“And make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
Yes, we’re back and we got lots to share! Rochester Hmong 2010 Mission:
Baptist Mission Team Southeast Asia
J A N U A R Y
2 0 1 1
table of contents Inside this issue: DIA CHANG / MISSION ACCOMPLISED
KIA HER / OVERCOMING FEARS
MARY HERR / GROWING THROUGH SERVING
THAYING LEE / THE ART OF GIVING
JAMESDRUA CHANG / BUILDING THE CHURCH
SIA CHANG / THE ULTIMATE HEALER
8 12 16 18 20 24 28
We want to... The Mission Team would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for all the support we’ve received. Thank you for letting us come visit your churches, buying our T-shirts, blessing us with encouragements, prayers, and financial support. It’s still hard to believe we’ve gone and came back! We couldn’t of accomplished this much without your help. Thank you for being what the body of Christ is called to be. A special thanks goes out to our home church and families for believing in us and being mighty prayer warriors. Your prayers were not in vain, they have protected us in many ways in which we could not see, guided our paths, and allowed us to serve one another. Have a wonderful 2011!
Thank You, 2010 Mission Team
“May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
“God had only one Son and he made that Son a missionary.” -- David Livingston
We will Go! Meet the crew on page 4 —> DER CHANG / THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BELIEVERS
CHAI CHANG / BEING A PRAYER WARRIOR
DAO HERR / LEAVING A LASTING LEGACY DER CHANG
30 32 35
P aPg ae g 4 e 4
"God isn't looking for for individuals ready
people of great faith, but to follow Him" -Hudson Taylor
Go! Just Go!
Right. Left. Wrong. Right—Go! No stopping
There are no wrong moves, you’ll learn from
Inactions. You’re are scared to do this? I’m sc
Completely wrong direction at f
g and looking back. No What-Ifs. Just Go!
m everything. There are no mistakes except
cared you wonâ€™t do it. GO! Even if its in the
first. Say your prayers and Go!
"Insert picture here"
Dia Chang/2009-2010 Mission Director
nspired by Matthew 28:19-20, the vision for the 2010 Mission Team was, “Go.” I was moved by what Jesus commissioned in this verse and wanted to challenge myself and others to live it out. As the leader, I wanted the team to be not only inspired, but to learn to be obedient to God. Also, I wanted to take the team overseas in 2010, but I had no idea where we would serve. Little did I know, God had already laid out the blueprint. Our main requirement was to be obedient and go. One of our team members mentioned a Hmong pastor who was experienced in overseas missions with the Hmong believers. I got in contact with him and invited him to speak at the mission conference at our church. He shared his experiences overseas and the needs of Hmong believers there, and he spoke of possible mission opportunities we could participate in. The team came together afterwards and discussed the possibilities of going on this particular trip. We heard of the need for a church building and our hearts stirred to respond to that need. The Mission Team consisted of 11 individuals, but only eight were able to go on the trip themselves. We met every Tuesday night for almost a year to prepare for our mission. First, we studied the book “Acts 1:8” by Nate Adams, which challenges and empowers the Church
to be on fire for missions. Next, we were given practical ways to share our faith through the book “Share Jesus Without Fear” by Linda Evans Shepherd and William Fay. Lastly, we grew in service through the book “The Call to Follow Christ” by Claude King, which focused on six disciplines for new and growing believers. The team was divided into groups of two in order to teach in these areas: youth, women, men, and children’s ministry. The pairs then prepared their own lessons and study materials, which were translated into the Hmong language to give to the believers. A few days before leaving on the mission, we came together to fast and pray for strength and boldness to complete the task before us. In addition to preparing spiritually, there was a huge need to be financially ready. The team organized multiple fundraisers. We sold our Mission t-shirt, egg rolls, and noodles. A sports tournament was held in the summer with various foods to purchase. I would like to thank the Hmong Baptist churches in Minnesota for their generous freewill donations and all those who gave. We are deeply grateful for your support and love for missions. As a leader, I faced many obstacles and spiritual battles. I felt Satan’s attacked from every direction, trying to scare me into backing out of the trip. A couple weeks before the trip, I broke down before the Lord several times. It was only prayer and the Word of God that strengthened
Accomplished! ―Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19-20 me, drawing me closer to Him. If I was not on my knees praying, I would constantly talk to God in my mind at work, driving, or just around the house. Once, while I was cleaning the house, I had a feeling of fear and death, and questioned myself, “Do I really want to go on this trip? It could be my last chance on earth.” However, God knew my deepest thoughts and was quick to rescue me. He reminded me of Matthew 17:25, “For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” I fully surrender to Him and a sense of peace came over me. I knew that if anything happen to me, God was in control of my life. Being a leader has taught me the value of prayer. It is an extremely vital form of communication with God. Without that relationship, we’re not able to discern His voice.
but in the fourth village, only half of the team was able to go, due to dangerous circumstances. This was the village that had requested help to build a church, and we were privileged to lend a hand financially. As I spent time in each village, my love grew for the women, and I saw that their love for me was bigger than I expected. It was a joy to share the gospel with the women as I felt the Holy Spirit working through me. I felt the strength of Philippians 4:13 come alive: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” On multiple occasions my body was physically drained, but the power of the Holy Spirit came upon me, and I was able to teach for as long as the believers would listen. I also noticed the words that came out of my mouth were not my own, but the words of the living God. This reminds me of God’s promise to Moses in Exodus 4:12. Moses was not the best speaker, yet God chose him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God told him, “Now Go, I will help you speak and will teach you what to say,” and that was exactly what I experienced. I taught various topics to the women such as marriage, being a beautiful woman in Christ, fellowship, prayer, and how to worship the Lord with all your heart.
requirement was to be obedient and GO”
On October 28—November 14, 2010, the team of 8 flew to Southeast Asia. We had quite the experience, which our parents had told us about: eating on the ground, walking in slippery mud, riding motor bikes, going to the bathroom outside, and sleeping on wooden boards. However, the most memorable experience was being with the believers. We taught, prayed, sang songs, glorified God, and fellowshipped together. We traveled to a total of four villages,
My husband still has a hard time believing our team, especially his wife, traveled across the world to go where few have gone. To be honest, I’m amazed myself at what God has accomplished through the team. Looking back, I realize this mission could only be crafted by the Master’s hand. God was involved in every aspect of the trip: who would go, which villages to visit, and how we would get there. With God as the ultimate leader, I rejoice in our accomplishment and how far we’ve come. We trust that our short time spent with the believers has encouraged their faith. We pray the church being built will be a place to worship and glorify the Living God, and it is our hope that one day we can fellowship side by side with them again. I want to thank my Heavenly Father for allowing our team to go on this mission. I know that He was there with us teaching and instructing us the whole time, just as He promised in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will council you and watch over you.” Also, I want to thank our Mission Team. You have been there with me through the thick and thin, always willing to participate in all the activities. Yes, we reached every goal that was set. Through the times spent together, I got to see how each of you has grown to love the Lord even more. Each of you hold a special place in my heart, and I praise God that each one is gifted differently. Last but not least, I want to thank our church for supporting us financially, through prayer, and by words of encouragement. As the Mission Director, I am proud to say, “Mission accomplished!”
"Being a leader has taught me the value of prayer"
Over coming Fears Kia Her
aith in itself is a form of overcoming fears. We as Christians have to put ourselves and our faith in a God we cannot see or feel, but one whom we know exist. To others it is mind-boggling to even think of having faith in a God they cannot physically see or feel. To believe in a God of spirit would mean to change their concept of everything that they know of the physical world. To overcome fear is also to put trust in God to take care of everything. As physical beings, we may get trapped into thinking of our situations at the moment and forget to trust in God to keep us safe. It is probable that everyone has faced this situation before in life, not just instances of safety, but also instances of security or the well-being of family members. When going into the mission field, faith and trust in God are key points to staying focused and grounded when things get tough. For myself personally, there were instances when I felt fear, but my trust in God helped me to get through it. The first time I felt fear on this trip was when the team traveled from the first village to the second village. We had to travel by motor bike, each person riding with a different person. To prevent suspicion, we were supposed to travel by two’s, but we were not told this in our hurry to leave. We were informed to leave so we left not knowing our destination or who our drivers were. Dia and I were the second ones to leave the village. We had left at about the same time but 10 minutes later, one of my driver’s tires popped so we had to go back to get it fixed. Dia and her driver stopped to see what was wrong, but then left without my knowing—I thought they were behind my driver and me. However, when we backtracked about 5 minutes to the last little village we passed. I saw that Dia and her driver were not behind us. All of a sudden, I found myself alone with a total stranger who I was supposed to trust to get me safely to the next village. But I thank God that the older brother who was traveling with us saw my driver and me, and stopped to wait with us. However, the brother and I were separated for a long period of time since our drivers drove at different speeds. I found myself fearing for my life, and all I could think of was, “God, I don‟t know what is going to happen to me. If something happens to me out here, I trust in you and I know that you are in control. Whatever it is, I know it will be your will.” Some images flashed through my mind of things that could happen to me. I will let you know that the worst ones came to my mind—situations of murder and rape with no one aware of what had happened to me. In those moments, I was probably preparing myself for the worst possible thing that could happen to me all alone out there. The one instance
where I thought I was done for, was when my driver all of a sudden stopped on the side of the road and told me to get off. It was dark outside in the middle of the mountains with no lights. I panic and thought, “Why does he want me to off?!” Thankfully he only wanted to check the tire he had just changed. Unfortunately, this was where I accidently burned my right leg. While getting off the motor bike, my calf touched the muffler and was burned. We were barely half way to the next village so I couldn’t do anything for my burn leg. I wasn’t sure if it would get infected or even how bad the burn was. By the time we got to the village, about a half-hour later, the burn had turned a green color—its size a circle about the width of three fingers. This was a lesson for me to truly trust God in all things because I had no control over anything. Everything was in God’s hands.
sus suffered. It is a privilege that they have been given, being able to experience physical suffering. This is what holds them so strongly to their faith. Because they are persecuted, they love and hold onto God even more. Their land is truly a land where it is not free to worship God. The Lord wanted to give us the experience of those who are persecuted. Christians in the States are truly blessed with freedom of religion—free to worship who we want and when we want. We often take this for granted. Maybe due to our freedom, we have forgotten the true sacrifice of following Christ. Believers there are looked down at and abandoned by family for their beliefs. Even so, they hold onto God and their faith. Seeing and experiencing their faith and perseverance through persecution is a lesson we all can learn from.
fear is to
put trust in
I think the situation that required complete trust in God to keep us safe was when we arrived at the last village—not fear for ourselves but the fear of the consequences for the people if we were found in that village. The officials had knowledge that there were foreigners in the village so they came to investigate. They were unaware of how many of us there were. All they knew was that two foreigners were spotted. They were told by the leader of the village that these two were only visitors and had left. However, they didn’t believe him, so they regularly came to check, disguising themselves in casual wear. Due to this situation, we were forced to stay hidden, teaching in houses far from the main road. This situation was a glimpse into their daily lives that God may have wanted us to experience and see for ourselves.
God to take care of
Our people are poor, looked down at, persecuted, and forgotten. But there is much hope for them as followers of Christ, for it says in John 15:20, “Remember the words I spoke to you: „No servant is greater than his master.‟ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” They have the experience of suffering the way Je-
Maybe we will not be so quick to forgo church on Sunday to go to a party. Perhaps we would be more diligent in learning about God and living so that others can see Christ through us. Maybe we would be moved to help those who are persecuted. The possibilities are endless. One thing I know for sure is that God is worth it! He is worth all the suffering and is enough for us. All we have to do is trust in God’s promises. The people there know it. It’s about time we take it to heart as well.
â€•And this gospel of the kingdom will be
testimony to all nations, and then the e
preached in the whole world as a
end will come.â€–.â€“ Matthew 24:14
Growing Through Serving
s a child I can still remember telling my parents I wanted to become a missionary. The first time I heard of a missionary was from my mom. Every Christmas holiday my mom would prepare an offering for the Lottie Moon Foundation. Lottie Moon was a godly woman who served faithfully in China for 39 years. She left all her comforts in order to obey Godâ€™s calling. Lottie Moon was probably my first real role model after my mom. She set a great example which encouraged me to live out my faith to its fullest. Growing up, I participated in small mission opportunities such as singing at churches, weekend retreats, and helping with Vacation Bible School, but nothing out of my comfort zone. As soon as I heard that our mission team was going to Southeast Asia, I knew it was finally my chance to do what I had felt was tugging at my heart for so long. It was my chance to go all out for God, my chance to put my trust in God without a doubt. While overseas, along side with Thaying, we taught Sunday School lessons to the teachers who ministered to children. In our home church, Thaying and I teach Children's Service and Sunday School. Going there, I wanted to observe the difference in teaching styles and the difference in the children's everyday life compared to those in the United States. When our team finally arrived in the first village, I was both excited and nervous. Since it was my first time out of the States, I really didn't know what to expect. Stepping into the house where Thaying and I would be teaching the teachers was an extremely frightening moment for me. With my best
effort, I tried to greet them and smile, but inside I felt I was about to cry. I knew my ability to speak Hmong was not at all at the level I wanted it to be. Luckily, Thaying was teaching the first part of our lesson which gave me time to re-organize my thoughts and emotions, because next I would be teaching some games based on the Bible lessons we had prepared. I started off stumbling on all my words and had to look to Thaying for help on most phrases and explanations, but after playing a few games with them, my cry inside soon turned into cries of laughter. Besides teaching games, we got to teach them a few skits. They had never seen or done a skit before with their kids. This was a big shock for me since my home church loved to perform skits
for special occasions at church. Thaying and I taught 12 short skits for them and shortly after we had our students prepare one for us. It was such a joy to see their performances. Although we were there to teach, I felt like we were sharing our ideas and figuring out what materials worked best for them. Overall, everyone was learning from each other. Looking at it that way made my fears slowly fade away. Page 17
Arriving in our 2nd village, I was determined to spend time with the children. At first the children were extremely shy and wouldn't even come within 5 feet of me. So I decided to bribe them with candy and teach them how to give highfives. Sometimes I think I relate better to kids because I still want to be one, and soon I became one of them. Everywhere I went, I was walking with a pack of kids surrounding me. At the end of the day when all the teaching was done, the kids asked me to teach them praise and worship songs. Sitting on the wooden bench and singing for hours into the night with the kids was probably the most precious memory
I held from the trip. The fellowship I had with them was priceless. They love the songs so much that they had me write the lyrics to the songs even though most of them could not read. I remember one of the little boys telling me he wanted to keep it so that when he did learn how to read, he could teach it to his friends to share his love for God. It's amazing how these kids think and it made me realize how much they love God. I was the youngest member among the Mission Team and probably a bit less experienced and less confident than the rest. Before the trip, I had a lot of fears and worries. I prayed about the language barrier, safety, and good health. But I was very burdened by the fact that I kept second guessing myself with questions: “Was I good enough to go and spread the Word of God? What if it's not my time to go and share my faith?” I was afraid of failure and rejection. What helped me get through this time was the verse that our mission team had been focusing on in Matthew 28:18-20:
―Was I good enough to go and spread the Word of God?”
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
After reflecting on all 3 villages, I saw that they were all a bit similar. Everyone was equally eager to learn from our team. They wanted to squeeze every last bit of what we had to offer them. I recall the students sitting for 3-4 hours writing away on notepads and asking questions. I also saw that fellowship was needed in every age group. There was so much they wanted to know about us and asked about how we came to Christ and how we worshiped God. But ultimately, I saw what they all deeply desired. They wanted to experience God, know Him more intimately, feel His presence, and serve Him. I heard multiple stories in each village of how they lived for nothing but God. This gave them hope because without God there is no point in living. Growing up in the United States, I don't think we fully comprehend the meaning of this. I pray that I will always have an open heart like them to desire God. I am truly thankful and blessed to have been a part of this year Mission Team.
The Art of Giving ―All my needs you have supplied. When I was dead you gave me life. How could I not give it away so freely? And I‟ll follow you into the homes of the broken. Follow you into the world. Meet the needs of the poor and needy God. Follow you into the world…I give all myself to you…” - Leeland (Recording Artist)
couldn’t stop thinking about these lyrics. The month before leaving for our mission trip I sang, “Follow You” by Leeland. When I sang this song I kept thinking, this song is a confession, a promise to God and those who heard me to follow Him wherever He would lead me. I couldn’t sing this song without getting emotional. These words spoke to me and prepared my heart for the coming trip. Our mission team spent two years preparing to go. We did numerous fundraisers and relied upon hundreds to pray for us while we were overseas. I spent around $3,500 getting a passport, visa, airline tickets, medical checkups, and supplies. I spent a total of about 44 hours riding in an airplane. Can you imagine this was my first time ever riding in one? Going overseas, I expected that I was going to be giving up a lot. I expected to go nights without sleep, not have much to eat, have no flushing toilets, be tired, and constantly surprised by the things I saw. Of course, imagining it and experiencing it are two different things. But in all my preparations, I was thinking about how and what I could bring or give to them. Never did it occur to me that they would be the ones who would be giving to me. To share each story and piece of memory would take a book and a DVD. So instead I’ll share one from each village that resonated within my heart and personified the very essence
of this verse: “They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on” Mark 12:44. For two weeks I existed in a world that I’d never known before, and experienced what it was like to be on the receiving end of a self sacrificing love. Page 19
Our main contact was a pastor, who throughout our trip would keep in contact and check on us. I believe out of all those involved with our mission trip he worked the hardest. He planned our travel arrangements, got all the details finalized, and was our liaison between the other villages. In short, he was like a conductor to a beautifully orchestrated piece. So much of his time was sacrificed to deal with all the little issues concerning our team as well as traveling back and forth to aid us. Our first time tasting what it was like to live among the Hmong people there was spent in his village. We slept in his home and ate the food he and his wife helped cook for us, for the three days we spent in his village. He treated us like his very own family and watched over us carefully, like a shepherd overlooking his little flock of naive foreigners. He was a man who served God faithfully no matter the cost. Giving out of his pocket, his home, his heart, and out of his wisdom he gave it all freely.
keep us there with them longer. The house that we slept in had three beds made of wood boards. The family gave us two and they all slept on one. Many of the other visitors to this village slept on the floor. The pillow that I slept on that night was padded with their clothes. I was in awe when I saw the khaki pants, and so very humbled by the way they simply wanted the very best for me. The daughter that helped cook and wash the dishes didn’t know how old she was nor could she read or write. She would be the one to make the biggest impression on me. Out of their poverty they gave everything, all they had to live on. Having this experience how could we ever question that the Savior of the world came to save the broken, weak, and impoverished. How could we ever question that we too, as believers, are to give to those in need.
“Never did it occur to
me that they would be
the ones who would be giving to me”
I was quite moved by the Holy Spirit singing hymns in the second village, while sitting among the believers. I had an overwhelming feeling of love from God and could sense His promise of protection, guidance, peace, and hope. The day we left this village, they called us all on stage to present us each with a small bundle of gifts. This touched me so much; I couldn’t stop my tears from falling. The fact that they knew we had more than theyng would ever make in a lifetime, and yet so willingly gave their own to us just testified of their love for God. They truly and willingly gave out of their poverty. In the third village there was a small sense of fear and anxiety among the villagers with our presence there. Even among that they protected and provided for us. Many of the women gave the clothes off their backs in order to
This experience made me wonder, “Am I worthy enough? Do I deserve to be treated in such a way?” But, I realized it wasn’t me necessarily, but for God’s honor and glory alone. Treating us with love and kindness with honor and respect, they were ultimately serving our Lord Jesus Christ. How could this experience of self-sacrifice and giving not change ones mine or anyone perspective on life? There is nothing on earth that can compare with experiencing and seeing the power of God’s love and how His love alone changes lives. Simply, the art of giving is allowing the love of God to flow unhindered and endlessly through you. I can testify that these believers, half way across the world, with so little, gave everything and more. “For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more, and they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.” 2 Corinthians 8: 3-5
HAT KY FEET T <——-STIN S GOOD NEW BRING THE
These girls look kinda lost...
Fresh of the PLAN
With the kids in Village 2
Yep, we played cards too!
The church we help fund
Praising God in the 2nd village
Gotta love the fruits!
We’re trying to fit in Since when did Dao become a cowboy?
Yes, we went bull riding too!
Dia trying to catch her breath The Team at a flower garden
Dao’s favorite dish: Pho !
It’s a bamboo shoot!
Guess who fell ——->
of our This was one ! favorite meals
Building The Church
S Page 25
criptures states in Haggai chapters 1 & 2 that God will not pour His blessings on those who only look for their best interest and forgetting the goodness of the Lord throughout the years. However, if we are devoted to the Lord’s work and establish a place of worship, God will promise to bless our land and the fruits of our labor. I often wonder how we can receive God’s blessing if we do not have a place to worship him. A place to worship is important for believers to have communion with God and receive His blessings. God has set upon my heart for the last 4-5 years to build a church for the needy who could not afford a place to worship. Therefore, I implemented for our church departments to give a certain portion from their 2009 budget to meet this need. I asked for 10% from the WMN, 10% from Brotherhood, and 5% from the Youth. Our Mission Team then brought that money to help a congregation in Southeast Asia to build their first church building. We accomplished much during this mission trip to Southeast Asia because God was guiding our way. The Mission Team was able to teach and encourage many of our brothers and sisters. I had the privilege of teaching and uplifting the men in each village with lessons that I’ve prepared. Every village we went to, the leaders and men provided motor bike transportation for our team. It was an exciting yet frightening experience at the same time. My wife, Dao, Dia, and I had the opportunity to visit the village which we would be financially helping to build a church. When we arrived and saw the believers and the church building, I knew it was worth it. The village has over 100 families that are believers and there were 2 congregations in this village. My wife and I stayed behind a little longer and had a chance to visit the northern regions in Asia after the team had left back to the United States. We were able to visit and encourage several Hmong churches in the northern region and two other churches. We helped built a church building for a village in Southeast Asia, but have not built one for yourselves yet. Please pray that if it is according to God’s will, we will
“God has set upon my heart… to build a church for the needy” have our own building to worship God in the near future. I am reminded that it is more of a blessing to give and grateful that our church willingly gave financially for a good cause such as this. Please remember to pray for the particular village that we help to build a church. Pray for the authorities to allow them to worship God freely with peace.
"God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit." -George W. Peters "The Great Commission is considered; it is a
an option to be
command to be obeyed"
- Hudson Taylor "People who don't believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North and South." -J. Howard Edington
"To stay here and disobey God -- I can't afford to take the consequence. I would rather go and obey God than to stay here and know that I disobeyed." - Amanda Berry Smith "The Church must send or the church will end." â€“ Mendell Taylor
"You have one business on Earth - to save souls." - John Wesley
"The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity." -Mike Stachura â€•How many there are ... who imagine that because Jesus paid it all, they need pay nothing, forgetting that the prime object of their salvation was that they should follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in bringing back a lost world to God." - Lottie Moon
"Believers who have the Gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." -K.P. Yohannan "We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first." -Oswald J. Smith
"Go, send, or disobey." - John Piper
"Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work." - A.B. Simpson
am happy to greet all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I had the opportunity to do mission work in Southeast Asia and to see our fellow Hmong people there. We saw how adorable our Hmong people are only because God lead the way. If we were to find them by ourselves, we would not have much luck finding them due to their living locations. It is only through God’s grace and His power that I was given the opportunity to see the faith, belief and worship of our brothers and sisters in Southeast Asia.
I interacted and spoke with many of the women and mothers in the villages. Many suffer from various illnesses coupled with stress, anxiety, and frustration. I was able to teach them the Word of God and educate them on health issues to prevent sickness as well as various topics of encouraging each other, raising children, and how to prepare themselves for their husbands physically and spiritually. In addition, I also taught what some of their roles and duties as mothers and wives would be. After the lessons were over, many asked me to pray for healing and strength in their daily struggles with stress, frustrations, and hardships in their lives. Many of them also asked for medicine to help them in their healing. One of the provisions we were able to bring with us to give them was medicine. When we gave out medicines, many thought I was a pharmacist or someone with a lot of medical knowledge and placed a lot of hope in me to provide answers. Many also thought that I could provide for their heart’s desires; however, I am human like them, so all I was able to do is to pray over them.
Many of the women suffer from stomach problems, malnutrition and sicknesses due to not having enough to eat. I saw a great need for medical doctors and nurses to help in this area. Also, I would like the Christians in the USA to pray for them since they do not have total freedom of religion as we do in the United State. Their belief remains firm due to persecution and they continue to persevere, never letting go of their faith. I encourage our believers who are able to worship freely, to pray for our brothers and sisters in Southeast Asia to have peace in their lives, spiritual growth, strength, and endurance through persecutions. One aspect that draws me to remember them so much is their love, kindness, gentleness, and the goodness of their hearts. They are so encourage when Hmong Christians from the States visits them because not many have ventured to their location. I miss them so much because they truly have a craving and thirst to hear and learn more about God.
â€œMany suffer from various illnessesâ€?
Below is me handing out medicines to the women and children.
The Fellowship of the “They devoted themselves to the apostles‟ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
hen I read the book of Acts and came upon chapter two, I was given a picture of how the early church conducted itself as a community. Their commitment to love God and others overwhelms me, and I often wonder how today’s church can exemplify this to a greater degree. To widen my understanding, God strategically orchestrated this opportunity to open my eyes so I could visually see this verse come alive. Kia and I had the delightful responsibility of teaching the youth and youth leaders on the topic of fellowship and worship. The majority of our resources included a lengthy PDF file on worship, which we spent many hours translating into the Hmong written language. My portion of the teaching also included Acts 2:42, and I couldn’t help but express my joy of being able to partake in this wonderful experience with the Hmong believers. In each village, I was stunned and humbled upon discovering that many had traveled a great distance to come see us.
We discussed and studied various scriptures, sang praises to our Maker, laughed really loud while playing games, prayed for one another, learned English, ate together, and sometimes slept in the same building with each other. My heart is best summed up by the words of the apostle Paul, who wrote to the Christians in Rome: “For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” (Romans 1:11-12). The believers do not gather as often as we do in the States, due to the differences in lifestyles. In addition, the sun sets at about 6 p.m., which does hinder the assembly of our brothers and sisters. However, this does not mean that they’ve overlooked the issue. In the third village, I heard that on Thursday nights, the youth gather at church for prayer, and while worshiping in the second village, I noticed that the congregation’s calendar included nights of prayer and worship. The majority of my time, however, was spent with the youth, which allowed me to view their interactions with each other. Often, I will see
demonstrated with much joy what it means to be a servant of Christ, and this love was evident in their giving. When the Church acts like the Church, it truly glorifies the Lord. I agree with Paul when he states in Galatians 6:10, "So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." Paul is saying we have a special calling to love and serve everyone, but let us not forsake our own body, the body of Christ and to care for her needs first. As believers, we ought to look out for one another, edifying each other in all the ways that we can. I can stand and bear witness that our brothers and sisters have gone exceedingly above and beyond to execute this verse.
the girls laughing together while washing dishes and the boys helping with cooking and preparation for meals or classes. Although many were young, they were very polite and well-behaved. The younger girls referred to me as their older sister and I was called a pastor’s wife a few times, which was funny. Their thoughtfulness shined through on several occasions. We received several invites from individuals to share a meal with them at their home. Many times while eating, they would refill my bowl with chicken and rice without me realizing it. They did it so often that it became normal for me to return the kind gesture.
Within our mission team, I was able to observe our fellowship with each other. I saw compassion as the team helped children carry heavy potato sacks and paid for one another’s meals, sometimes going as far as to pay for four or five meals. More than once, when I ran out of clean clothes to wear, the team was gracious and quick to cloth me. Many of us experienced health issues in different forms during the trip, and in all cases, I witnessed concern and care for one other. Sharing one another’s belongings —such as toilet paper, toothpaste, medicine, money, and sanitary wipe —demonstrated kindness rather than greed. Even when anger erupted, it was later replaced with seeking forgiveness and having grace as Ephesians 4:32 states. These very acts are what Christ calls us to display to make Him known. The Bible declares in 1 John 4:12, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”
“When the Church acts like the Church,
The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone, but with a community of close believers. Even Jesus didn’t do ministry alone. He recruited the 12 disciples to help. This is not to say He couldn’t do it alone, but our God is a relational Spirit and He created us as relational beings. Let’s not neglect the blessing of fellowship with each other, but use it to our advantage to support, grow, and be encouraged. Please pray for our Hmong believers overseas. Pray that the fellowship within each village will be strengthened and rooted even deeper in Christ, and that it will reflect the communion of the Trinity.
it truly glorifies the Lord”
Although we were only able to stay one or two days in the three villages, my heart was drawn to each. I pray that our short visit has encouraged the Christians there. On the other hand, their generosity has blessed me beyond measures. The believers, young and old, worked diligently to provide for our every need, treating us with the utmost respect. The mission team went with the purpose to love, edify, and serve the body of Christ, and in return we received the same, if not a better blessing. They have
I Chai Chang
am very grateful and thankful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of the Mission Team to bring the Good News to every corner of the earth just as it says in Matthew 28:19. In the beginning, I had planned and was preparing to go with the team to serve overseas in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, I was unable to go with them. Perhaps God didn’t see fit for me to go this time and He had different plans for me here at home. Even though I couldn’t be with them on their journey, my heart was with them and I constantly thought of them. In the end, I stayed behind and vowed to be a prayer warrior for them. I prayed for them every day and every moment that I thought of them, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2. For three consecutive Saturdays I fasted and prayed for the mission team. These were the main things I prayed about:
1. For them to be healthy. 2. For them to be protected from others who would stop them from serving God. 3. For the Holy Spirit to give them strength and encouragement. That He would enable them to speak and act according to God and not of their own desires.
Finally, I want to encourage all of the believers, everyone, whether or not you are serving here at home or overseas, to faithfully pray every day to the Lord. Pray that the power of the Holy Spirit will be with all the missionaries who are currently doing the work of God, for this is the purpose of becoming a child of God, to be the Body of Christ who glorifies Him to the end.
4. For their safety.
This was the hardest I’ve ever prayed in my life, since becoming a believer, for those few weeks they were gone. This may be because my wife was one of the eight that went. There were many thoughts that ran through my head. “What if this was the last time we stood as husband and wife? The last time I saw her, what would I do? What if she went and never returned, how would my children and I survive?” These thoughts made me scared and I struggled to cope. I was worried but I wholeheartedly dedicated myself to prayer during that time. As we live, we only “To place an know of today.catch We don’tthe knowreader's what holds for attention, us tomorrow. Even if a couple loved each other very much sentence from the story hereinteresting on earth, in the end, each individualor willquote walk their own path according to their faith. You cannot bring anyone to heaven just like in our here.” situation when my wife went leaving me and the children behind in order to follow God’s call to serve Him overseas.
the hardest I’ve ever
prayed in my life...”
During that time, no matter how worried or fearful I was, I placed my faith in the Lord. I gave all of my fears, worries, and everything to the Lord. I trust that the Lord was with each and every one of them guiding and leading them wherever they were. I have seen that God’s power and love is bigger than I can imagine. He has enable my faith and prayer life to grow even stronger than before. Not only that, He has encouraged and inspired me to continue to read His Word more than I have in the past. I know that if we do what is pleasing to the Lord, He will answer every prayer and desire that we ask for, just as the Bible declares in John 14:14, “Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
“You know the saying, „Four months between planting and harvest.‟ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.”
Leaving a Lasting Legacy Dao Herr/Der Chang
ebrews chapter 11 is often known as, “the hall of faith.” Proverbs 10:7 says, “The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.” People like Abraham, Jacob, Noah, Rahab, Enoch, David, and many others were noted for their remarkable faith and the legacy they left behind. If we examine the history of most of these people, we would realize they are far from perfect, yet God dubbed them as heroes of faith. Since they chose to walk in complete surrender, their legacy to this day is preserved from generation to generation. God is a rewarder of the obedient and faithful. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Someone once said, “The way we live our lives here on Earth will determine how we are remembered.” During the mission trip to Southeast Asia, one noteworthy legacy that I’ve come to grasp was that of Pastor John Lee (Xh. Vamtxoov Lis). Who would have imagined that a poor Hmong boy would grow up and lead thousands to know Christ? John accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior at the age of eight when an American missionary traveled to his hometown to share the Gospel. Prior to the visit, the Hmong villagers had heard the Gospel through the radio broadcast by FEBC (Far East Broadcasting Company). For centuries the Hmong people have been oppressed by ancestral worship and trying to appeasing evil spirits. Many yearn to be liberated, and as a result of one obedient
servant, John and his entire village of 3000 people came to believe! John later attended Bible College and pastoral training though the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) and in 1975 married Pai. In 1979, a few years after the Vietnam War ended, John and his wife migrated to the USA and settled in California. John and Pai teamed with FEBC in order to continue spreading the Gospel in the Hmong language to listeners in Vietnam, Laos, China, Burma, and Thailand. Despite the slow response in the beginning, they were not discouraged but persevered. Within a few years, an overwhelming amount of blessing poured in with letters of conversions and thankfulness. FEBC reported in 1990 that in Vietnam alone, 330,000 Hmong people had become Christians due to the broadcasts by John and Pai. The ministry continued to flourish for many years as numerous Hmong people came to know Jesus Christ. It was a heartbreaking day in December of 2002 when John died of a heart attack at the age of 53. His funeral lasted several days to allow relatives and mourners from all over the world to see him, and as many as 5,000 people attended his funeral. Those who were unable to attend grieved for many days for the loss of one of the most beloved minister ever known in the Hmong community. Growing up in the United States, I had heard of Pastor John. I (Dao) still remembered when he came to my church in Akron, OH as a guest speaker for our revival in 1994. At that time, I was 16 years of age and did not recall what he preached about, but I do remember him asking me to help sell his merchandise. I bought some of his tapes and he gave a few to me for free because I helped him. Many of the children in our Rochester church, who are now young adults, remember watching his Christian cartoon videos and the “Jesus” movie which he dubbed the voice of Jesus. In addition, one of our team members, Chai Chang, recalls being personally influenced by Pastor John’s radio ministry. While living in Ban Vinai, Thailand, Chai’s family was of the Catholic faith but had never really heard of Jesus Christ before. As a preteen, Chai came to understand who Jesus Christ was in 1990. His be-
lieving cousin had invited him to listen to Pastor John’s broadcast. Pastor John was gifted in preaching and possessed a distinctive voice which many came to love. It was then that Chai was exposed to the Gospel. With eager anticipation, he tuned in every night at 6 p.m. to hear Pastor John’s messages. Sometimes when the radio connection was poor, Chai would use extra wires to connect to the antenna. Today, we are able to witness the fruits of Chai’s faith because someone had already planted a seed within his heart at a young age. This past fall, the Mission Team had the honor of visiting several Hmong villages and I was amazed to observe the fruits of Pastor John’s legacy. Many of the believers we met came to Christ because of his radio ministry. They expressed that his voice was gentle and welcoming; bringing comfort and hope when there was none. I also had an opportunity to spend the night in the second village at the house of one of the leaders. He and his family treated me very kindly as we talked, laughed, and shared about life and faith in the Lord. He spoke enthusiastically about his faith and shared his conversion to Christianity and the ministry he led. He, too, reaped the benefits of FEBC’s ministry. As he spoke, it dawned on me how much God loves the Hmong people, so much that He would reach out to them in remote areas through a radio broadcast in their native language. This leader’s entire family accepted Christ because they were weary of ancestral worship and the bondage of Satan. Their lives were forever changed when they decided to follow Christ. They now experience hope, faith, peace, and joy. The stings of death are soothed through the victory of Jesus Christ in the empty tomb. However, as in communist countries, a conversion is usually accompanied by consequences, and this man spoke of the struggles and sufferings he endured after his conversion. Not only did his own father threatened to reject him if he did not renounce his faith, but this man also experienced persecutions from relatives and non-believers in his village. I rejoice with him in the fact that he remained faithful, refusing to deny his Savior. It wasn’t too long before God called him to share the love of Jesus to his neighbors and to serve as
a leader for believers in his village. He explained how the believers had to meet secretly to worship God so as not to attract the authorities. Early each morning around 2 a.m., the leaders would individually find a place of solitude to pray. Several times, this man was captured by the authorities, put in jail, beaten, and tortured for his faith. Even so, it could not break his faith. The persecution continued for some years until he and his family migrated south to establish a new village where they were able to worship God more freely. This story is one of the many legacies that resulted from Pastor John’s radio ministry. I now believe even more that one faithful person can really make a difference. I commend Pastor John for his faithful dedication to bringing the Gospel to our brothers and sisters in Southeast Asia. His life shines as a witness of his passion and love for the Lord. Pastor John will continue to be remembered for the godly legacy he left behind. Now, the question I want to pose is, “What kind of legacy will you leave behind?” Is it one to bless others, or will it rot and be disregarded? Our thoughts should be kingdom minded —viewing life as a vapor, acknowledging we could die any moment, and realizing what we do here on earth counts toward eternity. We must learn how to be faithful stewards of each breath God has given us. I commend saints like Pastor John, John Wesley, and Hudson Taylor, who have gone before us, setting examples for us to follow. They willing gave of their time, resources, and personal comforts in order to advance the Kingdom of God. With boldness, they took the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Furthermore, they faithfully answered the call to be His hand and feet to the poor, brokenhearted, prisoners, and mourners (Isaiah 61: 1-3). They acknowledged that becoming a Christian is more than just attending church, giving tithes, and doing good deeds. Instead, as disciples of Jesus Christ, they desired to know the heart of Christ. All too often, Christians are content to sit on the sidelines while needs go unmet. We can’t change the world for God until we are ready and willing do something. So I ask again,
“We must learn how to be faithful stewards of each breath God has given us”
“What kind of legacy will you leave behind?”
*Resources regarding Pastor John’s Bio are credited to FEBC. To support the ministry of FEBC, please visit : www.febc.org
The legendary Pastor: John Lee
The complete 2010 Mission Team Der, Thaying, Mary, Kia Mai Kao, Sia, Dia, Mai Yia Jamesdrua, Chai, Dao
All questions can be address to us by mailing to: Hmong Baptist Church ATTN: Mission 2911 18th Avenue NW Rochester, MN 55901 www.rochesterhbc.org