You may have seen our security guard, Phuong, driving the golf cart around our campus at Irvine Presbyterian Church (no one drives slower than him … it’s a skill), or greeting church, staff, and visitors at the church on Sundays and throughout the week.
No matter where you saw him though, chances are that he was smiling.
Phuong Nguyen has been with Hour of Power for 16 years: first, at the Crystal Cathedral, then, at Shepherd’s Grove/Hour of Power in Garden Grove, and now, at Shepherd’s Grove/Hour of Power in Irvine.
But Phuong isn’t originally from Orange Country. He was born and raised in Vietnam and joined the Vietnamese Air Force as a helicopter pilot when he was a young man. However, when he was 22 years old, communism was on the rise and he was forced to flee Vietnam without his family.
Just two days before the communists completely took over, Phuong successfully flew and landed his helicopter on the now-retired USS Midway Navy ship in the middle of the ocean (maybe you’ve since visited it in San Diego).
Upon his arrival, Phuong remembered thinking that America was a beautiful country, but more importantly, it was free. In 1990, upon receiving his US citizenship, he sponsored his parents and siblings to come to America! While he was here, he worked various jobs in the manufacturing and computer industry.
In 2001, Phuong needed a job, so he stopped by the Crystal Cathedral to check their job openings. Soon thereafter, he got a job doing security and later he would become Lead Pastor Dr. Robert Schuller’s personal driver, often spending time with Dr. Schuller in the car while rubbing elbows with celebrity guests on the way to the airport.
Phuong learned a lot from Dr. Schuller in regards to utilizing the time and the life that you have been given. And, he was thankful that his job allowed him to spend more time with God. He recalled that while growing up, he wasn’t able to be at church most Sundays. Now, it’s part of his job!
Phuong is excited about the opportunity to have been getting to know the new faces here at Shepherd’s Grove, IPC, and Jenny Hart. He knows that there are good things to come!
If you happen to see Phuong around campus in Irvine, say hi and ask him more about his story — it’s amazing. We are so grateful to have him!