From prisoner to preacher
From information by BigLife
A story about the struggles of one man in and out of prison for 13 years, finally set free to proclaim the Gospel to all of Vietnam.
Deiu Sanh remembered the night well, the night when it had truly begun. It was August 1996. His wife had complained of a sore head and had retired to bed early. He was awakened in the early morning by her moans and violent convulsions. By the time it stopped, she was paralysed down the right side of her body. He rushed to the Buddhist temple on the far side of the village. They chanted prayers and mantras for two days but her condition remained the same.
And then Christians arrived from another village further west, far from the Hanoi region. They preached about a God named Jesus and asked if anyone in the village needed prayer. They knocked on Deiu Sanh's door wanting to pray over his wife. He didn't understand this religion or who this Jesus was, but he led them to her and they surrounded her bed and prayed. They prayed strange prayers, thanking Jesus for already healing his wife through the power of his blood. Three days later, she was completely healed.
Deiu Sang and his wife sought out the Christians asking about Jesus. They gave their lives to him. Deiu Sang felt the call to preach the gospel to the hundreds of villages in his region. He had no idea how to begin, so he just went to the market and preached. At first, he was ignored, but driven by his passion for Jesus and Jesus' passion for the lost, he persevered and began to attract an audience.
"One night, two police officers knocked on my door. They had received complaints about my preaching. I asked, who had complained? They were Buddhist followers and some of them were members of my own family. I said, I am doing no harm, there is no law against following another religion, surely I can preach. They told me that if I continued, they'd put me in jail. I stood at my usual spot, proclaiming the name above all names, placing new testaments into people's hands as they passed by. Then I saw the police van come around the corner and my heart sank.
"After a night in a cold cell, they interrogated me. Why are you doing this, they said? You've been a Buddhist all your life. They offered to release me if I agreed to stop preaching. I could not agree to this. They threw me back in the cell and kept me there for a week. I worried about my family, but could not agree to their demands. I prayed. On the ninth day they released me with a warning not to preach. I talked it through with my wife and we prayed. We felt the Lord telling me to continue.
"Over the next 13 years, I was regularly imprisoned for preaching the word. I could have had complete freedom anytime by renouncing my faith, but it was impossible for me to stop proclaiming him. One afternoon, my prayers were interrupted by the prison guard. He told me that the warden wanted to see me. As I walked to the warden's office, I prayed. 'Sit down', he said, 'you have been in this place a long time, you have not been an easy prisoner, the rules do not apply to you apparently'.
"'If you are released', he said to me, 'will you go back to your Christian preaching?' I had been imprisoned in this place for almost a year, I was desperate to be with my family but I could not deny my Lord. So I said, I will preach Jesus, yes. The warden then reached for a piece of paper in the draw of his desk. It was a certificate, a licence to preach without hindrance. I could not believe my eyes. In Hanoi? I asked. 'No', said the warden, 'in all Vietnam.'"
Suddenly after many years of trying to bring the gospel to his own village, the whole of Vietnam had become his mission field. Since joining Biglife in 2011, Diu Sang has planted 53 churches and is just getting started.
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Biglife, through charities in USA and UK, trains believers how to make disciples of Jesus, that will lead to disciple-making movements. Biglife empowers believers worldwide to reach and disciple their own people for Jesus, so that disciple-making movements of God can grow and grow all over the world. They’ve seen these movements of God happen in places where it takes great faith to even be a Christian, let alone share your faith. It can happen anywhere.
In 1999, a small group of people came together and set out on a journey to discover what it means to live a big life for God. Initially, their journey took them to Iran, Turkey, India and Pakistan in search of evidence that God was still at work in some of the most anti-Christian strongholds in the world. Once rich in faith, Europe and the Americas were also experiencing a steady shift toward apathy and unbelief. Nevertheless, this growing band of followers brought with them all that they had seen and heard as they experienced God moving everywhere they went.
They began to study and follow the early gatherings of disciples outlined in the book of Acts. They devoted themselves to fellowship, teaching, prayer, and to the breaking of bread. They met together in homes, in villages, under trees, and in coffee shops. They shared their lives with one another daily, and ministered to those who had need wherever they might be found.
In response, God raised up more and more people and bound them together in ways so unlikely that only He could have orchestrated what would happen next. Since that first call to action in 1999, Biglife has seen the unprecedented, unified mobilization of God’s people in over half of the nations on earth.
Watch this 2 minute video on Vimeo (privacy settings prevent embedding here).
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From information by BigLife, 16/11/2021