Christian Chronicle

From Vietnam to Kenya, two boys’ lives touched by God

How an 11-year-old came to donate ‘the biggest gift’ ever received by a California church.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

MALIBU, Calif. — A little boy from Vietnam.

A little boy from Kenya.

This is the story of how one of those boys — all grown up — paid forward his blessings from God.

The recipient of that boy’s extreme gratitude? The other boy.

At age 11 in 1975, Hung V. Le escaped Vietnam on a military transport plane, but he was forced to leave his family behind. Just a few weeks later, Saigon fell to the communists.

For the next several years, Le lived with foster parents in the Seattle area. When he finished high school, a guidance counselor urged him to consider Pepperdine University. That’s how he ended up at the Southern California university, which is associated with Churches of Christ, in the fall of 1983.

At Pepperdine, Le — who had grown up in a devout Roman Catholic household and contemplated becoming a priest — studied the Bible and felt he truly understood it for the first time. The campus minister, Tom Reynolds, baptized Le, and he met his future wife, Corinne, a fellow student, through the University Church of Christ.

“God just gave me so much more than I could ever imagine,” said Le, who earned a degree in business administration and worked on Wall Street for a few years before returning to serve on Pepperdine’s staff in 1990. “I expected a school, and I found a family.”

Not only did Pepperdine nurture Le’s faith, but the university community also rallied to reunite him with his family.

Read the full column.

This column appears in the June 2018 edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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