Whenever a call of God is being walked out, it behooves us to have clarity on what God is doing. The tendency is to short-circuit the process by the activity of what may sometimes be even very sincere human efforts. It is easy to be blinded by the tendency of “more of the same,” due to the success of past efforts.
So, when we understand what God is doing, our sites are raised. As our sites are raised, we get a better grasp of the big-picture. It is then that we get a far better view of our role in the scheme of His plans.
So it has been for us on this mission.
It was January 2015 when we were last with the brethren in Hanoi. The evidence of God’s purposes being manifested through these Vietnamese marketplace Christians was amazing then and even more so on this trip. The answers to prayers we have prayed with them in the past are far exceeding our expectations.
Developments in the North
We first came to Hanoi in the first part of 2009. At that time we did one of our God’s economy seminars for about 45 young adults in their mid twenties to mid thirties. They were the sons and daughters of high-ranking, wealthy government officials. Most had been living hedonistic lifestyles — and becoming disillusioned, had fallen prey to being addicted to hard drugs.
It was like an epidemic, with some dying of overdoses and frantic parents putting them in high-end rehab programs, only for them quickly to be sucked back into their self-destructive lifestyles.
Then one by one, these young people began encountering Christians who knew how to pray and who would lay hands on them and rebuke the spirits controlling them. One by one they were instantly delivered from their addictions, having dramatic, life-changing encounters with Jesus.
Their parents, then recognizing the reality of God being demonstrated through changes in their sons and daughters, in seemingly hopeless situations, began coming to faith.
That 2009 seminar was held in the spacious home of the parents of one of those young adults who had had his life dramatically turned around in this way.
What God has been doing has been penetrating the infrastructures of the ruling elite!
Entrepreneurs Mobilizing Opportunity
With several other visits to the north in the interim, in early 2015 we did a special seminar for a group of Christian business owners, each very successful and each completely sold out to the Lord. In many cases, these brothers and sisters had attended a very in-depth Bible school put on by the same man we worked with in setting our program up in early 2009.
What God has been doing has been to deeply touch and mobilize Christian business owners to be blessed to be a blessing to their communities!
So it was that almost two years ago, the primary focus of those attending our seminar was on 1) how to operate a business with God as your Senior Partner and to hear Him more clearly in planning decisions; and 2) how to proactively use your business as a means to advance the Kingdom.
During that time, our host, who had spiritual oversight over these business people asked me to spend some special time with a woman who was planning to start a NGO (non-profit) to train young adults in doing business God’s way. Through an interpreter, we met, we prayed, then we corresponded and I was kept apprised of developments (and challenges) through emails.
Christian Entrepreneurs Employing Kingdom Strategies
So, at the workshop we did for the entrepreneurs on this trip to Hanoi, this very seasoned business woman told me that only two weeks prior to our arrival, her program targeting young adults, despite having a board openly consisting completely of Christians, had received government approval. This woman is a pioneer, not only with her strategic vision from God, but with the way she has gained the approval of the authorities.
Her program had already purchased land that will grow organic foods. There have beenscandals involving the quality of foods across Asia and having foods produced that people can trust has become very important in Vietnam.
So, along with the biblical principles taught with our program, organic farming will become a part of their entrepreneurial training of young adults. This approach also represents the means by which they create revenues for expanding their influence.
The approval of her program represents an important milestone in the relations between the government and believers.
What God has been doing has been in giving the authorities another perspective in terms of the rapid growth of Christian converts in Vietnam!
While the North has been subject in the past to the same persecution as the brethren in the South, this approval represents evidence of slow, but impending change. The surface issue involves government officials not trusting Christians to be good citizens or simply viewing Christian converts as simple, poor people who don’t know better.
However, beneath the surface this observation is compounded by the political inclinations of the authorities of the regions, of which there are two: the progressives who are more open to the West and to Christians; and the hard-core communists, who tend to be reluctant to extending trust to either the West or to Christians.
Nevertheless, when Christians are successful in business and are helping the community at large, this hardened attitude tends to soften. It is even more so, when high-level officials come to faith. This is an important part of what God is doing in Vietnam.
During our Hanoi trip in early 2015, there was a couple in our seminar gifted as entrepreneurs. Both the husband and wife EACH owned several successfulbusinesses. They invited us to dinner after our seminar. They also invited the wife’s 80 year old father to join us. He held high-rank in the Party. We also found this man very committed to Jesus. He devoured the Word of God daily and had become a very committed intercessor.
At the time he had came to faith, this man asked the Lord if He wanted him to leave the Party. The Lord told him “No, I want your influence and testimony. I want you to be My ambassador.”
Developments in the South
In returning to the South last week, we conducted a workshop for business owners for the biggest official (CMA) church in Saigon. An estimated 70 people attended. They eagerly received our program, as many for the first time, heard what the Bible had to say about making God their Senior Partner and becoming community builders through their enterprises.
Finally, at the end of this trip, we met with the committee of businessmen who had asked me to prepare a series of short videos on God’s economy and Jewish (biblical) business secrets. During our trip in July we presented them with 24 thirteen to fourteen minute videos. The committee has not only translated the materials to be dubbed into Vietnamese, but has prepared a very persuasive introduction on business people finding success in their business, together with purpose in their destiny through small Christian business prayer/support groups. Their first step will be a web-site that use these videos as a means to attract young entrepreneurs.
What God is doing is creating strategic alliances between business and ministry to advance the momentum of those recognizing the reality of God being evidenced through the Vietnamese Church. What God is doing is raising up a cadre of committed and strategic leaders who are changing the spiritual climate in seats of power. What God is doing is presenting the Vietnamese with the common ground between the Vietnamese and Jewish cultures as a means of drawing a cadre of movers and shakers to Himself, who will build the community around them. What God is doing is laying the groundwork for changing the course of this nation.
What God has been doing has been blessing our efforts to be a part of what He is doing in Vietnam.
So, once again I want to express our deep appreciation. May God richly bless you for your support and prayers in enabling us to be a part of what God is doing.