The Story of Hoai

by Dennis & Mai Spencer | July 29th, 2010

Dear Friends:

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”.  Psalm 63:3

God is so loving and His mercy is unending. Every time I come to Binh Chau He touches my heart and warms my soul with a glimpse of Heaven that shows how high and how wide His love is for His precious children. This time He did it with a little boy named Hoai (pronounced “why”). Through tears of joy and thanksgiving I share with you the story of Hoai.

Last year Pastor Chinh took me to visit with a family he had led to the Lord. As we approached their house (what we would call a run down shack that offered some shelter from the elements and little else), we were met by the mother, Phoung, and her 4 children. Their faces were dirty and their clothes torned and tattered. Two girls around 13 and 1 year old and 2 boys around 9 and 4 years old. As we visited I immediately felt an attachment to the younger boy, Viet. It would be the start of a wonderful and blessed relationship.

Even though Phoung is very faithful in going to Sunday Worship and Bible studies, her husband, Quang, has only been 3 times. He is not ready to give up his lifestyle. Quang goes out to sea fishing for long lengths of time. While he is away Phoung and her older daughter walk along the beach picking anything up that can be sold for recycling to get a little money for food for her children. Hoai is off running with his friends, while Viet is home with the baby.

When Quang returns from the sea with money in his pockets the first thing he does is buy beer and food for all his shipmates to party. When drunk, Quang is very abusive physically and verbally to Phoung and the kids.  Then it’s back to the seas. This pattern continues over and over and is typical with many of the fishermen here.

When I first started to get to know Hoai he was very wild and rebellious. He had a quick temper and was always ready to fight. He mimicked  what he saw at home. God definitely had His work cut out with this  one.

But we know that nothing is impossible with God. Over the last few weeks I have noticed a more gentle and happy Hoai. I shouldn’t have been surprised. For the last year God had been showing Hoai His love and mercy through the church in Binh Chau.

The second night of VBS the kids had to memorize scriptures to recite if their name was drawn to win a bike. All the kids where busy looking up their scriptures to memorize when I noticed Hoai folding the piece of paper up that had his scripture written on it and tucking it under his shirt. I tried to get the paper and explain to Hoai what he needed to do, but he pulled away and shook his head no. Then I suddenly remembered, Hoai was embarrased because he couldn’t read or write.

I put my arm around Hoai and told him not to worry. If his name was called I would read the scripture for him. Hoai quietly shook his head yes.

“When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord”, they said, you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.”   Acts 4:24

Around 100 names with 12 to be drawn for a chance to win a bike. There was a lot of excitement as each young boy or girl’s name was drawn and they came forward to recite their scripture. As a testament to God’s sovereignty, the 8th or 9th name drawn was Hoai’s. Hoai jumped quickly to his feet with both joy and nervousness. As Hoai stood by my side I whispered the words of his scripture to him and Hoai repeated them. Hoai’s face lit up with the biggest smile when he was told he had won a bike.

My heart aches for Hoai and the many, many children in Binh Chau like him. They are living in a dark world that offers them no love, no joy, and no hope. But we (you and I) bring them the Good News of the one who loves them, who can give them hope, and change their lives for ETERNITY, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Cam On Chua!

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”     Matthew 19:14

I am so thankful I can share Hoai’s story with all of you so you might see the results of all your prayers and financial support of God’s work here in Binh Chau. Our Heavenly Father is using them to change one “Hoai” at a time. This is not the end of Hoai’s story, but only the beginning of what God will do in his life.



P.S. Like many children here in Binh Chau, Hoai has only two pairs of clothes. One pair of clothes for church on Sunday and one pair for the other 6 days of the week. Dennis and Cheree just took Hoai to the market and bought him some clothes, a pair of shoes, a belt, and a hat. Hoai is spending the day with us and he looks great.

About This Site

Jesus in Vietnam Ministries, is a compassion ministry founded by Dennis and Mai Spencer. Vietnamese families suffer from deprivation, lacking sometimes even the necessities of life. In obedience to the many Scriptural commands to help the poor they are enabling families to survive in difficult circumstances. When shown mercy these families are very receptive to the Gospel. The Spencer’s also focus on children, who are the future church of Jesus Christ in Vietnam. Watch The Video About Jesus In Vietnam Ministries Here


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