April 2018 Newsletter - "My Journey to Forerunner Ministries International" by Julie Phung
On April 30, 1975, the capital city of South Vietnam, Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), fell to North Vietnamese forces. I was a little less than a year old at that time. In 1978, my parents, along with my brother and two sisters, decided to leave Vietnam behind in search for a better future. We took off on a small, wooden boat headed out into the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean. Along the way as we were tossed to and fro in the ocean, we were rescued by a US Ship and dropped off in Malaysia. We were held in Malaysia until we were able to be sponsored by a citizen from the United States. In 1979, we landed in the Chinatown community of Los Angeles, California.
Growing up, I recall attending church in my elementary and early teenage years. It wasn’t a consistent attendance but more sporadic and influenced by friends of my parents. The little that was sown into me was enough for me to give my life to Christ in 2007. The rest of my family… well, let’s just say they will be a part of the great harvest as they have yet to make a decision to give their lives to Christ.
Most of my church experience has been in the non-denominational realm. In my early walk as a Christian, I recall joining bible study groups, attending conferences and every potluck/fellowship gathering you can imagine, and going on missionary trips.
My life started to take its course in December 2014 when I was laid off from my company after 16 years. My Christian walk started to ramp up from that point on. I started watching Pastor Joseph Prince’s teachings, and about 3 weeks after I was laid off, I enrolled into a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in Kona, Hawaii. It was an eye-opening experience for me, as I felt I was stepping out of the “traditional” church life. After 5 months in Kona, I returned to California and started to attend Vineyard Church.
In August 2015, a friend of mine sent me a short video of Apostle Mike Petro teaching on the Tabernacle. I remember thinking “Wow! I’ve never heard of this before.” With a little research on Google, I was able to locate the website for Forerunner Ministries International. A week later, I was at Denny’s in Duarte listening to a true prophet of Yah! During service, I felt in my spirit that I was in the right place. About a month after I left Vineyard Church for good and stopped listening to Pastor Joseph Prince completely.
The Lord has opened my spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear to such a greater capacity than all the years I was in my non-denominational church. I know it has a lot to do with obedience to His calling and to my spiritual father (Apostle Mike Petro), and a dying-to-self process. Having spiritual eyes and ears is one of the greatest blessings to have as a Christian, because it enables one to be able to understand the deeper secrets and mysteries of Yah and to develop a more intimate relationship with Him. Reading the Bible is so much more exciting when we rightly understand what Yah is saying.
I am so grateful to be a disciple of Forerunner Ministries International. Looking back, I can see the hand of Yahweh in my life moving me from one nation to another and ultimately leading me to Victorville, CA where a true prophet of Yah resides. Just like John the Baptist, Yah seems to call His servants the prophets to the desert! Apostle Paul told the people of Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:1 “PATTERN YOURSELVES after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah)” – Amplified Bible Version. My journey continues as I choose to follow my spiritual father, Apostle Mike Petro, as he chooses to follow Christ. Hallelujah!