eventh-day Adventist missionaries in Vietnam recently shared about two projects helping the church to grow in that Asian nation. Many of the projects across Vietnam are supported by church members in South Korea, where the headquarters of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are located. One part of these projects is increasing the support to foreign pioneer missionaries and indigenous lay preachers and pastors, especially among specific ethnic groups across the nation, leaders said.
Two specific projects, one in the south and one in the north of Vietnam, are detailed below.
Vietnam Goat Project
The Vietnam Goat Project, operated by Jeong Tae Kim, a Pioneer Mission Movement missionary in Vietnam, has been piloted for four Seventh-day Adventist families in Da Mur, Lam Dong Province. Of the 13,000 Adventists in Vietnam, about 80 percent live in rural and mountainous areas, and many of them live in poverty. Therefore, it is expected that the goat project will increase the income of the Adventist families and contribute to an increase in tithes and offerings.
This project supports a pair of breeding goats per household. When the first baby goat is born, it is dedicated to God. The second baby goat is owned by the family. Additional babies are dedicated to God and then distributed to other families free of charge.
“We ask for your prayers and support for the goat project in Vietnam,” Kim said. “Your dedication could change the present and future of the Adventist Church in Vietnam.”
Of the donations planned for 100 families, as of June 2021, people behind the project have collected donations to support 45 families. “There are many difficulties in carrying out the goat project due to the COVID-19 lockdown, but we continue the goat project, centered on Adventist churches in consultation with the headquarters of the Vietnam Mission,” Kim said.
Lay Pioneer Church Ministry Projects
The Adventist Church in Vietnam spends more than 400 million won (about US$340,000) annually for the stipend of its ministers and missionary activities, but it has struggled with budget deficits. What is more, tithes and church offerings have plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic, making it harder than ever.
To help the Adventist Church in Vietnam, Bicycle Mission to the World in Korea and Korean Adventist church members have been carrying out lay pioneer church ministry projects since June 2021. Members provided 23 million won (about US$19,500), which have benefited 24 lay pioneer church workers serving in northern Vietnam.
Dien Bien is one of the districts where most church workers have received stipends through this project. Many Hmong people, a minority ethnic group in Vietnam, live in Dien Bien, maintaining their language and culture. The Adventist Church became established there in 2009 when Tran Cong Tan preached the Adventist message in this area. In 2012, four house churches were planted.
The Adventist Church among the Hmong is growing rapidly thanks to the dedication of Vu Va Ky, a lay minister in the Dien Bien district, and the Hmong Adventist media channel, operated with the assistance of Adventist members in North America.
The Hang Pu Xi Seventh-day Adventist Church, one of the churches in the Dien Bien district, was founded in 2015 by lay minister Mua Giong Ly. He became an Adventist in 2010 when he was introduced to the Adventist message by Vu Va Ky, the lay pastor, who is also a relative of his.
In 2009, Mua Giong Ly and his wife suffered from a serious illness. They went to several hospitals but couldn't find a solution. His friend led him to go to church and ask for prayer. He contacted Ky, who prayed and studied the Bible with the couple. After more than a year of fervent prayer and study, the disease disappeared.
With a better understanding of God, Ly threw away all traditional temples and idols that he had kept in his house. Then, along with his wife and eight children, he was baptized and became an Adventist. From 2010 to 2015, they attended Chua Ta B Seventh-day Adventist Church, located about 7 kilometers (4.5 miles) from their home. It was not easy for a family of 10 members to go so far to church every Saturday (Sabbath). To solve this problem, in 2015, a church was planted in Hang Pu Xi, where the Ly family lives. The Vietnam headquarters of the Adventist Church appointed Ly as the church director and lay minister to take responsibility for local missions.
“Currently, nine children and 13 adults gather for worship every Wednesday evening and Sabbath morning,” leaders reported. On Sabbath afternoon, there is a Bible study and prayer meeting. To encourage the missionary activities of the Hang Pu Xi church, leaders purchased sound equipment with the support of Adventist churches in Korea. “We ask for your prayers and support for Hang Pu Xi church,” they said.