2016 Vietnam – Hyoju Park

Because He Hears

From January 18th to 27th, I joined a short-term missions trip to Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang in Vietnam. God handpicked each of our team members, quickly united us in one spirit, and led us to move in oneness. For me, this trip was like a gift box of a great variety of chocolates. I woke up excited each morning, because hearing the day’s ministry schedule was like opening a gift box. I felt God’s grace on every part of this trip: the unity of the team, our local contact Brother Sang and his family, the local church communities, the beautiful nature, the amazing food, and the accommodations. I was a little nervous before I left, because I thought I had to bring a huge weapon to help break up the spiritual ground in Vietnam. But as I met and ministered to the people, I realized that God sent us not only to fight battles, but also to witness His faithfulness

First, God was faithful to give me the right focus for this trip. As I ministered, my main desire was to carry the heart of God the Father. I was being sent to the place where God called me, and I was meeting people whom He had appointed. Therefore I just prayed to carry His heart so that each person could encounter Him. And God is so faithful. I could feel His love and compassion every time we met people. His heart was so big and strong, and I couldn’t ignore it. At every service I prayed, “God, please don’t pass them by. I know You are here. Tell them that You are here for them.” Whether the people waited for God to meet them or whether God waited for them to come closer to Him, it didn’t matter. The Lord’s presence was at every service, filling the sanctuary with praise, speaking directly to people’s hearts, and demonstrating that He is the one who hears prayers and never forgets.

God was also showed me how He is faithful to His children. One example of this is when He allowed our team to help break up the altars in a home. The team was on a 4 hour drive from a village outreach back to our hotel when Brother Sang got a phone call. A family of new believers had been waiting for a pastor to come and remove the altars in their home, but schedules were not matching up. So our team decided to join Brother Sang and his father Papa Sang on their home visitation. It was a divine appointment and our team was very excited. Pastor Myunghwa (our team preacher) gave a message to the family on how one man can be a blessing to all generations to come. Our team gathered and prayed for the family. Papa Sang directed everything as Brother Sang literally took a hammer and broke down the brick stand for the incense and lamp. Our team leader Louis helped throw away the idols and broken altar pieces. We then prayed a cleansing prayer over the home and Pastor Myunghwa anointed the doorway with oil.

It was a powerful moment, but as we interceded, I felt anger in my heart all of sudden. The father, mother, and children were the only Christians in their family and also the village. They were rejected by their relatives because of their faith. I started to realize how unfair this is. Why can’t some people worship God with their family’s blessing? Why can’t they have generational blessings from their parents? I know God has the power and right to choose His people, but I was definitely unhappy. This is because I know how hard it is to be the only Christian in the family.

And at that moment God showed me a frustration I had been carrying deep inside of me. It’s awesome to be surrounded by amazing leaders at church. But my family has ancestor worship ceremonies at least 4 times a year. When I tell them I am going on a missions trip to spread the Gospel, they don’t understand why I should go through training and fundraising to talk about Jesus in other countries. I’ve been praying for my family’s salvation since I was saved. Sometimes I imagine being able to hear Bible stories from my dad. Sometimes I imagine my mom giving me wise and Biblical advice when I’m being foolish. But when I look at my life, I haven’t experienced this yet. So there are many moments when I am so discouraged and tempted to believe that God would not save my family.

But in that moment in Vietnam as I prayed for this family of bold new believers, God spoke to me. God told me to take this breakthrough as a prophetic sign of what He is doing in Vietnam, and also in my own family. God reminded me of how one person’s faith matters so much to Him. I thought of how God protected my family through my prayers. My dad has 6 siblings and my mom has 4 siblings. And half of these families are broken. They are divorced and fight over money. Even a week before I left Korea, my cousin attempted suicide and the police caught him at the Han River. But God is the restorer of families, and none of the evil spirits have overtaken my family. I also remembered a day when my dad fell a flight of stairs directly onto a concrete floor but didn’t get any injuries. It was a miracle that he wasn’t hurt. And my mom knew this was because I pray for my family. She literally said, “The God that Hyoju believes in saved my husband.”

God is answering my prayers, just as He will answer the prayers of this Vietnamese family. Instead of complaining about how lonely we feel as believers, I know we are the chosen ones to break curses and speak life. We are to break the chains and cover our families and even our nations with the blood of Jesus. And I am so thankful that God doesn’t just protect families from bad things, but that He blesses them. I am excited to see my family and the next generation receive God’s blessings. I am excited to see this Vietnamese family and their next generations receive God’s blessings. God hears, cares, and answers. He is faithful to come through on behalf of even one person who loves Him and calls on Him.

I didn’t know that my heart would burn for Vietnam like this. I am still amazed by God’s grace for me that He would let me participate His work. And I would like to ask us to continue to pray for Vietnam as a family. We heard many heartbreaking stories. Many families need healing, protection, and the provision of God. As we took the removal of idol altar as a prophetic sign of transformation in the nation, please pray for the Gospel to spread even more in Vietnam. Also keep the young generations in your prayers, that they will grow in faith under healthy church discipleship and earnestly seek God’s blessing for the nation, just like Prophet Nehemiah.

Thank you so much for praying for our team and the land. We felt your prayers. We could boldly minister because we knew that our church family got our backs. You are one of our team members, so please find the rest of the team members, hear as many testimonies as you can and take them as yours. I want to finish my testimony by sharing a Bible verse from Isaiah 61:11. This is the verse I wrote on my support letter, too.

“For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.”

I praise God who always hears, who never forgets or gives up. He who remembers His people and will transform families, cities and the nation through them.