Dear Reading Friends, Below is another installment of Bruce Rayle’s travels around the world, a short story titled “Vietnam Faith Walk Pt 2.” It doesn’t take much to be a Special Forces Christian, just a walk of faith. May we all be challenged in our own faith-walking to care for the persecuted for the sake of Jesus Christ! You can find “Walk of Faith Part I” here. And be sure to see the link below for the online VOM Classroom where you can learn more about persecution.
Vietnam Faith Walk Pt 2
by D.I. Telbat
Bruce Rayle lay back down in the hut which he shared with a local Vietnamese family. Since he couldn’t speak with them, he’d used sign language, and this family had been first to volunteer their bamboo dwelling to him. He would’ve slept under the stars in the jungle if they hadn’t taken him in, but his feet couldn’t trek another mile without resting.
The whispers of the Hmong family nearby on their own sleeping mats soon died down, but Bruce remained awake, thinking and praying. It had been two years since his wife, Tammy, had been killed in a Kansas tornado. Since then, he’d been hiking around the world. He wanted to enter the ministry now that his daughter was settled in college. One mission agency suggested he travel across certain countries while praying for God to direct him.
“A faith walk,” Bruce mumbled to himself, but instead of smiling at the memory like he used to, he now squeezed his eyes shut as a tear rolled down his face. His faith walk had brought him closer to God, but only because the reality of God’s people around the world had become so personal. Even after his own loss, he hadn’t wallowed in self-pity. He couldn’t—not after seeing such faith in the lives of the persecuted.
Until God told him to stop walking and remain where he was, he’d keep traveling.
Bruce suddenly sat upright. There was a disturbance outside. Torchlight played through the cracks of the hut. Angry voices drew nearer, then the hut door was thrown open.
Men flooded the hut, and Bruce was dragged out the door. The family who had taken him in was screaming unintelligible words, but Bruce was held down by strong men, so he couldn’t see what was happening in the firelight.
While struggling against his captors, Bruce heard blows falling on his host family nearby. The cries of the children and the gasps of the parents felt like blows to Bruce’s own soul. Bruce’s face was pressed into the canvas of his backpack, which he’d somehow brought with him, and helplessly, he wept and prayed into the canvas.
Moments later, Bruce was released and his aggressors stalked away. Near the hut, two villagers with torches stood over the beaten family on the ground.
The family was drawn to their feet and shoved toward the edge of the village. When the father tried to return to the hut, perhaps for water or food, a man with a torch stood in his way. The family was roughly escorted out of the village.
Since Bruce seemed to be ignored, he entered the hut and collected a water jug, loose clothing, and a bag of rice. Before anyone could stop him, he moved to the jungle trail on which he’d arrived in the village.
Bruce had a flashlight, but he was afraid to use it in the darkness. Jungle creatures called out in the night. He drew up suddenly and realized he was hyperventilating. How could a village allow such brutality? Though Bruce had been exposed to tragedy, he’d never been accosted himself before.
There was a sound ahead that wasn’t from the jungle. He jogged down the trail, one hand feeling in front of him as he brushed past ferns and trees in the darkness.
Hoping he was far enough from the village, he stopped, found his flashlight in his pack, and turned it on. The family was on the trail in front of him, their faces battered and clothing torn. Bruce offered their belongings to them. The father hesitantly received the clothes and containers, and shared them with his family.
The father held up a pair of pants in Bruce’s light, and Bruce stepped nearer. The man drew several wrinkled pieces of paper from a pants pocket. He smiled and jabbered excitedly to his family, and they rejoiced with him.
Looking closer, Bruce then understood the papers were Bible pages. They were a family of Christians! Bruce had heard that among the Hmong people, Christians were often turned out of the villages with nothing—along with their whole families. But this family hadn’t left with nothing. Thanks to Bruce, they had a few pages of the Scriptures.
They said their goodbyes and the family disappeared down the trail, while Bruce continued his walk of faith. He would never forget the family in Vietnam who had offered their home to him, and who’d been beaten as he’d been ignored.
With an open heart, Bruce prayed to learn all that God was teaching him.
End of Faith Walk Pt 2
Watch for more faith-walk stories in the weeks to come as Special Forces Christian Bruce Rayle continues to travel around the world.
Read other challenges to Christians by David Telbat in his Special Forces Christians Series.
NOTE: From the VOM Classroom website: VOMClassroom.com is your one-stop website for studies in persecution, suffering, and Muslim evangelism. Visit the site to view a selection of online classes that will guide you through persecution studies. These FREE courses will deepen your knowledge of and effectiveness in ministry to the Persecuted Church. Each class is self-enrolled and self-paced, allowing you to study and complete courses as schedules allow.
The courses include a broad range of topics, such as Persecution Studies, History of Persecution, Preparing for Persecution, Praying for the Persecuted Church, and Muslim Evangelism, as well as courses in Biblical Studies in Persecution and Suffering from the Old and New Testaments. Check it out at VOMClassroom.com.
NOTE: NOW you can see the REST of the Louis Zamperini Story! Some of you have read David Telbat’s Book Review of Unbroken here, and/or watched the new movie. Watch this documentary online narrated by Louis Zamperini himself, sponsored by the Billy Graham organization. Wonderful testimony! Watch “Captured by Grace” here!
COMING UP: Join us next time for David’s Faith Walk Series Part III, “Walk of Faith in NK.”