The Call Of God To Vietnam, by B. H. Clendennen

In 1954, I had only been preaching for a few months, and we were in a small country church. My wife and I woke up early to pray together before the children got up. As we prayed that morning, God spoke, “Saigon.” I did not know if that was a people or a town, but I found out later it was the capital city of South Vietnam.

We knew God was calling us there. It was when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu and pulled out. Later, the Americans got involved. But for fourteen years, that city was in me. I knew I belonged there.

The headline “Saigon” would be in the news. In January 1968, my wife and I arrived in that city. We knew nobody. We could not speak a word, but we knew we were home. We also knew we had arrived there on time. And for the next seven years, we labored there.

The first day, in a hotel lobby, there was a Vietnamese Colonel, a high officer in the army. He was sitting there reading the newspaper. When we walked in, I was holding my wife’s hand and had a Bible in the other, and when he saw me, he ran toward me. He said, “I have been looking for you for seven years.” I said, “Me? How do you know me?” He said, “When America got involved in this war, my  government sent me to America to learn your military. And while I was there, I was born again. I was a Buddhist, but now I am born again. That is when I realized that my people were lost. So I begged the army to let me go to preach to my people, but they said, ‘No, Sir. You’re too valuable to the war effort.’

So, in 1961, I began to fast. After many days, I saw a vision. A man was coming, holding his wife’s hand and carrying a Bible. He said I saw that man coming, and God said, ‘This man will bring revival to Vietnam.’ Seven years later, the Colonel saw the beginning of his vision become a reality.” The following Sunday, he had a meeting for me at a Christian Missionary Alliance Church. It was nothing but back-door Catholicism.

Death was everywhere. It was filled to capacity when they heard that an American would preach. There was no air conditioner, and it was hot. My wife, the Colonel, and I were the only Christians there. All the others are religious. The Colonel brought me to the Pastor’s office, just off the platform, where he introduced me to the Pastor.

As I was sitting talking to the Pastor, I noticed he had an indentation (hole) in his head. As I was talking with him, he said, “You must know that I am a drug addict, not by choice. It was fourteen years ago the Vietcong beat and left me for dead. I was brought south and received medical treatment. My injuries have left me with a headache for fourteen years.” He went on to explain, “I am taking the strongest drugs possible, but I still have the headaches.” At that moment God said to me, “Lay hands on him. I am going to heal and save him.” I laid my hand on him, and God healed instantly, and he accepted Christ as his Savior. Now we have another Christian with us.

As we walked out that door up to the platform, we saw a group of men in conversation. When I came out, they immediately looked up, and there was a man in that group who was 85 years old. The minute he saw me, he began to weep. He wept the whole service. When I gave the altar call, many people came. We prayed for hours. Then I prayed for the sick. A little deaf girl was healed instantly. They put my picture and testimony on the front page of a Buddhist paper. I  became known all over Vietnam.

Nobody leaves the Church in Vietnam until the Pastor is at the door. So when it was all over, the Pastor, myself, Brother Cong, my  interpreter, went to the door. The people were leaving, and the old man continued weeping. I said, “Brother Cong, I want to talk to him when he gets here.” So when he came, I said, “Sir, you have been crying since you saw me. Why are you crying?” He said, “Five years ago, like Hannah, I was praying for revival. Oh God, send revival in this war-ravaged state. God said you will not die till you see the man that will bring revival.” When you came out of that office, that same voice said to me, “Look closely, this is the man.” He died before I ever saw him again.

God will guide your steps. We saw Pentecost come for the first time in that country. They made me a Chaplain in the Arven Army. I rode their helicopters; never a man had more favor than I had. I was led there by God.