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Standing Strong Through the Storm - Thursday, May 15, 2014

WOMEN WHO FEAR GOD

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:30-31

Evangelism is an important function of the church everywhere. But in communist Vietnam, followers of Christ cannot openly share their faith. Those who do are often threatened or imprisoned. In response, Open Doors developed several programs to help. One was a women’s discipleship program based on one-on-one relationships. It is called Priscilla Training.

A Vietnamese woman named Han says, “When I was young I went to church. We were a godly family. But I found the church very dull, very boring. The Bible did not speak to me. I knew some of the stories. And I listened to our pastor each week.

“One night when we were all asleep the police came and took our pastor away. They think if they take him away the church will die. They want all churches to die. They kept him in prison for five years. It’s natural this happens. I live in a communist country.

“When the communists tried to kill my church, it challenged my heart. I knew I had to be strong. Before, I was just a church member. Now I have to become a serious follower of Jesus.

“I started reading my Bible every day, and it became fresh to me. It spoke to my heart. It was very, very good feeling, and I liked it. It was good for my life. I wanted others to have God in their lives too.

“Attending a secret house church is a risk. But it is a greater risk going to a training class. And I decided to take that risk. I went far away to receive Priscilla Bible and leadership training. I felt God calling me to be in ministry. I want to teach other women what I have learned. My first disciple was named Tuyen.”

Tuyen says, “My friend introduced me to a godly lady. Her name is Han. She taught me how to study better, know God better, and be a true disciple of Jesus. I reach out to people and tell them all the good news I have in my heart, and the good hope I have in me today.

“A neighbor told me that a lady, a new follower of Jesus, wants to learn more about him. She will be my first disciple. I will teach her what I’ve learned from Han.”

God has equipped thousands of women through the Priscilla Training in Vietnam and all members of the church are thus able to help fulfill the function of evangelism.

In June 2011, Vietnam’s Evangelical Church celebrated its centenary. The government allowed the missionaries to Vietnam (who were still living and able to travel) to return for the celebrations. When they left in 1975, there were estimated to be 160,000 evangelical Christians in the country. In 2011 they found the church had grown to over 1.4 million. That’s nearly 900 per cent growth! During the centenary celebrations, Open Doors was officially given an award from the leaders of the Evangelical Church for help in training given through the difficult years.

RESPONSE: Today I will honor women who fear God and share their faith with others in need of help.

PRAYER: Pray for more women in Vietnam to be able to effectively share their faith and train others.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.