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Vietnam: The Wind and the Police Chief

A worker from The Voice of the Martyrs visited courageous Christians in the Vietnam. The Christians told the visitor a story of God’s protection over them. Read the story below.

Protected Baptism
After a hard day’s work in the fields, several Christian men from Vietnam’s Jorai tribe stopped to take a bath in a creek. They left their clothes on the creek bank.

While they were in the water, they saw the village Chief of Police climbing down the bank. He decided to cool off with them. The chief knew many of the Christians, though he was not a Christian himself. As the villagers talked, a Jorai pastor passed them on a nearby dirt path. The pastor was on his way to a small pool downstream to baptize some new Christians.

Baptisms were not allowed in the area. (See the photo above of a baptism in Vietnam.) The government tries to restrict when and where Christians can tell others about Jesus. Like Peter and the other apostles, many Vietnamese Christians want to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

The Chief of Police had heard about the pastor. He figured out that the pastor was going to an illegal gathering. The chief told one of the Christians, “After my bath is finished, I will go down the hill to the pool and arrest all of them.”

A few minutes after he made his threat, a wind came along and blew his clothes somewhere into the bushes or downstream. The clothes of the other men did not move.

Soon the other men got out of the water and went home. The police chief stayed in the water because he was embarrassed to have no clothes. Finally, when it got dark, he climbed out and went home. The baptism service went on with no interruptions.

The Police Captain’s Cap

A Bible Smuggling Story
(Source: The April 2021 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine.)

An aging man boarded a bus in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with a long journey ahead of him — possibly a 12-hour ride. In his hands, he clutched a box of about 30 Bibles that he was taking to tribal Christians in the highlands. As he looked for a seat on the crowded bus, he pondered how he would get through the many checkpoints along the way without his precious goods being discovered.

After finding an empty seat along the aisle, he sat down and placed the box of Bibles on the floor against his leg. A police captain who had followed him onto the bus then took the seat across the aisle from him, casually removed his hat and placed it on the man’s box.

As the bus coughed and sputtered its way down the road, the man occasionally glanced down at his precious cargo, wondering if he would succeed in delivering it to his destination. All too soon, they reached a checkpoint. Police officers boarded the bus to check a few ID cards, but they were especially focused on any boxes the passengers had with them.

The man’s heart skipped a beat as the officers advanced down the aisle. Soon, they were standing by his box of Bibles, and he expected the worst. But when they looked at the box and saw the police captain’s cap resting on it, they continued down the aisle to the next passenger. Eventually, the man reached his destination and safely delivered God’s Word to awaiting believers in the highlands.

Miracles occur in different and sometimes simple ways. God’s hand was at work protecting His precious Word. When we think about it, miracles happen often. In the rush and bustle of life, let us not fail to recognize God’s hand, lest we miss the blessing.

Prisoner Surprises Letter Writers

To Dinh Trung
To Dinh Trung

To Dinh Trung, a Vietnamese Christian, was in prison in Vietnam several years ago for sharing the gospel. The Voice of the Martyrs told readers about him in the VOM magazine. Many Christians prayed for Trung and wrote letters to Vietnamese officials on his behalf.

Trung had been to prison more than 20 times. Government officials did not want him to minister among tribal groups. On one of his trips to share the gospel with members of the K’ho tribe, police officers pulled him off his bicycle and arrested him.

The prisons where Trung was locked up were miserable places. “I was in an isolation cell about two meters square,” Trung said about one of his prisons. (Two meters is about 6.5 feet.) “It was very dark and dirty with no windows. They did not allow me to bring anything inside. The mosquitoes could freely bite me. The smell was terrible. I could not bathe. I got a high fever.”

While Trung was in prison, his wife and three children were left to care for themselves. Clearly Trung had many reasons to be eager about leaving prison.

Then an unusual thing happened. Because of the concern of Christians around the world, Vietnamese officials agreed to let Trung out of prison early.

But he wasn’t ready to leave! He had taught many prisoners about God, and he felt he needed to stay and teach them more about following Christ. Perhaps the letters and prayers of other Christians strengthened him enough to remain in prison and teach the prisoners.

Trung finished his prison sentence, was released from prison, and continued to serve the Lord.

To Dinh Trung’s story is told in the book Jesus Freaks, revised and updated edition. Parents and teachers: The new Jesus Freaks is available here. Please preview the stories before sharing them with younger children.

Freedom in Prison

Prison cell in Asia

Americans celebrate their freedom on July 4th. Some people say freedom is the right to do or say what you want without anyone stopping you. People in prison are not considered free. But read below what some Vietnamese Christians said about the time they spent in prison for their faith in Christ:

  • Being in prison gave me more time to have a deeper relationship with God.
  • It was an honor to serve the Lord in this way.
  • I learned more about the true values of life.
  • Going to prison encouraged me to continue my Christian work when I got out. After being in prison, I was more willing to risk going back to prison again.
  • In prison I had the opportunity to lead my cellmates, and even guards, to Christ.

The apostle Paul said, “Because of my chains [his time in prison], most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly” (Philippians 1:14).

To Think About: In what ways were the Vietnamese prisoners freer in prison? How did Paul’s time in prison create more freedom for the gospel to spread?

Vietnam: A Birthday Prayer

The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide guides Christians in praying for their Christian family around the world. Click here to find more about the guide and an interactive prayer map.

Read below what the guide says about Christians in Vietnam.

*New Christians are often evicted from their homes and villages, especially in tribal areas.
*Officially recognized churches are expected to report their activities and teachings to the government.
*All churches face government opposition when they evangelize outside church walls or attempt to conduct community events.
*Non-recognized churches, which cannot be officially registered, are in violation of the law.
*Within rural and tribal areas, new believers are targeted for harsh persecution.
*Christians are often denied social services, utilities, and schooling in an attempt to pressure them to reject Christianity.

[The president of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, was born on April 4, 1944. Today he is 76 years old. Pray that President Trong will rule wisely and fairly.]

Distributing Bibles

The Global Prayer Guide also lists the following prayer needs for President Trong’s country.
*Pray that unbelieving relatives will not be coerced by officials to persecute Christian family members.
*Pray that believers will not be deceived by false teaching.
*Pray that new Bibles for children and youth will be read by non-Christians.
*Pray for the wisdom and safety of front-line workers who deliver Bibles to remote villages.

Learn more about Christians in Vietnam in Bold Believers in Vietnam, available in the Downloads section.