The Hmong: Touching an Entire People Group with the Word of God
by TTB International Director & C.O.O., Gregg Harris
One of the most exciting aspects of world missions
today is the tremendous number of people turning
to faith in Jesus Christ. In Africa, Latin America, and Asia, thousands are becoming Christians every day. During a recent radio interview I conducted, the head of TWR’s ministry to China told me that an average of 20,000 people per day are committing to follow Jesus!
|Hmong women in traditional garb wait in front of their church. There are not enough churches or pastors to accommodate the large number of Hmong that have come to Christ in recent years.
|Why Memory Chips?
This new digital technology has some wonderful benefits:
- A single memory chip can hold over 30 hours of audio programming.
- It allows the listeners to hear when they want and as often as they want. For example, the same TTB program can be replayed over and over again for study or review.
- People can access much more programming than through traditional radio broadcasts.
- One chip can reach many more people through the formation of listening groups.
We praise the Lord that the harvest is so plentiful. But this exciting trend introduces a vexing problem. How will these new believers be discipled? How can they be grounded in God’s Word so they won’t fall away or become ensnared in false doctrine and cults? In the parts of the world where Christianity is growing most rapidly, there are not enough churches with trained pastors to handle this flood of baby Christians.
Christian leaders all over the world tell us of the vital importance of Thru the Bible in grounding new believers in proper doctrine and understanding of God’s Word. We believe that God called TTB to be part of the answer to this massive challenge, and with your support and prayer we are able to take God’s Word into places where these things are taking place.
One such people group is the Hmong, who number in the millions and live in the mountainous regions where China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos converge. The Hmong made international headlines in the late 1980’s when 300,000 converted to the Christian faith after listening to radio broadcasts from Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC)! Not long after this joyful event, terrible persecution arose against the Hmong Christians. Believers and pastors were interrogated, tortured, and imprisoned for their faith. Some were fined as much as a full year’s salary and forced to sign documents renouncing their faith in Christ.
But persecution could not put out the fire of God’s Spirit in these faithful believers. The church has continued to grow in spite of the opposition, but the problem remains of a lack of sound and comprehensive teaching of the Bible. For this reason, the leaders at FEBC asked TTB if we would support a Hmong translation. Seeing how powerfully God had moved and the great need, we joyfully accepted the challenge. Work has begun on translation and production of TTB-Hmong, and we hope to begin distributing the programs later this year!
FEBC has been building a system of content delivery where listeners can obtain programs on digital memory chips that can then be inserted into cell phones for personal listening or speaker boxes for group listening. The system works much like our public libraries. The listener joins the program and chooses the programs they wish to hear. After listening, they can update their chip with new content and continue their study.
I’ve personally witnessed the impact of programs distributed through memory chips and speaker boxes in a Southeast Asian country. I saw them at use in shops and homes. Pastors told me that they use the programs to prepare their sermons. I heard testimonies from those who say that these programs have become their greatest comfort in difficult circumstances. The teaching of the Word of God is their lifeline, and they are unspeakably grateful for our commitment to bring it to them.
Because most Hmong live in densely-wooded and remote mountainous terrain, many listeners will have to trek hours or days to obtain the audio content. This program distribution strategy will allow them to take a large number of TTB programs with them. The director of this ministry has told us that he expects listeners will spend hours listening each day because they are so hungry for the Word of God!
Please pray for those involved in the translation and production of TTB into Hmong. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to use these programs to bring listeners to Christ, to strengthen new believers, and to equip pastors and evangelists. Your prayers and financial support make it possible for us to move where God leads! Thank you for your loving and faithful partnership in this great work.