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The Phu Quy Church has encountered some difficulties in completing its building projects due to being on an island. Difficulties that are unique to their area are as follows: harsh tropical weather, transporting the building materials to the island, transferring
construction workers to and from the island and more. In spite of all this, the Phu Quy Church has enjoyed the blessings of God and has reached its recent stage of completion.
Currently, the Phu Quy Church has finished painting the outside of the sanctuary. Now working on the inside the building, workers have begun work on building the platform for the stage, completing the plastering and painting the walls.
Now that the walls are nearing completion, the floor is being prepared for the installation of the patterned floor tiles. Soon all the detailed work will be finished and the doors will be assembled and hung. It will take more than another month or two to finish the church building to that point.
The church is active now!
In the past, the local government had tried to persecute the church in various ways, but currently the church’s relationship with the local government is quite peaceful. They have temporarily ceased their persecution. Now, when Phu Quy Church
presents the programs and activities to the local government, the church receives their approval.
The Phu Quy Church is worshipping God joyfully and in solidarity, although most of God’s children, and even the deacons of the church live as deep-sea fishermen and they have to travel by boat for long periods to fish. When they have to go further, they must try to stay away from the areas controlled by boats from China.
The difficulty that the church is facing, because most of them work on the sea, is that they cannot actively take control of their time. Therefore, the programs of the church may experience a lack of some deacons and church-workers because they totally depend on their co-workers and the ship-owners. Consequently, when they go out to fish, the church has fewer workers. Nevertheless, when there are storm, raging waves and strong winds, the church will be crowded. Normally the weekly congregation is about 50-60 adults, with 25 children.
After a long period of difficulties and waiting, and with great the expectations of God’s children in Phu Quy Church, as well as of the Construction Committee and of Mission Vietnam and the Boring Church, at 9AM on July 10, 2013 the Phu Quy Church will organize the Thanksgiving and Dedication Ceremony of the new sanctuary. This service will be a time of give thanksgiving to the Lord because of His wonderful gifts through the contribution and offerings of God’s children—especially with the help of Boring Church and Mission Vietnam.
In July of 2013, God’s children in Phu Quy, who are ship-owners, have decided not to go fishing so that they and their fishermen can attend the ceremony. This may cause hardship for some, but those who can, will fish more before the ceremony before the ceremony to make up for their missed time. They all want to be present for the worship service and join in praising the Lord.
The Phu Quy Church faces a number of difficulties in doing evangelism, because most of the island people live in superstitions and have many pagodas (A Buddhist practice). When they do personal witnessing, local people welcome them into their house and listen to them in hospitality, but they are not willing to truly listen to the Gospel.
In 2012 the church has brought hundreds of souls back to the Lord. However, they face more difficulties in doing home-visitation and discipleship. In the past Satan used the government to persecute the church; now he uses different effective methods. For example, two families in the church had their houses burned by locals because they were Christians. Non-believers use this as an opportunity to ridicule the Christian faith.
In the church, Sister Ngô Thị Điểm – 58 years old – is a very good example of faith. Although she is working hard as a collecting bottles and wasted materials she has a very weak body and has had many sicknesses. Her house is also located at the furthest and most deserted area on Phu Quy Island, yet she is still faithful in worshipping God and actively serving God.
Her husband formerly believed in God. She has 2 children: the first child was born healthy; the second one was born deaf and mute.
While hunting a kind of salamanders (“giông”- in Vietnamese), her healthy child crept down into a hole; the hole collapsed and he was killed. Although her husband still believed in God after that accident, after being mocked and ridiculed by relatives daily, he came to the pastor and said, “Pastor, I decide to apostatize.”
Despite her relatives’ efforts, and the apostasy of her husband, she continues to keep her faith in God. In fact, her faith has even become stronger and her life is a wonderful encouragement to others. Every time the church needs contribution, she always actively volunteers her service – such as preparing vegetables, cooking, raking grass, shoveling sand for the construction, and more. The Phu Quy Church has just organized a Bible Course with a multiple-choice quiz and is she ranked first in the competition, although many young people have participated in the quiz. No one has studied the Bible as hard as she has, even though she does not have an appearance of a smart person.
To God’s children in the Phu Quy Church, having such a beautiful church is a marvelous blessing and a wonderful joy because from now on they can easily organize their programs and activities to worship God, as well as big evangelistic meetings. It is also a wonderful sign to the non-believers on the island who still live in various kinds of superstitions and worship in many pagodas, that the Lord our God has declared His glory in the midst of the false gods on the island.