Vietnam Bible Education
My name is Lucelia Nicolene Pretorius, but everyone calls me Nicky. I am excited about my free Vietnam Bible Education with the Christian Leaders Institute. I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Three years ago, we moved to Vietnam as my husband is Vietnamese. We have three beautiful children together. Two of our own and one from his previous marriage.
Vietnam is a country where lots of people practice idol worship. However, there are Vietnamese churches as well as Catholic Churches here. I belong to an international fellowship in Da Nang, where people all over the world attend. Since I was saved, I felt like God has big plans for Vietnam. To reach people who practice idol worshipping and teach them the truth. Also witnessing to foreigners who come here to visit Vietnam and don’t know God as well as expats who live and work here. I would like to learn to become a ministry leader with my Vietnam Bible Education at CLI. Since God called me to be a ministry leader.
A Terrible Childhood
The conditions I grew up in were terrible. I was rejected by my father even before birth. And I suffered some rejection from my mother. My father was previously married and already had two children. My father married my mother after he got her pregnant. I remember my mother telling me they had many arguments while she was pregnant with me. My father’s daughters got taken away at some point because they accused him of molesting them and treating them badly. I don’t recall my dad ever doing anything sexual to me though.
I grew up in a trailer park (in South-Africa this is not common). My dad came home every night with a bottle of beer and smoked marijuana. He never told me he loved me or showed any affection to me at all. Friday nights he never came home and went drinking and gambling away his salary. He was an engineer, was very smart, and made a decent salary. But, he chose to live under these conditions.
My father was diagnosed with cancer, refused to do his normal job, and started stealing for a living. We moved to free government housing in a very poor area where things escalated for my father. At some point, one of his daughters returned to live with us. We joined a church that my sister attended in the children’s home. I got baptized, but I wasn’t in the church very long. It was a means of escape for me from the turmoil in my house. I eventually left the church.
There was constant fighting between my mother and father. My sister eventually left home due to our father’s behavior. I was afraid for him to come home because I knew that he would beat my mom. He even beat my mother when she was pregnant with my baby sister. He started selling drugs from our home and got arrested. They always used to trash our house trying to find drugs. Then, he started doing the worst drugs because he couldn’t deal with his cancer diagnosis. I threw myself into my school work as an escape and became a top student with 90%-100% marks.
When I was 13, he passed away. I had the burden of providing for my mother and baby sister. I left school and started working in a pizza shop to bring in what I could. At the age of 18, I was tired of our poor living conditions. So, I decided to become a stripper to earn more money to take care of my mother and baby sister. I started drinking to cope with the job, and eventually, I got persuaded by a friend to take drugs. I became a drug addict.
Then when I was 23, my mother had a brain tumor and died very quickly. It was horrible watching my mom go through this. It broke my heart. My precious baby sister was taken away by my older sister as I wasn’t able to take care of her in my condition. After that, I moved into the strip club, did copious amounts of drugs, and prayed to God to let me die. Many friends overdosed or committed suicide. I did drugs with a friend for one week. Then after I went home, they called me the next day and told me my friend overdosed and died.
God Sent My Husband
A year later, I met my husband. He was sent from God to take me out of my horrible situation. It was his first time in a strip club, and he fell instantly in love with me. He couldn’t speak any English, and we had to use a translator on his cellphone. He came and gave me money without me having to dance for him. Expensive gifts and handbags were what he gave me as gifts, which I wasn’t used to. He then bought me a car even though we were just friends.
I was broken. I don’t know what he saw in me. There was no love to give or life left inside me just pain and heartache from my life. He started seeing me more seriously, but I was on drugs and I couldn’t stop. I was extremely broken and damaged. Then, he got me a place to stay, but I would always go and do drugs. However, he never gave up on me and always brought me food to eat. He nursed me back to health after one of my binges.
After a while, he asked me to have a baby with him. I agreed. The more he loved me, the less I needed drugs. Then, I got pregnant and managed to give up the drugs. My daughter saved my life. My husband took me out of the strip club for good and took good care of me. I had need of nothing. Eventually, we had our second child. But, when I got hurt by family or thought about the past, those feelings would cause me to relapse. He took me out of the strip club, but he couldn’t take the pain away that I endured in my life.
I relapsed six times since having my husband and kids. Every time, my husband came and took me back home and loved me. My childhood wounded me, and I didn’t know how to get better. All I wanted was to be a normal mother to my children and wife to my husband. Because of my wounds, I couldn’t. I had my last relapse in June 2016, and it was the worst one of all. “Friends” tricked me and gave me drugs mixed with something else. I couldn’t even recognize my husband and children. It took me nearly a month to recover and function again. I had terrible pains in my chest, and I didn’t know if I was going to make it. My husband nursed me back to health again.
Finally, my husband packed our things. We left everything in South Africa. He brought me and our girls to Vietnam. Soon after that, I started experiencing breathing problems. I thought I had C.O.P.D or a problem with my diaphragm, but no doctors could give me a diagnosis. Panic attacks and anxiety plagued me. I wrote letters to my two beautiful daughters saying how much I loved them and was sorry I couldn’t be a better mother to them.
I never left my house because of all the fear. Alone in the dark with the curtains drawn, I was lying in my bed. Finally, I called out to God: “God, if you really exist, You need to come to help me, I’m dying!!!” When I walked away from the church I convinced myself that God wasn’t real because of my situation in my home and the world. I said: “God, if you’re there, please give me a sign.” Almost immediately, I heard hard knocking on the wall. I jumped out of bed because I got a fright. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in. Revelation 3:20.
Saved by God’s Grace
After that, I asked God what I must do. God prompted me to listen to sermons from Joyce Meyer. There was a sermon where they were explaining that we need to believe that Jesus died for our sins. I said the sinner’s prayer and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Immediately, I changed like brand new. My drug addiction and alcoholism stopped immediately. I never thought I would stop doing drugs. God began healing me internally from my childhood trauma.
Three weeks later, my panic attacks and anxiety stopped. Jesus delivered me from my fear of death. He healed my mind and made me sane again. I am finally a normal person capable of loving my husband and children and being a good wife and mother. I searched for a church and found one in Hanoi and attended and soon after I received baptism.
Then, we moved to Da Nang. We live two streets away from the ocean and have a beautiful view of the mountains and the ocean. I’m still recovering and keeping myself moving forward with Jesus. But my life has changed drastically in just two years. And now, I am pursuing my Vietnam Bible Education at CLI.
Christian Leaders Institute’s Vietnam Bible Education
My spiritual dream is to tell others what Jesus has done for me and bring them to the Lord. My hope and desire are to one day teach new Christians to read the Bible and apply it to their life. I don’t know why or how I decided to apply for an online school, but I came across the Christian Leaders Institute. I decided to sign up. CLI is absolutely amazing. This free Vietnam Bible education is everything I need to grow as a Christian leader.
When the Lord saved me, He took all the bad things in my life and replaced them with a passion to spread the gospel in Vietnam. I was on fire for Jesus now. But after reading the Bible and trying to understand, I realized that I lack proper knowledge of the Bible. I became discouraged and felt like a failure. My relationship with Jesus became vague. I felt disconnected from the Lord. My passion fizzled. I needed a Vietnam Bible education!
After finding CLI, I prayed and I cried because of my thankfulness for what CLI is about. It’s exactly what I need for my Vietnam Bible education. It will help me to fulfill my ministry and to preach in Vietnam. I love everyone on the CLI team and how passionate they are about what they are doing. I can see they have a sincere love for God and the Word of God. It’s not about money for them. They honestly care! I’m so excited to take this Vietnam Bible education journey with CLI. Praise God for this opportunity. For me, it’s about studying with people who have a true love for Christ and share the same passion to spread the gospel.
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