Ken’s family was very poor. With 10 children to feed, things got even worse when his Father died.
“When my older brothers got married we became even poorer still,” remembers Ken. “There were more people, but less money!”
“As I was the youngest, they used me as a dustbin – throwing their anger and worries into me. I was blamed for everything that went wrong.”
“I was stressed and never smiled – I even tried to commit suicide twice but people appeared in time.”
Ken moved to Malaysia to try to escape his worries. But working in a factory with no one who spoke his language, he felt more miserable than ever.
“Instead of changing for the better, life felt even more hopeless. I couldn’t sleep and I cried a lot, blaming God for my misery.”
But it was there that he met the friend who took him to church.
At first Ken wasn’t interested in the preaching. He just went along to meet other Vietnamese people and speak his language.
Then one day, the Pastor offered to pray for Ken.
“I was exhausted from not sleeping and desperately wanted a good sleep,” Ken recalls.
That was when Ken heard his ‘life verse’ for the first time.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
That night, with his head on the pillow, Ken prayed for rest. And after many days without sleep, he finally slept soundly.
Ken’s faith grew from that one verse. And it’s no exaggeration to say it changed his life.
“For the first time, I felt deep joy and peace in my heart,” Ken says. “I stopped worrying about money and quit working a second job at night, knowing that God was my provider. I even had enough to give away!”
“I became a totally new person.”
When Ken’s contract ended, he moved back to Vietnam eager to share Jesus with his neighbours. But he soon found barriers to the Gospel because there is no translation of the Bible in his community language.
Today, Ken works as a Bible Society translator. He and his team are hoping to finish translating the New Testament in the next 2 years. Life isn’t easy – and he faces persecution – but he’s never forgotten his first life verse… and he still knows God’s peace.
Every Christian has a ‘life verse’. One that gives hope, brings comfort, or assures you of God’s love.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow…” Hebrews 4:12
A single Scripture can be a touch stone, carrying a person through a season of trouble… of waiting… of uncertainty. It can become the foundation that steadies us – like it steadied Ken.
By donating to Bible Society Australia , you could be part of translating your life verse into someone’s heart language.
Your gift will support the work of Bible Translators like Ken in:
Join us in praying for the translation work taking place in these communities and please give if you can.
*Name has been changed to protect identity.