Friday, January 8, 2010


Presented to Max Hoesli. By the Bill Glass Ass'n
for dedicated service in America's prisons
I John 1:7


I believe the Lord brought Nguyen to Wichita because He wanted him to come to the knowledge of the love He has for him. Nguyen came with another purpose in mind, unaware of what God had for him. Nguyen did what he was brought to Wichita to do except at the last moment he changed his mind not to do it exactly like they (his gang in Houston) wanted it done. I believe this is where the HOLY SPIRIT first spoke to Nguyen. The second time was when he was arrested, he freely confessed to what he did. Also at his hearing he openly admitted it. I believe his openness to do what the Holy Spirit was prompting him to do gave the Lord the opportunity to bless him.

Then he was sent to the Ottawa County Detention center. He was placed in pod D and there was a black man from Africa there. His name was Anthony Udo Udo and he knew the Lord. He attended Bible study faithfully. He told me his granddaddy was a witch doctor and his dad hated Christians. But one day the Lord got hold of his dad and he was born again. When Anthony saw what change the Lord made in his dad's life he knew the Lord was real. So he asked Jesus to come in his life and he said "He did". The Lord had Anthony in there to help Nguyen come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Nguyen could identify with him because they were both foreigners. Nguyen was from Vietnam. Nguyen came to Bible study the first week he was there. He was very difficult to understand but the Lord drew us together by his Spirit so we could understand each other. He asked me to call his attorney because he didn't understand every thing that was going on. The attorney's name was Armond R. Velez. He was appointed by the court. I tried several times, but could not catch him in his office, so I asked his secretary if he could call me. That afternoon he called me back. I could tell the Lord had his hand in appointing him as Nguyen's attorney. He explained what Nguyen was facing and it wasn't good. The next time I went to town I stopped at the jail to tell Nguyen what Armond had said. He told me that he had received a letter from another attorney in Wichita saying he would represent him for $5,000 dollars. I told him I believed Armond had his interests at heart and that the Lord had his hand in picking him to represent him. Nguyen seemed to be satisfied with that and stayed with Armond.

It wasn't long until he asked Jesus in his life to be his Lord and Savior. Nguyen was faithful to come to Bible study and would stay afterward to talk about Jesus. He asked for a Vietnamese Bible so he could read it in his own language and understand it better. All I could find was a New Testament, they were all sold out of the complete Bible. The place I found his New Testament also had several pieces of Christan literature in Vietnamese so I ordered them also. He was very happy to have them to read. We spent time together in a 'one to one' when I had the time. Every time I would come to the jail he would want to visit. He was very polite and always wanted to help with such things as handing out Bibles and material or picking up chairs and putting them away. Then one day I went to visit and he was gone, but he left me a note telling me how afraid he was to leave because he could trust me and he didn't want to lose track of me. And Nguyen was true to his word, every time anything happened that would cause him to move or have a change in his life he would let me know.

They took him back to Wichita to have his hearing. After the hearing they transferred him to Meade, Kansas jail which was smaller and a little more relaxed. God was faithful, He had some ladies come for Bible study. It wasn't long until they brought him back for his sentencing. He was looking at some long and hard time because his offense was a very serious felony. I had talked to his lawyer. He said Nguyen's chances were not good and he would most likely be sent back to Vietnam, after serving several years in prison. This was a fearful thought for Nguyen as he and his family came to the USA when he was seven years old and he had no one left in Vietnam. Also, the Vietnamese government would most likely consider him a spy. So we were praying the Lord would do a miracle in his life. And the Lord did--he got two years community correction in Wichita.

Nguyen was thankful for this but he really wanted to be transferred to Houston where he could be with his family and find a job. Part of his program was to find a job and that was hard for him in Wichita because he didn't know his way around. One day he found a job and we were praising the Lord but not for long. After a week they told him not to come back. He asked them why and they told him the job was just for a week. He had not understood that when he took the job. But God is faithful

A couple of days later he walked outside the building where he was living and there was a man standing on the sidewalk. Nguyen went up to him and said, "Sir, I need a job". The man said, "come with me". He was a painter and needed help. I talked with that man later and he said that Nguyen was a very good worker and that he would like to put him on full time

At this time the Lord also put a black lady in his life. Her name was Rev. Dilce Polite and she was in her 80's. She came once a week and had services for the people where Nguyen was staying. She also would stop by and pick him up and take him to church on Sundays. Some Sundays she would take him to dinner, she was a friend that met a need.

Then, there was Pat, his parole officer, who was very good for him. She knew it would be hard for him to find a job so she was very patient with him. One day Darlene and I were going to be in Wichita. I called her to ask permission to take him to dinner. She was very helpful and gave him a pass even though he hadn't completed all the requirements to deserve a pass. So you can see, the Lord had people in the right places to help him.

We got to Wichita early that afternoon. We had made arrangements to pick Nguyen up at 6:30 so we took the opportunity to go visit Jack West and his family. I was blessed to lead him to the Lord six years earlier while he was in the Ottawa County jail. Jack was a gang leader at that time. I knew he could identify with Nguyen because Nguyen was a leader of a gang in Houston. So we invited Jack and his family to join us for dinner. At dinner Nguyen waited on me like a royal servant. We had a great time visiting and getting to know each other. This was the first time for us to visit outside the jail. We took Nguyen back to Community Correction and headed home. We were praising the Lord for His faithfulness. Then came the test of our faith.

About a week later I answered the phone and on the other end was Nguyen, crying, and telling me Immigration had picked him up and was going to send him back to Vietnam. My heart was broken. The next morning I got a call telling me they were moving him to Anthony, Kansas. He said he would let me know the address the next day. He asked me to call Immigration and see if I could find out anything so I called them the next day. They told me if I was not his legal counsel they didn't want to talk with me. I waited for a week with no letter or call. The next week I got a letter saying that they would not let him call out. The next day Nguyen called saying that he was in El Paso, Texas and they were just waiting to send him back to Vietnam. He also said it could be up to six months before anything would happen

Now was a time of trying our faith. I called Mr. Don Thompson, who was with Community Correction and had also worked with Nguyen, to see if he could tell me anything. He told me that he was there when Immigration came. They just walked in the door and said "where is Nguyen?". They told Nguyen "you are going with us". Mr. Thompson said that they had also tried to talk with Immigration but they refused to talk with them. They had also tried to call them but they would not return their call. He did know that he would have a hearing before anything could take place. He told me "don't give up, and tell Nguyen that he can come back here any time if they release him. He is in good standing in Wichita".

Nguyen called and asked me to call Suzanna Gladney in St. Louis, Mo. She was with legal service for immigrants to the USA. She also said he would have a hearing within six months to determine what they would do with him. They could deport him, send him to prison for several years, or keep him six months and release him. None of this was a good report. Then Nguyen called and told me they had set a hearing date. I asked him if he had someone to represent him and he said he was going to represent himself. He thought that was what the Lord wanted him to do. He asked me if I would write a letter to Judge Gary Burkholder in his behalf. We wrote a letter stating the truth as we knew it. We sent the letter then prayed that the Lord would move on the Judge's heart to do the will of God.

The next thing we heard was Nguyen calling from the airport saying he was going home to Houston. I was not at home so he told Darlene he would call the next night from his home. They had just turned him loose in El Paso so he had to get home on his own. The Lord had His hand in this also because if it had been in any other state he would have had to go directly back to Wichita. He was released in Texas so he could go home first without crossing any state lines. He called me Saturday night and was very happy to see his family and his girlfriend. I told him he had better call Pat (his parole officer in Wichita) right away and tell her what had happened. He called her and she told him she would give him 48 hours to be back in Wichita. His brother drove him to Wichita in time so he wouldn't be in trouble.

Letting Nguyen go home to see his family was a way the Lord blessed him. He called me when he got back to Wichita. The Lord was good to him, he got his job back and things were going good. But his heart was home with his family. He talked to me several times about getting his paper work done so they could transfer him to Houston. We prayed the Lord's will would be done.

I had one more opportunity to take him to dinner. A friend and I were going to Wichita to meet with a man who was with Teen Challenge. I called and made arrangements to take Nguyen out for dinner. I was really looking forward to seeing and visiting with him but the visit was cut short because the man with me got sick. I was very disappointed because I had so much I wanted to ask him that we didn't get to talk over on the phone or at the jail. I didn't know this was the last time I would get to see him face to face.

Nguyen would call me often to let me know how he was doing. Then one day he told me the Judge said he could leave Community Correction, but not leave Wichita. He was going to live with a Vietnamese family that he had made friends with. He moved in with them on July 17, 1999. That evening he called and gave me his new address and said it was great to be out with some freedom to go where he wanted to. But I knew Nguyen would treat his freedom with respect, and he did. As we were talking on the phone I asked him if he got to go out in the evenings. He told me that he stayed at home.

Shortly after that we were gone for a four day weekend. Nguyen tried to call us to tell us he was going home. The paper work for his transfer to Houston was complete so he could go. He had always said he would come see us before he left but we were gone so that didn't happen. The night we got back he called and let us know that he was home.

He now has a wife and three children, a good job, and is doing very well. I pray for him and pray we keep in contact with each other. He calls me about once a month, sends pictures of his family, and sends me gifts on my birthday and even on father's day. It would bless me mightily to get to see him again face to face.

These are some of the ways God worked in the life of Nguyen. Most of all , it's about how He let me have the privilege of meeting this young man from Vietnam. I pray that Nguyen will continue to let Jesus be the Lord of his life. Phil. 1:3 I Cor. 1:3-9 NIV

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