UCG Member working in Vietnam COVID-19 report

March 8, 2020

This is a report from Vietnam by UCG member Ryan Cooper who is from Terre Haute, Indiana where I once was pastor.  We are regularly in touch with him.  He previously worked in Cambodia and helped with the drilling of a LifeNets bore hole.  You can see links to our previous contacts at;



From Ryan Cooper's ryancolecooper@gmail.com):Report  

I’ve been teaching English in Vietnam since July of 2017. Unfortunately, due to the CV19 virus. I've been out of work for the last two months and I am uncertain when I'll be able to return to work. I am hoping that the schools will be open again soon.

I typically am ready to have one month off which is during their Tet holiday in January or February each year. This year however I wasn't prepared to be off from teaching for 3 months.

Visa rules will be changing this year and I am uncertain if I'll be able to remain. This is coming July 1st. Every 3 months, I've returned to Cambodia on visa runs. I would stay for a few days and then return to Vietnam.

I am currently talking with my friend Vimol and I am hoping to produce a small book about his life during the Khmer Rouge to raise funds for more water wells to be built in Cambodia. I thought of this after seeing some YouTube videos of a man who has been helping people help themselves by producing small books.

March 6, 2020

Regarding Covid 19 Virus

Thank you so much for helping me last month. I'm still pinching pennies and hoping that classes will begin soon. I am very thankful for all the people who helped me last month and this month despite not asking for their help. Another 8 or 9 people who have returned from a trip abroad came back to Vietnam with CV19.

Vincent (Tu) also hasn't had class either and I am uncertain when his classes will continue or mine will. I am still doing well and I am in good health. I'm currently staying in Cai Lay Town which to my understanding has not been affected by CV19.

The family I'm staying with has asked me to continue staying with them. I'll need to return to Saigon on the 19th or 22nd to pay for my rent there I'm staying in Cai Lay Town free of charge anthey are providing free lunch and dinner to me along with a comfortable room. However, it isn't as convenient as Saigon and I have to wash my clothes by hand in a bucket. Which I did today.

I am hoping to begin working again soon. But I am still not certain when I will be able to get back to work. So far, I've received 5 emails concerning delays for my university position I was supposed to start in mid February. In no uncertain terms, they told me that there wouldn't be any classes for the rest of this month either.

I've thought about going other places but the situation might soon be like it is here. It is not a pleasant situation to be in. In ten days, I'll be 37 years old. I'm hoping to have vegetarian style Russian salad on my birthday.

I enjoyed the updated situation about CV19 in China. In Vietnam, the situation isn't as bad but many people are afraid. Which also has made it difficult for foreign English teachers such as myself.

I've been thirfty and frugal. Pinching those pennies until they disappear. Thankfully to my own previous experiences, I am able to make a lot less last a lot longer..Please ask the church in West Terre Haute to please pray for me and please pray for me as well. I know that prayer can and does change situations such as these.

In addition to this letter, I'm sending you a picture of myself in a park called " Victory Park" in Cai Lay Town.

Kind Regards,

Ryan Cooper

February 13, 2020


I'm writing from Vietnam. The last two weeks, people have been a little hysterical about the CV Virus in Vietnam. I went on vacation last month and when I returned, I was only able to work two days. So, it's been six weeks save two days that I've been able to teach. At any rate, please pray for good health. No work, no school, no money. I guess some people have had a really hard time during this time. It's not been so pleasant for me either. So please pray for me and fellow Westerners here in Asia. Anyway, I know that you're both busy. I'd appreciate your prayers at this time. All the schools are closed and have been for two weeks now. Anyway, I feel fine.

Kind Regards,

Ryan Cooper