2017 Vietnam – Brock MacDonald

Good News: Beautiful Feet

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” – Romans 10:14-15

The second week of January, I was sent with a team of 13 to Vietnam to build up the churches there. This is one story of God’s work there. Thank you so much for your support.

In the last weeks of training for missions early this winter, Pastor Marcus said that all active leaders would preach on the trip this year. The room was full of mixed responses. I was excited. I love preaching. I love preparing. It forces me to know God in a fresh way, and to consider deeply how to explain this new or deeper facet of Him that I’ve come to know. It forces me to consider very practically the daily application of this delicious new Truth that’s been uncovered. To me, preaching forces joy and life to come. It requires intimacy with God. I was to fill myself with His truth in a way that I could share. I was excited to preach, because I knew it meant I was ‘required’ to be close with God. What a pleasant obligation!

In preparation for our trip to Vietnam, the whole team was mediating on Ephesians. I was going through the book, and was struck by the apparent contrast in the language Paul used. He talked about benefits and inheritances, but never talked about things. The inheritance and benefits were the personhood of God. I felt in my heart that this exciting Truth would be what I would preach about. I was also pleased that it lined up so neatly with some of my studies from my theology classes at seminary this past fall. God had been preparing me for this word for months!

On the trip I heard I was to preach on Saturday morning. This was at the childhood church of our local contact, Brother Sang, where his father still pastors. I was honored. I made some changes to my message, as this was thought to be a congregation of faithful, older Christians. I was ready and eager. I disallowed any lies of anxiety, and trusted that God was more eager to establish and encourage His people than even I was. I trusted that He would move as I spoke out the truth He had highlighted to my heart. A little before I went up, I asked the much more experienced and wiser Pastor Anna for any advice. She encouraged me to preach with authority, as I had been sent to minister to these people not out of my own authority, but to encourage the people with God’s Word.

I opened Ephesians 1 and spoke of the benefit that is in Jesus, to be able to relate to the Holy God as a favorite son, to have His help in every situation, and the hope that is our life with Him forever. The people were receptive and open. At the end, I felt to call up the discouraged to receive prayer to be encouraged in the truth that God is pleased with them, and that He is with them in their struggles. People were slow to respond at first, but Brother Sang encouraged them for a few moments and 14 of the 19 people there came up to receive prayer! There were many who were weary with ministry that was slow to bear fruit, or people who were just discouraged. But they said that after the word and prayer, they felt refreshed! The goal was accomplished!

But there’s more! A theme of our trip was that God saves the best for last, and this was true that day as well. After the prayer time for the saints to be encouraged, a lady from the back came up to the front of the church. She declared she wanted to accept God into her heart! The benefit of relationship with God in Jesus brought her to repentance! Through our native translator, Pastor Anna led her though a prayer based on the Apostles Creed, which covers a lot of solid theology. And after this prayer of understanding, the newly saved daughter danced around the sanctuary! The fruit of the Spirit was evident. It turns out she had known the church’s pastor for years, and that Saturday morning, all of their sowing was brought in and harvested! I was and am so overjoyed to see God move in my words to speak out His love, presence, and promise to His children. He moved so lovingly, bringing in this one lost sheep!

A word I had received from a brother regarding the trip was that my feet were beautiful. Naturally, my feet are large, but no one has ever called them beautiful. But this was a reference to Romans 10:14-15 that we, who were sent, would bring the Good News. And tjos passage is specifically regarding bringing salvation through preaching! This is just one story of many from this trip. So thank you for sending, supporting, and praying for me. Together, we have strengthened the Kingdom, and brought home one who was far off! My life’s vision is to build the Kingdom of God on earth to be bigger and stronger. Through this trip, we have done so. Thank you so much for your partnership!