2017 Vietnam – Minho Baek

To Praise and to Have a Vision

As always, it is time to write a testimony after a missions trip. What have I learnt? What has God shown me? What is He trying to tell me? These are the questions I find myself asking time and time again. Even throughout the trip, I would catch myself pondering upon them. And as the time in Vietnam came to an end, I found myself with words that summarised aspects of the trip very pleasantly.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:1-2

The first word I would like to share with you is worship. The praise and worship is definitely powerful in Vietnam. It’s another reminder that worship is not about numbers or size, but about the heart. It is a declaration of God’s goodness. And in Vietnam it was in the least expected times that God touched my heart through worship. If I was to pick out one instance of this, I would be the time our team visited a drug addict rehabilitation house. The house is run by a man who himself went through a dramatic transformation. After being involved in criminal activities from a young age, he was at death’s door from HIV when he met Christ. He then experienced supernatural healing, went to seminary, and after graduation he has dedicated his life to helping those who are going looking to break free from drug addiction.

The house really was a place where we had to be cautious “just in case.” The men/boys in this house vary in age, with some covered in tattoos, and most having intense back stories. It’s not every day that we find ourselves among people whom the society labels as dangerous. But this preconception was washed away as soon as these men led us in a time of praise and worship. It was as if I was listening to an army of God. My heart broke. Their voices were not about volume but about heart. These brothers knew what worship was and what it meant to them. These men who are viewed and treated harshly, were suddenly like children in the presence of God. After the sermon and during our fellowship, we learned that those in the rehabilitation house worship together twice a day every day, and have Bible study as well. They know Jesus without a doubt and what He means to them. It’s not habit nor obligation, but when they praise and worship, they are showing their genuine love and heart.

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him…” Isaiah 64:4.

The second word I would like to share is vision. Our Native Partners for World Missions (NPWM) contact Brother Sang Ho is a visionary. Our first time meeting him, I thought he just loved to talk, but in fact I learned to perceive that he is a man with grand visions and dreams. A businessman with seminary training who has been through approximately 11 businesses, he is a man with an expanse of knowledge and experience. He prays and moves with the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He often says, “I don’t know, I just do.” And God has been so faithful to move on his behalf. Some may see this as foolish, but that is sometimes what I wish I could be able to do this, too- to have faith to believe God will move and provide.

In 2007, Brother Sang held a vision that in twenty years Vietnam would become a nation that would send out missionaries. Thus he desired to have a missions centre to raise up leaders and a to hold Christian events. 2017 marks the halfway mark for this vision and Brother Sang shared that he was disappointed because he felt he had achieved nothing. However, he knew that just as a farmer prepares for a season of sowing seeds, he must first wait for the right time and prepare the land beforehand in order to harvest the best results. I saw the heart and the preparation for Vietnam in Brother Sang. One can only imagine what the next ten years holds for this nation and the visions that God has entrusted this mighty minister.

Though this may be my third missions trip with New Philly, I found this trip to be the most inspiring and encouraging. It was amazing to be sent to a nation where there is not only a deep hunger for God, but also a mission field that is being prepared for a mighty harvest. Seven days is a short period of time, but it was more than enough to be able to see glimpses of hope in Jesus for the years ahead. I hope that my trip to Vietnam will be a part of someone’s testimony in the future, and that together we will be a part of the greater work that God is unfolding in this country.