As a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Vinh Chung runs a successful private medical practice in Colorado Springs. He studied at the University of Sydney as a Fulbright Scholar and was chief resident at Emory University. He also holds a master of theology from the University of Edinburgh. Chung wrote “Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family’s Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption”, with Tim Downs and serves on the World Vision Board of Directors.
In Today’s Conversation with Leith Anderson, Vinh Chung shares his amazing refugee story of rescue and redemption.
Vinh was born in South Vietnam, just eight months after it fell to the communists in 1975. His family lost everything and fled the country when he was three and a half years old. They joined the legendary “boat people” and sailed into the South China Sea, even though they had no destination in mind.
Now as a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Vinh runs a successful dermatology practice in Colorado Springs and serves on the board of World Vision.
In this podcast, you’ll be inspired as you hear Vinh share:
- How God used a small group of Christians to bring his family to the United States;
- How his family overcame cultural, economic and language barriers as they adjusted to life in small town Arkansas;
- His experience returning to Vietnam as an adult; and
- The parallels between today’s refugee crisis and his family’s experience.
Vinh also shares his family’s story in “Where the Wind Leads”, published by Thomas Nelson.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Leith: Let’s start out by understanding a little bit about what was happening in Vietnam, and how your family fit into all of this.
Vinh: Back in Vietnam my family was very wealthy. My father’s family had this rice milling empire that was probably worth millions of dollars in today’s value. And during this time, there was a civil war between the North Vietnamese and the South Vietnamese. And the North Vietnamese government won, and after August 1975 they declared victory. And they punished the defeated South Vietnamese. My family was from South Vietnam. And they also targeted ethnic Chinese, because at that point there was tension with China. My family was also ethnic Chinese. So those were two strikes against us. And then the other strike against us was that we were wealthy. They did not like wealthy people. And so they took everything away. They took away our business, kicked us out of our house, and we were forced to live in this little shack in the rural Mekong Delta. We had no electricity, no running water, and it was eight months later that I was born. It was just a daily struggle for my parents to feed their eight children. And they knew that we may survive if we work really hard, but there was no future. Because we knew that regardless of how hard we worked — whatever we saved up, whatever we tried to do to better ourselves — at any moment anything could be taken away, because it had already happened. And so this is when my parents decided to load up their eight children and leave the country to seek a better life.
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