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A ‘small miracle’ during Philadelphia’s peaceful riots

Vietnam Baptist Church building after it was set fire during recent rioting in Philadelphia
Credit: Pastor Philip Pham

After hearing that Philadelphia’s rioters had targeted his church, Vietnam Baptist Church, Pastor Philip Pham asked God for a small miracle. The rioters had thrown “flammable chemicals” on the church roof, setting fire to the building, that was ultimately destroyed.

The Blaze explains what happened:

Pham received a phone call on Tuesday night from a friend informing him that the church was on fire and there were seven fire trucks there to attempt to put out the blaze. Pham deemed that one thing in the church was irreplaceable: three hard drives containing important information.

Before the purchase of the building, the Vietnam Baptist Church served as a community center, which provided assistance with immigration paperwork, taxes, and marriage counseling. More than 15 years of notable documents were on those hard drives.

“I prayed right away: ‘God, please protect the hard drives,'” Pham recalled. “Other stuff can be recovered. But those files will never be recovered.” […]

“I saw the routers and modems and things surrounding the hard drives all burned, melted,” Pham recalled. “But that piece of hard drive, no harm. No harm at all. Just two feet above that, all melted. … That is amazing how God knows our needs and answers our prayers. He is an almighty God. He granted our prayer.”

READ: Vietnamese Baptist church burned down in Philly riots, but pastor grateful for small miracle: God ‘granted our prayer’

Some videos of the destruction:

It would be easy to be angry and fearful from this targeted violence, but Pham had words for his congregation.

The Kentucky Recorder reports:

In light of the violence in his city, Pham encouraged youth pastors to stress to young people the words of James 1:20: “The anger of man does not bring about the righteousness of God.”

“You cannot use your anger and be justified,” he said. “I would like to bring this message to all the young people.”

Pham said some of his church members are afraid because of the violence and looting, but he is encouraging them to keep an eternal perspective.

“So many things we don’t know, but God knows, so just trust God,” he said he told them. “Just do right. Don’t copy [those who practice violence], but do what the Bible says and what He wants us to do. Love them and pray for them that they may know Christ, that the Holy Spirit may convict them and they may seek God.”

READ: Vietnamese Baptist Church burns amid Philadelphia unrest

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