‘Dear teacher we don’t want you to leave – your lessons were wonderful, and we will miss you so much!’ The group of children held on to her and began to cry as they had to farewell Sister L* – our most experienced team member. She had travelled the length of the nation to run an outreach programme to these spiritually hungry kids from far North Vietnam.
Although Vietnam has opened a lot recently to tourism, it is still governed by the Communist Party. In the North and Central Highlands, which is home to many minority groups, there is still persecution, much poverty and far less freedom of religion than in the South.
Over the summer two other Generation Ministries teams also held many outreaches using the new five-lesson evangelistic material we recently published for use in Vacation Bible Schools (VBS). They travelled extensively to 25 different towns and villages and had a great response from 2300 children with over 800 salvations.
‘It was really hard coping with the bad conditions, but we were so happy to see the children’s enthusiastic response’, said Sister PH*, our team leader. ‘Kids came from over 10 minority people groups. Although we faced persecution from local authorities who sometimes stopped our teaching, God protected us victoriously.’
GM team member testimonies:
Khang: ‘In Bac Lieu many children misbehaved. Some were unhappy and did not want to learn, and others ran out of the class. But when we taught “God answers our prayers”, they began to change. It was wonderful to see that after two days they were so different – no longer swearing and fighting, but very focused on the lessons.’
Thao: ‘In Quang Ngai the children live in harsh poverty. Many cannot afford to go to school and have to take care of cows in the hills, but they were allowed to attend VBS. They would come early for every lesson, which moved me to tears.’
With the valuable guidance of Sunfocus Foundation, we also trained over 90 teachers to use the material. One trainee described how he reached 1000 kids with the gospel and has a plan to reach 4000 kids next year. Other trainees like Phuong reported back enthusiastically: ‘The lessons were used by the Holy Spirit in a way that was beyond my experience and understanding – very unexpectedly. Wow! He opened the hearts and minds of the children so strongly.’
A senior Baptist leader in Hanoi asked L*, ‘Where did you get this excellent material – please bring more next year and train all our teachers to use it’. She is going back soon.
We are urgently in need of donations to reprint out-of-stock lessons as well as some new material. You can bless Vietnam’s kids through the WOI website ‘Projects’ page: ‘Sunday School Curriculum Project (Vietnam or Cambodia)’ or the usual WOI channels.
By Peter and Bev van der Westhuyzen
Generation Ministries Vietnam
Ministry leaders involved in children’s evangelism and discipleship.