Our scholarship outreach has been a great success – all thanks to your generous donations. We have been able to bless over 100 children with what they need to attend school for a year, both in the south of the country, where we are based, and in Central Vietnam, a region that has typically has been more closed to outside Christian ministry than the south. A total of 102 scholarships were handed out at four different events (three in the south and one in the central area) and we know that the Lord used this time to expose His love for all these events.
When we originally set the goal of raising enough to hand out 100 scholarships, we were really not sure how we would accomplish this – along with our regular fund-raising for the Bible college classes and other ministry expenses. But God knew how it would all turn out and because of you who so lovingly gave, we have been able to meet and succeed our goal. Praise God for a wonderful month of being Jesus to this nation and this generation.
Our first event was at the beginning of August, where we handed out the first 30 scholarships at a local government office. What was truly amazing was that they allowed me to share with everyone the love of Christ. When they called me up to speak, I spoke about how the Lord Jesus knew of their tough situation, saw each of them and heard their plea and has provided for them. I shared just how much He loved them and how He had a special plan for their life. No one was moving and not one person even blinked while I spoke. I am telling you the seed of the gospel was planted on such good ground that afternoon.
Our second event was also in the south where we were able to give 22 scholarships to needy children from our home church in the town we are located most of the time. These children are extremely poor and their families are all involved in the work of the Lord. Most of their parents are regular attendees at the 5:30 am daily prayer meeting, and almost all of them are actively serving in the worship services throughout the week. When we shared with the Pastors that we wanted to help them, a great shout of joy and celebration was heard for God had answered their prayers. We were able to gather the 22 kids that received the scholarship and share with them the importance of their education, and just how much the Lord loved them and wanted them to succeed. Then we prayed over them and for them as we handed out the gifts. What a joyous time.
For the third event, the Lord open a great door for us in Quang Ngai (in Central Vietnam) to bless over 20 children with school scholarships. While we were there, we had a half day Vacation Bible School where we shared Bible stories (I played Goliath), did crafts, learned songs, danced and preached the gospel. Over 40 children from this poor part of the country showed up and almost every single one of them raised their hand to ask Jesus in to their heart. We understand that they are young, but it simply blesses my heart how hungry they are to know and want Jesus. The following day we had an opportunity to preach and fellowship with the church we have been helping for years and then later that afternoon we were able to do a short time of teaching and training for about 20 pastors and leaders representing five churches in the area.
The fourth and final event was back in the south, near our home base, and the final 32 scholarships were handed out during a big ceremony, organized by the local government to celebrate the new school year and to recognize excellence at the school. I was the only foreigner there and we were so blessed to be introduced as Pastors in the area, who love the children. Pastor Hai (my father-in-law) spoke briefly about how blessed we were to be able to bless the community and that we pray continuously for our community and the well-being of the children. All the important government officials from the local and larger provincial area attended to celebrate this event. Only through God, and by all of us working together, could this have been accomplished. Amazing to realize how His glory and love shine through and cannot be restrained.
We send you all a very heartfelt “thank you”-- to everyone who gave to this effort, who prayed for this effort and who continues to pray that hearts and minds are opened to the love that is Jesus Christ
God Bless and we love you.