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Good Morning Vietnam

31 May 2010 70 Comments

Our month in Vietnam came and went faster than I had wanted.  I still can’t get my mind around the fact that I will be home in 30 days.  I didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived in Vietnam.  My whole squad was stationed right in the middle of Tourist Central, Nam style.  Our hotel was situated between countless souvenir shops, bootleg movie stores, and restaurants promising the best “Western” cuisine.  Stepping out of the hotel I could see countless travelers, all loaded down with their backpacks searching for the next big adventure.  To take one step away from the Hotel meant I was willing to risk certain death because the only thing worse than the heat and humidity in Vietnam is the motorbikes.  To say that there are thousands of crazy motorists on the streets at all times, well that would be an understatement.  Just going across the street to get some water was like playing a giant game of Frogger with my life.  Not only were the streets filled with motorists, but add in countless vendors selling their latest catch, hundreds of peddlers selling odds and ends, flashing disco lights, endless carhorns, the constant smell of fish, and a temperature that always stayed above 100 degrees and you get the idea of what it was like walking of our hotel every morning.

Despite the business and constant sensory overload, I really enjoyed our month in Vietnam.  Vietnam is technically a closed country, which means it is illegal to evangelize.  It also means that it is illegal to gather together for any sort of meeting without the government’s approval.  So while is it technically not illegal to be a Christian, it is difficult for Christians to gather together for worship and share their faith with people.  There are some government approved churches in Vietnam, but these churches have to follow strict government protocol, and don’t leave much room for freedom.  These circumstances provided us with an array of different ministries.  I got the chance to go to the countryside and visit underground churches.  Here we did discipleship with the youth, encouraged the congregations, and shared our testimonies about what the Lord is doing all over the world.  I sat as I heard one pastor’s story of beginning his church at the age of 19.  At this time the government was great opposed to Christianity, and every time the government found out he had a convert, he had to work countless hours in the tiring heat for days on end without food.  The pastor said it was grueling work, but he smiled the whole time because he knew one of his little sheep had found their way home.  The commitment and devotion of these pastors absolutely humbled me and encouraged me to pray for the Underground Church all over the world.

One of my favorite ministries was going to the many different orphanages and children’s homes in Ho Chi Minh.  I got to hold tiny precious babies who were infected with HIV, dance and sing with children with mental disabilities, and love on kids who did not have a mother or father.  I absolutely loved getting to love on all of these precious ones.  One of my favorite memories was when I was playing with two boys who had mental disabilities.  We were walking through a Buddhist Temple and suddenly I had an idea.  I reached into my bag and pulled out my two cameras.  I placed one around each of their necks and they proceeded to dance and squeal as they spent the next hour taking pictures of every single thing they could.  I loved watching a passion of mine be able to touch other people’s lives.

Our month in Vietnam flew by like a Vietnamese motorist on a mission.  I am thankful for all of the time I got to spend there, and am blessed to have gotten to meet so many incredible individuals with unwavering passion for Christ admits a country devoted to a god made by man’s hands.
And now we’re on to Cambodia.

On to 30 more days of the Race.

On to one more big adventure before I get home.
Here’s to going out with a bang – Kingdom style.


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