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The Making of a Believer

Table of contents and chapter outline

Table of contents and chapter outline
Sample chapter
Maps of our escape/movement
Order Info (check/money order only)



Part I - My childhood during the Colonial War (1943 - 1954)

  • Chapter 1 - The impact of the Colonial War on my childhood  8
  • Chapter 2 - The fog of war  13
  • Chapter 3 - An uncommon childhood  20

Part II - The seed of patriotism takes root (1955 - 1966)

  • Chapter 4 - Shadow on my soul  29
  • Chapter 5 - Protesting religious discrimination  38

Part III - The road to redemption (1967 - 1968)

  • Chapter 6 - Escape from the Tết Offensive  50
  • Map of the Tết Offensive  83
  • Chapter 7 - The dawn of faith  84
  • Map of Hồ Ch Minh trail  111

Part IV - A narrow path (1969 - 1975)

  • Chapter 8 - Defining moment  113
  • Chapter 9 - An unexpected reunion  136
  • Chapter 10 - From faith to fear  152

Part V - Unusual miracles (January, 1975 - April 30, 1975)

  • Chapter 11 - The final offensive  171
  • Chapter 12 - Captured by the Communist Army  197
  • Chapter 13 - A narrow escape  245

Epilogue  279

Bibliography  281

Cast of characters  282

Pictures and maps  284


Chapter 1 - The impact of the Colonial War on my childhood

At this time, I am three years of age. The Colonial War begins after the French return to reclaim their colonial rule, so my parents decided to move to Saigon to avoid the dangers of the countryside. But their hope of a better life in Saigon is just a fading dream after four difficult years with no ending inside. Afterwards, my parents send me to live with my grandparents in Tn An village of Long An province.

Chapter 2 – The fog of war

The Colonial War is in its fifth year, and my grandparents cannot escape from the fog of war that has disintegrated his family and destroyed their way of life.

Chapter 3 - An uncommon childhood

After two years of living in Tn An village, I wonder if I am the forgotten son of my family. However, the love of my grandparents helps me to overcome the difficulties of my childhood. For the first time, I understand that I am living during a period of war.

Chapter 4 – Shadow on my soul

The close of the Colonial War sees the beginning of the Việt Nam War. At twelve years of age I move back to Saigon where I grow more distance from my father. However, my problems are just beginning. I suffer from deadly tuberculosis to a bleeding stomach ulcer, a decline in character and very poor grades in school.

Chapter 5 - Protesting religious discrimination

While in college in Saigon, I hear a statement made by President Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country." This famous statement shapes my heart and changes my life.

Chapter 6 - Escape from the Tết Offensive, January 31, 1968

It is the strongest assault by the Communist since the start of the war, which marks the beginning of what I call my journey towards fulfilling God’s destiny for me. On that fateful day, I help Thủy the woman whom dearly love and her family to escape under the enemy fire before their home is bombed and destroyed by American fighter planes.

Chapter 7 – The dawn of faith

After an incredible escaping from the Tết Offensive, I unexpectedly encounter more troubles after I become a believer. I now have a fractured relationship with my family, and the woman whom I dearly love does not love me as I hoped she would. But I decide to follow the path of faith being placed before me.

Chapter 8 – Defining moment

After three months in the front line, I am transferred as the manager of an agricultural research station in the Central Highlands of Việt Nam. In this tiny community as a child of God, I try my best to help my people to attain better lives, which is impossible during wartime. Also, in this quiet place, the Lord reveals to me the future of my family after He saves my life in a miraculous way that surpasses my knowledge.

Chapter 9 - An unexpected reunion

As the responsibility of decisions on the battlefield transfers to the South Vietnamese Army, the fog of war finally reaches the research farm. My life also changes dramatically after an unexpected reunion, which leads to my marriage to Thủy, the woman who I dearly loved after three silent years.

Chapter 10 –From faith to fear

A Peace Pact is signed by Dr. Henry Kissinger and the North Vietnamese Foreign Minister L Dức Thọ. But the wind of war continues to endanger the well-being of my young family. As the Peace Pact unfolds, peace in freedom seems to be out of reach. Then I ponder "where is God in all of this? Where is the God who sees?"

Chapter 11 – The final offensive

The Communist Army attacks the city of Ban M Thuột, which marked the beginning of the offensive to take over South Việt Nam. My family begins a dangerous journey to freedom, which inscribes the dawning of a rendezvous to my God’s giving destiny.

Chapter 12 - Captured by the North Vietnamese Communist Army

After a long and dangerous journey through the jungle on the heels of the Việt Cộng with little food, water, and supply, the Communists capture my family. In spite of that, God continually shows his faithfulness in the midst of affliction and hardship.

Chapter 13 – A narrow escape

After another two failed escape attempts, my family makes a narrow escape from Ban M Thuột to Nha Trang and then finally to Saigon- the gate way to freedom. Saigon becomes encircled by more than two hundred thousand Communist troops, and the last group of refugees is airlifted from the United States Embassy. In this agonized moment, I had no place to run and no place to hide. Again the Lord intervenes, then delivered my family out of Saigon as the final assault begins.


A summary of my new life in the United States and my first return to South Việt Nam.

Copyright 2004