When the Vietnamese government gave money for vital water tanks, six Christian families in an animist region were denied this crucial help. But Open Doors supporters stepped in and helped - thank you!
Can you imagine if your faith meant you weren’t allowed water? It’s hard to believe that something so vital can be deliberately denied to someone, simply because they have chosen to follow Jesus. But that’s the persecution faced by six Christian families in north west Vietnam, near the border with China.
"If you want to receive the aid, return to our culture, and worship our ancestors again" Local authorities
The Vietnamese government issued water tanks to each family in the province, as residents were struggling to store water. The area is mountainous and rocky so drawing groundwater is difficult, and storing rainwater has long been difficult for people living in the region. As a solution, the government provided each family with money to build their own tank – 10 million Vietnamese dong (about twice the average monthly salary for rural workers).
But these six Christian families were refused the money by local authorities. Instead, they were told that they had to return to the local animist religion.
“You are Christians! We have no responsibility over you,” they were told, remembers Alang*, their pastor. “Go, ask your church to help you! If you want to receive the aid, return to our culture, and worship our ancestors again. If you won't, then do not expect to receive anything.”
The residents in this northern province are poor, including the six families. Putting food on the table is often difficult, and they certainly couldn’t afford to build the tank themselves. Without the money they were entitled to, the six families would have to walk for six hours to fetch water from the river.
Amazingly, the families refused to give in. They chose to continue following Jesus, even when it came with such difficult consequences.
When the local authorities told the Christian families to rely on the church, it was intended as a taunt. But that’s exactly what they did: they relied on the worldwide church. They relied, in fact, on you.
And thanks to your prayers and gifts, a local Open Doors partner has been able to give funds for their vital water tanks. To lower construction costs, the believers helped one another. Old and young, men and women took part, shovelling cement and piling concrete blocks, sifting sand, and carrying gravel with their handwoven baskets. The six families now have access to clean, safe water – that’s 28 people who are defying persecution, thanks to the way God used Open Doors supporters’ prayers and giving.
"We are grateful to the Lord because of His blessings and for hearing our prayers" Pastor Alang
“First, we are grateful to the Lord because of His blessings and for hearing our prayers,” Pastor Alang adds. “Second, we want to say thank you to our brothers and sisters who are praying for us and are supporting us in building these water tanks. The tanks will be very useful to us, especially during the dry seasons. Without it, we will have a lack of clean water to be used for our daily needs.”
Now, the families pray that others in their community will come to know Jesus – as in Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
*Name changed due to security reasons.
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