With the current news regarding General Vang Pao, I am even more encouraged to share about an article I wrote a while back. It’s an idea that I have wanted to share with the Hmong community at large but have not found the best time to do so. In the last few weeks our community have been in a very awkard position. What I mean is that although it should be a time for us to unite, there are some people who could care less about the situation. Let me know what you guys think about the article…
It was on a Friday evening as I was having a conversation with an older Hmong woman. She who was probably a few years older than my mom and younger than my dad, that is what makes this testimony valuable. We were talking about our Heavenly Father and how He has made a difference in our lives. As the conversation carried on, God was revealing pieces of history right before my very eyes.
It was as God was speaking to me and telling me why the younger Hmong generations are becoming more and more rebellious. The common respond to why Hmong are not Christians today is because we are Hmong and we should keep to our own ways. Besides, what has God done for me (and for the Hmong people)? Which is a very validate question. After all, God told the children of Israel that because He delivered them from the house of bondage, which was Egypt, He would be their God. As it is said, with a Mighty Arm the Lord delivered you out of the land of Egypt1. Though I am not saying that God brought us out of Laos to be His people, He did however lead most of us out into the “promise land”.
Thus, this is where my story begins. When the first Hmongs arrived here in the United States, who were the ones that helped us until we were stable on our feet? If we were to ask, we will hear this answer than most, that it was the Church who helped us. Whether it was a sponsor or a congregation, it was Gods people that He used to extend out His hands. But just as a son who relies on his Father when times are bad, and then disregards Him when things are well, so did the Hmong people treat God. When we came here, we had nothing, we knew nothing, and we were strangers in a land not of our own. And yet, here we are today as a living testimony that we have flourished and pressed on. So my question is, if He was the one who was responsible for our deliverance, where does God fit into the Hmong community? Some would argue that it was their relatives that sponsored them here, which may very well be true. Then the question becomes, how did their relatives get settled here?
I find it interesting that after we settle and learned to adapt, how soon most of us forgot what God has done for us as a people. Today, there are some of us who has turned to Him for refugee and as a Father. Still, there are many that have the rebellious genes in them. It is amazing then to see and hear of the elders criticize and scrutinize the young generations why they are rebellious and hard headed. Many of the things that they say when they are giving lectures are very interesting once you actually listen to it and imagine God speaking those very exact words to us as a people. Sometimes I have that burning in me to want to stand up and point that out to them (but then I lack the courage to J). Who knows, maybe someday someone will have that courage to point it out. Do not think that I am criticizing the older generations, that is not the point I am trying to make.
What I have seen is a pattern, just like a family oriented behavior that has been passed down from generation to generation. Our fathers did not see Gods hand when it was at work, and has passed that down to us. Fortunately some of us have been able to se that and have received His salvation. That is why I am very honored and humble to be able to share this with everyone. Because it is not only my testimony, rather it is a testimony of the Hmong people.
With all the tragedies and struggles that we have endured and are facing today, there is a real need for God. I also believe that we as children do really look up to our parents, but because they have chosen to rebel against God, so naturally did most of us. If our parents can only see what God has done for them, they can truly give a testimony of what God has done for us as a people. And like any other Hmong stories that is passed down orally from generation to generation, this can truly be the greatest story that we can pass down to our children as well. I challenge everyone who reads this to find out for your selves, it doesn’t have to be a spiritual quest. But I can say this much, the answers you find will spark that desire within you to seek out your Deliverer.