We walked around the city of Hanoi this morning and afternoon. Hanoi is definitely a different city than Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Hanoi is more of a governmental city, while HCMC is the business center of Vietnam. There is unquestionably more openness to spiritual things in HCMC. But as some of the team members and I were talking, we came to the conclusion that there was more of a purer Christianity here in Hanoi. It is probably because of all the persecution that is still going on.
But God is bringing a change in this city… starting from tomorrow (November 12th-19th) the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will be meeting here in Hanoi. Vietnam was admitted into the APEC in November 1998. APEC is a forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asian-Pacific region. APEC has 21 member economies, which account for more than 40% of the world’s population and 60% of the world’s GDP. As Vietnam grows economically, we are praying that it will open up doors for the Gospel – similar to what we are seeing now in China.
As we walked around the streets, we could tell that development is happening throughout the city.
Here is a Buddhist woman worshipping in front of a temple. I sneaked in a picture of her burning the incense and praying. The need for the Gospel is clearly evident wherever you go.
We visited the first university in Vietnam. It got me excited because I really believe that God uses college students to transform the world. It caused me to pray for the young people in Vietnam. Pastor Ben and I decided to take a picture right in front of the university entrance.
Here are some other random pictures:
What a contrast! I think they were recommending me to cut my hair.
Sorry, you animal lovers out there – I don’t think the pigs knew about their destinies… the Vietnamese love pork out here.
Some of the pastors – we were going to take the picture in front of some flowers and show our softer side… but some of us declined.