Monday, April 12, 2010

Reflections...God IS at work in Vietnam

It's Monday in Saigon...and for whatever, reason, I woke up to the slogan, "Good morning Vietnam." And it is a GOOD morning...over the past two days, I felt like I got to experience first hand what the people experience. I logged about 7 hours riding a scooter all over Saigon, this photo has someone on the back but 99% of the time, it was just me. Fun stuff...

Anyway, as I sit and look out my hotel window, seeing, hearing, watching, listening to the movement and buzz of Vietnam, I'm realizing just how much ground I've covered over the past 9 days.

In many ways it feels like a month ago when I landed at Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) International Airport, yet in reality it's only been a few days. These trips, El Salvador, India and now, Vietnam, have very little down time. So the space to think and reflect is appreciated and needed.

As I've gone back over all the photos and video, I've taken, it's astonishing to think about all my eyes, mind, heart and emotions have taken in over these days. People often ask, when I return, "Tim, what was your favorite part of the trip?"

And again, I'd have to say, the people! Yet, it's not just a face or a name, it's ALWAYS so much more than's the culture, the interactions, the laughter, the van rides, the prayers, the singing, the honking, the tears, the joy, the questions, the irritations, the caring, the eating...all this and so much more is embodied in the people.

Sometimes, I get irritated, cause we United States folks, think that somehow God smiles on us and we get to thinking that we're all that and then some. We can be prideful and arrogant...believing that God favors us.

What is SO noticeable as I peruse the photos and videos shot...God is ALIVE and WELL in Vietnam. He is at work among its people! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, in both the United States AND Vietnam.

He's working through the "underground" church, house to house, door to door. It's fascinating...people are putting their faith in Jesus and growing up to be like Him, right smack in the midst of a communist country.

God's working through a Pastor who is giving himself to training leaders, 87 of them now. Leaders who have gone back to their towns, villages and communities...a vital part of their church making a difference.

He's working through, who I refer to as the "Pizza Man" and a Non-Proft called Giving It Back To Kids, that channels life altering activity...stuff like The Father's House (Unwed Mom's home), through 24 "street" kids in a home in Danang, as well as in the community of 14 "street" kids at Grace House in Saigon. Then there is what I call the "covert" God stuff of heart surgeries and home building and 45,000 wheelchairs distributed.

God is working in launching a brand new church through the simple tool of a well for water...and the list could go on and on...

The Crossing...this only scratches the surface of what I've seen of the supernatural surge of God's Spirit in Vietnam! Thanks for coming "with" me on the trip. Keep praying, please!

Thanks for reading,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing