“A Vessel Meet for the Master’s Use”

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:21

The School of Christ has had the privilege of serving Vietnam since holding its first classes in 2008. Brother and Sister Clendennen first received the call as missionaries to Vietnam in 1954. They would not arrive until January 1968 and labored there for seven years. Since the first SOC of 2008, hundreds have been reached and trained from the North, in the city of Hanoi, all the way to the South, in the capital of Ho Chi Minh City.

In February and March of 2024, I was afforded the privilege and opportunity to bring the SOC back to Vietnam. My youngest son, Caleb Larsen, accompanied me and my wife’s uncle, Walter Yates. Brother Walter Yates is a veteran of the 101st Airborne Division, where he served during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. He is also an ordained minister in his Church, which is located in Jacksonville, TX. In recent years, he has accompanied his Pastor on several mission trips around the world, and when he heard about the SOC returning to Vietnam, he was excited to go along, serve, and be a part of what the Lord was doing. This was his first time returning to Vietnam since serving during the war. Some were worried about how this would affect him, but his testimony was, “I went to Vietnam the first time as a soldier in the U.S. Army, but this time I am returning as a soldier in the Army of the Lord.”

This trip would be a trip of several “first times.” For my son Caleb, this was his first time traveling alone with me as my cameraman and assistant. His primary responsibility was to film the translator and myself teaching the lessons of the SOC in the Vietnamese language live. In his own words, Caleb expressed how there was a range of emotions for him as we embarked on this trip: Excitement, nervousness, but also great anticipation for what the Lord would do not only through his life personally but also the work that would be done in the lives of each of the students. As the SOC progressed, the Lord began to move in the lives of everyone in this class. For Caleb, the lessons dealt directly with the Call of God upon his life.

During one of the final days of the SOC, I was led to teach the lesson from the Paths to Power series, “Soldiers.” By the end of the lesson, the power of God had fallen on the class, so we were all on our knees, crying out to the Lord. Caleb was the first to come to the altar, and later, he testified that God had called him to be a Soldier in His Army!

This SOC exceeded my expectations, and although we faced many challenges in preparing for this School, we were led by the Lord and His grace. Every challenge was overcome! We were blessed to have been placed in contact with choice brothers and sisters, who were divinely appointed as the vessels through which God enabled us to hold the SOC. We had students from five different countries around that region of South East Asia.

One of the main points of impact in the students’ lives was the realization that God does not need much to do much, and if we surrender ourselves as willing vessels, meet for the Master’s use, the Lord will then use us for the furtherance of His Kingdom. All of the students have testified to the life-changing experience that God brought through the lessons of the SOC.

We were also excited and encouraged to have had a unique experience with one of the Pastors who attended the SOC. As I taught the lesson “Is Not This The Fast,” I shared Brother Clendennen’s testimony of having been a missionary to Vietnam in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. After the lesson, the Pastor came to me and said that he had heard this testimony from his Pastor, but he never knew the name of the American missionary. This Pastor’s statement encouraged us as the SOC staff to meet and see the fruits of the labor done through Brother Clendennen and Sister Clendennen over fifty years ago!

We are honored to have been a part of this work and are excited to hear the testimonies that will come from the lives of each brother and sister who graduated. To God be the Glory!