A number of years ago Global Mission Partners entered into a partnership with a network of unregistered house churches in Vietnam. These groups of Christians are deeply committed to reaching out and to supporting each other in their faith journeys.
The challenges of being a Christian in Vietnam are significant. Vietnamese society is structured by the Government, which includes regulating religious activities. Church traditions may seek recognition with the Vietnamese Government, and individual churches can be registered with local authorities by accepting government roles and requirements. With such high regulations on church activities, a large and growing number of Vietnamese Christians are attending worship in unregistered house churches rather than government appointed places of religion.
GMP partners with house churches found in Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta, the central provinces, and around Haiphong in the North. They vary in size from a small number of people to around 80 or so. This network is led by a group of committed people. One of them is a female pastor. Doan lives in the South and her ministry is nation-wide, focused on supporting and developing leaders through leadership training programs. Pastors and churches benefit greatly from this leadership development as most have had very little training. While strong in evangelism, the residual challenge is that of building community and developing a further network of leaders. Once a month the church leaders in the regions (North, Centre and South) meet for a day of prayer and fasting, and locally they meet weekly for prayer and encouragement. They know that they need each other. The current training program offers input three times a year in each region. Input is provided from local people and also sometimes by those from outside Vietnam. Churches in Australia have developed partnerships with Vietnamese pastors like Doan, supporting them in prayer and encouragement. A team from Happy Valley, South Australia, has even experienced first hand the joy and warmth of friendship when visiting the churches in Vietnam.
International Church Partnerships (ICP) is committed to the development of churches in Vietnam and will continue to encourage leaders like Doan as they build capacity through leadership development. If you would like to partner with us in developing leaders to serve the Vietnamese people and see church growth, please give us a call, or contact us at [email protected]
John Gilmore, Executive Director
Support Leaders in Vietnam