Vietnam (MNN) — Planning a new project during a pandemic is difficult work. Unforeseen complications, ever-shifting restrictions, and the danger of the virus itself all make event-organizing incredibly challenging.
And yet Bibles For The World has been working on a new initiative for some time now. They’re focusing on Vietnam, a country with high persecution rates and very few Christians. In fact, Vietnam lands 21st on Open Doors’ World Watch List, a ranking of countries with the highest persecution rates.
For years, Vietnam has been on the radar for Bibles For The World’s John Pudaite. Until now, they’ve simply been biding their time.
“We always look for opportunities to do things legally, to print and distribute God’s word, and that’s always been one of our principles,” Pudaite says. “My father always used to say that ‘This book, the Bible, is the book of the King of Kings. We’re going to take it in through the front door, we’re not going to take it in through the back door.’”
For the first time, pieces are coming together that could see Bibles For The World getting permission to distribute Bibles in Vietnam. According to Pudaite, “we have a number of international partners that are planning major projects or events over the next 12 to 18 months in Vietnam, and they have received government permission for these events. In addition, we have been introduced to a number of national indigenous partners, Christians inside Vietnam, who are willing to work with us.”
Admittedly, COVID-19 has made things more difficult. Distribution could be hindered by safety concerns, increased restrictions, or travel guidelines. “The whole shroud of COVID-19 hands over the entire world continuously,” Pudaite says, and that includes Vietnam. Recent spikes in cases don’t do much to dissuade concern.
Still, this project could mark a dramatic change for Vietnam. It could see locals finding hope during a crisis, peace in a country still wounded by war, and freedom for people unfamiliar with the concept. God’s Word could be exactly what Vietnam needs.
Pray for continued preparations as Bibles For The World plans this effort. “Trying to manage a project from a distance, a lot of things can go off that can set us back and so we really pray that God will give His guidance and direction and smooth the path for us as we move ahead.”
Header photo courtesy of Unsplash.