Thanks to your prayers and support, over 2,000 Sunday school manuals for children are ready to be distributed to Hmong tribal churches in Vietnam! The project had been halted due to Covid-19 restrictions. The manuals contain 35 Bible stories, all beautifully illustrated, and already over 500 Sunday school leaders have been trained to use the material. Praise God!
Thanks to your prayers and gifts, these Bibles are now ready to be distributed to thousands of children
This particular project began in 2013 in Laos — Vietnam’s bordering country — after an Open Doors partner expressed the need for an effective discipleship guide for the children of the Hmong tribal churches in Laos.
Finally, after the project was briefly halted last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, 2,279 copies of Sunday school manuals for the Hmong children in Vietnam are now printed and ready for distribution!
The Hmong tribe is one of the most persecuted people groups in both Laos and Vietnam. The governments see members as traitors of their country as they sided with America during the Vietnam-America War. When a Hmong person decides to follow Christ, they are even more oppressed, not just by the local authorities, but by their family or community. A Hmong person’s conversion to Christianity could see them expelled from their village or even imprisoned.
The Hmong people are animists, who believe that animate and inanimate objects are possessed by either benevolent or malevolent spirits that must be appeased. Consequently, the manual’s overarching theme is that Jesus is more powerful than the spirits. Its secondary theme is persecution preparedness, which is anchored in training given to older Christians on how to biblically respond to persecution.
The Hmong people are highly oral and visual storytellers and listeners, so the manual is heavily story-based. It contains 35 stories from the Bible, coupled with lessons from persecution-preparedness training, which are chronologically arranged to give the children an overview of what happened in the Bible from beginning to end.
The illustrations allow children to identify with the story of the Bible in their own Hmong culture
The stories are also accompanied with illustrated photos using the Hmong culture – the Bible characters and their clothes, for example, are placed in a Hmong setting, allowing children to recognise and identify themselves within the stories. The manual also includes questions, memory verses, creative activities, and action songs with lyrics and chords relevant to each story. Almost all of the action songs in the manual were composed by Sunday school teachers who attended the first training for this material in 2014.
James, a Sunday school trainer in Vietnam whose name we’ve changed for security reasons, is thrilled with the new manuals. “How absolutely profound!” he says. “This team I worked with was able to squeeze the gospel message into the story of The Tower of Babel. I was flabbergasted when I heard the melody. It had a very wonderful sound and tune to it. I’ve also encouraged them to put actions in the story so that the children can easily remember the song. Some of them have already started incorporating actions to some of the songs.”
Here is the translation of the song:
The wisdom of man
Built the tower
It was very high
To reach God
But human actions
Can’t reach God
We need to believe in Jesus
To reach God
If we believe in Jesus, we’ll go to Heaven
If we believe in Jesus, we’ll reach God.
In January 2021, aside from the printing of more than 2,000 copies of the manual, 18 Sunday school teachers attended the first training somewhere in northern Vietnam. And, since 2015, almost 500 Sunday school teachers, mostly young people from different churches in Laos, have been trained using this manual! None of this would be possible without your prayers and gifts – thank you.
Children can pray their way around the countries of the 2021 World Watch List using their very own Prayer Passport and map! It contains plenty of activities, prayer points, Bible verses and flags to colour in.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.