Pao, his wife, Lan, and their two children sat huddled in the canvas hut he had constructed. They were amazed at the cold and the snow, so rarely seen in Vietnam. Since Pao’s family had kicked them out of the family house, they were exiled to a primitive life in this forest region. The snow had come unexpectedly overnight on the mountain where they struggled to survive. Pao had to search for the canvas and somehow build a living space for the four of them — all with a withered leg and severe limp.
Test of His Faith
How did they come to this desperate place? Pao had become a Christian, and his extended family was shocked and appalled. They asked him to give up his faith, but he refused. He told them he would not quit serving Jesus. Pao’s faith was strong, but now he and his wife and children were in danger of dying in the cold.
Pastor Tuan received a text telling him of Pao’s plight and asking him to pray. But Pastor Tuan did much more than pray. The missionary sent his twin nieces to assess the situation and determine how Pastor Tuan’s church family could immediately aid these new Christians in such dire circumstances. First, they gave Pao’s family warm clothing and food, then money to purchase additional food.
Going the Extra Mile
When the nieces realized Pao’s family was homeless, Pastor Tuan’s church chose to help even more. Pao’s crippled leg prevented him from doing much for his family, so the church raised funds and sent members to build them a house. Church members worked on a rotation basis to construct the home, continuing to raise money and sending more members to work until the house was completed. Pao and his family were so grateful they began inviting people to their home to worship. That started in 2016. Since then, Pao has established ten churches in the area. These ten churches have a total of 1,500 members. One church has grown to four times the size of the original church.
Seeing the love of Jesus demonstrated in such a concrete way convinced Pao’s father to become a Christian. Then Pao’s brother, a soldier, became a Christian, too. Soon, his brother began hosting a church in his own home. The Lord was at work through these Christian missionaries.
God Sees Our Value
Pastor Tuan underscored the importance of this story: “People matter to God. Don’t underestimate how God can use a person’s life for His ministry.” In the eyes of most people, Pao was a person of little value, but he had value in the eyes of God. He also had worth in the eyes of Pastor Tuan, his nieces, and his church members. They invested time, money, and labor in Pao and his family. Pastor Tuan agreed that the church’s investment had a significant return.
Blessing the Kingdom
Do you want to make a difference in the kingdom of God in places you may never visit? Consider giving to ANM. When you give, you enable Pastor Tuan and other native missionaries like him to offer a helping hand to ordinary, possibly overlooked people. What you do makes a difference in the lives of undervalued and needy individuals.