When missionaries brought the gospel message to Vietnam, they started a chain reaction in Paul Pham’s (CFO of EvanTell) family. His great-grandfather became the first convert, his grandfather an evangelist, and his father a pastor. The spiritual momentum waned for a period, though, when tragedy struck. A stray mortar round killed his mother and injured Paul. Then, a year later his father died in a military ambush leaving Paul an orphan at the age of four.
His grandfather took Paul and his siblings to live with him. In 1975, two days before the fall of South Vietnam to the Communist North, he placed his grandchildren on a boat and sent them as refugees to Korea. Later Paul made his way to Canada to live with some aunts and uncles.
“I grew up resenting the fact that God orchestrated the death of so many people in my family. Yet because of my upbringing, I feared Him and His punishment for the bad things I did in my life,” says Paul.
This all changed when one night he opened his Bible to Romans 8:14–17: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
After that, Paul begin seeing God as a father figure and not a distant deity. “My longing for my earthly father really is my cry to God as my Heavenly Father,” says Paul. “Everything in the bible that I have read now is seen through the eyes of God as my father; someone who is close to me and love me as His son.”
In September 1994, Paul took his first trip back to Vietnam to share with other orphans the hope found in Jesus Christ. And he hasn’t stopped! Paul returns at least once a year (often more) to train churches and minister to orphans and widows. Over the past three years, approximately 130 orphans have trusted Christ, but only the other side eternity will tell how far his gospel reach has spread.