In late November 2013, after two years of planning and discernment, six people from the Happy Valley Church of Christ (SA) left Australia to investigate a new global mission partnership with Vietnam.
Our goal was to expect the unexpected and embrace the hospitality offered. The development of relationship was more important than what we would achieve. I suspected that we would discover more about ourselves than anything else; which was truer than I could’ve imagined!
We witnessed the amazing work of Fiona Briers and Bright Solutions. We heard about the Kingdom of God at work in the lives of Vietnamese pastors and their churches as we listened to their stories (not all that dissimilar to our own). We saw the Kingdom of God sprouting green shoots in ethnic minority groups, the disabled and school children through the work of John and Lan Dean and COCOA South-East Asia. Fresh water and a toilet can change lives and witness to the love of God.
Luke 10 was our grounding text and daily we reflected on our experiences and found connections within the story of Jesus sending out the 70. Each day we processed and prayed through what we had experienced. At times it was an assault on our senses and broke our hearts; but each day we were overwhelmed by the hospitality and love shown to us. We returned home with more than a partnership. We returned with a relationship.
Mark Stevens, SA.