A Vietnamese Christian, who has worked with the charity Open Doors USA, has shared how he had risked his life to share the Gospel throughout his home country, where there are increasing restrictions against the practice of any faith other than Buddhism.
The 33-year-old man, identified only as Bao, recounted that before he became a Christian 14 years ago, he thought that life had no meaning and he wanted to take his own life by jumping into the river near his house.
When his Christian friends invited him to church, he initially found it difficult to understand why they appeared to be so joyful.
He recounted a time during a worship service when he felt "God's Spirit come and touch me" after he challenged God to prove that he is real. "My life completely changed, and I had a desire to serve Him," he recalled.
Since his conversion, Bao said that he has risked his life numerous times to spread the word of God to both children and adults.
Six years ago, he came upon the house of a local man while he was traveling through central Vietnam. He said that he stayed with him to share the Gospel and eventually led the man to Christ.
"That area was a quiet (Communist) area," he said, according to Open Doors. "They didn't know that God is love. They have to suffer under (spiritual) bondage. That's why when the gospel came to them, their hearts were broken and they cried out," he added.
During that time, he was able to share the Gospel with other locals and more than 20 people had accepted Christ.
"I and another person who stayed in his house took care of the new believers. When the new believers became mature, we would go with a group of believers to a place far from the main town," he narrated.
Government officials eventually heard about the growing movement and attempted to eradicate it. The authorities reportedly stormed a worship service, causing the parishioners to flee except for Bao, who was arrested and kept in jail for a day.
After his release, none of the new believers in the house dared to talk to him, as the government had threated to cut off the food supply from coming into the area if anyone spoke to him.
"Because the tension was too high and for the good of the people there, I left the area," he said, adding that he is still in contact with some of the people who have continued to pursue their faith.
The authorities have warned him that they would put more pressure on the people in the community if he ever comes back.
In 2016, Bao had been invited by Open Doors to join the Children's Bible Project. Since that time, he has distributed more than 100,000 children's Bibles throughout the country, where churches gather in secret due to the increasing religious restrictions.
Bao believes that there will soon be a revival in Vietnam, and he said that he is doing everything he can to prepare the church for it.
"We have to prepare the next generation. To give them the vision, so that they can see the Word of God and live in faithfulness. They will be the ones who do miraculous things. I believe this generation will be the one to do mighty things for God," he said.
- Judge nixes California law allowing assisted suicide for terminally ill
- Chinese officials pressure Beijing landlords to cancel contracts with house churches
- Church of England hands out £250,000 to charity head despite failing to reach investment return target
- Pope castigates Chilean bishops over sexual abuse cover-up
Church of England hands out £250,000 to charity head despite failing to reach investment return target
The Church of England has reportedly handed out a large bonus to investment director Tom Joy last year despite falling short of its investment return target.
A judge has struck down a California law that legalized assisted suicide for terminally ill people because it was unconstitutionally approved by the state legislature during a special session that was intended to address healthcare issues.
A judge in California has issued a final judgment on the case of a Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.
Chinese officials in Beijing have reportedly been pressuring landlords in the past week to cancel their leases to house churches.
U.K. politician Tim Farron has reportedly canceled an appearance at a Christian conference in Manchester over concerns about a promotional material that criticizes the "gay lobby" for the "onslaught" on the Church.
A Presbyterian minister has recounted how he and other chaplains hosted a service to bless a Planned Parenthood facility in Portland last week.
Pope Francis reportedly issued a harsh rebuke against Chile's bishops on Saturday for their role in the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Church as well as their failings in caring for victims.