Driver's seat disciple-maker

Phu Pham

Pastor Phu Pham believes in ministering face-to-face with both of his congregations, even if they are in two states. Each week Pham drives close to four hours to pastor Vietnamese Faith Community Church in Evanston, Illinois, and Vietnamese American New Life, in Davenport, Iowa. 

Pham began his Illinois-to-Iowa trips back in 2011. Every Saturday he heads from his home in Evanston and drives to Davenport to preach. After he visits with his congregation there, he drives back to Illinois and gets home around 3 a.m. He sleeps for seven hours and gets up to preach in the service at the Evanston church. How does he do it? 

Vietnamese Faith Life Community Church, Illinois 

"When we see what God is doing in their life, we see our people grow day by day. They love God more and more and love to serve him," Pham said. "Seeing them grow helps me keep going." 

Just because he's in the car every weekend doesn't mean he doesn't have time to disciple. Pham says he tries to bring along youth from his Illinois church in order to spend time with them. He even holds prayer time and meetings in his car.

"I try to use that time to train the people. I decide to bring someone with me each time, and it turns out some of the youth and teachers and many leaders in the church want to talk about how to serve the Lord," Pham said. "I also use that time for coaching and mentoring. I call people to follow up and pray with them, and sometimes I even have a meeting. It's nice."

Vietnamese American New Life, Iowa


Pham is from Vietnam, where sharing the gospel face to face isn't always possible. He says Jesus is the example, living among his disciples for more than three years. 

"I don't want to waste any moment or minute because when we were in Vietnam it was very difficult. I thank God because he saved my life, and I gave my life to serve him," he said. "I only have one life to live here, or not. The rest of that will be resting in heaven."

    Point - Summer 2018

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