Church Building Stories of Hope


ICM || Aug 18, 2023

When war leaves devastation in its wake, the church becomes a source of healing.

Most of us will remember studying the Vietnam War in history class. Maybe an older family member who fought in Vietnam told stories of how they survived in the Vietnamese jungle. Movies like “Full Metal Jacket” and Forrest Gump are ingrained into our culture as classics we can enjoy over and over again.

But the sad reality is that war tears people apart emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The Vietnam War was no exception. Political tension and passionate protests dominated daily life on the home front. Popular musicians snuck anti-war messages into their lyrics. A wave of “hippie” mentality washed over the American people. For veterans trying to adjust upon returning home, the situation was nightmarish. Many people believed the war was a lost cause and that it was impossible to rid Vietnam of Communism. It was a dark and unfortunate time in American history. But even through that darkness, God was working.

A handful of churches already existed in parts of southern Vietnam before the war. Some were simply made of bamboo, but more churches sprang up as Christianity gained a small foothold in a culturally Buddhist society. However, once war broke out, the churches transformed into shelters and storage areas for weapons and equipment.

Yet…the Gospel continued to spread. American soldiers, especially military Chaplains, interacted with civilians in remote villages and shared the Good News. Amid the horrors of war, being told that God offers peace, comfort, and protection encouraged the villagers. Many had lost their homes, family members, and their way of life.

When the war ended in 1975, the thought of a future relationship between America and Vietnam was unthinkable. The disastrous events of the war left much bitterness. Returning to Vietnam, even to provide humanitarian aid, seemed impossible. Evangelical missions were out of the question. But again, God was working. In the early 1990s, ICM completed its first church project in Vietnam…a feat that only God could have helped ICM accomplish.

ICM’s role in the evangelical church has been used to change the whole climate of the nation. The Lord is opening doors through the church.
— Dr. Ming Dang, ICM partner Vietnam

The fact that an American organization came in to minister to the Vietnamese people was nothing short of a miracle. Initially, ICM helped ministry partners

rebuild churches that were already established in larger cities. As the years turned into decades, ICM helped build churches in remote locations.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, reconciliation is possible. Former enemies are becoming friends. Vietnam, a nation torn apart by extreme political views, a place where the scars of war remain visible, the Gospel is changing hearts. There is more Kingdom work waiting to be done in Vietnam, but nothing is impossible with God. He turns darkness into light, He walks with us in the valleys, and He will help heal Vietnam, too.


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