“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!”
We always return from Southeast Asia humbled and tired but full of praise and vision. Each expedition that we take into Vietnam refines our vision as to how God may use us to encourage the gospel ministry in that land. The vision is a concern that weighs heavy upon us when we see the conditions our friends serve under. We want so much for them, though our resources are so limited. We return to this land of plenty (America) and are saddened by the extravagance of our Christianity. We build and program to keep the Christian consumers happy.
The vision and understanding as to how we should proceed has been made very clear. Though we are financially supporting some indigenous people in various, isolated places, it has become evident that an added approach to ministry is necessary. An opportunity is ours today that the church of Christ has never had before.
The process of ordaining men in Vietnam has unveiled a sad yet correctable (to some degree) situation. The culprit is oppressive communism that does not want Biblical Christianity to succeed. Buddhism, the Cao Dai, Catholicism, and other forms of pagan and humanistic religion are flourishing without objection from the Marxists but those that dare to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord are repressed. This prejudice is clearly seen by the obvious lack of Christian literature available in the Vietnamese language. The Buddhists print volumes of material and sell it openly. We here in the U.S. have entire libraries dedicated to theology while our counterparts in Vietnam have one or two good gooks in their language. The other issue is that commerce demands that books be sold where the money is. This is understandable.
The men that we ordained have a Bible (praise the Lord) and a theology book that was translated ten years ago. Beyond that they have received training from our friends at the Institute of Biblical Leadership who have accomplished a lot in this mission field. Russ Lloyd and Pastor Tan have done more than any in the advancement of Biblical education. God bless them for their faithfulness to Christ and the people of Vietnam.
Where do we come in? In the process of putting together an Ordination Council we formed what is called International Baptist Association (IBA). This association is a group of pastors that want to serve the needs of our indigenous brothers overseas. Thus, we offered them a way to receive the credentials of ordination they have been denied. While evaluating their applications, it became evident that there is, as I said before, a tremendous need for Christian literature in Vietnamese. So, the plan is to develop an IBA website with its domain here in the U.S. This site would seek to offer a wide range of choice, Biblical books and articles in that language.
So, the question is, “How do the pastors take advantage of this awesome resource?” The answer is that we provide the electronic equipment necessary to download this literature in Vietnam. Most of the men we have in mind do not live near a WiFi site; however, with a little travel they could download an entire library. Most have cell phones and may be able to use their USB connections and an antenna to get internet service. Most of the tablet-type electronics take a 32 GB card or zip-drive type of attachment. What can you store in 32 GB? You know the answer. The cost of the website is already covered – that’s easy; however, the cost of supplying equipment and translation of materials will be the challenge. The good news is that in Saigon there are stores that carry what we need. Of course, we’ll have to get the tablets to the men and train them but this is all doable with a little effort on their parts in-country.
Several publishers have shown real interest in this project, most are not going to require royalties on eBooks downloaded. We are seeking the rights to use already published materials. Only a couple of publishers want a fee for the rights to translate their books. The fees discussed are minimal ($100 - $300 per book). Tablets here in the U.S. are selling for approximately $130 - $150 plus an SD card. In VN the cost will be higher. This will make large quantities of gospel literature available with years of service to the underground churches. We are praying for benefactors to come on board to help in this tremendous opportunity. Never before has such a door been opened for ministry. Remember that the communists of Vietnam have been known to confiscate written
material that advances Biblical Christianity. All over Vietnam we observed smart phones, I-Pads and the such. If our pastors in-country could put their material on a storage card, the chances of the devil’s system finding such a thing is greatly diminished. As funds are available we would like to supply as many pastors as possible with equipment. At present we know of approximately 50 that would use and truly appreciate such an opportunity. The eight men we recently ordained would be first on our list. Of course, we cannot expect our translator to labor without help as the time involved will be substantial. This is a big vision with a lot required; however, the return on the investment to the gospel and its supporters is of eternal value.
Pray with us as we seek to build and refine this awesome opportunity. Once again, thank you so much for supporting us with your prayers and resources. Many thanksgivings ascend before our Lord because of your faithfulness.
Your Friends in Christ,
David and Connie Parker
Creating a culture of study and teaching “what is in good accord with sound doctrine."
- in a land of vain philosophy, myth, and superstition.
For 38 years Solomon has been serving Christ in his country. Through expulsion from his home by the communists - into the jungle, imprisonment, the starvation of his father and sister, and endless harassment from police and false religionists, this man is still burning with desire for the salvation of his people. He does so much with so little. He will be translating all of the material posted on International Baptist Association website when it is ready. The following e-mail will give you a glimpse into the heart of a man that is sold-out to God and fervently loves his people.
Dear David & Connie,
I’m so grateful to the Lord for the advancement in your efforts of supporting biblically those who plant and grow Churches in Vietnam, my country. Your attempt to make Christian materials on sound doctrines and biblical theology available at IBA Website will help changing many lives - men and women in the leadership - especially their culture of study so that they will be able to do a better job for the Gospel in this restricted corner of the globe.
Every time I think of men and women of Gospel Ministry in my country there is always a mixed feeling in me. At one hand I’m proud of them who risk their lives for the sake of Christ - They are somehow the heroes. However, on the other hand I sense a possibility of them becoming the victims of ignorance innocently or deliberately (Cf. Hos 4:6).
A piece of history may help getting a clearer picture of the fact in here. Since the fall of the South regime in 1975, the Communist Government have tried their best to make people believe that the Church should be totally shut down and they should absolutely not go to Church. Not all Christians are fooled. As a rule, any action can create a reaction. When the Government lied Christians that they should not go to Church, many decided to make their home Churches right away. They understood that to be a Christian is to suffer and boldly accepted the cost of the faithful (Cf. 1Pe 2:21). That was how the Home Church Movement in my country to begin many decades ago.
My ministry began in 1977 to support those who raised up themselves to serve the Lord through serving His people in such a way. Can you imagine them doing the ministry in situations when imprisonment were awaiting them if their activities exposed (Cf. Ac 20:23); when most of Churches and Christian institutes were eliminated; when all the Christian materials, the Bible included, were confiscated; when they could not find for themselves and their families two meals a day? These were some of the factors that began to kill the culture of study among the Christian Workers in here my country.
Not bad enough, during the 1980s all kinds of false teachers and teachings silently sneaking into home Churches, influencing the thought life of people with floods of unbiblical books and articles from Reinhard Bonnke, Paul (David) Yonggi Cho, John Hagee, Robert Schuller and the like of the old days to Rick Warren today. Many Christian leaders don’t read most of the time but whenever they do they read the wrong things. How can Christ’s Church have good marks with such a culture?
The task ahead is enormous but our only choice is to help creating a culture of study and teaching “what is in accord with sound doctrine” (Tit 2:1).
What awesome opportunities lie before us. Please pray for funding and that thousands will be blessed.
Your Friends in Christ,
David and Connie Parker Amazing Grace Fellowship
3298 N Glassford Hill Rd. Suite 104-10
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314 (928-848-3700)
A land of vain philosophy, myth, and superstition
"Professing themselves to be wise they became fools." "The fool has said in his heart there is no God."
Marxist/Leninist Communism rules over the Vietnamese
Young people, by the millions,
are indoctrinated and trained to
obey the state above all else.
". . . in the latter times some will depart from the faith devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teaching of demons. . ."
The Cao Dai came into existence in the 1930's hoping to blend Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Confucianism, and Taoism into a montage of religion. The "eternal eye" represents the "God" we supposedly all worship.
Notice the ying and yang in the pupil, which is the Taoist symbol of balanced good and evil, good karma and bad. "God,"whoever that may be, is represented by the good karma portion.
These two pictures were taken in both Buddhist and Catholic Pagodas/Mausoleums. Notice the incense burning for worship in respect of the ancestors. Catholocism fits well into the pantheon of Vietnamese gods and goddesses.
The Parkers at CaoDai
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Solomon and Deborah with their motorbike which they use to travel great distances to minister to others.
Though Vietnam is going through huge cultural and economic changes, the old guards of paganism and communism still rule the lives of untold millions caught in Satan’s hold. The churches of Christ are small but numerous; their impact is barely seen relative to the giants of religion around them. Add to this the oppression of the Marxist state, with exploding consumerism, and you have what seems to be an impossible situation. Nothing though, is impossible for our God; people are still being saved in Vietnam and thousands hunger for good Bible teaching. The task, as Solomon has said, is “enormous,” however, the call to action is clear. By God’s grace we will advance the cause of “creating a culture of study and teaching in this restricted corner of the globe.”