Video: Laughter in language learning

Missionary emeritus Sam James and his wife, Rachel, spent more than 20 years ministering in Vietnam as IMB workers.

“I didn’t know any Vietnamese people. I’d never heard the Vietnamese language. … It was just something the Lord laid on my heart that I couldn’t get away from,” James recalls. “Sometimes I think the call of God is something of a mystery.”

Soon after learning the basics of the language, James began pastoring Grace Baptist Church in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), where believers still worship today. As war raged, he was nearly killed three times and was finally forced to evacuate Saigon just days before its fall to communist forces in 1975. No matter what James and his family encountered, he did not lose his faith in the Lord or his love for the Vietnamese people.

Listen as Sam James recounts a funny tale from language-learning in Vietnam. How do you buy a chicken with no clothes?


Watch other videos from Sam James and learn about IMB’s 175-year history by visiting