The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began work in Vietnam in 1995 with humanitarian assistance and educational services. The Vietnamese government recognizes the LCMS as a nongovernmental organization (NGO). The LCMS' work in Vietnam began with a strategic partnership with the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), a government organization. The LCMS and the NIN worked together to address issues of malnutrition and poverty in rural areas of Vietnam for more than 15 years. Today, human care projects continue and include multiple governmental and non-governmental partners, working to reduce poverty and malnutrition, as well as addressing social issues.
Building on this new emphasis of children's social, physical and intellectual development, the LCMS has partnered with a social enterprise in the capitol city of Hanoi called Play! café — a hybrid café and children’s play area — to encourage healthy interactions between parents and children. It is building a reputation as a caring, clean and encouraging place for parents to bring their kids. Moreover, the LCMS coordinates community education courses through Play! café to address issues like childhood development, nutrition, basic infant care and parenting.
From early in its history in Vietnam, the LCMS has also partnered with various universities in and around Hanoi to provide GEO teachers of English. These GEOs not only teach English but also build relationships with students and organize clubs and study groups.
In 2011, the LCMS started Concordia International School Hanoi to provide a top-tier, Lutheran education for local and international students in Hanoi. The school regularly supports the humanitarian work of the LCMS.
Currently, a team of LCMS career and GEO personnel and educators reside in Hanoi, a busy city of 7 million.
As Vietnam develops into a middle-income country and many NGOs pull out, the LCMS makes a strong witness by staying and finding ways to bless the people of Vietnam even as the country develops. What a blessing for the LCMS to show mercy in such a significant way. Please pray for the work of the LCMS in Vietnam and for its team, that they would be a blessing and witness to the people of this country.