In keeping with Jesus’ great commission (Matthew 28:19-20), the Global Hmong Committee (GHC) has been established by WELS to facilitate mission work to the Hmong people in the United States and Southeast Asia.
The Hmong language was put into writing just in the last 60 years, using Roman letters. Many Hmong adults and youth do not know how to read their own language. In the United States, English is a second language for the majority of Hmong. The older generation is often very limited in English, whereas the younger generation has come through schools in the United States and is quite fluent. The Hmong culture is primarily oral in its traditional communication.
This has several implications for our mission work: very diverse needs in communicating the gospel; importance of translating written materials into the Hmong language; importance of utilizing audio, radio, and video resources to share the gospel; need to teach the Bible orally; and the importance of utilizing Hmong-speaking evangelists, teachers, and pastors.
There is also diversity among the Hmong people living in the United States. Some Hmong people have lived in the States for 20 years and others have newly immigrated from other countries around the world. Many of the younger people have been born and raised in the United States. Over time, the Hmong population in the States will become more Americanized, with greater skills in English, a higher levels of education, and better paying jobs.
The additional implications for our mission work are: the need to be flexible in our mission strategy and adapt the ministry plan for the people we are serving, the need to recruit for ministry men from both first and second generations Hmong Americans, the need to be ready to conduct ministry to Hmong in the United States—both in English and in Hmong for the foreseeable future.
There are currently five Hmong congregations in the United States that are all served by Hmong Americans:
- Faith Hmong Lutheran Church – Anchorage, AK (Rev. Pao Moua)
- Family Hmong Lutheran Church – Fresno, CA (Rev. Xing Xang)
- Grace Hmong Lutheran Church – Kansas City, KS (Rev. Ger Lor)
- Immanuel Hmong Lutheran Church – St. Paul, MN (Rev. Pheng Moua)
- Trinity Hmong Lutheran Church – Manitowoc, WI (Rev. Daniel Lor)