I recently asked Bec Sparkes to share three things she learnt while in Vietnam with Thirteen Three’s Ambassadors. Here's what she shared with me.
1. The importance of prayer
I met an incredible Vietnamese pastor who told me many stories of persecution.
One time, he had to flee Vietnam to escape the authorities. He was in exile away from his family for three years. He told me about all the dangers he faced and how close he came to being caught by the authorities and imprisoned.
He would spend days in prayer when he did not know what to do. Every time God made a way.
I am encouraged to give God more of my time in prayer to lift up the people I feel burdened for and the issues I’m concerned about.
2. Expressing our love for one another
One thing I noticed in Vietnam was how willing people were to be real with one another, to cry in front of others and express love to one another.
When one pastor met David Low, he said:
I will shake your hand with my left hand because it is closer to my heart.
Another Pastor wept in front of everyone at a youth service when he heard how David walked over 400km to raise money for Vietnamese Christians.
I was encouraged to not be afraid of being real with one another and expressing our love for one another. God knows we need it from each other.
3. Joy in suffering
One of our translators, Rose, was one of the happiest, most joyful ladies I’ve ever met. Always warm, always smiling, always laughing.
But when I got to know Rose a little better, I found that she was not without her fair share of hardship and pain. Despite this, she was full of joy in the Lord.
Most of the people we met in Vietnam had been been persecuted and been through trials of many kinds. But they continued to rejoice in the Lord.
They encouraged me to rejoice in the Lord in the trials that I face, to walk life a little more lightly knowing that Jesus paid it all.