Sunday, October 07, 2012

He always carries a copy of the laws of Vietnam, and the Bible in his heart

Ma was a deputy to the chief of police and a Vietnamese communist party member.

In 1996, his nephew showed him a New Testament. When Ma's entire family got sick, he remembered what he had read about Jesus healing people. Twelve members of Ma's family had died of illness, so Ma asked a pastor to pray for a young nephew. Ma' s nephew was healed, and Ma gave his life to the Lord!

But a year later, he lost his job when the party learned of his conversion.

So he returned to his village and began to tell others about God. Although he had no training - he knew only what he had read in the Gospels and what the pastor had told him - 100 people came to
in the first year of his ministry.

In 1998 he was arrested.

"They kept me for three days and beat me because they knew me from when I belonged to the
communist party," he said. Ma used the time to share the gospel with his former comrades, and six of the party members became believers. He was released.

Ma, now 62 years old, at this point oversees nine house churches and nearly 1,800 believers. Christians face many restrictions in the region where Ma works. They are not allowed to gather in groups of more than 20, and, unlike other villagers, Christians are not provided houses by the government. In addition, Bibles are not allowed, so Christians must hide their Bibles and read them only after dark.

Ma leaves his Bible behind when he travels to preach, afraid that it would be confiscated if discovered. Instead, he writes his sermon on paper and hides the Scripture in his heart.

He always carries a copy of the laws of Vietnam so that when he is questioned he can confront the police with their own laws. Despite government harassment and restrictions, Ma has learned how to continue his ministry and continue sharing the hope of Jesus Christ.

(from Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, August 2012)

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