June 11, 2019
The East Texas Baptist University Fred Hale School of Business and Department of History and Political Science traveled to Vietnam as a part of the Global Study and Serve Program on Sunday, May 12 through Sunday, June 2. Students earned credit for either International Business, taught by Dean and Professor of Business Administration Barry Evans, or Vietnam: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Conflict, taught by Assistant Professor of History Jenny Hoover.
“It was a wonderful experience for students to see the things they have studied and read about, but Vietnam also allowed us to have important conversations about how history is written,” Dr. Hoover said. “At the museums we visited, I asked students to reflect on the story that was being told and how it differed from what they had read or been taught. Vietnam challenged us all, and we relied heavily on prayer and Scripture through guided prayer journals and a daily group devotion time. This shared experience brought us together as students and teachers.”
The three-week field courses consisted of required textbook readings, journal entries, and enriching experiences. Students studied and served in cities across Vietnam, including Hanoi, Dien Bien Phu, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City. From ministering at a Christian orphanage and teaching English at an interdenominational church to visiting historical sites and museums, students learned about local history and culture while sharing their faith to the people of Vietnam.
“While in Hanoi, we also worshipped with a group of women at Naomi’s House, a ministry focused on helping women overcome drug addictions,” ETBU senior Biology major Chelsea Johnson shared. “I experienced the power and might of the Holy Spirit like never before. I found it beautiful and touching to hear the testimonies of the women. Seeing their determination and discipline was inspiring to my own Christian faith. It was clear that these women were committed to renewing their life through the strength of Christ.”
At Naomi’s House, Dr. Hoover and Dr. Evans shared their testimonies to the women in attendance. Dr. Evans also presented on American business culture, invited by the University of Economics and Finance (UEF). Following his seminar, a UEF faculty member lectured on business culture in Vietnam. The forum provided both the ETBU students and Vietnamese students the opportunity to compare and contrast.
“It is one thing to talk about the differences in culture among various countries in the classroom on campus. However, the experience is enriched through the Global Study and Serve program,” Dr. Evans commented. “Our students stepped out of their comfort zones to gain a new perspective and communicate the Gospel to those unfamiliar with Jesus. I was proud of the way they boldly declared their faith and established relationships. This international study opportunity proved to be life changing and provided life-long memories for both the professors and students.”