“You always have a second home here”, read the welcoming words closing the last email from a Mandate Vietnam partner. If you choose to work in this location, I am envious of the kind of hospitality you will receive. The warm smiles and excited chatter about places they will take you and new things you have to try will quell any feelings of homesickness as you settle into the bustle of Vietnam.
We checked in with our site last week to get the latest update, asking how you- our Mandate family- could pray for them. This blog is to paint a picture of the lives of the Vietnamese family running this site. It could only get more real if you felt the warm, sticky Asian air on your face and watched the glow of the lights as the sun faded into night.
If you are parent of adult children, you know all too well the adjustment of sending a child to college. At our last site visit, we laughed as their growing teenage son finished his plate and progressively worked his way through every other plate at the table with a sheepish grin. There is a bitter sweet pain of watching this exceptional young man go off on his own. “Please keep us in your prayers as we all adjust to the change and being apart”, were the word this heart-heavy but proud mama chose.
As she talked about the updates at their school, “second wind and second vision” was
The phrase she used to describe its new direction. Always striving for excellence and making the student experience as warm as an embrace from God, their staff will need stamina and strength. I can still hear the reverberating chatter in the halls of the school as children flooded in and waited for classes to begin. There was so much joy in the faces of the children, even with as full of days as they had. Instead of looking tired or run down, it was evident that this was the highlight of their day.
One long-term prayer that they have held for their staff and to have more like-minded people on staff. Depending on where God has had you planted, you may or may not relate to the isolation that can be felt when brothers and sisters in faith are hard to find. I could almost feel the delight in her email as she marveled how people on the other side of the world who may not even know her would pray for her. She marveled at YOU.
She went on to describe a harrowing month of recovery that they just endured. She and two of their children came down with dengue fever and were hospitalized. I can only imagine the frustration of being excited to launch on the new vision only to be out sick for a month. I envision how she lit up when she would talk about all they were preparing to begin. She puts her heart and soul into developing curriculum, managing teachers, and being a mothering presence at the school, so the suffering here was not merely physical. Praise God, their children recovered relatively quickly after about ten days, but a month later symptoms like vertigo still linger for her. Pray for continued and complete healing. Please also pray that time would be redeemed and that as they return to work, they will be able to make up for the lost time and launch the new vision with a renewed strength.
As she neared the end of the update, she wrote “Please send our love to the whole Mandate team. God is so good!”. I just pause to reflect on those two statements. As part of our Mandate team, you are part of a network- a family- that spans the globe. This isn’t just any family. This is a family who, despite the setbacks and frustration of working in least reached areas, is still wholly convinced of God’s goodness. As you go through your week, pray for Vietnam. Specifically, pray for this partner of ours and their requests. Prayer has no distance limit on its ability to heal, change circumstances, and manifest the supernatural answers of God. Then stay tuned to our posts. You’ll hear not only how your prayers begin to unfold in the lives of this family, but you’ll also get to know our other partners and be immersed in their very different worlds.