Pastor Thu and his wife Hanh serve as Agape Fish Advisors with their wealth of mission experience in Cambodia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Pastor Thu started out at the Bible College in Ontario. A year later he transferred to Canadian Bible College in Regina for 3 reasons:
After graduating in 1997, they applied to be overseas missionaries. They were sent by the C&MA in Canada to serve among the Vietnamese Diaspora in Cambodia for 9 years.
Missionaries in Cambodia (1998-2007)
- New Hope Christian School had four locations that provided education for 400 illiterate children yearly. Through the ministry of this Christian school, the lives of 7 boys and girls in particular have been touched. The children were illiterate, but thanks to the education they received at the school, Pastor Thu and Hanh helped them become educated and literate. The students received training on basic computer skills, which enabled them to apply to university. ("They learned how to type better than I could," Pastor Thu shared.) These students have finished university, and now they are leaders serving among the next generation.
- New Hope Church started with only 6-7 people meeting at a lady's house. The church grew rapidly, and was eventually established at six strategic locations in the capital city and its surrounding areas.
Pastor Thu and Hanh were ministering in a riverside area. During the high water season, they had to walk on boards or bamboo sticks that were placed on X-shaped slabs. Usually the boards or sticks were 3-4 meters above the ground, and about 1 meter above the water's surface.
Another dangerous aspect of the water was the potential to be electrocuted. Above the bamboo sticks there would be wires hanging along the way. If you were wet and accidentally touched the 220V power cords, you could fall into the water or even die.
Summertime was a season full of fish. Even the local children helped with the fish. Pastor Thu and Hanh served the people in this district Km 13, even though other delegates dared not serve there because of the strong fish stench.
Pastor Thu was able to baptize 7 people in the river for the first time in their ministry. During this time, a professor from Canadian Theological Seminary was visiting, so she also attended the baptism. While witnessing the baptism, she was glad to see that her students were working in the ministry. Later on, she often mentioned this visit as a special memory.
Pastor Thu and Hanh started a Children's Bible Club for children in the area, about 2 km away from the church. In the period before Pastor Thu started serving there, Mormons had been in the area and taught the children. But by the time Pastor Thu arrived, the Mormons had left the area and were no longer active.
Missionaries in Taiwan (2007-Present)
In 2006, we heard about the presence of a large Vietnamese population in Taiwan, more than 200,000 people. First, we made an initial survey trip to Taiwan and came back home with a ministry plan. After a year of dedicated prayer and approval from the C&MA, God allowed us to move to Taiwan in 2007.
Our ministry reaches out to two people groups: Vietnamese migrant workers and Vietnamese brides. We started the ministry, first, by establishing a ministry base called Vietnamese Gospel Center and then developed it to becoming an official church. The inaugural service of the first church, Agape Vietnamese Church, which is affiliated with Taiwan Alliance Church Union (TACU), was held on January 19, 2014.
The goals of the ministry to Vietnamese laborers in Taiwan are:
- To provide each Vietnamese detainee in the Immigration Detention Centers a chance to clearly hear the Gospel.
- To disciple inmates in the prison and facilitate the theological training for them to become potential leaders when they return home.
Pastor Thu started the prison ministry with two inmates in 2007, and now the Vietnamese inmate population has increased to almost 100 people. The ministry helps the inmates by providing warm clothing and socks during the winter time, and by encouraging them with birthday gifts and supplemental food. The inmates also receive prizes if they write articles or personal testimonies about their faith. This is intended to help them to use their minds for a good purpose and to prevent discouragement while they face adverse circumstances. Their writing can also be used to encourage other fellows within their circle and people from outside.
When the ministry first began, some of the inmates were curious and skeptical about it. Pastor Thu said, "They kept watching our activity, but after a while they were convinced that we were helping them because of real love, and not because of any personal benefit. The conversion rate through the prison ministry is more than 90 percent."
- Only the power of the Gospel empowered by the Holy Spirit can truly convict people of sin. We don’t intend to use social help to impress people for the purpose of conversion. However, we also realize that our social care has an impact to some degrees on their conversions.
- Our social care is for all Vietnamese inmates, regardless of whether they are Christian or not. Some of the inmates come from Catholic backgrounds, and we don’t pressure them to give up their faith; rather we encourage them to live their Christian life in order to glorify Him.
The goal of this ministry is to establish local churches among the Vietnamese bride population of more than 120,000. The ministry provides a place of fellowship for these Vietnamese women who are married to Taiwanese men. The ladies come together to learn, to worship, to share their stories, and to eat together.
One of the women, who has 4 children, expressed her gratitude for the fellowship, “I’ve been a believer for more than a year. I thank God for the happiness and the peace He brought me. I only pray that God will continue to teach my children to obey and bless our family.”
Another Vietnamese bride shared her story about avoiding an abortion. She had 1 son and 1 daughter after she got married, but when she was carrying the 3rd one, her family from the husband’s side wanted her to get an abortion. But because she’s a Christian, she prayed to God to help her keep the baby. Finally, God protected her and she gave birth to a son. The boy now is 3 years old and he is very cute and obedient. The boy loves to pray before eating. From the day the boy was born, his grandfather has loved him and the family was filled with happiness.
Agape Fish Advisors
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