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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas from the Fox Cities Hmong Branch


My wife and I attended the Christmas Party of the Fox Cities Hmong Branch today, visiting with dear friends from the branch my family belonged to for a couple years (we're now with the nearby Neenah Ward). Here are a few young women (not all LDS) in traditional Hmong clothing, shortly before a dance number they performed. (Photo published with their permission.) There is an awesome generation of Hmong youth rising today. I am so impressed with the outstanding young people of Hmong heritage (or any heritage) who have made the difficult but joyous decision to follow Christ. Merry Christmas from them and from me!

I was thrilled to see some Baptist Hmong friends at the LDS Christmas party today. A little known and painful aspect of the Fox Cities Hmong Branch is that a turbulent series of events a few years ago resulted in several families leaving the Church, with several of them becoming Baptists, and even a fine Baptist minister, in one case. (I was in the midst of those turbulent events and still have some scars and deep regrets. Can't say much more than that.) While I rejoice that they are Christian and seeking sincerely to follow Christ in that way, and while I have great respect for the Baptist faith (especially as practiced among those I know in the Appleton area), yet how I miss them from the fellowship of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So good to see some of them again.

3 comments:

Walker said...

Having served a Hmong-speaking mission in San Diego myself, I always will have a very special place for the Hmong people.

Send them merry Christmas wishes from Vaj Yim Leej, a fellow brother in gospel.

Anonymous said...

While serving as a spanish-speaking missionary in Wisconsin, the Hmong-speaking missionaries were part of our language district. We would frequently go on splits together. I still remember a few Hmong phrases. Great people. Beautiful culture. Hmong kids are the cutest. Love the chicken feet on the front door.

Barb said...

This is great! My step-niece has dated a young man of Hmong ethnicity for a few years now. Each year, his family has a huge New Years party that is like a large receptions. I am not sure how many families also contribute. It sounds like quite an event even drawing local political figures. There is entertainment and good food.

Her boyfriend told me before how when he lived in a different city that he and his mom met with LDS missionaries. His mom does not speak much English and I think he said he was impressed that they spoke his language.