When we arrived brand new in Ho Chi Minh City on September 5, 2016 we were so amazed to see the Church functioning so well here – two active branches, eight young “branch builders”, a District (similar to a diocese) with a District presidency. We stood in awe that here in this part of the world the church was growing and thriving and doing so well.
|Our first day in Ho Chi Minh City, with our eight branch builders|
and two professors from the United States.
Little could we have imagined the changes that would take place in just one year. Today, there are 25 young branch builders and 8 "seniors", as us older folks are called.
|Branch builders serving in the Ho Chi Minh District - September 2017|
There are now two Districts in Vietnam – the Hanoi District and the Ho Chi Minh District. Ho Chi Minh City and outlying areas now has six branches and several church buildings to accommodate them.
The Ho Chi Minh District was created in a special meeting held on September 17, 2017. The energy was electric and only surpassed by the power of the Spirit. The chapel was overflowing for this special occasion.
The Tan Son Nhat branch president,
President Thinh, was called to serve as the first District President (center).
|September 17, 2017 on the occasion of the creation of the Ho Chi Minh District|
President Thinh then stood to speak. “Hallelujah,” he began. “Heavenly Father is the author of this work. I commit myself to help establish Zion wherever He needs me.”
Surely the field is ripe already to harvest.
|Courtesy of flickr.com/ |
World Bank Photo Collection
Our two branches have now grown into 6 little branches, and new leaders are being raised up, trained, and established. Last week in sacrament meeting a 17 year old young man who was just baptized a week earlier was one of the main speakers. Another speaker was a recent convert of only a few months, now newly called as the Primary president. Their talks were just as doctrinally sound as if they’d been in the church for many years.
|Outside of the Tan Son Nhat building|
|Multipurpose room that serves|
as a chapel on Sundays
But on Sunday’s the plastic chairs are lined up and the room transforms into a sacred chapel, a room worthy of the sacred ordinance of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Today 66 people attended sacrament meeting. Many are new converts or friends who are investigating the church. Even with all the recent new branch divisions, the Tan Son Nhat branch is still one of the largest branches in the Ho Chi Minh District. Foreign visitors also often join us – travelers trekking through the country, business executives, families of Vietnamese descent coming back to see the roots of their ancestors, and many others.
I can’t pinch myself enough – this is so amazing to see this all unfold. A great foundation is being laid, and it is a great miracle. The people here are so happy to find answers that bring peace to their lives, stronger families, and good values. We are blessed to be here and watch this all unfold from the side lines. There is far more work that can be done than we have people to do it. Instead of the work moving forward one step at a time, it does so in leaps and bounds. We truly “stand all amazed!”
We are witnesses of the prophecies made in holy places regarding this land. The Saints rejoice today, saints on both sides of the veil, as this great work moves forward. Hallelujah indeed!!!