My Vietnamese-born host, Joseph (not his real name), knows all-too-well how it feels. His mother was killed by a bomb that struck the church parsonage when he was just three years old. He bears the scars of flying shrapnel as a daily reminder of the event. The next year his father, an army chaplain serving in the South Vietnamese forces, was ambushed by Vietcong and summarily executed.
Two days before the fall of Saigon, Joseph and his two siblings were grouped with six other children from his Grandfather’s family and herded onto a boat out of the country. The adults stayed behind due to space limitations and the desire to help their people through the turmoil. After some intermediary stops, and a period awaiting refugee status approval, Joseph and the other children became wards of the state in Canada.
Joseph now serves in orphan ministry and is part of the team visiting here. His heart for his people is plainly evident and, while visiting a state orphanage with him today in the former Saigon, I saw his big heart for the children he identifies with so well.