Deep in the mountains of rural Vietnam, the radio waves crackle out from a tiny wooden house. In the Hmong family house, the small shortwave radio is mounted on the wall, just above the family altar.
To the listener’s amazement, the broadcast was in the Hmong language. All other programs offered were in Vietnamese. The presenter was talking about the creation of the world and of the Hmong. A woman came on and sang a ballad about the Creator God in the Hmong style.
Every day a Hmong program was broadcast and the Hmong family tuned in to hear the voices tell about the origin of the spirits, the sins of man, the need for sacrifice and a promised Saviour who would redeem the Hmong people.
Christian radio programs have been remarkable in their scope and impact in Vietnam. All over Southeast Asia, many Hmong are hearing the gospel for the first time via radio. A dedicated team of Hmong Christians and Western missionaries are recording, producing and broadcasting gospel programs in several Hmong dialects. Striving for an authentic and entertaining format, they utilize native speakers, traditional storytelling forms and popular ballads to relate the truths of the Bible.
The radio ministry has been largely effective in evangelizing, teaching and discipling Hmong in hard-to-reach areas of Asia. The broadcasts have facilitated and energized church-planting movements among the White, Blue and, most recently, the Black Hmong in Vietnam. Still more groups need to hear God’s story in their heart language, and the radio promises to remain a useful tool in reaching them.
Will you pray for Vietnam?
- Thank God for those who have persevered through many difficulties to develop Hmong radio broadcasts.
- As many Hmong hear the gospel for the first time, pray for thousands of new believers and hundreds of new churches.
- Ask God to make Bibles and other literature more easily available, not just for the Hmong, but also for other ethnic minority groups.
This article was originally published under the title “Green Shoots; Radio Ministry in Vietnam” on the international OMF Blog, February 17, 2017.
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