Once we arrived home, we immediately began to travel to the various churches that had agreed to let us talk about God’s work in Vietnam in an effort to raise the additional support we needed to continue with the Bible Institute. We also had a few conferences through March, but nothing had yet been scheduled after March. So we planned on meeting our scheduled dates, while trying to arrange some additional ones. The very first Sunday we were up in Orange Park, Florida at a church plant called Watermark. Pastor Tim Larson and his wife Elisabeth were so gracious to us and we was so blessed to fellowship with them and share about all that God has done and is doing in Vietnam. The kicker is Elisabeth is from Vietnam and speaks fluent Vietnamese so we extended an open invitation for them to join us any time on the mission field. We were excited to have such a good start to our five month journey.
The following Sunday we were back up in Jacksonville at The Springs Church for two services and then journeyed all the way down to Lakeland at Northside Baptist Church’s evening service with Dr. Dan Yaw. What a busy, but wonderful day in the Lord it was. God really ministered to our hearts through each of the services and the generosity of both places. Dr. Yaw’s church sponsors over 36 missionaries each month. I love churches who take “To the Ends of the World” seriously. Praise God for Northside Baptist Church and all the churches that are just like it.
Lien and I had the opportunity to visit several other churches in Lakeland and share about Vietnam as well as preach. One Sunday morning I was preparing to get up and share, when all of a sudden the Spirit of the Lord came upon my heart making it difficult to do anything but share the burden he put on me. It was again from the book of Philippians where the Apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ”. As we stood there worshipping, the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me with how hard it had been for us the last several months and how so many Pastors and Christians around the world have suffered and died for the sake of Christ, and yet here in America we attach blessing and prosperity to the Christian life. I shared how as I slept on the floor at my Father-in-law’s house in Vietnam complaining about how hot, and uncomfortable I was, the Lord told me to look over at my Father-in-law laying on the ground next to me and asked me if I was better than him, then proceeded to ask me if I was better than Jesus, “For He did not even have a place to lay His head.” Again I answered no, and began to repent for my selfish actions. As I shared with trembling I realized to “Live is Christ” is to Dream other Dreams from the American one. For Christ did not come to live in luxury and comfort, but to sacrificially love and preach the “Kingdom of God is at hand!”
We were up in Atlanta for almost 3 weeks and we visited some wonderful Churches and awesome folks. One of those wonderful churches was the Connection Church in Jonesboro, GA. whose pastor is Rev. Lance Sumner. Pastor Lance and his wife Deena opened there arms to us real wide as if they have known us forever. It was truly a God-thing and immediately they became dear friends. The Connection Church did not hesitate to add us as one of their missionaries that they pray for and support financially ever month. We were so blessed but on top of that Pastor Lance made a commitment to come in December to Vietnam and train the National Pastors on Pastoral Care. What an amazing blessing and a shot of joy so early in our time back.