Khmu Listener Stories

FEBCFEBC Blog 8 Comments

Over 100 Khmu children gathered for a Christian youth camp put on by FEBC staff last year in Thailand, where broadcaster Samuel* encountered two young listeners with extraordinary stories.  

The Khmu are a small ethnic minority of just under 900,000 people living throughout the highlands of southeast Asia. Over 70,000 Khmu are Christians and most are listeners of FEBC programs. FEBC staff conduct frequent outreach trips to visit Khmu believers. Most of the Khmu population lives in Laos, and the group has a history of enslavement and being treated as second-class citizens in the countries they live in.  

Sunya’s Story

Sunya* is 19, and an orphan. Her parents died years ago. She became a Christian when she was 17, but her relatives who looked after her were not happy about her conversion. Many Khmu feel that believing in Jesus is against the wishes of their ancestors, who the Khmu have been worshipping for thousands of years. 

Sunya’s relatives told her that if she remained a Christian, they would stop caring for her. They even told her they would kick her out of the home that her parents left her. One of Sunya’s uncles even threatened many times to kill her…but she refused to stop believing in Jesus.   

By the grace of God Sunya escaped from these hostile relatives and now lives with a different uncle who is a local pastor and a strong believer. She has finished high school and is currently trying to get into a university to major in math.   

Mala’s Story

The other teenager Samuel met was Mala*. She is 17 and lives in a very sad and broken family. Her stepfather despises her faith and her mother hates that she is ‘wasting her time’ by going to church and associating with Christians. Her mother wants her to stop school and become a prostitute to earn money and support the family.  

Mala’s dream is to study English. Her younger sister is in 11th grade and is also a Christian. Both Mala and her sister face constant pressure from their mother to quit school and sell their bodies to make money.  

Mala’s brother-in-law is also a drug addict and, in the past, has attempted to assault her while being high on drugs. He curses at her, telling Mala she is stupid for believing in a foreign religion. Just days ago, he even pulled out his gun and fired twice in the air, kicking Mala and her sister out of the house for going to church. He threw their belongings out of the house and Mala and her sister are now staying with relatives who are believers. A local Khmu leader from the the country they live in visits weekly to encourage them. 

A New Generation of Khmu Believers

Both Mala and Sunya listen to daily FEBC broadcasts—the only Christian broadcasts that can be heard in the local Khmu language—and were delighted to meet Samuel’s father, who produces the program. FEBC staff encourage young Khmu listeners to seek educational programs to better their prospects. FEBC’s local staff host  youth camps to reach disadvantaged children like Mala and Sunya and introduce them to the Gospel.  

“Our vision has always been to encourage and plant a seed of hope for this new generation of Khmu believers,” Samuel said. “All of our staff want them to be proud of being identified as Khmu—to love their culture and speak the language.” 

“I remember our first youth camp about fifteen years ago, when, out of 100 young people, only four finished grade 12. More than half of the people who attended dropped out of school. Today, all of the youth are on the path to finishing high school, and nearly twenty are attending college!”  

“When Mala and Sunya were sharing their stories, tears came to my eyes,” Samuel said. “I know I cannot bring Mala and Sunya out of their situations, but the key thing is: I reminded them to stay strong in their faith, and encouraged them to finish school so they could leave their dysfunctional homes for a better future.”  

Thankfully, they have several local pastors who partner with FEBC in their country who follow up with them. 

Please keep ethnic Khmu listeners like Sunya and Mala in your prayers. Please also lift up our FEBC staff who serve there, as they often face persecution from the local government for spreading the Gospel.  


*Names changed to protect identities

Comments 8

  1. May they be mightily filled with the Holy Spirit and have the Word of God implanted in their hearts. The Lord is their refuge and strength. Such courageous young people.

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  2. Thanks for being a light to the people of Khmu. Thanks for sharing the most important message ever. You are an inspiration to me. Praying God’s Blessings for you all.

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  3. I have been praying for these people for many years. I will continue to pray for you. I am proud of you for following the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless, pastor Alven Mahler

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