My Trip to Southeast Asia
AFTER A 19 HOUR TRIP TO BANGKOK, I arrived at the Christian Guest House, where volunteers for Vision Beyond Borders (VBB) stay between the many shorter trips they take during the time they are in the area. The guest house also allows bibles and other Christian material to be stored there for distribution to the surrounding countries.
The next day, I was part of a team of 10 who flew to Luang Prabang, Laos. In Laos, VBB has business contacts who work with planting and harvesting coffee throughout Laos, Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam. The packaged coffee is then sent throughout the world. These contacts (consisting of two Americans and two Australians) hire local believers to work at harvesting, planting, and packaging coffee. Other local believers are hired to go into the villages, (where the business contacts cannot go) to sell small coffee trees for the Laotians to grow themselves. When they return to check on their coffee trees, they are able to talk about the Gospel. If they find a village that is hungering for more of the truth, they pinpoint the locations, so that VBB teams can come in later to bring them Christian material.
When our teams come in, we simply download the pinpoints using Google navigation. This time, we divided into three teams, rented two 4X4 trucks and two motorcycles, and set out to reach them. We finished delivering all our material, which consisted of the Gospel of Luke, a prerecorded radio station, (and a radio), and a children's book. Because of the possibility of opposition, we could only stay in each location for 5-10 minutes. We knew that last year a team was detained in a prison for three days and sternly warned never to return. At the end of our stay in Laos, the management of the coffee business took us all out for supper and told us about the coffee business/evangelizing, and the rapid Christian growth they had seen as a result.
We returned once again to the Bangkok Guest House, and loaded up two suitcases each for Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). The next day, our team was able to bring in 1200 lbs. of bibles and flannel graphs. The local pastor has been imprisoned for his faith, once for three years, and another time for four; yet he doesn't stop or succumb to fear.
We flew back to our Guest House yet another time, and re-loaded for a second trip to Vietnam, this time to Hanoi. I have been to Hanoi before, and in the past, their airport security was almost impossible to cross. This time, however, when we had another 1200 lbs. of Christian material, the X-ray machines were not working, and there wasn't even anyone around! This was answered prayer! Two taxis brought us to a very deserted construction holding area where we met up with mopeds from the receiving underground church waiting to take our material to their very secret location of worship. We were able to accompany them and retrieved our two suitcases, visit with the Hmong believers, and see their small worship area. They impressed me as very gracious people, with hearts of gold. They even fed us supper. In both of these cities, the local believers then distribute the bibles throughout Vietnam.
All in all, we spent about 34 hours flying to 4 locations within Southeast Asia. We delivered countless Christian material packs to the remote Mien villages of Northern Laos, and another 2400 bibles to Vietnam, constantly watching out for the police and praying to get through customs, which God allowed us to do every time! Please continue to keep the ministry of Vision Beyond Borders in prayer. If you are interested in participating in a trip such as this, please contact me.