My name is Shong Chai Her. I live in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, United States of America. My nationality is Hmong. I was born and raised in a Christian family and grew up going to church in the mountains of Laos. By going to church, I experienced church services or worship, prayer meetings, church choir, and Sunday school classes and programs, but I did not know Jesus Christ personally until I faced a crisis in my life. The crisis that I faced was an illness. Do you realize how great God uses illnesses to change a person’s life? Well, God used an illness to change my life for His glory. He came to me through an illness that brought me to Christ and changed my life.
God came to me during my illness. He came to me when I was about five or six years old. The illness that I suffered was hernia. This illness prevented me from doing any activities such as sports and playing with my friends. With this illness in me, all my friends neglected me so they did not want to play with me. I cried, was hurt, sad, angry, and frustrated for many years. Since I was all alone, the only thing for me to do was pray.
I gave my whole life to God and talked to God every day. I also asked God to help me through my illness. God answered my prayer and helped me through my illness. When I was about fourteen years of age, my family came to the United States of America. God had showed my illness to an American doctor and that doctor had cured me through a surgery. Since then, that illness left my body and I was completely healed. Shortly after my surgery, I was moved by the Holy Spirit and began to read the Hmong Bible version. But since I was very limited in English, I wanted to read the English Bible version so I can learn English as well. I used the Hmong Bible as my translator and went back and forth between the Hmong version and the English version. I then recommitted my life to Christ and was baptized in 1984. I joined the confirmation classes and youth activities. Since then, my desire was to go to Bible College and study to be a pastor for the Hmong people.
After high school, I got married and decided that I will pursue higher education later due to the family financial crisis at that time. At this time, Christ began to change my life. He directed me to study Pastoral Ministry through the Hmong District under the Church Leadership Academy of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. I graduated in 1997 and God placed me as a pastor in the Hmong Alliance Church in Stevens Point, Wisconsin in the fall of 2000.
I thank God for giving me the privilege to serve Him. He had found me through my illness and gave me a new path of life and called me to serve Him. He showed me His love and saved me from darkness. As I look back in my life; I cannot imagine how much God had blessed me. Without God’s guidance I will never be where I am now. I believe that God has a plan for me from the beginning and has a purpose for me to serve Him. I would never have the opportunity to serve God if it wasn’t from Him. He gave me everything I need in this life. Now I long for His return and to meet Him face to face in His Kingdom. Amen!
When I was young I had a dream that someday I would become a pastor. The reason I had a dream to become a pastor was because I saw that being a pastor is being full of God’s knowledge and God’s power. This made my heart thirsty and I desired the knowledge of God and His power in my life. But there was one thing that blocked my desire and that was being called a stupid and dumb person.
As I was labeled as a “stupid and dumb” person, this totally changed my character and my behavior. This characteristic began to be present in my life in everything I do. Everything I did, I got yelled at and was labeled as a person with no brains. It made me feel broken, hurt, sad, depressed, lonely, low self-esteemed, and it deteriorated my physical body as well. As a result of this, I felt that I was no longer worthy to live anymore, but by the grace of God, He allowed me to live. This reminds me of Jeremiah 10:14 “Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge.”
God, therefore, directed my life to the United States of America and gave the opportunity for me to learn and become who I am. Even though I was labeled as “dumb and stupid”, God always had a plan for me because He loves me and gave me time to find His knowledge, wisdom, and to find out who I am through learning and studying His words. This is the motivation that made me study God’s words. Therefore, I used every minute that I could to read the Bible and to learn His knowledge and wisdom. In the midst of all of this, I committed my life to Christ and asked Him to be my teacher and to guide me to all truth for His purpose and glory.
As time went on, God came into my life and revealed to me who He is. He then taught me that I am a very special person in Him and that I have a special place in His kingdom. I therefore came to my conscience and got the opportunity to put off the “dumb and stupid” characteristic away for good in the Name of Jesus Christ and claimed the knowledge of God and His power into my life. God then transformed me and poured out His wisdom and knowledge into my life. He also opened the door to train me to serve Him through the Hmong District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. I no longer hear the voices of “dumb and stupid” being whispered in my mind anymore, but I now hear the voices of Christ’s knowledge and wisdom speaking in my mind.
I never thought that I could accomplish the dream that I had when I was young to become a pastor. I only accomplished it through Jesus Christ as He said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16, NASB). As I look back in my life, I may have been worthless in the eyes of many other people, but in the eyes of Jesus Christ, I am very special and am worth so much to Him. Who could ever doubt that a “stupid and dumb” person like me could ever gain the knowledge and wisdom of God? I can only say that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, thank you so much for your love and mercy. Amen!
My family and I just recently planted a church in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Wisconsin Rapids is a small town in central Wisconsin. There are about a thousand Hmong people that live in Wisconsin Rapids and the surrounding area. There isn’t any church in Wisconsin Rapids specifically for the Hmong people. Hmong people by culture, tradition, and religion have been Shamanism for over five thousand years. The traditional practices are hard to let go by many Hmong people and very difficult to convert them to Christianity.
In 2013, I stepped down from the pastor position in the Hmong Alliance Church in Stevens Point, Wisconsin and I began to pray and ask God for direction. After a year of praying, God answered my prayers and called me to look at the Hmong community in Wisconsin Rapids. He opened my eyes and I saw that there were many Hmong people that were lost and without a Savior. There are some Hmong believers in Wisconsin Rapids, but there is no shepherd to guide them. So God directed my step and called my family to gather the believers together and to start the church plant in March of 2014. Since then, there were many struggles in our ministry. The believers were not committed to help themselves grow in Christ, the believers were not looking towards the Word of God, and the believers were not properly trained in praying, and worshipping. Also our biggest challenge is that many of the Hmong people are not willing to live the new life in Jesus Christ unless they are oppressed by demons.
I’m so thankful for God’s love and care for me and my family’s need over the years. His blessings are filled in our lives and overflowed to the Church. The Church’s main financial were our tithing from the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Currently, my family members are the main leaders of the Church until we have fully trained leaders who are willing to rise up.
We need your prayer in asking God to open the hearts of the Hmong people in this area because they are lost and living in darkness. Pray that me and my family have the knowledge and wisdom from God to lead and train the newly converts. Pray that we have bold hearts to reach out to the lost for Christ.
I thank God for directing me to CLI and to get the opportunity to listen and read what CLI has to offer. I never thought that there would be a Bible school that will ever offer a certificate, an associated, or a degree program of Biblical training for free of charge to anyone else in the world. After listening and reading what CLI offered, I am very exciting and motivated to learn from CLI. I know that this encountering with CLI is from the Holy Spirit because I was not in the mood of going back to school. One day in October 2016, there was a little voice in the back of my mind saying, “search for a free Bible class online.” At that moment, I then quickly searched online. CLI came across my search icon and I began to read the information. This is why I am here. I believed that this was from the Holy Spirit who spoke to me to search for a free Bible class online. With this being said, I very determined to learn through CLI and trust that CLI will be a great equipping training for me to better serve God, living out the call that God called me to do, and loving God and others with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. Thank you so much CLI for the scholarship because with this scholarship. It will open the door for me to receive my first College Degree and will be a window of opportunities for me to serve as a missionary to the Hmong people.