Jesus taught: “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade” (Mark 4:30-32).
In God’s kingdom, small beginnings lead to great endings. A person who examines the mustard seed through his own wisdom concludes, “This tiny seed cannot grow into the largest tree.” The person who examines the mustard seed through Jesus’ wisdom concludes, “The Lord will perform a miracle with this tiny seed. It will become the largest tree, just as he promised.”
With confidence in Jesus’ wisdom, we began the rural training program for the Hmong Fellowship Church in Vietnam in a small way. While we were able to train 55 church leaders in the doctrines of God’s Word, we still did not have training for the many church members in the rural congregations. Could we use the small group to reach the large group?
Because of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 we could not continue the scheduled seminary classes in Hanoi. We decided to use online training for the new program of rural training. The 55 leaders met with us on Zoom to study the first course in the rural training program.
We met to study the gospel of Mark using the theme “In the Mighty Name of Jesus.” The students delighted to have a greater understanding of the mighty name of Jesus through this gospel’s history, miracles, and revelation of our salvation in Christ our Lord. By the end of class, they eagerly wanted to share this message with all the members of the Hmong Fellowship Church.
This happened when the small group of 55 leaders taught a larger group of 700 leaders. Those leaders in turn instructed the leaders of more congregations. Then the leaders of all the congregations shared the mighty name of Jesus to all 145,000 members in the Hmong Fellowship Church. The small beginning with 55 grew to a great ending with 145,000!
Since that time, we have taught many other courses in our rural training program. Eventually we will complete a curriculum of 30 courses. God be praised!
The many prayers and generous gifts for this ministry have allowed us to train 700 of the 1,400 church leaders we want to train. Support from WELS members provided travel, meals, and lodging to the leaders conducting the training. With the help of your gift today, we could expand the program to reach the 700 additional church leaders. Then, by God’s grace, we will have trained 1,400 leaders to reach all of the rural congregations of the Hmong Fellowship Church more quickly and efficiently.
During this season of Christmas joy, please consider making a gift of love to our Lord Jesus for our brothers and sisters in the Hmong Fellowship Church. Jesus will use his great gospel power to make our efforts, as small as a mustard seed, grow into the largest tree in his garden of grace.
Serving our newborn King,
Rev. Joel Nitz
Missionary in Vietnam
Prayer: Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—it is by your hand alone that we’ve been able to conduct gospel ministry in Vietnam. We praise you for letting us support the training of Hmong Fellowship Church leaders at the theological education center in Hanoi. Continue to bless this program that trains pastors, who then return to their congregations to teach other pastors and members. Thank you for giving the members of the Hmong Fellowship Church a love for your Word. May a similar spirit spread across the world so that your kingdom grows rapidly according to your will. Amen.