Category Archives: Lao Evangelical Church

Annual Meeting and Election of the Headquarter

By Nha Long Xiong

Winton, CA – The Lao Evangelical Church Headquarter has its Annual General Assembly Meeting held on February 6th, 2016 at LEC Merced in Winton, CA.IMG_0859

The local weather was in the high 64 degrees with heavy fog in the morning and beautiful sunny sky in the afternoon.

There were approximately 80 to 90 attendees, including local board officers, representatives, and church members. However, only about 78 church board officers and representatives were eligible to vote.

The Annual General Assembly Meeting started it off with some important reports from the Headquarter followed by the Men Headquarter, Women Headquarter, Youth Headquarter Department, and local church. These reports were on local church membership, finances, activities, and issues. Some other discussion/action items from the Headquarter have also been shared and needed the approval by the general assembly as well.

The election of the Headquarter Officers and Board Members would no longer be in July of this year or any upcoming years. Although, the Headquarter had been holding elections in July for the past years, the Bylaws actually required the elections at the Annual Meeting in February in accordance with Article IV, section 6.4 of the bylaws.

From left to right: Pastor Paul Lo, Elder Paul Moua, Pastor Art Sinhavong, Rev Kevin Mouanoutoua, Elder Chowwa Moua, Pastor Lazarus Lo, and Elder Nou Chong Thao.

From left to right:
Pastor Paul Lo, Elder Paul Moua, Pastor Art Sinhavong, Rev Kevin Mouanoutoua, Elder Chowwa Moua, Pastor Lazarus Lo, and Elder Nou Chong Thao.

Rev. Kevin Mouanoutoua got reelected for the second term as the HQ president, along with Pastor Art Sinhavong, Vice-President; Pastor Paul Lo, Board Member; Pastor Lazarus Lo, Board Member; elder Paul Moua, Board Member; elder Chowwa Moua, Board Member; and elder Nou Chong Thao, Board Member.

The new elected HQ Officers and Board Members will inaugurate on January 1st, 2017 to December 31st, 2018.

40 Years Celebration In Remembrance of God’s Grace

By Nha Long Xiong

September 5, 2015 – Lao Evangelical Church Headquarter and its local churches celebrated the 40 years for God bringing our people to America.

The celebration event took place in Santa Ana, CA., at the Lao Evangelical Church of Santa Ana. Click here to watch the full video.

The local weather was in the high 77 degrees with a beautiful sky and cool ocean breeze throughout the day of the celebration.DSC01170

The tent set up outside of the church parking lot and it held about 500 white folding plastic chairs inside. There were approximately more than 400 to 450 people show up for the celebration. Mostly, they all came from Northern, Central Valley, Southern California, Nevada, and Utah.

IMG_0972The celebration event marked the 40th year of the Hmong and Lao people having left Laos and resettled here in the United States of America.

In celebrating this event together, it was to give thanks to the Lord for His magnificent blessing and providing the Hmong and Lao people the freedom to worship Him and to improve the lives in this land of opportunity.

DSC00946Many great speakers were invited to speak at this event. Reverend Mouchou Mouanoutoua, one of the co-founders, had shared about the history of the Lao Evangelical Church and the 40 years celebration “The meaning of number 4th and 40th in a Christian’s life.”DSC01036

Another speaker who shared about “Where are the LEC 40 years from today” was Paul Lo, first Hmong-American Superior Court Judge, who is currently serving in the County of Merced, CA.

Some of the entertainment moments from this event were the master ceremony (MC), guest singers, church choir to the live music playing by both Santa Ana Youth and Sacramento Youth Band.

Booth was set up by each local church for displaying of its history and to fundraise.

The tombstone and time capsule memorial tree were planted at the Lao Evangelical Church of Santa Ana in remembrance of God’s grace. Each of the local church was bringing one item that commemorates its church history to place inside the time capsule box. The time capsule box shall not be opened for another 40 years.

The celebration event ended with a great commemoration and joy.
Click here to read the full report.

Click to watch the video below for some media highlights from the event.

Please adjust the settings to 720p HD or 1080p HD for video quality by clicking the gear icon in the lower-right corner.

 

The Headquarter Leadership Retreat

By Nha Long

The LEC Headquarter Leadership Retreat initially started its first event in the summer of 2011. Consequently, the retreat held once every two years.

The Headquarter Leadership Retreat Board Members.

The Headquarter Leadership Retreat Board Members.

For this year’s Leadership Retreat, the Headquarter held it at Heavenly Hills Christian Camp for the third year. There were approximately 62 to 68 registered attendees. It had a great turnout.

“Well, I think it’s great for the leaders to come and get away from the stress of work and homes,” said the HQ secretary Paul Lo, the first Hmong Judge in the United States who is currently serving in the County of Merced, CA, “Sometimes even the church comes and to really bond with each other and to get closer to God, to learn new information, new ideas, get refreshed, refresh new energy, and get back to God’s work. I mean, that’s what the leadership retreat is about.”

Church leaders registered for check-in and lodge.

     Church leaders registered for check-in and lodge.

The event did not kick off until Friday evening, but many church leaders began to arrive at the campsite early for check-in and lodge. A few church leaders rolled in on Saturday morning.

Friday evening kick-off.

                Friday evening kick-off.

The Friday evening service began with praise & worship followed by welcoming remarks, overview of retreat agenda, the purpose of attending retreats, and goals from the Headquarter secretary Paul Lo. The most exciting and fun part was the introduction. Each attendee was required to introduce and reveal one mystery thing about himself/herself to everyone. It was interesting to know that many church leaders have multi-talented abilities.

In the cabins, there were 12 bunk beds to sleep with for the attendees. Inside of each cabin, a Pastor or Mrs. Pastor was assigned to oversee and lead the cabin mates in any need of prayer requests, devotions or Bible discussion.

Group devotion time together.

                      Group devotion time together.

Starting out on Saturday morning with a chilling temperature, approximately in the low 50’s, the group set off for an early devotion. The devotion included reading passages and praying for the individual needs.

Throughout the day, the morning session service began with an opening prayer by Reverend Kevin Mouanoutoua and singing hymns of praise which led by elder Neng Chue Mouanoutoua. Click to watch the videos below.

There were three guest speakers who were invited to teach at this event. The first two speakers in the morning were Pastor Bruce Logue, Life Spring Church, in Merced who taught about “Four Lessons I Learned by Planting a Church” and Pastor Bob Niemond, Making Disciples of All Nations, in Merced, who taught about “By Now You Should Be Teachers of Others.”

The afternoon speaker was Dr. Wa Chong Yang, New York Life. He is a financial planner and a fellow Hmong Christian with the C&MA church in Modesto. His presentation was about managing money God’s way, literally the importance of tithing/giving and blessing.

“Those speakers were really good, I enjoyed all three of them,” said elder Chong Ber Mouanoutoua, Vice-President for LEC of Fresno, “They had something specific that…ua rua yug raag txug…has tas…ok yea, kuv nov qaab txug qhov ko lawm los, kuv yuav tsum tau ua qhov ko hab nawb.”

Group discussion and planning.

                    Group discussion and planning.

Church leaders came to this leadership retreat not only to learn the new information and new ideas, but also having an opportunity for discussion and planning. The church leaders were divided into a smaller group. Each group consisted of seven or eight elders. All the pastors were in one group and all the women were in separate groups. They were required to provide the information back from the group deliberation to the Headquarter board for church improvement.

Listening to testimony during campfire.

               Listening to testimony during campfire.

“I learned that the LEC is united and we helped out each other a lot,” said elder Tsaav Zeej Thao, President for LEC of Porterville, “But, in order for us to grow, we need more pastors and missionary work.”

Shortly after the dinner, church leaders gathered around the campfire in the evening to sing songs of praise together and give testimony.

The cook ladies at the leadership retreat.

           The cook ladies at the leadership retreat.

The three days of leadership retreat had come to end on Sunday. The food was good. The messages were great. Everyone had a good fellowship time together.  Overall, this year’s event was well organized by the Headquarter board members.

“We hope to provide the best information,” said Judge Paul Lo, “We try to present new speakers and new ideas so everyone can learn from…you know…learn new ideas from new people. So I hope those would be helpful.”

Click here for more photos.

By Nha Long Xiong

Church visitation by the Headquarter Men & Women Dept.

Church visitation is important because the elders come as represetatives of Jesus Christ.IMG_8574

The purpose of the Headquarter Men Department’s visiting, in other words, is to strengthen the spiritual lives of faith of the members of the local LEC congregation of Christ, to have fellowship time together, to provide ways to determine the precise needs of the congregation, to establish a meaningful relationship between the Headquarter Men Department and the local congregation.

Starting about two years ago, the Headquarter Men Department had set its ultimate vision, aim for church visitation of the local LEC churches Men Department in California, Nevada, and Utah. It was a big accomplishment and great success for the Headquarter Men Dept.IMG_8572

For this year, both of the Headquarter Men & Women Department will continue the historical church visitation legacy. This is no small task. It certainly requires a lot of dedication, transportation, energy, financial, and some good planning in conjunction with churches.

To begin with, for this year, the Headquarter Men Department had its first already visitation at Marysville church on Sunday, January 18, 2015, follows by Stockton and Sacramento church on Sunday, February 15, 2015.

The Headquarter Women Dept and Merced church ladies.

The Headquarter Women Dept and Merced church ladies.

IMG_8577This past weekend, the Headquarter Men & Women Department visited Merced and Modesto church. The members of both the local LEC congregations were overtly friendly and welcome the Men & Women Headquarter Board officers warmly. We have truly found most churches we visited always to be of that kind.

With the first day of visitation to Merced church on Saturday, March 21, 2015, everyone had a great fellowship time together. Everyone sang hymns of praise to the Lord, and then split up the men and women into groups of two.

Creative Project Idea The heart represents love for the sheepfold.

Creative Project Idea
The heart represents love by the Good Shepherd to the sheepfold.

IMG_8587For the men’s group, our newly ordained Pastor Paul Chang’s topic of teaching was about “The Lost Sheep.” Prior to his teaching, the men were divided into a smaller group of three that consisted of four or five elders. He asked each of the group to construct a creative project idea about the Good Shepherd. Astonishingly, we found all groups were very creative.

K.L. Zaam Nkaub Yang gave sermon at Modesto church.

K.L. Zaam Nkaub Yang gave sermon at Modesto church.

For the ladies, Nam K.L. Losthongsanh Mouanoutoua taught on the topic of the disciple Simon Peter.

Sunday service

                      Sunday service

On Sunday, March 22, 2015 was the second day of visitation for Modesto churches. It was a beautiful day to praise & worship the Lord. Starting out Sunday school with the separation of the men, women, and youth, everyone prayed and sang hymns of praise to God. Bible teachings were taught to the men on the topic of Commitment by K.L. Nha Long Xiong and the Apostle Paul to the ladies by Nam K.L. Losthongsanh Mouanoutoua. For the Sunday service, K.L. Zaam Nkaub Yang, Chairperson for the Headquarter Men Department, gave a sermon on “We have all we need, therefore, make every effort to grow in Jesus.”

The Headquarter Women Dept and Modesto church ladies.

The Headquarter Women Dept and Modesto church ladies.

The Headquarter Men & Women Department ended their weekend visitation to both Merced and Modesto churches with great joy, praise & worship, the Word of God, fellowship, and the authentic Hmong food.

The Headquarter Men and Women Department are delighted and thankful for the churches in leaving with good memories.IMG_8648

By Nha Long

Headquarter Banquet

Santa Ana, CA – It was a good turnout for the Headquarter Banquet.

New elected board officers swearing an oath to serve the Lord

New elected board officers swearing an oath to serve the Lord

The purpose of the banquet was to welcome the new elected board officers and turn over past paperwork and financial records to them.

The banquet transition usually held once every two years after the election of the Headquarter,  Headquarter Men’s Department,  Headquarter Women’s Department, and Headquarter Youth Department.

DSC02675For this year’s banquet, there were approximately 130 to 150 people. Most of the people who came to the banquet were LEC members. They all traveled from Northern California, Central Valley California, Southern California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Listening to Dr. Paul Lo's sermon.

Listening to Dr. Paul Lo’s sermon.

All the seats in the church sanctuary of Lao Evangelical Church of Santa Ana were evidently taken. The service program lasted about 3 hours, but it was a well-planned event. Many of the LEC singers were invited to sing during the banquet. The sermon was giving by one of the LEC members Dr. Paul Lo who is the first Hmong judge in the United States currently serving in the  County of Merced, California.

But in spite of the absence of many members coming to join this year’s banquet, there would most likely be another time.  Thus, don’t miss out the next chance of the upcoming banquet in the year of 2016.

Click here to view HQ banquet photo gallery.

Thank you to Mrs. Chowwa Moua and Mrs. Ga Pao Chang for the courtesy of these videos below.

Please adjust the settings on the screen for video quality.

By Nha Long

The week at Heavenly Hills camp

The youth camp at Heavenly Hills has come to an end at day 5. Even though the weather was typically warm during the days in the high 95’s and nights were cool, the campers still could not stop to enjoy all five days at camp.DSC01693

Most of the campers slept in cabins which hold up to 12 people in bunk beds. In each cabin, there was a cabin leader that assigned to oversee cabin mates and report any concerns or issues they may have to the youth headquarter board members. All of the cabin leaders required to meet each night with the youth board members.

DSC01521The youth camp R.E.H.A.B. event was well organized by the Youth Headquarter Board Members. They started out daily with an early optional praise and worship at 7 AM followed by the morning devotion.

Throughout the day, campers participated in various activities. But, God was the focus of their lives. They would praise and worship through prayer, performing talent show, singing, playing music, lifting their hands in adoration, sharing Jesus Christ with others, praise His name with dancing, or in some other way.

DSC01616The campers were served three variety meals a day. The volunteer mothers were constantly busy in preparing the best homemade meals all day long for the campers. The food was donated by all the churches and some individuals.

This year’s youth camp, there were fifteen youths who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior through baptism. The communion was prepared to welcome those newly accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts in that evening.

The farewell day for campers has finally approached. Most of the campers were not quite ready to say goodbye to their friends.

“I just started getting to know a few people, but it’s almost about time to go back home,” said Shoua Yang, a first time camper from Sacramento, “I wish we could stay another week here at camp.”

“Let’s go,” drivers shout out loud. “We will get home late.”

It was really sad for many campers that the youth camp was over so quickly. The campers began to depart slowly from one another. They all would go home in remembrance of R.E.H.A.B 2014.20140727_140616Click here to view youth camp video clips.

Click here to view youth camp photo gallery 2014.

Here is a short video clip of the LEC Youth Camp 2014.  Please adjust the settings on the screen for video quality.

By Nha Long

Our First day at Heavenly Hills Camp

Twain Harte, CA – My wife and I arrived at Heavenly Hills campsite approximately 9:30 PM in the evening on Saturday. The temperature was in the low 75 degrees for that evening. We did not get used to the weather in the central valley because we came from the Orange County area. Our main purpose trip is to spend a good quality time with the youth campers for a week.

DSC01450About 5:30 AM on Sunday morning, I woke up and wanted to check around the campsite. I started walking outside within the campsite perimeter around 6 AM. It was quiet, perfect, and peaceful morning. I could smell the fresh and clean air in the morning. I observed birds flying from tree to tree and saw squirrels running up and down on the campground. It started out with clear sky and beautiful day.

As the morning went by, youth campers from Banning were the first church group to show up at 8:35 AM with two-twelve passengers vans and a pick up truck loading with campers’ luggage. The rest of the church campers were arriving followed by one church at a time throughout the rest of the afternoon.

Banning church campers

Banning church campers

According to the Youth Headquarter Board, the youth camp for this year, there were more than 150 campers, not including the parents and some of the children. It appeared to be a good turnout than the previous year.DSC01695

The theme for the youth camp this year is R.E.H.A.B. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

R.E.H.A.B will breakdown as follows: R = Renew, E = Energize, H = Hope, A = Attitude, B = Behavior

Many of the great pastors and speakers were invited to give a sermon about each of the mentioned-topic a day.

We will bring you more with the latest news when the youth camp is over.