The Recent Hmong Revival

Part 3 of 3

The first White Hmong in Vietnam began coming to the Lord through a Gospel radio program broadcast into the country through the Far East Broadcasting Company’s (FEBC) Manila station in the late 1980’s by Hmong pastor Vam Txoob Lis (John Lee)[1].  There are numerous stories of Hmong living in North Vietnam coming across the gospel radio messages from the FEBC in their own language and being astonished at what they heard, as broadcasting in Hmong was forbidden by the Vietnamese government. These people heard the Gospel message about how they could be set free through Jesus Christ and that God loved the Hmong.  What these initial listeners heard and believed, they then shared with their fellow villagers and neighbors on a large, widespread scale.  An estimated 80,000 – 100,000 White Hmong eagerly surrendered their lives to Jesus in one year.  As the revival and listening to the FEBC broadcasts spread in subsequent years in Vietnam, China, and Laos the number of Hmong becoming Christians rose to the hundreds of thousands and continues to this day.

  Photo: Flower Hmong woman building a house. Wikimedia Commons. Uploaded by AlfredBoc.

Photo: Flower Hmong woman building a house. Wikimedia Commons. Uploaded by AlfredBoc.

The Hmong Christians currently have three immense obstacles going against them.  In addition to being an ethnic minority – which entirely marginalizes them in the ruling government’s eyes – many Hmong also sided with the American military and CIA during the American war in Vietnam and Laos.  Additionally, Christianity is often seen as an American ploy to control people and overthrow the government (it's not.  Indeed what makes good Christians also make good citizens of any nation. They do out of a love of God what others do out of duty to government).  The result: the Hmong have suffered tremendously and are considered the most distrusted and hated people group in these Southeast Asian countries. Yet the Hmong are still coming to the Lord in great numbers.  With so many Hmong coming to the Lord over the last 25 years, a problem exists which we see too often in our work in restricted nations: the great and growing need for Bibles for these marginalized and persecuted Christians:  

  • It is no stretch to say that the need for White Hmong Bibles exceeds 50,000 and the need for other Hmong groups is just as great leading to a need of hundreds of thousands.
  • Ten Bibles can be printed for $40 - $70 depending upon the Hmong subgroup we print for and the print method we need to use.
  Photo: Flower Hmong woman. Wikimedia Commons. Uploaded by XtoF.

Photo: Flower Hmong woman. Wikimedia Commons. Uploaded by XtoF.

The Hmong are just too tightly restricted to get a total count, but we can say with certainty there are many hundreds of thousands of Hmong Christians asking for their first Bible.  During this time in human history, God has put us – western Christians – in the unique position to be the ones who can actually do something to help meet our brothers and sisters in Christ’s need either by helping to fund the Bible printing, or actually going and carrying the Bibles to these restricted countries.   

Getting Bibles to the Hmong can be a slow and tedious effort due to the security restrictions and many more Hmong come to Christ as we work to get already existing Christians Bibles (some of whom may have been waiting DECADES for their first Bible).  Yet the impact of a Bible for the Hmong is almost incalculable.  The reports from our contacts on the field are that when Hmong believers receive God’s Word and read it, their addictions to Opium are broken and they remain firm in their faith, even as they receive pressure to turn from Jesus from their non-Christian Hmong neighbors.  As in other restricted locations, one Bible is often shared with multiple family members.  Sometimes a Bible is broken up into pieces and shared with multiple members of a congregation, or even among multiple pastors.  This is one of the reasons why the print Bible remains the best means to meet the Hmong’s need for Bibles. Please pray for us as we raise the funding for 1,500 Hmong Bibles in 2016. What part might you play in getting God's Word to the Hmong? Would God have you give or pray to help meet this need? 

  • Pray for the safety and strength of teams from Biblia Global and other partners who carry Hmong Bibles into restricted nations. 
  • Please pray that the revival and remarkable growth in the Hmong church and that God’s Spirit continues to touch these people’s lives. 

Notes:

[1] Ngo, Tam, “The “short-waved” faith: Christian broadcasting and Protestant conversion of the Hmong in Vietnam”, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen.  Retrieved online 9/13/2015 at http://www.mmg.mpg.de/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/wp/WP_09-11_Ngo_Short-waved-Faith.pdf