General Vang Pao, the former Royal Army of Laos leader venerated by Hmong immigrants to the United States, died Thursday, Jan. 6 at Clovis (California) Community Medical Center following an approximately 10-day hospitalization, according to the Associated Press.
The Rev. Paul Joseph T. Khamdy Yang, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Roseville and Chair of the California-Nevada Annual Conference Committee on Hmong Ministry, is requesting that the Cal-Nev Hmong community of faith plan prayer vigils in memory of General Vang Pao. He states that it is important to pray especially for the older adults (first generation Hmong) and for the general's family, along with the surrounding Hmong communities.
"I know that General Vang Pao was not a Christian. Nevertheless, our United Methodist Hmong brothers and sisters are mourning and hurting because of General Vang Pao's passing," he writes. "I'm hoping that we can hold candlelight vigils at each of the six Hmong-American/American-Hmong United Methodist ministries in the California-Nevada Conference: Clovis/Fresno, Merced, Sacramento/Roseville, Marysville, and Oroville."