Xing Jong-Hello! Welcome to Hmong Outreach Homepage! I shoud've made this earlier, but I just never got around to do this. Today (Friday, November 28th of 2003) was Hmong New Year at St. Paul's Rivercentre, which my sister and I attended. This seem to be an appropriate time to create this homepage. I've already gathered up resources on the Hmong people via internet, which I plan to just paste from the original Asian Student Association homepage. I added links to this throughout the years I attended UMM.
After attending a Hmong play, I notice some similarities of the "flood" story with the Book of Genesis:
Hmong Folktale on Flood, by Associate professor of anthropology at CSU, Chico and Coordinator of Asian Studies, specializing in South Asia.
Roots from Middle East?
On Saturday, Janurary 31st-a couple of friends and I were in downtown St. Paul too see the Ice Palace. It was too cold, so we took advantage of the skyway system (click skyway map) to walk from one building to another in order to get out of the cold (8 degrees above zero, a heat wave after 20 below zero all week). While getting to our destination, we were looking for a restroom. We found this place that I never been into of all my years walking through the skyway system. It was such a divine meeting place (City Hall) because it felt like "deja-vu"-I've been here before! I told my friends that I had some dream one time of me being here. While I was fascinated (praying/interceding too-asking God what is so significant about this place) with this area-about to have a friend take a picture with his digital camera-a security guy name Tong came over. He let us use one of the lock bathrooms. We ended up talking to each other about "stuff" from karate and then on Hmong history....
He shared how the Hmong people were one of 3 major kingdoms in China "before Christ". They were a powerful "dynasty" that the 2 "major" existing kingdoms came together and defeated the Hmong. He shared how the Hmong had bows and arrows, while the other 2 were still less-advanced. During this time, only people in the Middle East have been known to have a highly developed sophisticated of weapon technology-bow and arrow. This concludes that the Hmong may have some roots from the Middle East!
I ask Tong where he learned all of this, and he told me this is from stories that has been told by many other Hmong from generations before him. This was history that I never knew before, which gave me a different outlook of the Hmong people. Later on, my friend and I (two by two) would share some of the "Good News" with him relating to the "Flood" from the Book of Genesis. He told me the "flood" could be the Yellow River in China that has been know to flood over its banks regularly.
*searched "Hmong History in China" via Yahoo "Search"
I was at the Taste of Asia (Saturday, March 26th of 2005) when a Hmong speaker was motivating the Hmong American college students to "take action" about America's promised to the Hmong people who faught against the communists North Vietnamese during the infamous Vietnam War. The speaker protested with his family by walking all the way from Minneapolis to Washington D.C. in order to give attention to the U.S. Government's promise to the Hmong people. After the speaker shared before we ate ("all you can eat"), I did some research on my family's history (Filipinos fought alongside the Americans during WWII. I ended up finding a "common battle"=>see Filipino Veterans Movement (PBS).
Hmong Soccer Tournament
I've been to the Hmong Soccer Tournament several times. The most recent was this year with several of my friends (see Tour de St. Paul)...
This is an article that I wrote a few years ago and was featured in HmongToday:
A lifelong believer in traditional spiritual healing (“ua neeb”), my passage to finding Jesus Christ (or “Yexus” as we Hmong know him) has caused a drift between me and the rest of my family.
Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) when I was 12 years old, I have been fighting chronic lung disability for the majority of my life. A life threatening condition, CF has taught me a lot of things as well as raising a whole lot of questions.
Over the years, countless Shamans have treated me. My situation had been so severe at times that my parents have taken me out of state to get “spiritual” healing, herbal treatment and pretty much everything else in the Hmong healing world. They wanted so much for me to be cured, that they were willing to try everything and anything. Growing up in a huge family, I have seen more Hmong ceremonies and rituals than many people will probably see in a lifetime. With 14 siblings, there’s a lot of “ua plig” and “ua neeb” when one of us gets sick and what not.
I never really got into GOD because it just never occurred to me that I needed another religion in my life. I was in that mode of I’m Hmong so I’m believing in what our culture believes. And to be honest, I thought that those who were “Christian” were denying their Hmong culture. After all, isn’t Shamanism a defining attribute of being Hmong?
As a believer in Yexus, it is always a blessing to be able to give a testimony of coming to Him. Everytime a person gets this opportunity, it opens a chance to show others what Yexus has done. One of the affects of having CF is that you are an easy victim for pneumonia, a bacterial infection that attacks the respiratory of the lungs.
It wasn’t until high school when all the years of pneumonia really began to take its toll on my lungs. The first time I got hospitalized for about two weeks was when my lungs were bleeding. That was a time that I will never forget, because when I look back, it was a time when GOD first started to point things out to me. Eventually I recovered and was back on my feet doing thing as usual.
Usually if we don’t hear GOD too well the first time, the second time usually is a little clearer. And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, a few years later one of my lungs collapsed. So there I was again, in the same hospital, this time with tubes in my chest, wires hooked up to me and all the other usual needles that they needed to run the medicines through. I mean, if you saw me you would’ve thought that I was probably not going to make it. The first night that I there, the doctors wanted to put a tube in my chest to try to vacuum the air out. When surgery got underway, and I was drugged up, all I saw was a bright light above me. Then I saw an angel standing next to me and he told me that he was there to take me somewhere. As we were going up through the clouds on some sort of escalator, I could see angels going up and down as if they were running errands.
Eventually he took me to a room and asked me to stay there, a few moments later he came back and took me to a place where the steps stretched on for as long as the eyes could see. Then a voice came from above the stairs. All that I remember was the voice telling me that it wasn’t my time yet, and that “there was a plan for me to accomplish.”
I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but now I am starting to realize what it all meant. That sounds pretty much like a movie scene right? Well, that’s what I thought too, so I didn’t share it with anyone for a while. Weeks went by and I was talking to my aunt from Pennsylvania and she, being a Believer of Yexus herself, told me of a dream that she had the night of my surgery. She saw me standing with a man in white robes in the middle of a stairway, and an angel said to her, “Do you know that child there?” My aunt said yes I do, he is my nephew. The angel asked her, “What is his name?” And she said “Pao” (you know how Hmong people tend to have more than one name).
Then the angel said to her, from now on he is to be called “Xamuyeej”. Awaking from her dream, she was in tears and singing that name out loud. Let me tell you, when she was telling me this, a million things began running through my mind. This was the beginning of the road to Christ for me. It wasn’t until recently when I started to really know GOD. I am now experiencing Him in a way that I can truly make sense of all of my past encounters with Him.
Take for instance the name that my aunt gave me, Xamuyeej. About a year ago I looked through the Hmong Bible and discovered the meaning of that name. In the English translation, it is Samuel, which means that GOD hears. And I truly believe that GOD heard the cry of my parent’s heart and put it in my aunt’s mouth to proclaim that name. Just as GOD heard the cry of Samuel’s mom before she gave birth to him.
Looking back, GOD has been there for me and has taught me so much, but without any knowledge or faith in Him, I did not recognize that it was Him. Only now, like Samuel, I have heed to his calling and have a relationship with Him. Just as Samuel was called to take charge of the priesthood of his time, do I understand what my role as the first Believer of Yexus in my family is? Because I have chosen to follow GOD and my parents are still holding on to the traditional belief, there is always that spiritual conflict. Sometimes I wonder what do they think about it and how do they feel about my decision? Do they feel that I have betrayed them? Being the oldest son, have I let them down by not holding onto tradition? These are only few of the questions that run through my mind. I mean, how do you follow GOD and still be a good son who holds up the role of being the oldest? There’s so much tradition that goes against the way of GOD, so how do I deal with it?
What GOD is teaching me is that the hard times that we go through is only to help mold us spiritually. It is not always an easy lesson but He reminds me that He is only a prayer away. A question that I have had for a while and recently revealed to me is the commandment of Honoring thy father and mother. Well, how do I do that? Obviously if I have chosen the path not of tradition, have not I dishonor my parents? But then GOD reminds me that the commandment is “Honor thy father and mother”. Not, “Honor thy father who also believes in me and forget them if they don’t believe in me”.
And yes, I have actually had cousins who have said that about me behind my back. That me choosing a new faith is a slap to my parents’ faces because they are still living. Honestly it did not offend me because it lets me know that I am on the right path. Although the view for those who believe in GOD is that all will be okay when you accept Him, that is not always the case. What GOD provides is a fellowship, a relationship that will guide and direct you in life’s many challenges. There is so much to believing in GOD than just going to church, singing, and praying. It is the fact that you can build a relationship and grow spiritually and to have a solid foundation to stand on, a foundation of truth. And that in Him, I can have assurance that I am not alone in this world. Now that I have chosen to follow GOD, I am blessed with the knowledge that regardless of our hard times, there is a GOD who is in Heaven that knows me by name, and He is faithful to answer me when I call on Him."
-Radio Hmong Wameng on Tuesdays @8:30-10:30p Mpls 90.3FM/St. Paul 106.7FM Hmong American News on Thursdays @8:30-10p Mpls 90.3FM/St. Paul 106.7FM "This Is Home: The Hmong in Minnesota", tribute from Minnesota Pulic Radio
-Television Kev Koom Siab, Channel 19 (St. Paul) on M-F @11:30a & @7p
*sight of the second largest Hmong population in the U.S.
*The Hmong people do not really have a country to call home. They are descendents of a tribe of people that escaped China (Lonely Planet) to the mountains of Laos (Lonely Planet). Then after the Vietnam War, they were pushed to flee from this country to Thailand (Lonely Planet) as refugees.
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