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Sunday School Around the World: The Khmu

The Khmu are a tribe of people who live mostly in Southeast Asia. Many Khmu are animists, or spirit worshipers. They do not love the spirits they worship; instead, they fear them. Spirit worshipers try to do things to please the spirits so they won’t have “bad luck.”

Read in the update below about how one Khmu family came to Christ.

A previous post told about Hmong families who were kicked out of their village for their faith in Christ. A report from VOM’s tells what happened next.

Four Hmong Christian families in Laos who were driven from their village because of their faith continued to share Jesus even while camping in a rice field. In early February, village authorities confronted the Christians, insisting that they renounce their Christian faith. When the families refused, they were expelled from the village.

The group of about 28 men, women and children ended up camping in a rice field, where they were soon visited by a curious Khmu family from a neighboring village. The Hmong Christians eagerly told the Khmu family about the great creator God who is all-powerful over the spirits and who sent his Son for them. The Khmu family came to faith in Christ, even inviting a VOM partner to visit their village and share more about Jesus. Recently, government officials visited the Hmong families and later told local authorities that the families have a right to believe whatever they wish. Pray that these believers will be allowed back into their village.

More Khmu are hearing about Jesus’ love for them and they are coming to Christ, too! The photo above shows Khmu Sunday school children learning more about God. The teacher’s face is hidden to protect her identity from people who do not want tribal groups in Asia to become Christians.

Laos: “I Know Exactly That God Helped Us”

Children in Laos learning Bible stories

Twelve-year-old Khamphuy was having trouble breathing. Like many other people in Laos, he and his family were spirit worshipers. They were afraid of making evil spirits angry.

So Khamphuy’s parents took their son to spirit doctors. The doctors told them that they must kill some of their farm animals to please the spirits. Then maybe Khamphuy would get well. Khamphuy’s parents paid the doctors a lot of money for their advice.

“I did many things to sacrifice to the evil spirits,” said Khamphuy’s father. “But the spirits didn’t help us. The evil spirits just destroyed us. They destroyed our pigs, our chickens, and our money.”

And Khamphuy grew sicker.

Khamphuy’s aunt, who lived in another village, was a Christian. She introduced Khamphuy’s family to a Christian leader in her village. Khamphuy’s parents did not believe in Jesus, but they were desperate to help their son. So they took him to the Christian leader.

Christian believers in the village placed their hands on Khamphuy and prayed, and he began to get better! The family stayed with the Christians for a week and learned about the God who loves and heals people. One by one, they placed their trust in Jesus.

“I know exactly that God helped us,” said Khamphuy.

The family is now persecuted for their faith. But they continue to share the gospel with others and to lead friends and neighbors to Christ. “If we believe in God, we have strong help,” said Khamphuy’s father.

To Do and Think About
Khamphuy’s father said, “Please pray for me to have strong faith and follow God and know how to lead my family to walk with God. Pray for the people around me to know God through my life.”
•    Will you pray for Khamphuy’s father and family?
•    How might the people around Khamphuy’s father know God through his life?
•    How might someone come to know God through your life?

Kicked out of Town

Recently, officials in Laos forced three Hmong families to move out of their village because the families follow Jesus. The children in the photo are part of those families. Their parents are trying to find another place for them to live. The Voice of the Martyrs will help them move.

The Hmong (pronounced “mong”) are a group of people from Southeast Asia. Large numbers of Hmong live in Laos, Vietnam, China, and Thailand, and some live in Myanmar (Burma).

Many Hmong practice animism, which is the belief that bad luck comes to those who do not honor and please spirits. But many Hmong in Asia are becoming Christians! It is believed that more than 50 percent of Hmong people in Vietnam are now Christians.

Sometimes the authorities in countries where Hmong live allow them to worship God, but sometimes they try to stamp out Christianity. Hmong Christians have been attacked, arrested, and imprisoned for their faith. Their houses have been burned down, and they have been kicked out of their villages for refusing to deny Christ. New Christians have been fired from their jobs. Non-Christian neighbors and relatives of Hmong Christians often persecute them, too.

If you want to learn more about Hmong Christians and how to pray for them, you can download Bold Believers of the Hmong People from the Downloads section this site.

Laos: Sai

Laos children praying

A VOM worker recently shared the following story about a boy in Laos, where many people are Buddhists and very few are Christians. Read the story, then please pray for Sai.

 “A boy named Sai is the son of a military officer,” the VOM worker said. “Sai became a Christian last year. Now his parents do not like this, and they curse and threaten him. Sai walks about 3 kilometers (about 1.9 miles) from his village to attend a house church. But now his parents are forcing him to stop attending the church.

“Sai is still able to live with his parents and to eat with them,” the worker continued. “But they will not give him money for school fees so he can finish his high school education this year. We will give him the money to pay his remaining school fees.

“Please pray for him to be able to stand firm in his faith, and to love his parents and not begin to be bitter toward them. Sai has said that he wants to study God’s word, and serve God after he finishes high school. Pray for his parents as well.”

Laos: Liko

Children in Laos

Village officials in Laos sometimes threaten to kick Christians out of their homes, or point guns at them to make them deny Christ. Some Christians are jailed for their faith.

Nine-year-old Liko and his family had to flee their home in a Laotian village to escape persecution. They were not able to return for almost a year.

Liko is the only Christian in his school of 200 students. All the other students are Buddhists. (Read more about Buddhism here.) The school has Buddhist idols, and the children participate in Buddhist chants every morning. Liko does not join them. “They say bad words and have a bad attitude to me,” Liko said.

“But Liko is a very joyful and happy boy,” said a VOM worker who visited Liko and his family. “He asked his father for a Bible to take to school with him so that he has something to do while the other kids chant.”

Liko is not thinking only of his own difficulties. He remembers that the children who tease and curse him do not know Jesus. “I have a chance to share about the gospel,” said Liko. “After they hear, some are not interested. But some of them ask for a Bible, and I give them one.”

A VOM worker asked Liko if he has a favorite Bible story. “I like the story of Jesus carrying the cross,” said Liko.

Liko would like to share the gospel with more people when he grows up. In the meantime, he has some questions about America. “What are some good things about America?” he asked. “What are the Christians like in America? Is the food in America delicious? How are the students in America doing in school?”

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)

To Talk About
•    How would you answer Liko’s questions about America?
•    Why do you think the story of Jesus carrying the cross is an encouragement to Liko?
•    If Liko joined the other students in Buddhist chants and did not share the gospel with them, he probably would not be teased and cursed. What would you do if you were Liko?