Why I Do This - Hong An's Story
After their adult sons left home, An and her husband asked God to give them more purpose. They began serving as parents in Vietnam’s Home #4 in 2005. Over the span of 15 years, they have welcomed 20 Homes of Love daughters into their home. As some have grown and left the home, "Mother An" continues to be involved in their lives and to welcome more children in their places.
In 2004, after finishing my work with the Christian Missionary Alliance, I returned to Da Nang with my family to open a restaurant. This was a job that did not really suit me, but it was something my husband enjoyed. Our business took so much time that I lost many opportunities to serve God in other ways. For me, business is not my strong point. I cried to the Lord to change my job and I just wished I could serve in God's house. It was a really SOS prayer of mine when I was on the way from church to the restaurant. And it was finally answered by God.
A week later, Mr. Gary and Miss Debbie came to our house through the introduction of Mr. Nha, who was now the pastor. Being told about the ministry of HOL, I felt that my heart was so close to it. Something warm crept into my heart and attracted me to take part. As if an arrangement from heaven, my house was chosen to raise children from difficult circumstances and God allowed me to become the mother of the children.
At the beginning of my involvement in HOL, I was extremely excited because God brought me some girls as children, but as the time passed by, the challenges began. Teaching children who are not from the same background and not yet used to urban life is extremely difficult. The children were small, relatively easy, but when they got older, it became a challenge for our family to meet their needs. Facing many problems, we began to seek more of God's guidance. Immediately, we recognized God's presence in this ministry. My heart became even more convinced of God's sovereignty when He brought our family into this ministry.
We have step-by-step learned with the Lord about unconditional love for children, about endurance, perseverance, and faithfulness. Since our previous house was too small with not enough space for whole family activities, we prayed and decided to sell it to get another house. Now, we have a new one which is more spacious, more convenient. Although it was difficult to sell any houses at that time, God answered our prayers. Just within four months of searching for a house to buy on the condition that it has to be near the church, near the school, near the hospital, near the market – I earnestly prayed to Him with all that conditions. (Everyone who heard my wishes laughed and told me I was so greedy!) Yet having worked with HOL over the years, I have experienced God's response no matter how hard it was for me. Yes, He answered! Our family was able to buy a house that is much bigger and better than the old one and the location was perfectly convenient for the four things I had asked God for. Hallelujah!
We continue to be HOL parents and still have younger children in our home. From 14 years ago, the children of the old days have grown up. Each has their own lives, but for them, our house is still a place for them to get back when they are need of rest. They love each other and stick together in life like they were born and grew up together always. Entering independent life, most children have really put their faith in the beloved Lord, they also have confidence to face life because they believe that they always have us with them as family who are watching and praying for them.