By Mark Ellis —
Hospitals in Vietnam are very different than hospitals in the West. Meals are usually not supplied, so patients must rely on family members to sustain them. Overloaded facilities also lack the basic hygiene one would expect in a medical setting.
“Cancer patients eat only what their families bring to dirt-laden hospitals that are so overcrowded that the sick are often lying in the hallways,” according to a report by Christian Aid Mission (CAM).
“There are not two patients per room, but often two patients per bed – sometimes with two patients under each bed as well.”
But indigenous missionaries are able to visit the sick, bringing the hope of Christ to people in the midst of their suffering. A native ministry that also runs an orphanage even sends children to visit the sick in Ho Chi Minh City. They often bring milk and cookies “to sweeten the patients’ day and give them a chance to hear testimonies of Christ’s transforming power.”
“We also gather these patients together at the nearby church each month to share the gospel,” the ministry leader told CAM. “Approximately 60 of them accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. In several cases, patients have been healed by prayer, and by this miracle many of their relatives also came to faith in Christ.”
Local pastors will then follow up by visiting their homes, teaching the Bible and praying with them.
Patients’ family members are often in the hospitals caring for their loved ones, and they hear the message of Christ’s salvation also.
“One worker recently saw 50 people put their trust in Jesus over the course of two days,” the director told CAM.
Some of the new believers have been suffering persecution from non-believers and the authorities in the villages, but they are remaining strong in their faith.
Many patients come from tribal villages that have no Christian witness. While they are largely illiterate, a ministry in Hanoi is equipping them with gospel-loaded MP3 players.
“They come to know Christ from memory sticks containing the Bible in the Vietnamese and Khmer languages, as well as follow-up materials for those who have put their faith in Christ.”
If you want to learn more about the work of Christian Aid Mission, go here