An update from Robbie and Minh Loan McNerney, ministry partners currently serving in Vietnam...
Easter outreach service! Please pray for the evangelistic Easter service being held tomorrow night (Friday, April 3rd) at a church in Hau Giang province, located in the Mekong Delta about 5 hours out of Ho Chi Minh City. Over the past several months we have been helping to equip members of that church to follow-up any who might respond to the upcoming outreach. We look forward to seeing what the Lord will do!
As is normally the case, the true fruit of this effort may not become clear until a good while after the big event. A similar outreach by this church several years ago has borne lasting fruit, and we are encouraged to ask the Lord for more of the same. We treasure your prayers, especially that the event will be well-attended by unbelievers, that the preacher will clearly present the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, and that the follow-up workers will do an excellent job of looking after those who respond to the gospel.
English Park. In our 2014 Annual Missions Report we noted we were questioning whether or not to re- start in earnest regular evangelistic visits to “English Park”. “English Park” is not its real name, but our nickname for a centrally-located park in Ho Chi Minh City where young Vietnamese students and professionals congregate every afternoon to seek out free English practice with foreign tourists who frequent the vicinity. In the past we have found this continuous, free-for-all language exchange on park benches to be an excellent vehicle for getting the gospel out to young people. However in recent months we felt led to give other ministry opportunities priority, and stopped regular visits to English Park. Now some of those other ministry commitments have ended and I think I sense a tug back to the cold-turkey evangelism adventures in the park. I find it is good for my soul to be forced to interact regularly for the sake of the gospel with unpredictable slices of lost humanity, in this case whichever young people happen to come up to me on the park bench looking to talk in English. This situation never fails to throw me back upon God, exposing the poverty of my own heart and resources, and moving me to look to God to teach me to love sincerely and proclaim the truth clearly in Jesus' name.
Acting on these inclinations (it is remarkable to me how subtle the direction of the Holy Spirit often seems to be – assuming I discerned correctly), this past Monday I went back to the park and found it as lively as ever, with bunches of students packed in clusters around a handful of foreigners who were sitting and engaging in conversation on various park benches. Upon sitting down I too was approached by students and had the opportunity to explain some of the gospel to a young man before he excused himself. He didn't seem that interested, but seeds were sown nonetheless.
And so it often goes at English Park. There are always people coming and going. You get 5 minutes with some, hours with others (over the course of multiple park visits). Some are eager to hear more Bible stories if they have listened before. I often tell some Bible story or parable from Jesus' ministry. Such exchanges regularly lead into discussion of deep gospel truths. Please pray that we would discern the Lord's leading regarding English Park for this present season of ministry, and faithfully follow Him. In this connection I think of the verse,
“And [Jesus] said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'” Matthew 4:19 (ESV).
Man-to-Man Discipleship. This year the Lord has provided an opportunity to meet weekly with a brother in Christ named Phong. We encourage one another in Scripture memory, Bible study, and walking with the Lord Jesus. This is a real gift from the Lord and an answer to prayer. Currently there are one or two other such potential iron-sharpens-iron relationships on the horizon which Robbie intends to investigate further. Please pray for the Lord to prosper these efforts with growth in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ for all involved.
Gracious provision. Thanks be to God, one of Minh Loan's cousins named Vy, a good friend, has agreed to help us temporarily with household tasks while she job searches following college graduation. Previously Vy was an invaluable help to our family after the birth of Ruth while on summer break in 2014. She loves the Lord and is good with children. We are deeply thankful for this timely provision! Please pray for Vy that her time serving our family in Jesus' name would be as much of a blessing to her as it is to us!
Thank you for praying for our family and for God's kingdom to be advanced among and by all the peoples of Vietnam!
By God's doing we are in His Son Jesus Christ, the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:30-31), Robbie, Minh Loan, Daniel & Ruth Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam