“Chinh” and “Anh” are a young couple with three small children. The family is just one of 140 families living in a Hmong village in rural Vietnam. In 2012, none in the village were Christians though some of Chinh’s Christians relatives from a nearby village hadshared the gospel with his family. Even though he had heard about Jesus many times, Chinh never accepted him.
Chinh’s hardness of heart changed in February, 2013 when his wife suddenly lost vision in both of her eyes. Although she could make out shapes and get around the house to take care of her family, it was a frightening experience. Chinh explained to VOM field workers that he and his wife accepted Christ knowing that Jesus was the only hope that she might be healed.
Even though Anh’s vision was not restored, the couple remained faithful to Christ and they shared the message of hope that they had received with other families in their village. As a result, two more families also accepted Christ.
Little did they know that Chinh would suffer for their newly adopted faith. In July, 2013, both Chinh and Anh were baptized in a nearby village. News of their baptism quickly spread to the village leader. The leader summoned both Chinh and Anh to his office just five days after they had been baptized.
As Chinh walked into the office on July 16, police officers began beating him. No questions were asked. No words were spoken. Officers just started striking him in anger. One of the police officers attached cables to a car battery and shocked Chinh’s eyes. After beating him, they put Chinh in prison. Thankfully, Chinh was released two days later, and though bruised and battered, he was alive.
After the attack, Chinh continued to suffer from blurry vision, especially in his left eye. When VOM workers met with Chinh four weeks later, his eye was still red and swollen, and the area just below his brow line was sore to the touch. He told them that he often suffered from headaches and severe ringing in his ears as a result of the beating.
VOM workers took Chinh and Anh to a doctor for treatment. The most recent report is that Chinh’s eye is healing.
As I learned this story of Chinh and Anh, I thought about their trials and struggles. It must be very difficult to accept Christ, especially when living among 140 other families who do not believe in Christ.
Yet, something inside Chinh and Anh gave them hope. There are several occasions in Scripture when Jesus heals the blind. Perhaps he and his wife had heard of the blind man from Bethsaida who was healed. Jesus led that man out of town, spit on his eyes and touched him, but the man could not clearly see at first. In Mark 8:24, the man looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”
Jesus put his hands on the eyes of the man and then, “And he was restored and saw everyone clearly” (Mark 8:25).
Sometimes, it is not simply the vision of the eyes, but the vision of the heart. Chinh and Anh saw that Jesus could heal. They were faithful even though they did not experience immediate healing. They shared Jesus with other families who became believers.
Healing comes in unexpected ways and it doesn’t seem that God ever does it the same way twice. With some, it’s mud. With others, it was spit. With still others, first their sin was forgiven before they were healed. For Chinh and Anh, they received spiritual healing and didn’t have physical healing until their brothers and sisters in Christ helped get them medical care. Even so, they knew that God was faithfully caring for them every step of the way.
YOUR TURN: What do you need to trust God for healing for? What happens to your faith in God if things don’t work the way you expect?
“Ann Kay” is a writer for VOM. She learned about VOM five years ago when she read Tortured for Christ and began receiving the newsletter. She is passionate about reaching the world for Christ and sharing stories of the persecuted church.