This is the wisdom from our Foundress St. Maria De Mattias: “Do not fear. The work we do is God’s. In the face of tribulations, anxieties, and misfortunes, place all in the hands of the Lord and you will see miracles.”
That was 180 years ago; I find it is still happening today. The urgent need, I am responding to in Viet Nam, is a constant groaning for God’s healing because we, as a people, are deeply personally, communally, and socially wounded and broken as a result of war, generational poverty, and unjust oppression. It is God who cries! It is God who is calling for help! And it is God’s desperate invitation! Absolutely, it is God’s Mission! In 1834, St. Maria De Mattias recognized and responded to God’s Mission. I have chosen to respond by crossing my threshold from comfort, certainty, and control to return to my home country of Viet Nam.
In 1992, I left Viet Nam to migrate to the United States with my family. In that moment, as I took my foot off from my homeland, in my heart, I heard the voice whisper: I shall return! I didn’t know then that Sophia would guide me through my family to a Vietnamese parish; through Fr Lac, CPPS to the Adorers; through the Adorers to a Master’s degree in Social Work; through the Master’s in Social Work to an internship in Viet Nam; through the internship, in 2007, to a birthing of God’s dream for an ASC mission in Viet Nam!
God’s unfinished dream grew! With Sophia whisperings in my heart, with help from my ASC Community, my family, other Vietnamese people, Sophia and I established the Ai Tam Foundation in 2008.
In January 2014, I returned to Ho Chi Minh City to live and work with people who are in desperate poverty, uneducated, and voiceless. I, also, travel to remote areas to work with people. I am always encountering people who are spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically thirsty and hungry for healthy guidance in their life journey. With youth, taxi and motorcycle drivers, and sales clerks in their homes, on the road and at the market, I hear their suffering as they seek to be about God’s Mission.
When I reflected through my journey to minister in Viet Nam, I am deeply stirred, in awe, of the Grace of God! I encountered, challenges and opportunities. I met with many people who have worked to make this path for God’s mission. It is through the Sophia that this miracle is happening. God’s providence and Holy Spirit are animating!
In their lifetime, Jesus and St Maria were itinerant ministers guided by Sophia/Wisdom, quenching the thirsts and satisfying the hungers of people longing to feel God’s compassionate healing. I believe, I, too, am being guided by Sophia/Wisdom to do God’s Mission. I absolutely could not say it another way.