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The Bumpy Road Church
“Your voices when you sing your songs are of great encouragement to us. You not only came from the other side of the world, you also traveled across rough roads to find us.” These were the words spoken by the pastor of the Chu Gu (Chew Goo) church after hearing Greg and Glenda Bostock sing their song, “Light of the World.”
On this recent trip, our team members were able to visit an ethnic tribe in the central highlands of Vietnam. The team found the tribe at the end of a three-hour trek over some of the most treacherous roads they had ever traveled. It was a Tuesday morning when they arrived and found over a hundred people gathered and eagerly awaiting their arrival. This ethnic tribe, called the “Chu Ru” (pronounced Chew Rye) people, is located outside of Ban Ma Thuot, the largest city in this region with a population of over 300,000 and famous for being the “regional capital of coffee.” Greg and Glenda report they soon learned the people “had a great need and had come to see how Mission Vietnam could help fulfill their vision.”
Pastor Su Thum shared how their church got its start. As the story goes, his father was the first believer there in 1958, but he passed away during the Vietnam war. Pastor Su Thum had come there in 1980 and started with one hundred-fifty believers. Now, there are 10,000 believers!
He pastored the Chu Gu congregation until 2004, but because of the demand, now pastors several other churches. Nine home churches make up the district with only two having pastors. His is the first church building in this area, mainly because of the incredible difficulty in getting government permission. Due to this difficulty, they’ve been using Pastor Su Thum’s home since 2003 as a meeting place for their church. The good news is they broke ground in 2012 on the construction of their new church on land given to them by a new believer. The local believers, mostly farmers, had set a budget of $50,000; nevertheless, because the price of materials has continued to rise, they have run out of funds and have been forced to stop midway into their project.
In spite of this, there’s a total of one thousand believers that worship as a part of this congregation with new people coming every Sunday. Just the previous Sunday, eight people converted to Christ. The pastor continued to explain to Greg and Glenda, “You don’t understand how much it means to us that you’ve come. It gives us a warmth in our hearts and lets us know that we are not abandoned here.” Standing on faith, their prayers are now that their new church would be finished by Christmas.
The latest harvest has just been reaped and the local believers have given $3000 of their own money. Weekly offerings continue to come in and they hope another $5000 will be given after their next harvest.
The spiritual harvest of souls for Christ is being reaped as you read this newsletter. Nevertheless, because of the poverty of many of the people, even doing their best, the project could be delayed indefinitely. We must not allow this project to lose momentum. Mission Vietnam needs your immediate response in the form of a monetary gift of any amount to conclude this project as soon as possible! Please send $20, $50, $100, or more as soon as possible and mark it, “The Bumpy Road Church,” and be a part of a great harvest of souls.