Phat Nguyen (’16)
A middle-aged man walked across the podium on graduation day 2016 to receive his one-year Bible certificate. This was another step towards the completion of his undergraduate degree at Clarks Summit University. Behind the calm face and eager eyes was a man who walked away from a very low point in his life and is now walking toward a mission that will take him back to his native country, Vietnam.
Transformation Through Christ
55-year-old Phat Nguyen was born in Vietnam and came into the United States in 1993. Coming from a nation dominated by Buddhism and Confucianism, Nguyen never heard the gospel of Christ until recently. An engineer for most of his time in the U.S., a few years ago he suddenly fell into a dark and lonely life of homelessness in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Nguyen found food, shelter and help at the Keystone Rescue Mission Alliance. Pastor Jim Lane, counseling pastor at Restored Church in Wilkes-Barre, manages the mission’s LifeChange Residential Recovery Program where Nguyen became one of his first students. It was at KRMA that Nguyen heard the gospel for the first time in his life. One morning, while studying Romans in class, Lane recalled Nguyen genuinely concluding, “Christ is the answer.” It was at that point that he began a new journey after giving his life to God.
New Passion for Service
CSU alumnus and Pastor Tim Walker (’12) of Restored Church adds, “He studied hard, listened attentively and always gave sharp answers. One day, Phat told me that he wanted to attend Clarks Summit University because he had to learn how to go back and tell his native people all about Jesus.”
Nguyen is not only hungry to learn more about Jesus his Savior, but he wants to share the news with others. “I need to learn and know more about the Bible and the gospel so that I can go back to my country to share the gospel to the people who are in need,” he says.
Nguyen enjoyed a year of learning and growing at CSU. After one year of biblical education, he now gives back to Keystone Rescue Mission Alliance by serving as an intern and ministering to other people in need. He plans to continue his education as an online student at CSU while he serves in Wilkes-Barre to bring him closer to the mission in Vietnam that lies ahead.
Nathan Miller (’15)