2018 was as eventful, wonderful as well as stressful as every other year if not more so – with plenty of drama and pain mixed in as well. Overall the number of donors and interest in AFA keeps growing. But like the LCA itself, we are also suffering from the effects of a declining church as people age and die or join other churches and stop to support Lutheran-based mission work.
On 21st July 2018 at the Lutheran Orphanage in Vietnam I wrote in my diary, “I think every child came forward for blessing and prayer. They look up to us with angelic and expectant eyes. These are the unexpected blessings on the journey. I thought I came to teach Valbi: (Vietnam/Australia Lutheran Bible Institute), but here I am teaching 100 orphans of all ages, and praying for them, and blessing them. And there’s more. They pray for me and bless me.
Our December newsletter is now available for download. In this issue you can read about the power of the Gospel in Vietnam, an overwhelming trip to Nepal, India remaining our No.1 mission challenge, our 3 education centres across Asia, and many more articles from our mission projects
I have just spent 10 amazing days ministering in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Vietnam, ELCV. I did this through Asia Focus Australia. How privileged I was that I was asked. I heard the call of God in that invitation and went.
What could fifteen or so farmers have in common with a fisherman, a builder, a game hunter, a barber, a couple of motorbike fruit-sellers, a man who milks rubber trees, two woodcutters, a factory hand, a motorbike-taxi driver, a former orchardist and a former watchmaker? They are Pastors or preparing Pastors of the fledgling Evangelical Lutheran Church of Vietnam (ELCV).
FiRE No66 - December 2016 has been released featuring articles about a mission to the frontier of Myanmar in aid of the poorest, life in a bucket and a celebration of survival from Liberia, pushing the gospel across borders in Vietnam, leaving a mark on a post-earthquake Nepal, and updates from our other mission projects around Asia.
After a promising start, disaster struck! Or so it seemed. Plans were to crisscross Vietnam from north to south teaching the Word of God and spreading the love of Jesus. In one province the police lay in wait, broke up the seminar that involved 40 people, interrogated Neville for hours, then took his passport away and fined him more than $1,000 dollars. High alarm! Emergency! Sleepless nights in Canada, Australia and Vietnam.
The newly established EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF VIETNAM keeps growing and consolidating with our help. The “Vietnam Australian Bible School”, supported by AFA, is teaching elders, evangelists, pastors the Holy Christian Faith.