Xin chao folks! I have been serving God and helping the people of Vietnam in Hanoi, the bustling capital city, since 2010.
People often assume that Vietnam is a Buddhist country, however, there are actually many religions throughout the land. Atheism remains the official policy of the Communist Party.
The state recognises 14 religions, with 24.3 million followers, or 27 percent of the population, along with 27,900 places of worship, according to the Committee for Religious Affairs, which maintains strict oversight and control over all religious activities – assemblies must be permitted and religious police zealously ensure the law is followed.
There 11 million Buddhists (12.2%), 6.2 million Catholics (6.8%), 4.4 million Caodaists (4.8%), 1.4 million Protestants (1.6%), 1.3 million Hoahaoists (1.4%), plus 75,000 Muslims, 7000 Bahá’ís, 1500 Hindus and other smaller groups. Apart from such organised religions, traditional animist or folk religions (worship of objects, places, spirits, gods, goddesses and ancestors) form the vast majority of spiritual practices and a family altar is commonplace in Vietnamese homes, with photos of past generations, along with incense and food offerings for the deceased to nurture them in the afterlife.
In this setting, accepting Jesus has many implications for new believers, who may be ostracised by their families. Social exclusion is a powerful weapon in a society where family and community are the essence of life. Unlike in the West, the family has higher status than the individual and the life purpose of a person is to serve the family, with specified roles according to gender, birth order, age and marital status.
Serving in this rapidly growing country is a great privilege and I thank God for His many blessings throughout my time here. The wonderful support of my brothers and sisters at Southside Christian Fellowship has enabled me to function and thrive in the Lord despite ongoing Satanic challenges. The spiritual warfare has stepped up significantly, so please keep me – and the locals and tourists I meet in my daily outreach activities – in your prayers. As I water the vineyard, may it blossom and bear fruit in abundance!
God bless always
If you would like to make contact with Grahame or support the work he is doing please make contact with Southside Church Ballarat CONTACT US
Harvest Ministry of Food
Southside Church Ballarat supports the Harvest Ministry of Food Ballarat to provide a Meal for the needy every Thursday Lunch time from 11:30am – 1:00pm, and a Food Bank each Friday from 2:30pm – 3:30pm at the corner of Mair and Dawson Street in the Hall.
Harvest Ministry of Food is a response to the specific needs identified in the local Ballarat community.It aims to engage and work alongside the local Ballarat community to ensure that no family, friend or neighbor goes hungry.
They do this by:
- Feeding those in need
- Teaching new skills in the community kitchen
- Healthy eating and well-being education
- Promoting healthy living: how and what we eat
For more information on HARVEST visit their website HERE