In the central highlands of Vietnam, United Methodist laypersons, inspired by laity training courses held last October, are serving their community by collecting old clothes to help people in need.
The idea came from a woman who was part of a discussion about ways to make a difference in the community with available resources.
Global Ministries Missionary Quynh-Hoa Nguyen, who serves as the director of leadership development of the United Methodist Mission in Southeast Asia, said, “I joined them and encouraged lay people in Saigon to collect old clothes. The project soon expanded as United Methodist pastors and friends from the larger community joined us via Facebook. Friends, both Christians and non-Christians from Saigon, South Korea, and West Anaheim UMC in California, also participated to my surprise,” continued Nguyen.
Within four weeks, members were able to collect 32 large bags of clothing, including five bags of warm winter clothes designated for those who endure cold weather in the highlands.
M.Div. students also volunteered to sort, ship, and pack items for churches in the central highlands, who then shared the clothes with their neighbors. Nguyen believes that it was God’s transformative work that inspired people to reach out to their neighbors and make their presence known in a positive way.
“Given the fact that community service is quite a new idea to Vietnamese Christians, including United Methodists, it is wonderful to see both United Methodist laity and clergy come together to become actively involved in this project,” said Nguyen.