There are so many stories, sites, sounds, smells and experiences I could not write down. So many "Divine Appointments" and "GRT (God Right There)" moments that if I were to jot them all down, there would be too may pages to read.
So many emotions.
So many shed and choked back tears.
So many people looking for the Way, the Truth and Life...
Numbers don't always tell the story, but they do tell some of it (read the earlier blog posts for more):
22,000 --> Vietnamese Dong to $1 USD
18,000 --> Miles traveled
1,954 --> Pictures taken
170 --> Gallons of clean water per day provided by the Sawyer water filters to Vietnamese villagers
100 --> Families recieving meals every month by the Tiny Hearts of Hope program and Pastor Tuyet
80 --> Vietnamese orphan children being rescued in My Huong's Orphanage Centres
78 --> Vietnamese Hmong tribal orphans being rescued in Pastor Nhon's Hope Centre
65 --> Hours spent traveling to, from and within Vietnam60 --> Percent recovery rate for Pastor Trung's drug rehab program (vs. 1% in other programs)
15 --> Days in the trip (in which Julie masterfully took care of the home, thank you!!)
6 --> Disabled Vietnamese who now live independent lives through Peter Stone's Company of Grace
6 --> Former drug addicts who now have laptops and basic computer literacy skills
1 --> Lord and Savior we all desperately need to receive by grace to free us from our bondage
Practically speaking, how do we engage to bring the millions to the One? In the next several months, I'll be continuing to interact with and collaborate with many in Vietnam on how to take Spero Group's mission tangibly to Vietnam:
"Because of The Spero Group, underprivileged people in Vietnam, Moldova and Ukraine will be discipled in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and will have market relevant skills."
1. Explore how to work with Peter and Ing Stone to complete his Company of Grace Centre used for training disabled in Ho Chi Minh City for independent living (both disabled, themselves)...
2. Continue to work with Pastor Trung to build out more sustainable life-skills programs to augment his drug recovery program to provide these recovered addicts marketable life-skills...
Pastor Trung on far left
4. Partner with Tiny Hearts of Hope to continue providing food, clean water and the gospel to remote villagers...
5. Provide My Hung a "Lego Lab" setup in her centre library for the children to explore and play...
Other ideas may be distilled, but these four our the fist pass from what I've seen and heard.
Here's the ask:
1. PRAY - Pray for wisdom and insight on where to invest time, talents and treasure to make the greatest impact in Ukraine, Moldova and Vietnam for His glory.
2. GIVE - Programs need money to establish and operate. Consider making a tax deductible contribution to the Spero Group to see these programs get executed. 100% of donor money goes to our programs - any administrative costs are covered by my brother and I as we continue this "tent-making" ministry.
3. GO - We take groups of people to Ukraine and are considering the same for Vietnam. If you are interested, contact us and we can get you plugged in (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finally, wherever you decide to engage in His work, ENGAGE. Be encouraged. He will show you where to give your time, talents and treasures. If not through Spero Group, find where He is directing you and listen and then do.
In Matthew 22, some crafty smart people asked Jesus, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Expecting a long-winded, legalistic answer, Jesus simply replied:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
...go find your "neighbor", love them...