Eleven cases of manuals had been shipped from New Delhi, India where we had them printed (cheaper than in the USA). Four of these cases were brought to BCGH and I took them to the Holiday Inn where a long table was set up and I displayed the manuals, brochures, letter and instructions. I also put a small sign on the table; “Books are Free”. This was quite a draw because all the other displays from other ministries had price tags. There is a very powerful draw to persons when we offer the gospel and God’s truth free of charge – a Pauline model. More about the effect of this principle will be said in another paragraph.
The conference consisted of around ninety people involved in reaching Vietnamese through various ministries and missionaries. Each day began with worship led by a local pastor of an international church in Bangkok. Much of the first afternoon (the conference started at 1 p.m. on Monday) was used to describe Synergy, its purpose, goals and present endeavors. Key speakers presented current efforts to spread the gospel and plant churches among the Vietnamese. When we use that people group designation, we often think solely of Vietnam, forgetting that there are displaced Vietnamese in Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, the USA and other countries as well. You will understand the significance of this shortly. I was given two slots Wednesday morning to present God’s Plan for His Church at which I used a PowerPoint presentation that I modified for the occasion. Through Monday afternoon and Tuesday, several had spoken to me about the manual, but the interest seemed very ho hum. During these two days I tried to build relationships by showing more of an interest in others and what they were seeking to accomplish for the Lord than trying to promote NFI (New Foundations International---our new name).
Then came Wednesday! While there were four presentations in different rooms simultaneously, my senses told me that the attendance at GPHC would be very small. The first session started with only three or four people and grew to twelve in attendance. Though I felt very nervous in the three minute teaser on Tuesday, I knew the Lord was giving freedom in the Spirit as I went through the PowerPoint slides and I saw faces change. At the end of the first session, questions and comments were flowing very freely. In the second session, eighteen attended and one or two repeat attendees who wanted to hear it again. From this point in the conference, things changed dramatically. There was hardly a coffee/tea break where someone didn’t want to speak to me about the manual and learn more about how it could be used in their venue. One brother who works with the Vietnamese in Malaysia began sitting at my table every session through the rest of the week because he had so many questions and his vision for using GPHC was growing rapidly. To prove this point, he took a whole case of 44 manuals back to Malaysia wanting to train leaders in the church there so that churches would multiply among the Vietnamese. This same brother is fluent in Mandarin and wants the manual translated into that language as soon as possible so it can be used in China and with the Chinese churches in other S. E. Asia countries. Others were asking if they could take more than one manual back with them to which I heartily said yes.
There is far too much detail in the various conversations that came from this conference to repeat here, but I think you get a sense of what God was doing. Often our minds wonder where all the resources will come from to supply the printing in these different places. The more I see God working in ways like this the more my confidence in Him grows; that He will supply what is needed through His people at the right time. Where it will all lead is up to the Lord. I have a huge task of responding to requests for the Vietnamese manual and follow-up questions, but it is evident that God used this opportunity to open new doors.