Distance Nor Obstacles is No Barrier to Visit Churches
Mission trip to visit churches & God’s people along the mountainous ridges of Lao Cai province, northern Vietnam, shows that distance nor obstacles is no barrier to God’s love for His people where ever they are.
This is yet another privilege accorded by the local pastor friend, bringing me alongside him for mission trip to Lao Cai Province. Lao Cai province is near the border of Yunnan China and has lots of mountainous terrains. It is a fairly prosperous province as there are lots of trades with China and many citizens on both countries visited each other countries through the only Vietnam-China border crossing.
Here up in the cool mountains are the Hmong tribal people living up there. There is a popular SaPa trail where many tourists like to visit and trek the scenic SaPa trail, enjoying the cool air and freshness of the mountain atmosphere.
Distance is not barrier to visit churches
This was in October 2017 when I flew in to HCM from Singapore for this 10-days trip. From HCM, we flew via inland flight to Hanoi. Took an afternoon flight to Hanoi Airport, arriving at late afternoon on 26.10.2017. From Airport, went to the train station and took an evening (8.00 pm Plus) train up to Lao Cai. At Lao Cai train station, two local church deacons riding two motorcycles met us. They handed one motorcycle for local pastor friend to use for visiting the few tribal churches up in the SaPa and Bac Ha mountains.
Clothes, Medication And Other Donations
As with most trips to Vietnam, we usually prepped suitable donation items that we can sourced here to bring over to bless our friends there when we visit churches there.
We have friends who generously donate fairly good clothes, bags, suitable and practical items to us for bringing over. For certain popular medication that is commonly available here, we buy these here cheaply and bring over as well. For this particular trip, there is a need for a simple pc to use for translation work that will be donated by well wishers.
SaPa Town Up In The Cool Mountain
From Lao Cai, we make our way to SaPa where we check in to a small hotel in SaPa town. There was a little bit of rain and the mountain air was cool and fresh, refreshing our weariness.
Visit Churches Along The SaPa Trail
After coming down from the SaPa mountainous ridges, we arrives at the Vietnam-China border town around late morning.
There is a small mountain stream that separated the two countries borders. You can walk across the short causeway if you have your international passport and enter into China. Though it is a border town in China, the town appears quite prosperous with healthy trading between the traders and businessmen of both countries.
Visit Churches Near The Border With China
After riding down from SaPa to Lao Cai border town, we visited the Vietnam-China border crossing point. Then we head off to visit churches near to the Vietnam-China border where we can see China across the mountain ranges. This is entering into the Bac Ha mountain areas to visit so as to support the workers with donated funds and encouraging them.
Here we enjoy the view of the Song Chay River as we ride mostly along the trail that runs along this river.
Visit Churches Up In The Bac Ha Mountain Ridges
To reach to this tribal church up in the Bac Ha mountain ridges was a long, arduous and perilous ride along a dangerous mountain trails. However because of the invitation to this local pastor to preach during their Sunday Service, he made this trip to their tribal church.
Even as I ride pillion with him on his motorcycle, I watched him navigate his motorcycle on all the treacherous and dangerous mountain trails. I could not help but worried about the dangerous route we are using. In my mind I was having questions about how we are going to get back. Would there be dangers that we could not anticipate and overcome?
The trail was narrow at some points with a steep drop on one side down the mountain side. It was generally uneven, muddy and slippery till the motorcycle tyres would spin. Along certain stretch, we came across broken trail and there were construction material obstructing. We do meet steep gradient at a couple of stretches. There is one section where a flowing stream cuts across the trail but luckily it was not a big stream and so we are able to safely cross it. I video this Bac Ha trail ride as it was not something that most of us would not be brave enough to ride through.
Why He Diligently Doing This
So I asked the question that is in my mind about how dangerous and risky riding along this trail to him: It is so risky to get to these churches and yet you do not mind doing this. Do you not worried about the dangers and risks along the way to visit churches up on the mountain ridges?
He just-matter-of-fact told me that he would go wherever Jesus sends him. Since this tribal church invited him to preach he would happily go no matter what obstacles he would meet along the way. He would not say no to the Master’s request and that was his answer to me.
So we reached the church in good shape by the grace of God and he preached in this first church for their Sunday service.
From here we made our way to the 2nd church, a small church to visit the lay pastor before heading to the local deacon’s house as he hosted us for dinner.
The Local Faithful Deacon And His Hospitable Family
Here in Bac Ha we ride all the way to the mountain highest viewing point for a fantastic view of the majestic mountain range. To end the day, we headed to the deacon’s home where we had our dinner and we celebrated his daughter’s birthday with this family. What a blessed family to have their home opened for God’s works.
The mission trip ended with a return flight back to HCM on 31.10.2017.