Hi. I’m Thi Lien (tee lee-yin). My name means “lotus flower.” I live in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. City streets are crowded with three-wheeled bike taxis and motorbikes. In my neighborhood in the Old Quarter, each street is named for what the shops sell there. Can you guess what’s sold on Silk Street? My family lives in the back quarters 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’t wait to begin learning English in a few years. Being able to speak English will help me get a good job and follow my dreams of becoming successful and wealthy.
After school, some of my friends stop at the Buddhist temple. My family does not worship there because we are atheists. That means we do not believe that God exists. 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 fruit 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.
Pretend that you are shop owners in the Old Quarter where Thi Lien lives. Have each person choose an item that he would like to sell. Then use paper and markers to make street signs that match your products. For example, if you are selling toothbrushes, your sign would say “Toothbrush Street.”
- The Vietnamese people are taught to trust their country’s leaders to care for them, give them a good life, and protect them. Pray that the Vietnamese will hear about Jesus and trust in Him to provide for their needs and security.
- A few Vietnamese families have become believers 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 worship together and tell others about Jesus.
Chicken Soup with Rice/Noodles
Preparation Time: 75 minutes | Serves: 6-8
- 2 pounds chicken
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ head of cabbage
- 6-8 green onions
- 1 bunch cilantro
- fish sauce or soy sauce (Asian sectionof grocery store)
- pepper to taste
- rice or thin Asian noodles