An Assemblies of God U.S. missionary says she has seen God move in more ways than she can count in the largest Vietnamese community in the nation through a church she helped plant.
In August 2013, Liz Tran, who is with Missionary Church Planters & Developers, and her Vietnamese husband, Nhat, launched Source of Life Church in Westminster, California. The church (called Hoi Thanh Nguon Song in Vietnamese) is located about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles in the heart of an area called Little Saigon.
“We didn’t have a seed group of people or a church planting team or anything,” Tran says. “It was just us.”
But not long after Nhat began to head out to the streets daily to pray for people, God brought a small group of people who had a heart to help with the launch. Nearly half the people in attendance for the first service were people Nhat met on the streets. Many wanted to testify about how God had healed them.
Shortly after the start of the church, a man who had connections with a local Vietnamese television station attended a Sunday meeting.
“After the service, he came up to Nhat and asked, ‘Would you like to preach on television?’ ” Liz recalls. After accepting the offer, the Trans received 15 hours of free airtime on a local Vietnamese TV channel.
“Nhat would do a brief gospel presentation and then people could call in for prayer,” says Tran, who has three young children. Afterward, Nhat uploaded all 15 hours to YouTube. Subsequently, Vietnamese living around the world have logged on and watched, and called the church for prayer.
Currently, around 100 people consider Source of Life their home church, with an average weekly attendance of about 60. In the past three years, 50 people have responded to salvation invitations.
“We have seen many people deepen in their faith and mature in remarkable ways,” Tran says. “We’ve seen God move in more ways than we can count!”
Khai Trinh began attending Source of Life nearly two years after his mother told him about the church. She had discovered the church via YouTube.
“The first thing I've noticed about this church is love,” Trinh says. “God touched me in a special way to let me know how real He is and how much He loves me.”
Roughly half of the 90,000 residents of Westminster are on Vietnamese descent, with many of them from Buddhist backgrounds. A new Buddhist pagoda was just built less than a mile from Source of Life.
Reaching Vietnamese with the gospel is a challenge because many have been blinded by the lies of the enemy and they need their eyes opened, Tran says.
“They are often so steeped in culture and tradition — that even after they experience a dramatic physical healing, they still will not turn to Jesus,” Tran says. “Many refuse to recognize Him as the only way to salvation.”
IMAGE - Liz and Nhat Tran
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