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I Became An Interpreter



I began to learn English at a Secondary School in Da Nang. In 1965, my family moved from the Ky Phu to Danang City to avoid the bombs. At that time the US Army had come to Danang. US military bases were set up in this city. The roads and bridges were built. The US goods were sold everywhere. The military vehicles began to appear on the street. In the sky, the jets, helicopters roared. The city had got more jobs, so everyone could find easily available ones. US troops had come to Vietnam in 1965. And ten years later many Vietnamese people came to the US and became citizens of the country. This is a thing that no one has thought of it before.

My parents have got eight children consisting of four boys and four girls. I was the eldest son. My father worked at a US base to support the family. There were a lot of difficulty for my study because I had to go to a private school. I did not have enough money for school fee. I must try to overcome all obstacles in order to go to school. I was not a good student. I was not good at subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. I have just liked  Vietnamese and foreign languages. One day I  was removed from the class because of no money for school fees. I had to stand out from the classroom, but continue to do my Vietnamese exam test. On that day my composition was gotten good marks. The difficulty did not bind my wisdom.

French was my main foreign language when I was at Secondary School. I began to learn English when I was at High School because French is no longer relevant. My English was not good at school. So I had to go to a night class of Vietnam USA Society English Center to learn. This organization hired Phan Chu Trinh High School in Da Nang for teaching English. I  went to class three times per week. The most interesting thing here was I was taught by an American teacher. He was an officer of US Army.  “English For Today” was used as a textbook. Mr. Le Ba Kong translated it into Vietnamese. I was really happy to learn English here. I began to listen and speak English a little.

Next course I did not have the money for tuition. This made me embarrassing. I thought and wrote down a piece of paper: “Can you do me a favor. I have no money for school fee.” Then I passed it to my English teacher. He asked, “How much do you want?  When?” I answered and he gave me USD 20. This was the first time I had  20 dollars. I will never forget his support. After that, I  could continue my study.  God used my English teacher to support me in times of need.
I am sure that every situation in my life is not accidental. It was set up by God.
I had tried to practice my English, then prepared to go to work. The Civilian Agency that was looking for workers for the US Army received me. At that time I was only 18. I became an interpreter for a group of Civil Affairs. The group was in Tam Ky town, about 30 miles from Da Nang to the south. It supplied war refugees who were going to the city with food, as well as building wells.  After a year of working to help the people, I came back to Da Nang as an interpreter for another military base at Hoa Khanh, near Children’s Hospital.

Pastor Hue Nguyen   

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