VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/11/19)—Amy and the Rev. Joseph Van Vo of Garden Grove, California, have been endorsed to serve with International Ministries (IM) as development workers in Vietnam. They will work with IM partner the Baptist Convention of Vietnam (BCV) in Discipleship, Education and Economic Development. Their home church is the Vietnamese Grace Baptist Church in Fountain Valley, California.
“It has been a blessing to have walked with Amy and Joseph on this journey of discernment for over a year,” said the Rev. Leslie Turley, area director for Southeast Asia and Japan. “In that time, their desire to return to the place of their birth to serve their people has been obvious. Given their cultural backgrounds, faith, education and experience, they will be in a unique position for their work with the BCV.”
As a child, Amy Vo and her family, originally from Vietnam, were displaced due to war and forced to live a difficult life in a refugee camp in the Philippines. They immigrated to the U.S. when Amy was just eight years old.
“I witnessed my father accepting Christ as his Lord and Savior. He was baptized by a missionary pastor when we were still in the refugee camp. It made a big impression on me,” said Amy Vo. “God’s grace carried my family though the uncertainty and harsh conditions in the camp. God used my life journey to instill in me a desire to be a channel of blessing to others. And now, by God’s grace, I will carry on his calling in Vietnam with my husband and children.”
Joseph Vo was born and raised in a Christian family in Vietnam. They immigrated to the U.S. when Joseph was 10 years old.
“I was called at age 14 to mission work, but I did not know where or when this call would become a reality, yet I treasured it in my heart,” said Joseph Vo. “Over time, the call was forgotten as I reached college. Then one day, I was involved in a serious car accident that nearly took my life. I woke up from a coma miraculously without serious injury. It was a turning point in my life. I changed my undergraduate college major to S.E. Asian Literature and completed my Master of Divinity in Bible and cross-cultural studies at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary while serving the Lord in pastoral leadership and chaplaincy.”
As the first IM development workers in Vietnam, Amy and Joseph Vo will be breaking new ground.
“We are happy to be part of God’s work in Vietnam,” said the Vos. “We are inspired and humbled by witnessing God’s work among the people of Vietnam. Because of our faith, we know the importance of being the hands and feet of Christ to help empower Vietnamese leaders and spouses for leadership and service.”
“IM has the opportunity and privilege to walk alongside and discern with Amy and Joseph in their desire to global service,” said the Rev. Dr. Rodney Ragwan, director of Mission Mobilization. “We are excited that, as millennials, they will serve as development workers in Vietnam. They will use their education, background and life experiences to contribute to the transformation of the communities in their native country.”
When asked what Scripture comes to mind when thinking about their work in Vietnam, the Vos replied, “As God commanded Joshua, ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1:9) We trust and claim his promise that he will be with us and equip us for the ministry for which we are called to serve. Like Abraham, Joshua, Moses and others, our job is to trust and obey in God’s calling. We strongly believe that, when God calls us, he has a plan for us.”
The Vos have two children who will be serving with them in Vietnam: Joelynn, age 8, and Josiah, age 4.
Amy and Joseph Vo are working now to build their Mission Partnership Team and raise the funds needed to begin their service in Vietnam.
More information about the Vos is available on their profile page on the IM website.
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.