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Amazing Trip: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam

Our last stop in Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by most of the people there. We had only 2 days there, so we explored what we could, mostly on foot. We saw the Independence Palace, the War Remnants Museum, and the Revolutionary Museum (which displayed artefacts of the multi-generational Communist struggle, first against the French, then against the Americans). We also saw several different places of worship. Communist Vietnam is really opening up, not only to entrepreneurship, but also to religion, allowing churches and other religious groups to apply to be officially recognized by the government. Still, many illegal churches still exist. In fact, the one we visited (at which Ryan preached) is in this later category!

A vendor selling banana-leaf lunch packets to the people on their motorbikes. Truly life on the go.

Ryan in front of the Revolutionary Museum

Mural representation of when the Viet Cong finally broke through into the Independence Palace.

So many people were taking their wedding photos in the Revolutionary museum!

another couple! it is a beautiful "Sino-French" building from the 1920/30s.

One of the tanks that broke through to the Independence Palace (represented in the mural above).

War Remnants Museum. This place was intense. It had a display of all the journalistic footage of the war, and quotes from many (US) political and military leaders admitting the mistakes of the war.

Places of Worship
Notre Dame Cathedral

Central Mosque

pretty pool at the Central Mosque

another mosque

Mariamman Hindu Temple

inside Mariamman Hindu Temple

Parvathi and Murgan--Mariamman Hindu Temple

Nadarajah--Mariamman Hindu Temple

Mariamann with Ganesh (elephant) and others--Mariamman Hindu Temple

Bruce and Maria, married teachers from USA and the Philippines with whom we had a wonderful dinner.

United Presbyterian Church of Vietnam

Sunday morning worship with United Presbyterian Church of Vietnam

Ryan preaches, and youth pastor Minh Thai translates

The kid's put on a short play about Joseph.

Maria, wife of Pastor Khoa.
Maria has an inspiring story. She is also a pastor, and is especially passionate about ministering with and to women. She felt a calling to ministry, but didn't know how to answer, as she was the primary bread-winner for their family--her husband was not making much/any money as a pastor of an underground church. Also, she'd never met a woman pastor, and there weren't many in Vietnam. She says that God wouldn't leave her alone, and kept telling her she needed to become a woman pastor. Eventually a way opened up for her to study in Phnom Penh. She is now a powerful woman pastor focusing on the needs of women in Saigon. She and her husband had just returned from an "Empower Asia 2011" conference in Jakarta. Our prayers will continue to be with Maria and the UPCVN!

The sun setting on Vietnam as we leave via an international bus to Cambodia.

Posted November 15, 2011


I guess I can say: Welcome home and thanks for your ministry! Have a most wonderful Thanksgiving, and we look forward to seeing you at MAPC in a couple of weeks.

Mariam on November 19, 2011

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Molly & Ryan Dowell Baum

Author: Molly & Ryan Dowell Baum
Created: July 26, 2010

"We are the scatterlings of Africa/On a journey to the stars/Far below, we leave forever/Dreams of what we were ..." -Johnny Clegg

Where are we?
The Dowell Baum Team is at home in Kitwe.
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