Note to Parents: Help your family embrace God’s love for the world. Read this story together to learn about and pray for the Vietnamese, a Southeast Asian people group. This story focuses on those living within Vietnam, a country whose government restricts access to the gospel.
Come with me to the bustling city of Hanoi, where streets are crowded with three-wheeled bike taxis and motorbikes. Families here are taught to trust in their country’s leaders to care for them, give them a good life, and protect them. Most boys and girls have never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus. Do you see the girl standing in the doorway of that shop…
Hi. I’m Thi Lien (tee lee-YIN). My name means “lotus flower.” Welcome to the capital of Vietnam. In my neighborhood in the Old Quarter, each street is named for what the shops sell there. Can you guess what is sold on Silk Street? My family lives in the back rooms of the shop where my mother sells souvenirs – teapots, embroidered clothes, and bamboo musical instruments. As a member of the Communist party, Father works for the government to make sure things run smoothly in our neighborhood.
I go to school every day except Sunday. After exercising and eating breakfast, I put on my uniform and ride my bike to school. My friends and I study hard and have great respect for our teachers. I like history, but I can hardly wait to begin learning English in a few years. Being able to speak English will help me get a good job and become successful and wealthy one day.
After school, some of my friends stop at the Buddhist temple, but my family does not worship there. Father says we should trust our leaders to show us what is right and meet our needs. Like my friends’ homes, ours has an altar with photos of our ancestors who have died. We leave offerings of fruits and flowers, burn incense, and bow to show respect. We ask our ancestors to watch over us and bring good things into our lives.
On holidays, my family travels to the countryside to visit relatives. After a big family dinner, my cousins and I enjoy swimming, fishing, or riding my uncle’s water buffalo. Uncle Hao (HOW) depends on this strong animal to help him plow the rice paddies, but we children treat it like a pet. I love visiting the countryside, but farm life is not for me. I dream of working for a large company where I will have the opportunity to travel to other countries.
- Vietnam is officially atheist. Pray that many Vietnamese families will hear about Jesus and trust in Him to provide for their present needs and future life.
- Some Vietnamese families have trusted in Jesus. The government tries to keep them from living out their faith by arresting them, putting them in prison, and closing down places where they worship. Pray that God will give Vietnamese believers the courage to meet together and tell others about Jesus.
Coming up next: Watch for an art activity that helps your family understand how one section of Hanoi still reflects the history of an ancient Vietnamese dynasty.