“I always long to hear the word in [my] language … It is the language that speaks directly to my heart.”

Hung’s Faith Journey and The Bible for the Eastern Cham Community 

“When I opened the Bible, I felt something new in my heart, like a peace and joy that I never had before.” These are the words of Hung*, a 45-year-old Eastern Cham man, who first heard the gospel from a local pastor who visited his village 10 years ago.  

Intrigued by the pastor’s message about Jesus Christ, Hung spent much time wrestling with questions of faith. But when he first opened a Bible in Vietnamese, he felt a profound sense of peace and joy, leading him to put his faith in God.  

Hung is one of the few but growing number of Christians among the Eastern Cham people — one of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups, with a small population of about 132,000. With their own language, culture, and traditions, they face numerous challenges, including poverty, illiteracy, discrimination, and lack of development.   

Choosing to follow Jesus brought Hung significant persecution from his neighbours and relatives, who accused him of betraying his ancestors and people.  

“Every day I have to fight for what I believe in and face persecution from the neighbours and my relatives,” Hung says. “When my son died, my relatives snatched him from me and forced me to hold the funeral in their traditional way instead of Christian. I resisted and did everything I could to give my son a Christian funeral. It was full of heartache.”  

Strength in Scripture and Community  

Despite these challenges, Hung found solace in reading his Bible.  

“The Bible is my source of strength and comfort. It teaches me how to live as a Christian in a hostile environment. It reminds me of God’s promises and presence with me. It gives me hope for the future.”  

Support from fellow Christians nearby also uplifted him. They prayed, worshipped, studied the Bible with him, and shared with him their personal experiences, providing Hung much needed help and encouragement. “I thank God for sending me these brothers and sisters who showed me his love and care. They encouraged me and helped me to grow in my faith and to share it with others,” Hung reflects.     

A Bible in the Eastern Cham language 

Hung has long desired a Bible in his native Eastern Cham language. While he treasures his Vietnamese Bible, he finds that reading God’s word in his heart language would be more impactful. Hung was filled with excitement when he learned that a team of Eastern Cham Christians and linguists, with support from Bible Society Vietnam and other partners, were translating the Bible into Eastern Cham.  

In 2024, after 9 years of Bible translation work, a New Testament Bible in the Eastern Cham language became available for people like Hung and his community.   

Hung’s prayer is that his community will soon have copies of a complete Bible in their heart language.  

“I pray that God will bless this translation project and make it successful,” Hung says. “I pray that many Eastern Cham people will have access to God’s word in their mother tongue. I pray that they will read it, understand it, believe it, and obey it. I pray that they will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.”   

A Call to Prayer 

Let us join Hung in prayer for the Eastern Cham community to engage with God’s word and their newly translated New Testament. May it bring hope, understanding, and salvation to many in his community. 

To learn more about Bible Society’s Bible engagement work for Vietnam’s ethnic minorities, visit: Vietnam: Engaging Ethnic Minorities.  Read more about the new Eastern Cham New Testament here. 


*Name changed to protect privacy.

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