Trang has been one of the most faithful servants in the We Love Kids ministry, having worked with me for over 15 years. She pulled herself up by her bootstraps with only a 6th grade education gained in Communist Vietnam, during one of Vietnam’s poorest decades of the modern era. After fleeing to Cambodia to escape a severely abusive husband, she lived with her brother and hawked food on the streets of Phnom Penh, using the only skill she possessed. Soon after, someone in the Vietnamese slum area where she lived told her of a small Vietnamese Baptist church in Phnom Penh who might be hiring domestic workers. She went to church, she told me, to find a job, but found God instead. About 2 years later, she was recommended to We Love Kids and we hired her with only limited experience teaching a small Sunday school. She learned quickly and several years later, I opened a kindergarten with Trang as the head teacher! When I went through a bout of cancer 13 years ago, Trang was forced to head up the school and ran it well in my absence.
Four years ago, she “accidentally”, but providentially met Tai on Facebook when he intended to send a message to a mutual friend. Tai had just lost his wife a year before. To their surprise, their relationship blossomed (although there were some concerns on both sides due to their initial meeting on Facebook!) and a year later, Tai travelled to Cambodia for their wedding. I was honoured to do their wedding vows for them, and after the ceremony Tai knelt on the floor with Trang, his new wife and committed the rest of his life to serving the Lord. While he had been a strong Christian for many years, he had always had to work very hard to support his family. Now with his children grown, he was free to begin a new phase of his life.
After their wedding Trang and Tai have worked in partnership with We Love Kids and Vietnamese churches in San Diego to honour their commitment made at their wedding. However, there have been some significant bumps in the road as well. Knowing that Trang's paperwork and interviews with the U.S. would take at least a year, Tai was forced to return to San Diego to continue his job. within a year and half, she expected to complete her interview and join her husband in the U.S. That was over 3 years ago, and she and her son, Khang, are still waiting. A year ago, Tai was diagnosed with colon cancer and has been doing chemotherapy continuously since his diagnosis, and waiting anxiously for Trang and Khang to join him. During this time, Trang and her new husband have been incredibly busy, and keeping their promise to continue to serve the Lord, no matter what! Tai has been busy raising funds among Vietnamese churches in the San Diego area to help build 2 small chapels for the Stieng people, and for food subsidies during the pandemic. Trang goes faithfully out to the Stieng area of Kratie every month (unless everyone is quarantined by the government) and works with the Stieng, checking on the We Love Kids students, setting up Christmas programs, and many other things. Even pandemics, cancer, and quarantines can’t stop what God’s plan from moving forward. At the moment however, much of Phnom Penh is under severe lockdown, and a few areas are having their food and water delivered by the government and are not allowed out except for emergency medical care.
I thank God for the wonderful servants that God has raised up for this time. Please stand in prayer with us that Trang will, in spite of the pandemic, be granted her interview with the U.S. consulate soon. Please pray that Tai will be declared cancer free by his doctors in the US.
Praying for Tai and Trang as they commit to serving the Lord as a couple
Prayer for the Nations Prayer Meeting every first Tuesday!
While this has been a tough time for all of us, it’s been much more difficult for many underdeveloped nations around the world. Once a month, a number of us meet at my house in Overland Park to pray for unreached nations and peoples, and continue prayers for We Love Kids, Vietnam and the Stieng of Cambodia. If you are in the Kansas City area, you are welcome to join us during this intercession time for those around the world:
May 4th, 2021
AFM Missionary/Director, We Love Kids