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Tam - God's plan for a life
Tam arrived in Cardiff along with the rest of her family from Vietnam in November 1979.
She was among the first of the Vietnamese refugees to flee to Wales. Life was very hard for the family at first as they spoke no English and had no interpreter. Thankfully, two Christian couples from a local church volunteered to look after them, visiting and helping out in a variety of ways. As a way of showing Tam their gratitude, Tam’s parents agreed to attend this church one Sunday. This became a regular habit and the whole family started attending church.
For the following nine years Tam attended three different churches and yet she was not a Christian. “I didn’t know who God was or what he had done for me.”
Tam isn’t absolutely sure of the time or date when she became a Christian but she does remember very clearly how God came into her life. When she was 17 years old, Tam was nearly knocked over while crossing a road. This experience made her think quite deeply about her life and she found herself searching for answers to questions that she had been asking for a long time: “Who am I?”, “Where have I come from?” and “If I had died today, where would I have gone?” Tam went home that day and felt the urgency to read her Bible, asking God to help her understand what she was reading. She read the following passage from the Gospel of John chapter 3, verses 16 & 17): ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but the save the world through him.”
“For the first time I understood what God had done for me.” At this point Tam accepted Christ into her life and became a Christian. But she is well aware that being a Christian does not exempt her from life’s challenges. She even says that it is harder to live in the world as Christian because she is daily fighting with the sin in her life.
Seven years ago Tam started attending St Mellons Baptist Church, and brings her husband and three young sons with her. She wanted to be part of a church that was growing and where she ‘could serve Christ in the small things, like church cleaning and crèche’. Tam knows that her relationship with Christ has grown and she has learned a lot about God as a result of attending the church and spending time with other Christians. Despite this, Tam admits that she still has a long way to go in her walk as a Christian, “God has a lot more work to do with me so it’s a good thing he is patient because I would have given up on me a long time ago!”
Tam doesn’t believe in coincidences or luck. She knows that is was no accident that her family left Vietnam, arrived in Cardiff and went along to a church. Looking at her life now, Tam can see that things would have been very different had she still been living in Vietnam. In particular, she would not have had the opportunities to know God and his amazing love.
“I have so many things to thank God for and want to return his love by telling others of the good news, that they too can come to know him through Jesus Christ.”