Hien and his wife Binh are Hmong, a tribal group that worships ancestors and give ‘gifts’ to the village witchdoctor to appease the spirits. One of Hien’s children became possessed by a demon and he would become very stiff as though bound with chains. In desperation Hien took his son to a Christian pastor in the next village and asked him, “Please help my son.” The pastor prayed and the boy was healed. This was a miracle! Hien witnessed it and as a result, he became a follower of Jesus Christ.
Hien could not contain himself. He had seen the power of Jesus set his son free but Hien also understood that he too had been set free. The miracle of his own rebirth as a Christian, compelled him to go to villages, telling everyone how God had reached down and rescued his son from demonic forces.
It wasn’t long before the authorities became aware of Hien’s activities and a summons was sent for Hien to report to the authorities. However, Hien decided not to go as he knew he had done nothing wrong.
Persecuted by family
The next day his uncle came to his house and with a long wooden stick, he started beating Hien all over his body. His face was cut and bruised but it was the beating on his chest over his heart that caused Hien to fall to the ground. As Hien lay in pain on the ground, his uncle took away his three children and sent them to live among other relatives.
Hien and his wife were then evicted from the village and many villagers threw rocks and stones at them as they left. “We felt very much alone. There were many people against us and we did not know what to do.” His wife Binh was so concerned about their three children that she found out where they were and took all three away from the relatives who were holding them. She took them to her mother-in-law’s place in another village. Her mother-in-law is a committed Christian and they all felt safe living in her house.
Binh’s relatives were angry with her and insisted she bring the children back, but she refused. Then they threatened Binh and said, “Whenever you return to the village, we will take your children from you.” This family is worried that someone one day will come and kidnap their children.
Faithfulness despite the devastation
Hien worked on his mother’s land. The time had come to harvest the rice so he returned to his village to retrieve his two buffalo, however as he approached the place where his house once stood, he found it had been destroyed. Even the timber was gone, distributed among the villagers. Nothing was left, all their belongings had been taken.
What was even more devastating, was the loss of their children’s birth certificates because without the certificates, the children will not be able to attend school. Hien and Binh’s ID cards were also missing. Hien was also told that because he was a Christian, his land had been confiscated and given to someone else.
As Hien walked back to his mother’s field, he was stopped by his relatives who took his two buffalo from him. Hien said, “Stop! They are all we have left.” But his relatives said, “These buffalo will be sold. They don’t belong to you anymore.” Hien pleaded with the village elder to give him permission to keep his buffalo, but the village elder was not interested in helping Hien.
Despite all these forms of persecution, Hien and Binh refuse to give up. Every day they pray God will help them. They praise God that they are no longer a slave to Satan and they know that God will never let them down.
“We now experience God’s presence within our family and our unity and love has grown stronger.”