Neighbors of MN
T. Cher Moua

 

“On that fateful September night in 1978, my family and 400 others risked our lives to cross the Mekong River from Laos to Thailand. We had been living without hope, struggling to survive the Communist regime. This act of bravery changed the trajectory of my life and future forever.


America has been known as the ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.’ But for my brothers, mother, and me, it was the land of the lost and the home of the displaced.


My two brothers, mother, and I spent 8 months in a refugee camp when we got the good news – we were granted asylum in the U.S! On June 29, 1979 we set foot on American soil, an unknown land.

America has been known as the ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.’ But for my brothers, mother, and me, it was the land of the lost and the home of the displaced.

The four of us came with nothing, except the torn clothes on our backs. We didn’t know what tomorrow would hold.

Up to this point, our extended family had been together. We fled the Communists together. We hid from Communist Troops together. We foraged food together. We suffered together. We had never thought about separating from one another. Then, all of a sudden, we had to go to America, leaving the rest of the family behind. We were torn emotionally and socially.


By the grace of God, when we were displaced, stateless, homeless, directionless, hopeless, helpless, and future-less, He reached down into time to touch our lives through His people.


We had to leave everything we knew behind. The culture. The language. The people. The simple way of life. Everything that was familiar to us up to that point.  Even though our lives felt destitute and hopeless, that was the life we knew.

We left everything behind and ventured out into the unknown. Moving forward meant changes were coming.  But what those changes were like, we did not know.  We did not know where we would end up or how we would survive. Let alone succeed.

But by the grace of God, when we were displaced, stateless, homeless, directionless, hopeless, helpless, and future-less, He reached down into time to touch our lives through His people. While we were in desperate conditions, God’s people reached out to us, shared the gospel with us, and assured us that there was a future for us if we would pursue it.


We learned to adapt into a new culture. New way of life. A life of another jungle. The urban jungle of America.


We started this new life one step at a time. One day at a time.  We learned to let go of the past. Forget about the life we used to have, which was constantly on the move – from one mountain to the next – to settling down, even in run-down apartments on the north side of Pittsburgh, PA.

We learned to adapt into a new culture. New way of life. A life of another jungle. The urban jungle of America. We learned how to use indoor water and electric appliances and how to prepare frozen food. We learned to navigate our ways around the urban jungles of America.

We learned how to learn. Learned a new language. Learned to communicate with people from other cultures. Learned to get along with black and white students at school. Learned to befriend neighbors of other cultures and languages.


What an amazing God who redeemed me from darkness to light and called me to serve and impact others for his kingdom.


Today I serve in ministry contexts with Cru. I am on the board of Arrive Ministries. I have a loving wife, five adult children, and many grandchildren.

I have been blessed to be called a child of the Most High God and a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. What an amazing God who redeemed me from darkness to light and called me to serve and impact others for his kingdom, in this place and around the world.”

 

T. Cher Moua arrived in the USA as a refugee from Laos in 1979. He is an Arrive Ministries Board Member and a pastor. He wrote a memoir called Crossing the River.