Vietnamese celebration brings gospel to many

March 15, 2022

Paul Cao, pastor of Vietnamese Baptist Church (VBC, Hội Thánh Báp-Tít) of High Point, N.C., believes that a church should not simply be a building people visit once a week. Instead, his church family has sought to reach the lost and the lonely in the Triad’s Vietnamese community for the past 10 years.

One way that VBC reaches out to its community is by opening its doors to commemorate one of Vietnamese culture’s most significant events: Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. Tet is a time of celebration — the celebration of new blessings and resolutions. Cao said that many Vietnamese families only make certain dishes to celebrate Tet “to make it even more special.”

Despite cold weather, every seat was filled as the community showed up to the Jan. 30 event. VBS members were encouraged to invite family, friends and local community members.

“This year was like a fresh wind. People came out and we were surprised at how the community came out to celebrate with us,” said Cao.

Sam and Hannah Nelson, members of Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, attended as well. It was Hannah’s first time at a Tet celebration.

She said, “I was captured by the pure joy of these Vietnamese believers and how much they enjoyed being together. Whether we were singing worship songs, listening to teaching, eating delicious food, dancing or singing karaoke — there was joy, laughter and a sense of family throughout the entire night. I also felt instantly welcomed — even though I looked very different from everyone else in the room, I felt like I belonged.”

“Above all else, our heart is to share the good news of the gospel with those around us.” — Paul Cao

Sam, director of young adult discipleship at Providence, delivered a message on the rich man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31.

“My prayer leading up to this sermon was that this group of believers would find absolute joy and satisfaction in the Word of God,” he said. “Oftentimes we can forget about the treasure trove that is God’s Word, and so I wanted these Vietnamese believers to be amazed at the beauty and simplicity of reading the Bible and responding in faith.”

On top of sharing the joy that is found in Christ, leaders also shared about Vietnamese culture and history with the younger generation.

Leading up to the event, many days were spent preparing a traditional long rice cake, Banh Chung. Church members helped prepare the ingredients, teaching the younger kids how to carry on the tradition. The men typically cook it, which by itself can take more than 10 hours. The rice cake feeds the community and brings everyone together.

“We also have fun games that are similar to what we do in Vietnam and then we have cultural songs that will encourage singers inside and outside the church to come and celebrate with us,” said Cao.

Apart from celebrating Tet, VBC stays active within their community all year long. From volunteering at Habitat Restore and Greater Outreach — an extension of Baptist Childrens’ Home in Thomasville — to working with OneBlood to host a blood drive and working with World Relief to help settle Vietnamese refugees, they love and serve their community to show them Christ’s redeeming love.

“Above all else, our heart is to share the good news of the gospel with those around us,” said Cao. “We want to share with them the message of Christ and how He can bring new life … not only the new life here on earth but an everlasting life. It’s our goal and our purpose to share that with our friends and family.”


by Makayla Riggs
  /  Contributing Writer

On death and dying, as it relates to churches

In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, wrote the classic book On Death and Dying. This work, chronicling lessons she learned with terminally ill patients, outlined the five stages that all people go through as they near death. Beginning when they are...

4 symptoms to watch for when assessing pastoral health

In preparation for this article I confess I did Google, “How to know if a pastor is healthy?” The number of articles, blogs and sites addressing the increasing issue of pastoral health did not disappoint. After all, we are hopefully coming out of the most difficult time of...

Fisher retires after 36 years at Caldwell Association

Dale Fisher received quite the surprise on his 70th birthday. Not only did ministry colleagues serenade him with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” during the N.C. Associational Missions Conference in early April, they also recognized Fisher for his long tenure of service in leading...

The power of a name: God’s faithfulness in mental health

If I have learned one lesson this year, it’s that there is power in a name. When we give our struggle a name, we are able to better distinguish truth from lie and work toward healing. Naming opens the door to freedom and sheds light on truth that can feel uncomfortable, exposing...

Scholarship to cover tuition for new Fruitland students

New students now have an opportunity to attend Fruitland Baptist Bible College tuition-free this fall. Fruitland recently announced a new scholarship that will cover tuition costs for new, full-time students attending the Hendersonville campus during the fall 2022 quarter. The...

Un pastor de Charlotte planta una segunda iglesia después de pasar meses en el hospital

El otoño pasado Oscar Muñoz por fin regresó al hogar después de pasar ocho meses en un hospital y también en un centro de rehabilitación donde recuperó sus fuerzas luego de batallar con complicaciones por causa del COVID-19.Unas semanas más tarde, alrededor del Día de Acción de...

Ongoing prayers for the end of Roe

Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide through its decision in a case known as Roe v. Wade. Since that time, millions of Christians have been praying for the reversal of that decision, and now there are strong indications the high court is closer...

6 common questions about foster care

May is National Foster Care Month. Throughout the month, advocates raise awareness about the realities and needs of foster care, including answers to these six common questions. Here’s what you should know. Who are the children?Foster children can be any child in North Carolina,...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!