Vietnam: A Good Example
Emmanuel spent much of his free time lifting weights. He traveled from province to province in Vietnam competing in bodybuilding contests. (A province is like a state.)
Emmanuel’s father was a pastor, and Emmanuel grew up resenting his father’s time away from his family ministering to others. When Emmanuel was 11, his father went to prison for three years because of his Christian activities. Then Emmanuel was even more angry.
“Sometimes I didn’t even want to visit my father in prison,” he said.
Several years later, after his father was released, Emmanuel served as his dad’s bodyguard at ministry events in dangerous parts of Vietnam. Emmanuel’s training as a bodybuilder had made him strong and confident. Emmanuel began to see not only his dad at work in ministry, but also God at work.
“I did not realize the importance of ministry,” Emmanuel said. “I intended to go with my father to protect him and just do ordinary work. But later God showed me what I had been through was the way He was training me for my future in ministry.”
Today Emmanuel admires his father’s faithfulness in leading people to trust in Christ. “He left us a good name,” Emmanuel said. “He has been a good example to follow.”
Now Emmanuel visits villages and shares the gospel with tribal people who worship false gods. He often is away from his wife and daughter as he travels. And, like his father, he has been persecuted by the police. “My ministry is the same as my father’s was,” said Emmanuel. “I live more for God now.”
(Source: The February 2019 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Photo: Emmanuel. His eyes are covered to protect his identity from those who might want to harm him.)
To Talk About
*Why was Emmanuel angry with his father?
*How do you think Emmanuel’s daughter feels about his being away from home so often? Will you pray for her?
*Who are the good examples in your life?