean Chinese is frequently seen on the streets of Saigon as he goes about ministering to orphans, refugees, and all who are in need of a Saviour. As pastor of the Chinese Alliance Church he has many responsibilities.

Pastor Jonathan Kaan (pictured above) was born into a Christian home, but was left an orphan when still very young. He was placed in a Christian orphanage in a small town in Guangdong province in China.

Upon graduation from high school Jonathan entered Bible School, not to prepare for the ministry, but simply study more of God’s Word. However, during his year at Bible School God showed him his great responsibility to give the Gospel to those who know not Christ. Before he could finish his studies the Communist took-over in China and forced the staff and students to flee to Hong Kong.

It was Jonathan’s hope to be able to return to China following graduation in 1951 from the Alliance Bible Seminary Cheung Chau, Hong Kong. But after inquiry he realized a Gospel ministry would be impossible, so he set his face toward Indonesia.

While awaiting permission to enter that country, he’d be among the thousands of refugees rapidly fleeing the colony. Entry into Indonesia was never granted, so together with his bride, Jonathan went to Vietnam to begin a ministry among the Chinese of that area.

Two years later the communist threat in north Vietnam forced them to flee farther south, this time to Saigon.

From a very small beginning in a store-front building given by a Christian layman, to a lovely, church building with Sunday School facilities, there has been a steady growth in the Alliance Chinese work under the able ministry of Pastor Sand. Now, twelve years later, a second Alliance Chinese church is soon to open. A new building has been purchased, providing a place of worship as well as living quarters for the new workers who have come from Hong Kong.

Because of Jonathan’s background coupled with his deep interest in children (he has seven of his own) it is easy to understand why he wanted to begin a home for needy Chinese children. Three years ago the Children’s Home of Blessing, which has a family of ten, came into being.

At present, a building is under construction that will eventually house more than one hundred Chinese children, providing for them Christian love and care.

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