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Making disciples among the unreached
     

Resurrection Power - Part 2

Tags: Canada, Diaspora Ministry, Story

By Jason*

In our last story "Resurrection Power", we wrote about our ministry to the Chinese Diaspora in Russia. We shared how God sometimes trains us by giving a vision of what He wants us to do, allowing the vision to die, then raising it to life again by His power of the resurrection. He does this so that we do not rely on ourselves, but on Him alone. Did it work the same way among the Vietnamese (VN) Diaspora in Russia? Yes - in a very remarkable way!

Recap

Caption-Vegetable-Market

The vision to work among the Vietnamese diaspora was born during a previous visit to S*, when the VN merchants welcomed us warmly, and three families invited us to their homes for dinner during our trip. On this trip, the Lord provided two VN-speaking evangelists - so the dream moved one step closer to realization. Our hopes, however, were dashed when we visited the market and saw that many stores had closed because of the economy and many merchants and migrant workers had gone back to Vietnam. Those who stayed were not in a mood to hear the gospel. What should we do? Did we misread God's directions?

Resurrection of Vision

But the LORD had other plans. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Is 55:8-9)" Diaspora-Picture

We had planned to evangelize the adults because that was who we saw in the market. Unlike the Chinese Diaspora who have a few more mature Christians to act as bible study leaders, we could not find a single mature VN Christian to follow up with new believers after we leave. Their second generation, however, was a different story. Their children and teens attend the local schools and know the language. They could attend local churches when they become believers - and could become the channel to lead their parents to Christ. The VN pastor H* on our team therefore suggested to our local church partners to start a ministry focusing on the VN youth.

But where would the seed for this new outreach come from? We led one young VN man O* to Christ on our second trip. But we needed at least two people to form a group. God provided the second Christian in a very unusual way.

Providence

We went to the flea market a total of four times during this trip. The first time we met a VN jeans merchant M* who lamented how poor business was and showed us photos of his son — who he was very proud of — who was attending an Orthodox church. M received our tracts, but was not ready to receive Christ. We exchanged contact info, but did not expect anything to happen. On our fourth visit, we went to a VN restaurant with a friendly manager who bought us tea just like he had in a past visit. We took photos, and the manager posted them to Facebook. Little did we know that the waiter T* was M's son, and his face was in the photos we took there along with ours. When M saw T's photo on Facebook, he ran immediately to the restaurant to introduce us to T! He also told us he knew three Chinese people who wanted to start a clothing business, and phoned them right away so they could meet us. In one "coincidence" we not only found our second VN Christian, but also several Chinese people with whom we were able to share the gospel the evening before we departed.

Closure

Wheat-DiasporaThe youth pastor of our partner church invited both O* and T* to church the coming Sunday. Hopefully they will become the seed for a new VN outreach.

What about the adults? The VN pastor H* led a construction worker to Christ this trip, who will return to Vietnam when his contract expires in October. He also shared with a VN cook who wanted to hear but was weighed down by tradition. Nevertheless, he came on our last day for some counseling. "Suddenly" he remembered a VN lady working in the same flea market, who had become a believer years ago in a refugee camp. H phoned her and she came to visit us the next morning, a few hours before we were to fly back home. The lady shared with us her burdens. H will follow up with both the construction worker and the lady via Skype.

All the loose ends got tied up on the last day of our trip, on both the Chinese and VN front. A chance happening? No way! We have seen God's hand at work often enough to recognize His leading behind the scene. You too can experience His direction if you are willing to place yourself at His disposal. Praise be to God!

* This is a true story, but some names have been changed for security reasons.

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