Only a few non-socialist visitors get a glimpse into Viet Nam these days. Among those who have are three Mennonites who visited the country last month on behalf of the Mennonite Central Committee, which has continued to fund projects there since the end of the war in April, 1975. They were Don Sensenig, a ten-year veteran of Mennonite missions in Viet Nam, Max Ediger, a Mennonite relief worker who stayed on in Viet Nam for more than a year after the war ended, and correspondent Harold Jantz, editor of the Canadian “Mennonite Brethren Herald.” Jantz filed the following report for Christianity Today.
During a two-week visit, spent mostly in Hanoi and Danang and in communities adjacent to these north and central Viet Nam cities, interviews were conducted with evangelical Tin Lanh (Protestant) and Catholic leaders, as well as with spokesmen for Buddhists. The Tin Lanh (“Good News”) church is a product of Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) work.
The talks strengthened the impression that while the Christian Church is clearly in a new situation under the present government in Viet Nam, many things that had been feared have not materialized. Ma Phuc Minh, who was the pastor of the largest evangelical church in Danang and is now the regional supervisor for about one hundred Tin Lanh churches in central Viet Nam, told the Mennonites their earlier fears had not been fulfilled. “We can function,” he said. Indeed, he reported, four or five churches destroyed by American bombs during the war have been partially rebuilt with money and supplies given by the government. Similar reports of help in rebuilding were given by others, both in the north and in the south.
A number of churches that grew up around ...1
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