By the second evening of the conference, Phengsue started speaking with more authority and boldness than ever before and shared that he had always thought that being a Christian meant leaving behind his Hmong identity. But he now knew that God created him Hmong for a reason and he gained a revived vision to see the Hmong community at MATC reached with the gospel.
One of Phengsue's friends expressed to him concerns about this vision. She shared that the majority of MATC's Hmong community is strongly shaman and cautioned him that many of them don't seem to have a desire to learn about Jesus. As his chapter met and prayed together during the conference, Phengsue's vision only grew stronger. By the end of the weekend, the other MATC students agreed and wanted to support him in his vision!
Phengsue is now back on campus at MATC and is in the process of writing an email to every Hmong student at MATC to invite them to his small group. In his email, he shares his vision with students, saying "On this campus, I see division and a hunger for a bigger purpose. I believe God is calling for us to gather and listen to His word and respond with action to see hearts transformed." Phengsue’s email makes evident his heart, and God’s heart, for renewed hope on campus.
Pray for Phengsue, that his own vision would remain strong, that he would be protected from spirits not of God as he reaches out, and that other Hmong Christians on campus would see his vision and join him in the work of reaching Hmong students for Jesus!
Would Jesus Eat Frybread?
This year, 26 students from 5 campuses in the Lakes and Plains region attended. 20 of those students were from the University of Minnesota—Morris. Wanting to share her vision for being a Native Christian with her campus, a sophomore at UM Morris named Angela recruited 19 other native students on her campus to attend the conference where they could explore their native identities and their identities in Christ. Some were high-identity native, others were low-identity native, some had grown up on a reservation, others in a big city, 2/3rds of the students who came were not yet followers of Jesus. She hoped that her friends would encounter Jesus at WJEF and learn that they didn’t have to choose between their Native heritage and being a Christian.
There are dozens of Native American tribes located in our region, and 16 tribal colleges in the Lakes and Plains region. We hope to start chapters on 8 of them by the year 2020. Pray for the work God is doing in the hearts of native students across our region, and at the University of Minnesota Morris?
Kate Bellile is part of the operations team for InterVarsity Lakes and Plains.