Do you remember the old Coke commercial?“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” produced by Billy Davis
and sung by the Hillside Singers, for Coca-Cola as a 1971 TV commercial.
A few days ago we tweeted about the fact that Coca-Cola has said they will invest 200 million dollars in Vietnam by 2013. This is in addition to the 280 million dollars that Coke has already invested in Vietnam over the last ten years. With that tweet, I asked the question, ‘Will we invest our prayers? Our lives?’
Coca Cola, like many international companies has detected an opportunity, an opening, an advantage to investing in or increasing their investment in the country of Vietnam. There is nothing inherently wrong with that of course. That’s what businesses do. They look for opportunities to enter into new markets or expand the market they are in. They are hoping to make more money for themselves or their shareholders. I think it is safe to say that Coca Cola’s purpose in increasing their investment in Vietnam is to sell more Coke products in the country. This is no different than when they produced the 1971 TV commercial embedded above and many memorable commercials since then.
If you grew up in the seventies watching that commercial, you may well have been singing along and also hoping for a world in perfect harmony. I’m sure there were workers at Coca Cola plants hoping for the same; executives in the company hoping for such blissful harmony; even those in the ad agency that came up with the commercial who were wanting to see a world singing together. But doubtless none of them were so distracted by the sentiments in the commercial to lose sight of their primary purpose – making more money by selling more bottles of Coke. I’m not faulting them here. I like Coke products. I’m simply pointing out the primacy of their purpose. At reachingvietnam.com we also have a purpose, a mission, the reason we exist. Our mission is to “Glorify God by reaching all Vietnamese peoples with the Good News of Jesus Christ through the planting of indigenous rapidly multiuplying churches.”
Ultimately, we seek to glorify God, to give Him praise and to cause more praise to be given to Him. We believe that this is best accomplished by seeing more and more people coming to Christ, growing as obedient disciples and becoming new churches. As this multiplies, it follows that more people are joining with us to praise and glorify God. Under God’s leadership and with His power then we are always looking to be as effective as possible in our mission. We want to do whatever it’s going to take to see more people reached with the Gospel, to facilitate their discipleship and to help them be the Body of Christ that multiplies in their context.
It is our prayer that we not be distracted by any of the many other good pursuits to the detriment of this best pursuit. If you look around the country and peoples of Vietnam it is impossible to miss the abundance of problems and needs. Poverty, crowded schools and inadequate education in general, pervasive corruption, an aging population, unequal development, human trafficking, flooding, pollution and environmental decline, overloaded urban infrastructure – and the list goes on. We could easily make impassioned appeals to gather support to help correct such problems or meet those needs. There are other organizations that do just that and many are providing wonderful help. But even if all of those needs were solved, the greatest need of the peoples of Vietnam would remain that of a Savior.
“If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been good government, God would have sent us a politician. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.” Max Lucado
And so we continue forward, preaching Christ and working to insure more Vietnamese hear of the salvation offered through Jesus Christ today than yesterday, more tomorrow than today. We move forward helping new and existing Believers to grow in their faith and to be obedient to the commands of Christ. Crucial to that aim, we help them to be church wherever they are found – in their neighborhood, workplace, campus, village or city. As the Body of Christ then, they are in the best place to serve the people around them and to begin to meet some of the other needs of their society.
Your prayers play an integral role in all of this. As none of what we do is possible apart from God’s providence and power. As you pray with us, you are a part of the work of reachingvietnam. As you give to support the work here you channel resources to be strategically used for His glory. As you visit Vietnam to share the Gospel you impact more and more people with His Good News! Thank you for your wonderful support.
I’d like to teach Vietnam to . . .
share God with those around them and around the world.