Browsing Category TNTT

Joshua 2018 – Ban Phim Ảnh

In late July 2018, I attended Joshua in Atlanta, Georgia. It was my first time going to Miền Đông Nam. Once again, I was traveling by myself, except this time, more people from Miền Tây was attending this event.

It’s funny. A month ago during Sinai 24, I told people that I was most likely not attending Joshua 2018. However, I realized that helping out at the event would fulfill a Sinai Post Camp assignment. I decided to attend Joshua 2018 and help out with Ban Phim Ảnh / Photo-Videography Committee.

Although I have owned a camera for years, I have never actually been officially part of Ban Phim Ảnh for any event until now. It has always been unofficial, so this was basically my first time being part of this Ban. Before, I would be more relaxed and capture whatever I wanted. However, since I was officially part of the Ban, I felt an obligation to actually be working. The main thing I took away from this experience was that this job was difficult. I had to constantly be alert, on my feet, and ready to take a photo at any given moment. I had to capture moments that were unexpected and could disappear as soon as they came. It was tiring! I gained so much more respect for my brother during this event. I never realized how exhausting it was to be the camera person.


A few thoughts that occurred to me during Joshua were the following:

  • Never have I been more proud to be from Miền Tây until now. I’m not sure if it is because of the low number of us attending or because I have recently attended Sinai 24 the month before, but I was proud to say that I was from Miền Tây.


  • Some people are already committed to misunderstanding you or disliking you. I realized that although this is sad, this does not hurt me as much as I thought it would because I have been through worse.
  • Events like Joshua are basically reunions for older people. Since I felt like this was a reunion, I guess that basically means I’m getting there (old).
  • At the same time, these events are like meeting well-known Huynh Trưởngs you would normally never meet in person, but only see on FaceBook.
  • Wow, although I knew a good majority of the Huynh Trưởngs due to previous training camps, there were still a lot I did not meet yet. I am so thankful for the friends I have made at previous camps.
Tiberia IX – Đội Anrê: Can Đảm
  • This is definitely not good American food. I want Vietnamese food… NOW.

I made a small Joshua 2018 highlight video to test out my new camera.

I am glad that I attended Joshua 2018. The experience gave me a completely different perspective on TNTT.


37th Lễ Bổn Mạng – “After Party”

You see, the thing is… I don’t drink (alcohol). Okay, I do, but probably like 5 times a year. (5 very low alcohol content drinks)

Instead, I enjoy being sober – talking and laughing with friends. This is what I consider a “good time.”

As I sat with fellow Huynh Trưởngs from other Đoàns, playing card games while sipping on my milk tea, I thank God for this simple and wonderful moment.



37th Lễ Bổn Mạng – Invitation Design

This year, I was in charge of Ban Linh Tinh for Lễ Bổn Mạng. One of the responsibilities of this Ban is to make invitations, which were to be printed and handed out to the different communities at our parish.

The criteria for the invitations were as follows:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • “37th Anniversary”
  • Both Vietnamese and English
  • Simple, but not plain design

I have been out of practice in terms of designing flyers, so I used Canva to aide in my design of this invitation. Creative people don’t always need to reinvent the wheel; we use our resources!

My initial design started out very much like the template flyer. Although I did alter some fonts, it remained mostly unchanged from the original template. I stuck with the color red or pinkish red to represent the blood of the Vietnamese Martyrs, the theme for this year’s Lễ Bổn Mạng.

Red White Brush Strokes Blood Donation Poster
Original Template


Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 12.48.21 AM
Initial Design

I received feedback and was told to make changes.

The designs were plain. Improve the design. Change “37th Le Bon Mang” to “Mừng Lễ Bổn Mạng – Kỷ Niệm 37 Năm Thành Lập”
Change  “Văn Nghệ – Sau Khi Thánh Lễ” to “Văn Nghệ – Sau Thánh Lễ trong Sullivan Hall”

Per the comments, I made the revisions.


I Googled search and found a very famous picture of the Vietnamese Martyrs. I’ve seen this picture multiple times as I was growing up so I felt like this one spoke out to me the most. Thus, the flyer received a pixelated Vietnamese Martyrs background and alternating red & white background for the text. It may not be very noticeable but, I also made the Doan name a brighter red.

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 12.53.45 AM

I received the second round of feedback and was reminded to have both English & Vietnamese. The flyer just received more text.

I received the third round of feedback. I needed to get rid of the awkward bright red stroke in the middle of the flyer as well as make the bottom seem messier with more brush strokes to match the top.

Finally, we came to this final version of the flyer. This flyer was to print on cardstock paper and sealed in an envelope to be the invitations to be handed out to the different communities in our parish. In addition, the flyer was used to promote our LBM on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 12.56.27 AM
Final Design

I am very happy with how the flyers turned out. It’s simple and yet displays the theme very well. I’ve received many compliments on the design, so there’s reassurance that this design is decent.

This is a good start for getting back into designing again!


Sa Mạc Thăng Tiến XXXVII

A part of my brain told me that I should be at the other camp, but my heart knew that this is the place where I belonged, where I needed to return to, and where God lead me to. As painful as it may have been to let go.



As I performed the semaphore message for HTDT, I was told to do it slower. “Slower? This is already slow!” I thought. Even my former less experienced students can get the message at the speed I was going at. However, I knew he was right. I had to go slower. I had to hold each letter longer than I was used to. I had to remember what letter came up next. I had to remember where in the message I was at.

And perhaps I should shift my lifestyle as well. I probably need to slow down, experience and enjoy each moment, and remember the bigger picture of the journey of life.

Amazing Race at SCU

Finally. After 5 years of being a Huynh Truong, a trip to Santa Clara University for Nganh Thieu finally happened. For the last 5 years, I kept saying that I wanted to plan out an event like this, but it never happened because I had to focus on school. But finally, in my last year of my term as Nganh Truong for Nganh Thieu, it happened.

I am so thankful for the Huynh Truongs that came out to help. Without them, this event wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you all for your support.

Crutching around the campus was tough. Real tough. A woman who just came out of mass saw me trying to catch up with the girls and said, “Props to you for trying to catch up with those characters,” as she pointed to the Nganh Thieu girls running ahead. I smiled. Their energy somehow never fails to energize me. This is why I do what I do.

Influential Person

This past Sunday (1/14/2018), one of my Thiếu Nhi kids told me that she has an assignment from school in which she has to interview an influential person in her life. “You’re an influential person to me, so can I interview you?” she asked. “Yes,” I answered, after having a moment of gratitude and love.

During the Thanksgiving retreat, the #TNTT kids have brown paper bags taped to the wall so they can write kind notes to each other. This year (2017), I was only able come for Saturday. During dinner, one of my Thieu Nhi kids asked me if I had a mailbox. I said I didn’t since I came late so she handed the note to me and told me to read it later. I told her I would read it when I got home. Thank you for your note, em. I went through one of the toughest periods of my life when I was in Nganh Thieu. I am so happy I was able to give someone a good experience 💙. Being a Huynh Truong isn’t easy, especially when you’re in school or have to study for expensive exams (currently me). In 2018, I aim to become a better Huynh Truong and do it all with love. ❤️🙏🏻