A 33-year-old father of two in Vietnam has been risking his life to smuggle thousands of Bibles into Buddhist the country since he converted.
The man, named Bao, partnered with the Open Doors Children Bible Project to smuggle at least 100,000 Bibles into Vietnam in the last two years, One News Now reported.
While that is quite a feat, Bao said it’s nowhere near enough. Since Christian churches suffer under great restrictions and worshipers are forced to meet in secret, about 2 million people are in desperate need of Bibles, he said.
Buddhism is the only faith that the Vietnamese government does not persecute.
At age 19, Bao was suicidal, he said.
“I thought life had no meaning,” Bao told Open Doors USA. “I felt empty – I wanted to commit suicide. My house was near a river, and many times I walked past it and thought, ‘What if I just jump into the river to die?’”
Bao’s friends who were aware of his suicidal thoughts invited him to church. He would return, but initially to just kill time, he said.
“Each day, though, I wondered, ‘Why is it that Christians have a strange joy in their lives?’” he asked . “I couldn’t feel it, but I wanted to, so, I challenged God, saying to Him, ‘If you are real, show me.’”
One day, Bao felt God’s spirit “touch” him.
“My life completely changed, and I had a desire to serve Him,” he said.
Bao then decided to serve at a camp for the children of pastors.
“I found that the children there were very special, and I knew that God had a big plan for all of them,” calling the children “future warriors.”
Bao’s outreach has also extended to adults living in the regions dominated by Communism.
When the government caught wind of the movement, it tried to stop it, according to Open Doors. Police raided Bao’s home during the time for worship, forcing the people who attended to flee. Bao’s Bibles and teaching materials were confiscated, and he was thrown in jail.
After government officials warned that their food supply would be cut off if they stayed in contact with Bao, he decided to leave and start a new venture – the Children’s Bible Project for Open Doors. He is constantly trying to evade government detection.
“We’re trying not to let them know where we come from or who we are,” Bao said. “We try to hide ourselves.”
Bao said that “what matters most” is that the “Word of God” reaches ewveryone.
“The Children’s Bible is one of the easiest ways to let different kinds of people know about Him,” he said. “I believe this is the job of a sower. We continue to sow, and God continues to make it grow.”
Vietnam is listed as No. 17 on the World Watch list of nations persecuting Christians. In June, Catholic priests in central Vietnam were beaten by plainclothes police who attempted to tear down a cross on the land where their church stands.
(H/T: One News Now)