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A distinct approach of doing ministry in Vietnam – International Sisters Record

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I’ve been running with Vietnamese sisters’ congregations since 2000 as a specialist, to assist them practice for grants (in particular to the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters) to fund their more than a few ministries. Many have no idea English, and that’s the ability I dropped at this paintings. (The Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters is a separate group from the Conrad N. Hilton Basis, which finances International Sisters Record.)
I traveled to congregations running within the Mekong Delta and in 4 provinces; in 2015, I accompanied Sr. Joyce Meyer to a few communities in Vietnam and Cambodia to listen to their tales for International Sisters Record. When Joachim Pham, a reporter for International Sisters Record, used to be starting his paintings, I accompanied him to get to understand sisters in more than a few portions of Vietnam.
Sisters in Vietnam are very inventive. Underneath communism, they aren’t allowed to run formal faculties, apart from for kindergartens, however they — just like the Just right Shepherd — hunt down the ones forgotten by way of society, the struggling and the misplaced. It’s been an ideal pleasure for me to try this paintings and to witness their creativity.
Starting in January 2019 I traveled by way of bus, motor motorcycle and boats to help congregations. My first talk over with used to be to the Daughters of the Mom of God. Sister Chuong and I traveled by way of boat to her neighborhood the place I deliberate to assist her with the file for a undertaking for water purification. I had helped her write the applying for finances and the desire used to be without a doubt visual.
On that first talk over with I noticed other people accumulating ingesting water from a polluted canal stuffed with insecticide bottles, fertilizer boxes and different refuse, and it smelled horrible. The 2 sisters came upon this and different wishes as they labored in evangelization a number of the households, visited the ill and taught the kids to learn and write Vietnamese. I used to be very inspired to be informed that the native bishop equipped the sisters with finances each and every 12 months for his or her dwelling prices, one thing unusual in Vietnam.
The next month, Sister Chau — a pal — and I visited the Sacred Center parish of Khiet Tam, situated in Canal D at the Mekong River. 3 Daughters of Our Woman of the Holy Rosary within the parish train liturgical track and supply categories in Vietnamese and catechism, talk over with the ill, and different wishes of the households. Right here too, the folks have been the use of water from a canal polluted with pesticides for bugs and worms. They desperately wanted a water purification device to give protection to their well being. There are lots of villages, faculties and hostels right through Vietnam that don’t have blank water.
My paintings took me to clinics the place sisters supply each western and conventional Vietnamese well being care, like The Sisters of Windfall of Can Tho province who’ve a four-room hospital. Since 1998, they have got equipped regimen well being services and products and handled ill kids for malnutrition, fevers and different formative years problems. They use acupuncture bodily remedies for ache. Every day about 50 sufferers talk over with the hospital. Those sisters wanted a brand new laser acupuncture system, together with foot therapeutic massage chairs and tables, which they have been ready to acquire ultimately.
Then I visited the hospital of the Dominican Sisters of St. Rose of Lima in My Linh, Gia Lai province. Two sister medical doctors — having noticed many of us loss of life needlessly — paintings right here to regard very deficient ethnic minority households. Sister Ha, a western scientific physician, treats them with western medications and {an electrical} remedy mattress for serious again ache. Sister Tu is a conventional doctor who treats not unusual diseases with bodily remedies and acupuncture. Since 2007 they have got handled about 70 sufferers an afternoon.
Looking for the forgotten in faraway spaces of Vietnam is a uniqueness of sisters. Even supposing from time to time, the federal government is suspicious of them and unearths techniques to annoy them, the sisters don’t surrender. They most often start their paintings in small techniques that don’t draw a lot consideration. After I visited the Fans of the Holy Go of Can Tho, they have been dwelling in a small thatched cottage, just like the village households. Step by step, they started amassing illiterate kids to show them Vietnamese studying and writing and would talk over with households telling them about Jesus. About 2000, a few years once they arrived, the federal government coverage modified in order that the sisters may just hang common categories for the kids in literacy, organ and cooking. Their study room wanted restore, so I helped them get a grant.
There are lots of teams of ethnic minority households in Vietnam, steadily dwelling in faraway mountainous areas. That is “sister” territory. One such neighborhood is the Sisters of Windfall, based in 2005. The sisters running within the Binh Phoc province discovered lots of the similar issues of illiteracy, sickness, poverty and loss of blank water. This staff additionally works with ethnic minority households who’re low-wage day laborers. The sisters started by way of taking good care of the kids left in the back of by way of oldsters who went off to paintings ,and progressively established formal categories for literacy and track. They ultimately have been ready to seek out finances for a blank water device that helped alleviate critical well being problems.
Offering hostels for ethnic tribal kids is some other necessary carrier of sisters in Vietnam. The Sisters of Windfall of Tay Nguyen based one in 1999. The youngsters’s households are scattered in surrounding forests and with out the sisters’ assist, their kids would no longer be skilled. The women cross to public number one, highschool and faculties and are saved secure and smartly fed by way of the sisters. The 120 women are a big quantity to feed, so native benefactors provide them with rice, noodles and sugar, or even assist with tuition.
What used to be maximum wanted have been bathrooms for the women because the previous ones have been collapsing. After I visited I discovered that the women have been the use of the bathrooms of the principle scholars; within the wet season the older women introduced the dust from the pathway into the bathroom space. It used to be a pleasure to peer new bathrooms after I visited later to assist with the grant file!
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Younger girls are a different center of attention of lots of the sisters, like 4 Dominican Sisters of St Rose of Lima in a faraway space. They opened a hostel for ethnic women from grade 3 to highschool, within the communities of Ham Lihn and Chu Se in Pleiku Town. The ones with much less capability are tutored on the hostel. Whilst doing this paintings, the sisters came upon many younger pregnant girls. 4 sisters were running with 23 of those girls since 2007. Being pregnant outdoor of marriage brings disgrace to the ladies and households that can result in households challenging abortions. The sisters rescue a few of these girls, housing them and instructing them methods to be moms till they offer beginning, and to find paintings to improve themselves and the young children. The hostel used to be very chilly within the iciness however in February 2020 bought sun heating for bathing and home tasks.
The deprived have all the time discovered some way into the sisters’ hearts. Youngsters with bodily and psychological disabilities are cared for in lots of puts right through Vietnam. The incapacity facility of Lengthy Thuan, run by way of the Sisters of the Holy Go of Phan Thiet, used to be began in 2015 with 50 kids who have been mute. This can be a faculty and a hostel. Youngsters who are living within sight are day scholars. This can be a difficult paintings for the sisters, in particular once they can not supply blank water or heat water right through the iciness. Their source of revenue is minimum and so they most often rely on world foundations to assist, like right here and different amenities in Vietnam and in Khmer areas of Cambodia.
I to find my paintings very rewarding and am thankful that God equipped me with this Dominican project of preaching the Gospel thru my help to these in want.
[Joyce Meyer, Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and international liason to women religious for GSR, contributed to this column.]
Sr. Mary Nguyen Thi My is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Phu Cuong in Vietnam. 
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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God

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The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement

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The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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