Like many students at Divine Word College, Binh Nguyen has an international story to tell. Vietnamese by heritage, he was born in Bangkok, Thailand 22 years ago. His family came to the United States when he was 3, then moved to Texas a few years later. After graduating from high school in 2006 and searching for direction, Binh decided to give DWC a try. Patient in his approach, over the course of his first three years he discovered his call. Today Binh is enrolled in the SVD Brother program after earning his Associate’s degree in Cross Cultural Studies in May, 2009. His long-term goal is to earn his degree in nursing, which he will use to aid the poor around the world as a Divine Word Missionary. Not bad for a young man who seemed to lack direction a few short years ago.
“Nobody can actually believe that I could make it to where I am today. Everybody thought that I would jump ship,” he said. “I believe I have a lot to offer the poor. I can’t preach to them, like a priest would, but I’ll offer any assistance that I can.”
His time at DWC has been a time of personal growth and self revelation. A piece of advice he has taken to heart is to give himself time to discern his path.
“I try not to act on impulses too much. That would just mess up my plans,” he said. “I try to do what they have taught me here—just be patient and learn about myself first—and then just give myself short-term goals and achieve them.”
Taking advantage of the wisdom of the SVDs who have shared their experiences with him, Binh in turn has been able to open up as he travels along his personal faith journey. Being grounded and comfortable in his own beliefs, while respecting the beliefs of others, has offered him a valuable piece of insight.
“I’m more religiously rooted with my faith. I strongly believe in God and I want to share that faith and tell people about it,” he said, even if some of those people do not share his religion. “As long as you live out your faith, be who you are and try to do good in this world to help others, that’s all that matters.”