Series Code: ASAP
Program Code: ASAP000002
00:12 When Jesus was on this earth,
00:14 the invitation that was often heard
00:16 coming from His lips was come.
00:18 If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
00:21 If anyone is hungry, let him come
00:23 and eat of the bread of life.
00:25 Hello, I am Bruce Bauer and over the next few minutes,
00:28 I would like to share with you
00:29 how Jesus is still extending this invitation
00:33 and not only to you and to me.
00:35 I have some exciting stories
00:36 about how this wonderful messages reaching out to people
00:39 living in some of the most remote villages
00:41 in the country of Vietnam.
00:43 I love it that we serve a God who is so invitational,
00:47 so warm, so loving, so ready to fill our thirsty hearts
00:52 with the kind of living water that satisfies the emptiness
00:55 and hunger in our lives.
00:58 But there is something else
00:59 about these invitations of Jesus
01:00 that I find very, very heartwarming.
01:03 Jesus never limited His offer to a select group of people.
01:07 Even though Jesus had come
01:09 as the Messiah to a chose nation,
01:11 He still gives His invitation to us all.
01:14 "If anyone is thirsty He said, let him come to me and drink."
01:20 Although some of the Jews may have been shocked
01:22 when they heard this invitation
01:23 that Jesus was giving to all peoples of the earth,
01:26 this was no new message.
01:28 Almost seven centuries earlier
01:30 God had extended the same invitation
01:33 when He spoke through the Prophet Isaiah.
01:35 "All you who are thirsty, come to the waters,
01:39 and you who have no money, come buy and eat!
01:43 Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
01:47 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
01:50 and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,
01:53 because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
01:57 for he has endowed you with splendor."
02:00 Just after Jesus cleansed the temple the second time,
02:03 He gathered the people around Him
02:04 and began to tell them
02:05 what it would be like at the every end of time.
02:09 One of the signs that Jesus told them about
02:11 was how this invitation of Isaiah 55
02:14 would be taken to the entire world.
02:17 He said, "And this gospel of the kingdom
02:20 will be preached in the whole world
02:22 as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."
02:27 As I think about the exciting things
02:28 that have been happening in the country of Vietnam
02:31 over the last few years.
02:32 It thrills my heart to see how rapidly
02:34 this prophecy of Jesus is being fulfilled.
02:47 It was not too long ago that Christian evangelists
02:50 looked at Vietnam as a dark country
02:53 where the people were steeped in Buddhism,
02:55 Confucianism and ancestor worship.
02:57 And where they would be totally unreceptive
03:00 to the invitations of Jesus.
03:05 And then with the institution of Communism
03:07 at the end of the war in 1975,
03:09 Vietnam closed itself off to most of the world.
03:13 Christianity was associated with western thinking
03:16 and was considered dangerous to the new communistic state.
03:26 Thirsty eight of the 45 Adventist churches
03:28 scattered throughout the country
03:29 were closed by the new government.
03:32 And those that were allowed
03:33 to stay open were closely monitored
03:35 and regulated by members of the communist party.
03:38 Well, Christianity was not completely banned,
03:40 the communist party did everything
03:42 they could think of to discourage the faithful.
03:45 Work schedules were arranged
03:46 to interfere with church attendance.
03:49 Many members suffered job discrimination
03:51 for attending church services.
03:53 Pastors were arrested and put in prisons
03:55 and reeducation camps.
03:57 Although most of these pastors have been released.
04:00 The authorities continue to detain
04:02 Christian workers without trial.
04:04 Evangelism, well that's against the law.
04:07 Simply gathering together in home study groups
04:10 in many parts of the country was banned
04:11 for fear that people may be
04:13 plotting against the government.
04:15 There was hope that within a matter of few years
04:17 Christian groups would completely die out
04:19 and all religions would give away
04:21 to the new doctrines of communism.
04:23 And at first it appeared as though
04:25 the plan of the communist leaders would succeed.
04:27 Many Christians either fled the country
04:29 or gave up their faith.
04:31 The official Seventh-day Adventist church in Vietnam
04:34 has seen very little growth since 1975,
04:37 and its membership is just under 6,000 people
04:41 in a country whose population is over 82 million.
04:45 It would seem however
04:46 that God has another plan for Vietnam.
04:49 The one who is not willing that any would perish
04:52 will not let the end come without extending
04:54 His invitation of love to the thirsty souls of Vietnam.
04:59 In 1995
05:01 a Vietnamese Seventh-day Adventist church group
05:03 from Southern California
05:05 began producing a Christian Vietnamese
05:07 radio program called Peace and Happiness.
05:11 Penetrating the country by shortwave radio
05:13 from the Adventist World Radio facility located in Guam.
05:17 Peace and Happiness has been bringing
05:19 the good news of God's love
05:20 to the people of Vietnam for almost 10 years.
05:24 Everyone involved with the program
05:26 has been astonished
05:27 at the amazing response of the people
05:29 who were thought to be unreachable.
05:31 From the very first broadcast, letters poured
05:34 requesting literature and Bible studies.
05:37 Within a very short time word was received
05:40 about how entire Protestant church groups
05:42 were not only listening to the broadcasts
05:45 but were making changes in their lives
05:47 based on the clear Biblical presentations
05:49 being aired on the program.
05:51 Because of the broadcast,
05:52 many pastors of evangelical groups
05:55 became convinced of the teaching
05:56 of the Seventh-day Sabbath
05:58 and presented their new understanding to their members.
06:01 In many cases entire churches have become
06:04 Sabbath keeping Christians.
06:06 While the official Seventh-day Adventist church in Vietnam
06:10 has to keep its distance from these new phenomena
06:12 in order to maintain its legal status in the country.
06:16 This group of Sabbath keeping Christians
06:19 represents a new unofficial or underground Adventist moment
06:23 that is growing at a very rapid pace.
06:26 I would like you to meet some of the pastors
06:28 that had become part of this new moment.
06:30 For their safety we are changing
06:32 their names and obscuring their faces.
06:34 Nguyen Van Tam is a dedicated district leader
06:37 of over 600 church members.
06:40 He has had an interesting life journey.
06:42 Listen as he tells his story.
06:50 My name is Nguyen Van Tam and I was raised as a Catholic.
06:55 In 1985 I became a Protestant Christian
06:58 and committed my life to the Lord's service.
07:01 Four years later I became pastor
07:03 for the unified church in Vietnam.
07:06 Through the years I received many promotions
07:09 and became a member
07:10 of the administration of the church.
07:12 I had learned about Adventists in 1998.
07:15 a friend of mine who lives in the U.S.
07:17 sent me a book entitled 'The Truth of the Sabbath.'
07:20 At first I read the book
07:22 with the intention of proving it to be false.
07:24 But after much studying I determined it was a truth
07:28 and couldn't provide any sound arguments
07:30 against keeping the Sabbath.
07:32 About the same time I began listening
07:34 to the Peace and Happiness radio broadcast.
07:37 I listened critically at first not seeking to hear the truth
07:40 but to expose the false teaching of the organization,
07:44 but the more I listened the more convinced I became.
07:48 I had been contentious
07:49 about obeying the Ten Commandments.
07:52 But this book and radio broadcast helped my realized
07:54 that I was excluding the fourth commandment.
07:57 I was greatly troubled by that.
07:59 Finally I accepted God's word
08:01 and became one of the first pastors in my church
08:04 to convert to the Seventh-day Adventist faith.
08:06 My congregation was shocked.
08:09 There were accustomed to hear me speak out
08:10 against the Seventh-day Adventist moment.
08:13 And they knew I had planned to publish a book
08:15 to expose the truth about Adventism.
08:18 And now here I was joining them.
08:20 I boldly proclaimed my faith
08:22 and announced that I was leaving my pastorate.
08:25 My family was shaken
08:27 when I accepted the Seventh-day Adventist faith.
08:29 I have four brothers who are all Protestant pastors
08:32 and their opposition to my conversion
08:35 created a rift in the family.
08:37 I had been responsible for overseeing church activities
08:40 in 13 South Vietnam districts and initiated the opening
08:44 of many new churches in the area.
08:46 Not only did my former church disfellowshipped me,
08:49 but they published a document
08:51 using strong language to warn people about me.
08:54 When I became the Seventh-day Adventist
08:56 I prayed for God to show me,
08:57 He was pleased with my decision
08:59 but a sign which could be seen by other people.
09:03 Then I was given the responsibility
09:05 of opening a home church network
09:07 in the southwest and southeast of Vietnam.
09:10 Within a year by God's grace
09:12 500 new members joined the church in my new district.
09:16 We put together a team of 20 salaried Bible workers
09:18 to win souls and started 15 churches.
09:22 After I became a full time worker for God,
09:24 the government refused to renew my citizenship papers.
09:28 This meant I could not establish
09:29 a permanent residence in Vietnam.
09:31 The only documents I can hold is an election card
09:34 and a temporary residency permit
09:36 which I had to renew every six months.
09:39 The government refuses me permanent residence
09:42 in an effort to curtain my church activates.
09:44 But this actually works better for me
09:46 because I'm able to travel all over the country,
09:48 from south to north to do God's work
09:51 without having to ply for a travel permit
09:54 for the government.
09:55 The Peace and Happiness radio broadcast
09:58 along with the mass distribution
10:00 of these publications has helped
10:01 to increase the influence
10:03 and image of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Vietnam.
10:06 There is no way to know the exact number
10:09 of our new church members,
10:10 but the figure is in the tens of thousands of people.
10:13 It has been amazing to see
10:15 whole churches including their pastors
10:17 accept the Seventh-day Adventist teaching
10:19 and became Adventist.
10:21 I would like to use this opportunity
10:23 to thank our donors in the States
10:25 who have supported us.
10:26 Whatever we do in Vietnam for the Lord, we owe to you
10:30 for your financial support and your prayers.
10:33 I have made a commitment
10:34 to do my very best as not to fail you.
10:37 I'm sure that in the near future
10:39 much more work will be accomplished
10:41 to honor our Father in heaven.
10:44 We appreciate the strong dedication
10:46 of pastors like Nguyen Van Tam.
10:50 But there is another pastor I'd like you to meet.
10:52 Pastor Yung is a district leader
10:54 of over 12,000 Adventist believers
10:57 in the central part of Vietnam.
10:59 Here as in many parts of Vietnam,
11:01 the church members suffers
11:02 severe persecution from the local police.
11:05 They will often break into a church service
11:07 being conducted in the home
11:08 and take worshippers off to prison.
11:11 Sometimes they will burn down the house.
11:13 But in spite of this kind of persecution,
11:15 the church continues to grown.
11:17 Listen as Pastor Yung shares his story.
11:24 My name is Yung and I live in the central region of Vietnam.
11:28 I've served the Lord since 1991.
11:31 Even before I became Seventh-day Adventist
11:34 I used to be a leader of a group of Bible workers.
11:37 A few years ago some of them attended
11:39 a Bible training course in Saigon.
11:41 They brought back several publications
11:43 explaining Seventh-day Adventist beliefs
11:45 and shared them with me.
11:47 I strongly opposed these new ideas,
11:50 but after they left
11:52 I studied the publications in great detail.
11:56 In 1999 I began to listen
11:58 to the Peace and Happiness radio broadcast.
12:01 It was a lay pastor friend of mine
12:03 who came over one day
12:04 and showed me how to tune in to the program
12:07 and gave me some more literature.
12:10 After much study I felt compelled by the spirit of God
12:14 to leave the church where I was a pastor.
12:17 It was a difficult decision.
12:20 If I left who would look after my sheep
12:23 and what would the leaders of my church think of me?
12:26 I began sharing the new truth
12:28 I'd found with my church members.
12:31 Even though there were some strong opposition
12:33 by some of the members, God worked on their hearts.
12:36 In the end 600 members of my 700 member congregation
12:41 accepted the Sabbath message
12:44 and came along with me when I resigned.
12:47 I asked God to lead me to other people
12:49 who were thirsty for the truths of the word.
12:53 I was impressed to go to a city where I had worked
12:56 where I knew there were 7,000 church members.
13:00 I shared literature with the pastors of the church there
13:02 and left them several publications.
13:06 A month later they called to invite me back to see them.
13:10 They weren't specific on the phone
13:12 about why they wanted me to come,
13:15 but I just prayed about it
13:16 and headed out immediately to visit them.
13:20 When we met, they told me
13:22 that my presentation had caused them to realize
13:25 what the truth is and that they had listened
13:28 to the Peace and Happiness radio broadcast.
13:31 They were ready to leave their church
13:34 along with 5,000 church members
13:37 and become Seventh-day Adventist Christians.
13:41 In the province where I live,
13:43 we're training our church members
13:45 to go out and give literature to people
13:47 and teach them how to tune in
13:49 to the Peace and Happiness radio program.
13:52 All together we now have over 12,000 church members.
13:58 In my province
13:59 when other denominations came to evangelize,
14:02 they did not have much success
14:05 because of the intense persecution in the area
14:08 by the local government against Christian groups.
14:12 As for us we are determined to spread the truth,
14:16 no matter what the prize.
14:19 My family is watched
14:21 by the local police around the clock.
14:24 At night they post officers to watch my house.
14:28 During the day the police followed me
14:30 when I go and visit my church members.
14:33 If I travel out of their territory,
14:36 they phone ahead to the police
14:37 in the next town to have them keep an eye on me.
14:41 Sometimes I try to lose them
14:43 by riding my bicycle around the city
14:46 before I can go where I need to go.
14:49 I am thankful to God
14:50 that through all of these challenges
14:53 there are many people who support me.
14:56 Even though we have a lot of obstacles,
14:58 our people work very hard
15:00 and the church is continuing to grow
15:03 and the members continue to be spiritually fed.
15:07 Right now we have 160 pastors and volunteers
15:11 serving our 12,000 church members.
15:15 We have a total of 20 districts
15:17 and each district leaders has to cover a very large area.
15:21 Our biggest need is shortwave radio sets
15:24 and Bible literature so we can reach people who live far away.
15:29 We also need sermons on cassette tapes
15:32 in the areas we cannot visit regularly,
15:35 we can give them tapes of sermons and radio programs.
15:39 Sometimes the radio broadcast does not come in clearly
15:42 and people might miss some of the message.
15:45 The sermon tapes carry the message clearly
15:49 and can be used over and over again.
15:52 Everything that we do is not by our power
15:56 but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
15:59 Some of us feel as though we are similar to Saul,
16:03 we used to berate the Adventist church in Vietnam.
16:06 But now we are the workers in the vineyard
16:09 who came at the eleventh hour.
16:12 We have to use everything we have,
16:14 every resource to serve God
16:16 and spread the gospel in Vietnam.
16:19 Please pray for us as we continue
16:22 to spread the message of salvation throughout Vietnam.
16:27 Pastor Yung is a courageous leader for God in Vietnam.
16:31 He knows that the constitution of Vietnam
16:33 guarantees freedom of worship
16:35 and often stands up to the police
16:37 demanding the release of his members from prison.
16:41 Please pray for his safety
16:43 as he continues to share living water to all who thirst.
16:55 One of the most exciting stories
16:57 to come out of Vietnam recently
16:58 is about a large ethnic minority group
17:01 living in the very northern part of Vietnam.
17:04 Sometime ago people in this region
17:06 started listening to the Peace and Happiness radio broadcast.
17:10 They had never heard of the good news of Jesus before
17:12 and were thirsty for a message like this.
17:15 Listen as Pastor Isaiah,
17:17 the Peace and Happiness director and speaker
17:19 tells about this exciting new development.
17:21 Recently, about four months ago,
17:24 one of our church leader in Hanoi, in North Vietnam,
17:29 he said to me that about 100 people,
17:34 the ethnic people from this part of Vietnam,
17:37 they crossed the jungle walk by feet for 600 kilometers.
17:44 They came to Hanoi and looked for leaders
17:47 from the Peace and Happiness Adventist church.
17:51 When they met some of our people
17:53 they said, "We want to be baptized.
17:56 We have hundreds of thousands of people up here
17:58 and we want you to come and teach us and train us
18:02 and show us how to function as a church."
18:05 And then after that I send some our leaders up there.
18:09 They had to disguise themselves to go to this area.
18:14 They witnessed for themselves that the head of the village
18:19 had a large radio tuned into our radio program.
18:24 And the whole village came
18:26 and worshiped and listened together,
18:29 at least 6,000 people in two or three villages.
18:33 They used to be ancestor worshipers.
18:37 They had no background in Christianity.
18:41 No bibles. Nothing.
18:44 So they only listened to the radio program
18:47 and they became believers in God the creator,
18:49 in Jesus Christ who came down and died for them.
18:54 They know about our beliefs, our doctrines,
18:57 because of what they listened to
18:58 but they don't know how to function as a church,
19:00 how to have a leader and all of that.
19:04 They really need us to come and train them.
19:13 Recently I had to change my strategy in Vietnam.
19:16 What we do is, we try to have a team of evangelists
19:20 to cover whole Vietnam.
19:22 And then we equip them
19:23 with literature, video through CD, and audio tapes.
19:30 So they go out and as they witness
19:33 and enter the new area
19:34 either they give these material to the new people,
19:38 or give these materials to the people
19:41 who already listened to the radio program
19:44 and became believers,
19:45 so we can nurture them and keep them together.
19:48 Last year, one thing I know for sure,
19:50 we had at lease 12,000 baptisms in Vietnam, at least.
19:56 And this work will move forward no matter what.
19:59 It will move forward
20:00 by the power of the Holy Spirit.
20:02 And thank you so much
20:03 for the support from the ASAP donors
20:06 to help us in our initial stage
20:10 to establish the work in Vietnam.
20:24 Adventist Southeast Asia Projects
20:26 has a long history of supporting the work of God
20:29 in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
20:33 Through your generous support
20:35 ASAP has been able to plant churches,
20:37 supply materials and cover the salaries
20:40 the pastors and Bible workers
20:41 who are taking the invitation of Jesus
20:43 to the highways and byways of Southeast Asia.
20:47 In the country of Vietnam
20:48 over 200 pastors are receiving direct support from ASAP.
20:54 I would like to introduce you
20:55 to Judy Aitken, Director of ASAP
20:58 and have her tell you more about the exciting things
21:00 that are happening in Vietnam.
21:04 I send my heart out thanks and appreciation to each of you
21:09 who has supported your persecuted family
21:11 of God in Vietnam.
21:13 Your donations and prayers have a profound effect
21:18 on the explosion of the gospel
21:20 that we are seeing in Vietnam today.
21:23 Pastors report that approximately
21:25 445,000 Vietnamese people worship God on Sabbath.
21:31 And this number could be much higher.
21:33 They worship this greatly and designated members'
21:37 homes called house churches.
21:40 Most of these believers have joined the church
21:42 in the last two years.
21:45 These secret groups of believers
21:47 are worshiping in small towns, villages
21:50 and large cities scattered across Vietnam.
21:54 Please keep the Vietnamese pastors
21:56 and this work in your prayers.
22:00 They need you to intercede on their behalf.
22:03 I cannot find the words to do justice
22:06 to what a powerful impact
22:09 and blessing your prayers and donations have.
22:12 By sending support
22:14 for the pastors salaries and Bibles,
22:17 you are advancing the gospel,
22:19 you are building Christ kingdom.
22:23 There are two Adventist groups in Vietnam.
22:27 One is the official Seventh-day Adventist church
22:30 that is registered with the government.
22:33 This church sees little growth as it is under communist watch.
22:37 The other is the underground house churches
22:41 under the leadership of Pastor Isaiah Duong
22:44 and pastors like the ones in this video.
22:48 Because the house church movement is not connected
22:51 with the official Seventh-day Adventist tithes based,
22:55 it depends on nonprofit organization
22:58 such as ASAP for its operating costs.
23:02 That means that pastors are able to minister
23:05 to the thousands of believers only
23:07 because of people like yourself.
23:09 It costs $50 per month to support one Vietnamese pastor
23:14 to work full time for God.
23:17 There are currently 200 pastors in need of support.
23:21 If you feel impressed
23:23 to send support for a Vietnamese pastor,
23:26 please note that it is truly and answer to prayer.
23:30 I appeal to you to consider being a part
23:33 of this exciting mission in Vietnam.
23:37 Give out your treasure in heaven
23:39 and get involved in giving the precious gift of salvation
23:43 to those desperate and eager to know Him.
23:47 It is my prayer that God will impress
23:50 upon you a burden for this work.
23:53 One Vietnamese Bible cost $5.
23:56 Bibles that are printed in underground printing presses
23:59 continue to be urgently needed.
24:02 There is also a need for a house church repair
24:06 and the training of Vietnamese pastors.
24:09 Just as important as monetary gifts
24:12 is the gift of your prayers.
24:15 Prayer is the foundation of this work.
24:18 Your prayers are key
24:20 to the continued explosion of the gospel
24:23 we are currently seeing in Vietnam today.
24:55 All of the Vietnamese pastors who share their testimonies
24:59 describe the suffering they had to experience
25:01 for their faith in Christ.
25:04 Pastor Duong and his members
25:07 rotate their homes as a place of worship.
25:11 This has not stopped the police from destroying their homes.
25:15 They have had their homes burned three times this year.
25:19 They are interrogated, heavily fined
25:22 and imprisoned by the police on a regular basis.
25:27 While they are in jail, they are often severely beaten.
25:31 Some of the members in this area
25:33 have had their property confiscated
25:36 and they are left homeless.
25:40 The persecuted pastors know the meaning
25:43 of the Apostle Paul's words in Philippians 3, 7 and 8.
25:49 "But what things were gain to me,
25:51 these I have counted loss for Christ.
25:54 But indeed I also count all things loss
25:58 for the excellence of the knowledge
26:00 of Christ Jesus my Lord
26:02 for whom I have suffered the loss of all things
26:05 and count them as rubbish,
26:07 that I may gain Christ and be found in him."
26:10 Adventist pastors and members
26:12 who are suffering and persecuted
26:15 for their faith in Jesus
26:16 also know through their experiences
26:19 the fellowship of Christ suffering.
26:22 By your loving sacrifice to send support
26:26 and through your fervent prayers for these pastors.
26:29 You too enter into the fellowship of Christ suffering.
26:34 On behalf of all those
26:36 who had been reached in the past
26:38 and who will be reached for Christ.
26:41 As a result of your kindness and generosity,
26:44 I sincerely thank you.
26:57 On behalf of the board of directors of ASAP,
27:00 I'd also like to thank you for all that you are doing
27:02 to support God's work in Southeast Asia.
27:05 Every two months ASAP publishes a newsletter
27:09 that shares the exciting developments
27:11 that are happening on the front lines
27:12 of God's work in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos.
27:16 If you would like to receive this free newsletter,
27:19 please contact us with your request
27:21 or the address listed on the screen.
27:28 As we enter the final scenes of God's work on earth,
27:32 it's exciting to be part of his ministry.
27:35 One of the very last passages of scripture says,
27:39 "The Spirit and the bride say, Come!
27:41 And let him who hears say, Come!
27:44 Whoever is thirsty, let him come,
27:46 and whoever wishes, let him take
27:48 the free gift of the water of life.'
27:50 As we work together and taking these 100 invitation of Jesus
27:54 to the thirsty people of Vietnam
27:56 we become a part of that global commission
27:59 that Jesus gave his followers before He left this earth,
28:02 when He said, "Go make disciples of all nations,
28:06 baptizing them in the name of the Father
28:08 and of the Son and the Holy Sprit,
28:11 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you
28:14 and surely I am with you always,
28:17 to the very end of the age."
28:20 May the Lord bless you as you partner with him
28:23 and taking the message of God's love
28:25 to the people of Vietnam.