I was thrilled when the long-awaited box arrived of beautiful masks sewn by Hmong women in Thailand. They were purchased by my friends in Minnesota to give as gifts to WMU leaders. What I didn’t know is that the Hmong women also donated 20 masks to help national WMU. Cindy Vang and Tia Underbakke sought donations for those 20 masks and $1,800 was raised for the WMU Vision Fund. I was stunned when Cindy relayed the story early Saturday morning.
Do you have a passion for missions discipleship strong enough to reach halfway around the world? Cindy and Tia have helped this group of Hmong women living in Thailand begin WMU. Cindy declares WMU has changed their entire church. She says, “Because of WMU, they do ministry together. They truly care for each other. They’ve built close-knit relationships amongst all church members.”
So how did it start? A Pure Water, Pure Love project paved the way. Next came an opportunity for the women to be involved in WorldCrafts. Hill Top Crafts has been one of our WorldCrafts artisan groups for one year. The Hmong women sew unique handmade purses. They taught themselves to sew by watching videos online. Then they moved into outreach. They’ve sewn pads for students living in Thailand to take to their home countries as a way to share God’s love. Now Hill Top Crafts artisans are hoping to teach women in neighboring countries how to sew to enable them to provide for their families.
Tia says, “It’s wonderful how when we first met them, they just kept saying they couldn’t do anything. They said they would not be able to lead, only follow. Now they dream about ministry in Laos. They are eager to teach sewing, mentor students and lead others. Only God can instill such confidence that comes from the heart.”
Cindy adds, “WMU gave them purpose. They are totally missions minded. They are ready to cross borders to help others. WMU is the heart that brought them together.”
Written by Sandy Wisdom-Martin