Asia / Mission Trips

Volunteers in Vietnam – Day 5

A short-term mission team from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mt. Prospect, IL is sending us updates from the field. They are helping to build houses for impoverished Vietnamese families, while experiencing Lutheran Hour Ministries outreach first-hand. Please pray for the volunteer team and for our staff.

The home we built today was for Hi- an elder woman in the village who was approximately 85 years old.  She currently slept in a small one room “cottage” with several other people.  She was so grateful, she tightly held the hands of the women in our group often and would not let go.

The homes we are building are 10 X 4 meters.  The configuration of the home inside and where the doors and windows are placed are up to the discretion of the owner, so each has a little individuality.  The bamboo beams and water coconut leave siding panels are harvested from the new home owners land.  If they do not have any, neighbors provide it from their property.  It is truly a community effort.  Many of the neighbors have been coming each day to help us build.  It seems as if word is spreading, because the crowd is growing.

We ate lunch with the representatives of the Communist Party of the local government of the village we are building in.  We shared Twizzler licorice sticks and Crystal Light drink packets with them, and through Truc’s interpreting, we shared many laughs and light hearted jokes with them.

This home truly was built in record speed for us.  The local builders have been so exceptionally helpful in instructing us on how to use the native materials.  Many of us have “mastered” the Vietnamese Twist.  We attach the leaf panels with long thin wooden “twist ties”.  A certain hold of the tie, a swinging of the wrist, a quick wrap to make a knot, and the panel is secure!  They make it look a whole lot easier than it is!

The smiles here are plentiful.  We have moved long past being strangers in a strange land to feeling extremely comfortable here among our wonderful new friends.  We have so much to give thanks for!

We are keeping all of you in our prayers!

Team Vietnam

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