Vietnam: Sunday Schools, Bible Schools, and Translations
Type: Ecclesia Development and Preaching
Funding Need: $99,250 USD annually
As of Mar 2015, we enjoy at 12 ecclesias and 380 members at the Lord’s Hand, throughout Central and South Vietnam. Our first baptism was in 1995 and the average baptism rate has increased significantly in the last five years (2.5/mth from 1.5) due to increased funding for preaching work. All preaching is in Vietnamese and most of the converts are from poor country areas. Sunday schools are also growing rapidly.
Sunday Schools: Our work in this area consists of nurturing the many children of brethren and also large numbers of those who have been befriended. These children receive a simple meal each time they attend as well as some necessary printed learning material: Vietnamese Bible and translated notes. Sunday school costs are currently met by the Queensland ACBM budget, but it is a struggle.
White Fields (WF): This program provides an allowance to one sister and seven brothers to release them from work for full-time preaching and ecclesial nurturing. The leaders are indigenous Vietnamese members (because preaching must be covert) and they are selected by the Vietnamese elders. When persecution of a group occurs and they are restricted to meeting in small numbers the WF workers break bread with members in their homes. Our requested stipends for these brothers and sisters was ~$34 500 in 2015; an average of ~$4, 300 per leader per year.
Bible School (even no. years): This is held every two years. With an attendance of ~170 we can only cater for part of our members each time; so some will only get to Bible school every four years. Bible schools are invaluable to keep members cohesive and inspired to “grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord.” We use two overseas speakers plus local speakers. The 2016 school cost is expected to be $76 500.
Leaders Seminar (odd no. years): The seminar is for leaders and Sunday school teachers, using one overseas speaker for subjects of the local brethren’s choosing, as well as question forums. The material is taken back to their ecclesias. The last seminar cost $21 721 but this is inadequate for the expected necessary increase of numbers attending. We anticipate a need for $25 000 in 2015.
Translations: We have been able to print authorized registered translations of 500 copies of “What the Bible Teaches” by Harry Tennant and “Galatians” by John Carter. Each member has a copy. We hope to translate and print 500 copies of “The Genius of Discipleship” by Denis Gillett, at less than $3 a copy, a total of $14 000.
As a result a Bible school year need would total $125 000 and a non-school year would be $73 500. If we average these two figures we reach a bottom line annual request of $99 250 support.
Request authors: Bre Allan Bundesen(Brisbane, Aus) & John Pople (San Francisco, USA)