HO CHI MINH CITY – Hospitals and churches something in common. They are places where many people do not want to go. Unless they are hurting. People suffering from pain will often eagerly seek a place that can bring relief. Hospitals and churches are recognized as places for healing.
Some of Christian Aid Mission’s (CAM) indigenous missionaries have discovered the impact of visiting patients in confined to hospitals in Vietnam. The state of medical treatment in Vietnam is not healthy. The country is short on staff, supplies, and space. The supply of help and facilities is inadequate to meet the volume of patient demands.
Observers note that hospitals from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City are overcrowded to the extent that some patients must share not just a room, but a bed. Other patients lie on the floor beneath the beds or in hallways. “Dirt-laden” is one adjective used to describe many of the hospitals.
Then there is this. Hospitals in Vietnam generally do not serve meals. Patients rely upon relatives to bring food.
The plight of many patients in a hospital can be worse than it was before they entered it. It is not uncommon for witch doctors and shaman to be present in hospitals as it is for medical doctors in this country where animism has a stronghold.
Indigenous Christians working in alliance with CAM have seen the opportunities to share the Gospel with patients, many of whom are illiterate and have never heard of Jesus Christ and His love for them. The believers often bring milk and cookies “to sweeten the patients’ day” as they share the Gospel with them.
The reception of the believers has been overwhelming. One recently saw 50 people put their trust in Jesus in just two days.
And it’s not just the patients. Families visiting them are also hearing the Good News and trusting in Jesus.
When the patients are released to return to their homes, local pastors visit with and equip and disciple them for Christian growth. In spite of ridicule and persecution from some family members and friends, those who have come to trust Christ are reportedly standing strong in their salvation.
- God Reports, Hospital outreach brings 50 to Christ in two days
- Christian Aid Mission, The Beauty of Christ v. the Ugliness of Cancer
- Facts and Details, Vietnam