Friday, October 7, 2011

Back to Vietnam...

A couple weeks ago I received an email from a pastor friend of mine with whom I had traveled to Vietnam with back in 2010. His email informed me that another trip was being planned for Spring 2012, and he urged me to consider going back.
Contemplating another trip to Vietnam is a big decision. On the one hand, my job at school is keeping me very busy since I was appointed treasurer in March 2011. Also, keeping track of my mother has been an ordeal since she suffered a stroke in June of this year. Add in church activities and family obligations, and you can quickly see that Gary is a very busy boy.

But an opportunity to return to Vietnam does not come every day. The images of seeing the country and the people again are still ingrained in my mind. Coupled with my memories of the last trip is the excitement of knowing we would be visiting Hanoi on this trip.

And so I began to pray for God's guidance. In the last few days, individuals have stepped forward to let me know that they are hoping and praying for me to go. Also, my church has elected to support my mission trip to the best of their ability.

And so, with the support of my family, my friends, my church, and my work, I am planning to return to Vietnam in a few short months. I will be part of an 8 man mission team, sent to see the United Methodist Church and our ministry in Vietnam firsthand, to experience Vietnamese culture, to witness the "Good News" of Jesus Christ, to worship with brothers and sisters from the other side of the world and to witness baptisms, to engage in ministry with people of villages and emerging United Methodist churches, to be renewed spiritually, and to renew friendships made on our previous visit.

As before, I will be traveling to Vietnam with the Shawnee Valley Mission team, leaving Tuesday February 28 and returning Monday March 12. We will be visiting Hanoi, then traveling to Hue to pick up our motorbikes. From Hue we will tavel by motorbike through the cities and villages, along the coast of the South China Sea and into the remote mountain villages. We will be meeting and worshipping with Vietnamese pastors and their congregations, witnessing and sharing the Gospel of Christ; experiencing the land, the culture, and the people.

The motorbikes we purchase will be donated to Vietnamese United Methodist pastors to be used in their ministry in Vietnam. We will ride approximately 1,000 miles by motorbike from Hue to Ho Chi Mihn City (formerly Saigon).

I would ask for your support in helping this mission become a reality. First and foremost, I would ask for your prayers... for me, for the members of the mission team, for the Vietnamese pastors, for the United Methodist Mission in Vietnam, and for God to change and renew the hearts and minds of all who are involved in this endeavor.

Second, I would ask for your support (if possible)... in raising the $4,000 to cover the cost of this trip and to buy a motorbike that will be donated to a Vietnamese United Methodist pastor. My church, St. John's UMC will once again be the collection point for all funds donated to this trip.

Checks can be made out to: St. John's UMC - Vietnam Mission and sent to the following address:

St. John's UMC
205 North High St.
PO Box 8
Columbus Grove, OH 45830

Jesus said, Go and make disciples of all nations..." This is our mission, my mission, and the mission of the church. Help me make this dream mission a reality. Thanks you for your prayers and support.

In His Service,
Gary Ginter