Ministry Report About Church Growth Before Vietnam War

Below is a rare missionary testimony from Vietnam prior to the war.  This article was discovered in the Vietnam Christian archives.

Up on the high plateau, far away from the coast, is the land of the primitive tribespeople. For centuries it has been their land alone, theirs to roam as they wished, theirs to cultivate in the way they saw best, theirs in which to worship the spirits as their fathers had done for the past centuries. These people had the Gospel message for nearly thirty years. Now, if you could travel in the jungles of Vietnam you would come across many churches scattered among the hundreds of villages.

But recently there has come a change. Up from the coast have come energetic Vietnamese to establish new homes in this vast region. Some came on their own to open restaurants, work on road building or plantations, begin bus and taxi service or engage in commerce. The great majority, however, were moved by the government to farm in resettlement areas, thereby opening up vast, unused tracts of rich land and also alleviating the congestion down on the coastal plain.

It was no small task to clear this forested land, making it ready for early cultivation. New roads had to be cut so farmers could get their produce to market. Irrigation and drainage systems were dug by hand with dams and canals made of earth. Where needed, wells were dug: All this took a great deal of time and not without many periods of discouragement. Frequently there was the urge to return to old, familiar surroundings.

Vietnamese people attribute great importance to ‘home’ – the area where their parents are buried. It does not matter how many years it has been since they left their village; they still teach their children that back there is home.

Thus, these many tens of thousands of Vietnamese are as strangers in another people’s land. And they need Christ. God provided for them in a most remarkable way. The large provincial centers had Vietnamese missionaries to the tribespeople who, seeing their fellow countrymen about town, were constrained to share with them the Good News which they were teaching to tribespeople. Thus it was that in Dalat, and many other smaller centers, many of these people away from home found Christ.

Now there are established churches with resident pastors in these towns. In the new resettlement villages, however, God used another method.

Among the groups chosen to leave home were small numbers of Christians. Located in different jungle areas, these Christians began to witness. Disrupted from their way of life, the hearts of those who had been resettled were open to the story of the love of God. As a result, today are over two thousand believers in more than thirty villages. There are already seventeen church buildings either completed or partially built, seven of which have resident pastors.

This has been accomplished entirely through the work of the Holy Spirit. But then it appeared as if God’s children had been left by the wayside, for no material aid or spiritual help was forthcoming from the National Church, the reason being there just were not enough workers. Those closest to the resettlement villages were already doing all they had strength to do.

How were these sheep to be tended? Once every two or three months the nearest pastor would visit them for a few hours, encouraging them in the Word of God and instructing them to maintain a good witness for their Master.

But with such infrequent visits it was to be expected that the pressures from without would cause some to go astray or leave the fold.

Such was the case when the pastor went one Sunday to visit a new village. He found only one family standing true out of more than forty former Christians, and this family was being tested sorely. One of their children had just died; both the father and mother were ill and a litter of pigs, which was their sole earthly possession, died the day fore they were to go to the market. Despite hardship, this man and his wife stood true stating they ever would be faithful to their Lord and Savior. They were in need of encouragement but what could be done when there was no one to give it?

As in most of these new settlements, the pastor had to lean wholly on God, asking Him to intervene.

After a few months there was a great turning to the Lord. All forty who had backslidden were restored to fellowship with the Savior, and about forty new believers were added to their number. A church was erected, a parsonage built and when a resident pastor was available there were about one hundred and thirty believers. Praise the Lord!

At still another place the Lord worked in this way. Sent with the first group to this new area was a deacon from one of our large churches on the plains, a man filled with the Spirit and zealous for his Lord. After arriving at the site of their new home, he sent word to the pastor that eighteen Christians had come up from the coast but through his witness the believers were now numbered sixty. Would the pastor please come and visit them?

Several days passed before the trip could be made, and by that time forty more had prayed for salvation. People continued to pray, a church building was erected and a pastor was sent there to minister among two hundred and fifty Christians. Now there are nearly four hundred people in this area alone who have responded to the Gospel, joining in worship and praise to our Lord and Savior.

Christ’s promise, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” is being proven continually.

These two instances can be multiplied many times over, for everywhere a Christian has gone, even to the remotest village, we always find the evidence of Christ’s presence with him, keeping him and bringing others into the fold through his simple testimony.

Dr. Eugene Bach is a known trouble-maker with an active imagination and sinful past. He has a PhD, but is not a real doctor, so please do not call for him during a medical emergency on an airplane when someone is having a heart attack. Eugene started working for Back to Jerusalem in the year 2000 after a backroom deal involving Chinese spies, the NRA, Swiss bankers, and a small group of Apostolic Christians that only baptize in Jesus’ name. He spends most of his time in closed countries attempting to topple governments by proclaiming the name of Jesus and not taking showers. From time-to-time he pretends to be a writer. He is not good at it, but everyone around him tries to humor him.

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