Hello, my name is Seng Vang and I’m the Treasurer for Unashamed Worship Ministries. I moved around a lot in the cities when i was a child but, now my home church is Hmong Community Alliance Church and Northbrook Alliance. I am 25 and is now currently living in Brooklyn Park Minnesota. I enjoy being with friends and people that love to talk about God. I also enjoy being outdoors, singing, games, doing group activities, and worshiping God through music and prayer. I just like to take the time to share with you my testimony of how I came to know Christ as my beloved savior.
Growing up I was a street boy, who roamed the streets with other kids. Living in St. Paul, MN, there were many of us who found love and acceptance through friendship in the neighborhood. I remember getting into streets fights with other kids and stealing from local grocery stores. One day there was a school bus in the middle of summer, an elderly man came out and started talking to me and my friends about God. We didn’t care much about it but I knew deep down something was trying to get my attention. I was about 11 years old at the time so I didn’t understand what that elder man was talking about, but he was nice and gave us candy.
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18 NIV)
As I was moving from elementary to middle school, I moved out from the neighborhood and lived with my sister for 3 years. During those 3 years, I lost contact with most of my friends and really missed them. During the second year I came back to see them, but everything changed. Some of those who I knew really well started to smoke and do drugs. My best friend at the time asked me if I wanted to go to the store with him, so I did. When we got there, he started asking people to buy him cigarettes and from there on, I was disappointed and knew I had to stay away from that life style. One visit was all I needed to open my eyes that the world got the best of them, and I needed to move on.
“Do not envy wicked men, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.” (Proverb 24:1-2 NIV)
In August of 1999, my sister went on a camping trip with a church and I had to come along. I didn’t know anyone there so, I was very shy and still shy today too *cough cough*. As I was there everyone sang songs and were really happy and enjoying themselves. Inside I felt really bad because I didn’t know who this God was that they kept talking about and I wanted the joy that they had. The youth leader named Dan Herman knew that I was new so he tried to make it fun for me and talked with me. I was surprised that he even talked with me because I had the thought that these people were holy people and they wouldn’t want anything to do with me. People being nice to me was actually weird for me because not many strangers I met were nice.
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV)
Everything was great during the camping trip until the last day that we were there. On the last day everyone wanted to go swimming so we all went swimming by the mini lake near by. As me and five others were swimming, we wanted to play a game of tag so we swam around. One guy chased me so I quickly swam fast outward to the deep end part of the lake. While I was swimming, I realized that I didn’t actually knew how to swim and I gotten too far. I tried very hard to keep afloat but, I couldn’t so I began to drown. As I was drowning, I thought to myself that this was the day I was going to die. However, I didn’t want my life to end this way so I cried out to God to save me. I didn’t know who God was, but thought that maybe he can save me. As my foot reached the bottom of the lake, I was terrified and yet angry. Angry at God that I barley got to know Him and now I was going to die without Him. When all that fear and anger went away I slowly prayed to God that I don’t care anymore about this life. That was when God gave me the will to live, and spoke to me. All I can hear in my head was, “I have called you by name and you will die to yourself and live for me.” After that moment my leg pushed from the bottom of the lake and I came to the surface to yell out for help. Two of the guys that was swimming came my way and grabbed me. Ever since that day I knew that God had a purpose for my life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)