“God sent many of us to Viet Nam with M-16’s, now we can return with John 3:16,” says Bob Greenwood, pastor of New Life Community Grace Brethren Church in Souderton, Pennsylvania.
Bob Smoker is the pastor at the Susquehanna Grace Brethren Church in Wrightsville, PA. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Jay is on staff with Grace Brethren International Missions (GBIM) in Winona Lake, IN. (email@example.com). Smoker’s interest in Viet Nam was featured in the May/June, 2005 issue of FGBC World.
Bell says, “Bob and I have been talking about this for a long, long time. We are now ‘underway’ (that’s “Navy-speak”). Actually, the first person to bring up the idea of a network was Dave Mitchell (Pastor, Waipio Grace Brethren Church, Mililani, HI.) in the early 90’s.”
The network, Bell says, is for those who served in Viet Nam, or who are Viet Nam-era veterans, or those interested in Viet Nam.
Bell point out, for example, Edna Craghead, a dear Sister-in-the-Lord (Grace Brethren Church of Covington, VA.) who has an interest in Viet Nam. She lost her son – her only son, Buddy, while on patrol with the Navy Riverine Force in the Mekong Delta. She has been an “honorary” teammate on all the GO Teams (GBIM’s Global Opportunity short-term teams) to Viet Nam since 2002.
Also Ron Moore (Grace Brethren Church of Powell, OH.) is an example of a Viet Nam-era veteran. He didn’t serve “in-country,” but the flow of “body-bags” deeply impacted him while serving in Okinawa.
According to Bell, the door of ministry in Viet Nam began to slowly open through our Grace Brethren Cambodian Foundation-Layers (church planters) in 2000. They wanted to try to reach fellow-Cambodians living in the southern part of Viet Nam (the Mekong Delta used to be part of Cambodia).
he first GO Team was “inserted” in 2002. Bob Smoker and Bell were teammates on that first team. Since then many teams have gone, including many vets.
Bell says, “The Lord began to put into our hearts the vision to mobilize vets and others to pray for Viet Nam and the contacts we have met. God sent us there many years ago when we were young . . . Now as “good soldiers of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3) we can look back over our shoulders and join him in reaching Viet Nam for Jesus!
If you know of Viet Nam Vets or others interested in your church, ask them if they would be interested in joining the NamNet. If they agree, please send their name and e-mail address to Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org.