I received a phone call from a total stranger yesterday telling me that God’s Spirit had spoken to him and directed him to come to Malaysia. The Holy Spirit stirred his heart for the Vietnamese in Malaysia. He fled Saigon in the early 90s as a young man. His father was a captain in the army and used to work for the CIA. When his father was released from the prison, the whole family migrated to USA. The communists continue to rule Vietnam. Life was hard for everyone. Christians were persecuted and church activities were greatly restricted. This young man moved on to USA and finished his tertiary education. Called by God to the church ministry, together with his wife they studied in the seminary. Being ordained as a Presbyterian minister in Seattle, when he came to Malaysia, naturally he came looking for reformed pastors in Presbyterian Church of Malaysia. He was given my e-mail address and that was all he has. Somehow his e-mail did not reach me. But he managed to locate me through ‘accidental’ contact with an ordained minister of Presbyterian. The line was connected and the contact made. Sitting in front of my desk, he shared the amazing story of God’s orchestrating his purpose.
When I got the call from Rev. Truong yesterday, God has already prepared my heart for the Vietnamese work. I came back from Ho Chi Minh City on Monday. Hwei Yeow, William and I went to Vietnam to train the pastors. I met Rev. Khoa, the moderator of Presbyterian Church of Vietnam in Bangkok at Mission Consultation. He then invited me to come to Ho Chi Minh to train his pastors. The 4 days mission work in Ho Chi Minh has opened my eyes to the work of God in Vietnam. The country is fast opening up to the outside world. The young population is responsive to the gospel. The country is growing economically at a rapid pace. The labor force is huge and cheap as compared to Malaysia and even China. It has attracted big amount of foreign investment. The desperate need for economic development provides opportunities for tent-makers in business and in teaching English. English centers flourish in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Christian NGOs, which propose legitimate aid projects, are increasingly invited to work in Vietnam. The pastors are eager to learn and have passions to plant churches. From just a small house church movement, the Presbyterian Church of Vietnam (PCV) has grown to a size of 7000 strong in a span of one decade.
Truong shared his burden of being directed by the Holy Spirit to reach out to the Vietnamese migrant workers in Malaysia and to disciple them and send them back to Vietnam, intuitively I sensed God’s prompting that this is the man God has prepared for a time such as this. He was planning of relocating his family of 2 young children from Seattle to Subang Jaya. His heart is at the right place.
There are 180,000 Vietnamese migrant workers in Malaysia. Many have received the gospel in our country. In just 3 weeks’ stay in Klang, Rev. Truong had baptized 400 Vietnamese. I can sense the urgency and the passion with which he spoke about the movement of the Holy Spirit among the Vietnamese. He firmly believes that we should disciple these Vietnamese and to send them back to the churches in Vietnam, revival will come to the nation of Vietnam.
This is God’s kairos moment as the window of opportunity for gospel work is wide open.