She's barely eighteen, a junior (11th grade) in high school, a fabulous student, and sounds and looks like any other young Asian student who might be living in the United States. She is not typical. Hieu grew up in Vietnam. Her story would make a good movie or bestselling book.
During that era they faced opposition and her father fought against Communistic Vietnam. He was a captive for three years. When released he fled to Thailand.
Then he began to fear arrest in Thailand for being thought a Communist so he returned to Vietnam. When it appeared he was not safe there...he returned to Thailand for three more years. As he had feared, he was imprisoned by officials who believed he was a Communist. He escaped from prison, returned to his family and immediately made plans to come to America. In America they had no contacts, no friends...they stayed a month in a church basement before finding jobs and a place to live. Hieu began high school and became an honor student. Half her family is still in Vietnam.
If you were to ask, "Hieu, what are your plans for your future?" She plans to go to college and then medical school. A young doctor with her smarts and work ethic could make lots of bucks in America...but no, after graduation she plans to return to Vietnam. Not seeking revenge! Not to make money! But to help her people who are caught in a system that serves the rich and ignores the poor. Back to a nation that imprisoned her dad and left her family floundering without a father's support.
What's her source of courage? She replied, "Because I serve a courageous God!"
"When I am afraid, I will trust in YOU!" (Psalm 56:3)