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Laotians are “like Mennonites”


Pastor Onong provides an overview of the Laotian Mennonite Church for members of Mennonite Church Canada’s Witness Council.

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March 18, 2011
- Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Church leaders took time away from the meeting table at this year’s Mennonite Church Canada Spring Leadership Assembly to share supper prepared by the Lao Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. Norm Voth, Director of Evangelism and Service Ministries at Mennonite Church Manitoba, made introductions.

When asked why they included “Mennonite” in their church name, Pastor Onong replied that “Laotians are gentle, peaceful, loving people, like Mennonites.”

Pastor Onong cited several challenges of being a small, Laotian congregation, including keeping second generation young people involved in the church, leadership development, a lack of resources in their first language, and staying connected with the wider Lao Mennonite Conference in Canada.

Mennonite Church Canada’s Witness ministry conducts annual reviews of its ministry programs on a rotating basis. During 2011, its Multi-cultural ministry program is being reviewed. Included in the review are site visits to as many as possible of the national church’s 45 and growing non-dominant ethnic congregations.

The Lao Mennonite Church shares space with Home Street Mennonite Church, located on the edge of Winnipeg’s downtown core.