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Vietnam: A Buffalo, Bus Rides, and Beatings for Bibles


Minh could read and write. Few people from his village in Vietnam had gone to school. So the Christians in the village chose Minh to be the leader of their church. Minh was 16 years old.

If you were chosen to lead a new church, what is the first thing you would do?
Minh took his new responsibility seriously. “I know the importance of having the Word of God,” Minh said. “So I traveled to the city to look for Bibles. I brought back 10 New Testaments in Dao and 22 hymnbooks. (Dao is an ethnic group in Vietnam. It is also the language spoken by the group.)

Minh needed money to make the trip to the city of Hanoi. He raised the money by selling his buffalo. Buffalos are used as work animals in Vietnam. They also serve as “savings accounts.” Families can sell a buffalo to raise money for emergencies. Minh sold his buffalo so his church could have the Word of God.

Risky Trips
Minh’s trip was difficult. First he had to walk about three hours to the main roads. Then he took a 12-hour bus ride to Hanoi.

Government leaders in Vietnam try to stop Christianity from growing among smaller ethnic groups. After Minh returned from Hanoi, the police sent for him. He walked for two hours to get to the police station. The police questioned him for three days. They made it clear that they did not want him to bring Christian books to the village.

One policeman grabbed Minh by the collar and yelled, “Will you go again to the city to get books?” Minh told the truth. “If the police take away all our books, I will go again when I have money,” he said.

“Why don’t you obey the government?” the officer demanded.

“I trust my Lord,” said Minh. “I will never reject Him. I need the books so I can understand Him.”

Minh has made about 15 trips to buy books for his church. The police have questioned him again, arrested him, and they even beat him because of his work for the Lord.

What does Minh say about his experiences? “I praise the Lord who protects me,” said Minh.

Some of the quotes and stories on this Web site have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity. The names of some of the people in the stories and some identifying details have been changed to protect their identities.



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