Written By Eliz Yong, Malaysia
“God if this is your will, show me the way and open doors for me to reach out children in need in Vietnam. Amen!”
Deep in my heart, I’ve always felt that God has given me a vision to reach out to children in need all over the world. After experiencing God on a mission trip to an orphanage to Seoul, Korea, I believed that God would open doors again. When I was assigned to go on a business trip to Vietnam, I felt convicted that God would have a mission for me there.
Months before my trip, a missionary pastor came to our church and shared about his mission work; he was from Vietnam. I didn’t think it was a coincidence—in fact, I felt that it was God’s plan for me. So I approached the pastor to ask him about the possibility of mission work in Vietnam, and he told about a friend who ran a children’s home.
When I contacted the person, Dinh Lan, I realized that the home was in a place called Tay Ninh, which was three hours’ drive from Ho Chi Minh City, where I would be. Worried about the distance, I started praying to God. “Is this the home that you want me to go? Is it safe?” I wasn’t sure about how to get there and where I could stay. I also didn’t know where to get the funds to financially support the needs of the home.
I knew, however, that God was my provider. “You have always blessed me, and I know you will continue to open doors for me,” I told Him. As Psalm 55:22 reminds us, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”
And indeed He sustained me. When I contacted Dinh Lan again, she told me that she could pick me up from my hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, and even said that I could rent a van so we could take the kids out. She also found me a place to stay in her hometown. God had sorted out my transport and lodging at one go! It gave me peace in my heart: I knew that if this was the home that God wanted me to go to, He would help me resolve all my challenges.
Then there was the problem of raising funds for the children’s needs—shoes, school bags, chairs, and school uniforms. I didn’t tell many people about the mission trip, but by God’s grace, the few friends that I told generously donated about US$400 for the children.
Finally, the day of the trip came round. As promised, Dinh Lan picked me up from my hotel, helped me rent a van, and even got a church member to take me around the city for a day tour. We also went to the market and filled the van with things for the children.
During the three-hour journey to Tay Ninh, I saw more of God’s divine arrangement for my mission trip. I discovered that Dinh Lan and I shared many experiences in life as well as a common love for orphans. I was especially inspired by her testimony about how she had been called by God to start a home for orphans and needy children.
Dinh Lan had not only quit a well-paying government job in the city, she had left her two children under the care of her extended family, to return to her hometown to start the home. How many of us have that kind of faith to do such a thing? I was encouraged and amazed by her obedience, love, and faith. Perhaps, I thought, God was showing me that it was possible to step out in faith to where He calls me in the future.
The mission also gave me a reminder of how much God loves children. Jesus himself had rebuked His disciples for telling parents not to bring children to Him (Mark 10:13-16). “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God,” He had told them.
Indeed, it was heartwarming to see the smiles on the children’s faces when they received the school bags, shoes, and uniforms that we had bought for them. Their smiles were my biggest reward. And these smiles turned into laughter when we took them out to a water park; they had not had an outing for a long time.
My trip to Vietnam taught me that God always hears our prayers, and that He will guide us on the path to take. Without obedience and prayer, I would never have been able to reach out to the children. I had many concerns, but in the end, He arranged everything for me. We may not see God’s plan or have our fears and worries, but we need to step out in faith to do His will.
The mission also opened my eyes to see more of God’s love. God had brought me from Malaysia to Vietnam to meet these children and to share His love with them. Throughout the trip, He had provided for me and for them.
Will you step out in faith and share God’s love?