Meet Mao Her

Mao Her3Hometown
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Age
43

Home Church & Denomination
New Faith Hmong Ministry (UMC), Green Bay, WI

Degrees
B.A. in Biblical Studies, Criswell College in Dallas, TX
M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix

Garrett-Evangelical Degree Program/Year
I am a second-year M.Div. student and a certified candidate with the Wisconsin Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. I feel God is calling me to serve in local churches. Since I have been at Garrett-Evangelical, my passion for pastoral care and pastoral theology has grown.  The skills and abilities that I am seeking from my education at Garrett-Evangelical are leadership, preaching, teaching, pastoral care/pastoral counseling.

Formative Vocational Experiences
I have always had a very strong conviction that I was called into the ministry. In the Hmong culture and in the denomination that I was born into, a woman would never have the opportunity to serve as a pastor or even to hold a leadership role equal to that of a man.  So I became a pastor’s wife and served with my husband for many years. When we became United Methodists, my husband and other clergy encouraged me to pursue ministry as a pastor, but my fear of rejection as a minority woman in ministry held me back.

I was taking care of my dying mother in the spring of 2008, when I finally answered God’s call to ordained ministry. As I watched my mother take her last breath, I felt that God was communicating with me through her.  Somehow, I felt that she approved and was giving me permission to go ahead and do what God was calling me to do. Rev. Diane Rew, senior pastor of St. Paul’s UMC in Green Bay, was already encouraging me to pursue this call, because she saw my gifts and potential. After the death of my mother, I knew it was time.

Personal Information
I was born into a Christian family.  I am originally from Laos, but my nationality is Hmong.  I came to this country as an immigrant in 1979, as a result of the Vietnam War.  My father was a pastor and is now retired.  My husband and I got married in August of 1990 hoping to become missionaries, but God had a different plan for our lives. We have three children (one girl and two boys).  I have been involved with the life of the church since my youth. When I got married, I was involved with the children’s ministry and the women’s ministry in the church.  When we joined The United Methodist Church in 2003, I served for four years as president of the Hmong Women United Methodist Association and as its communication coordinator for another four years.

Your Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical
At first, I was drawn to Garrett-Evangelical because it was close to home, but since then, God has opened my eyes to ministry opportunities that I would never have thought of before. Garrett-Evangelical provides many opportunities for me to serve as a leader. For example, this year I became a part of the Women IMAGES student organization, and I am helping to coordinate the Conversation Partners program that brings together native English-speaking students and international students. My experience at Garrett-Evangelical so far has been wonderful and I thank God for the opportunity to study here and to have Garrett-Evangelical as a part of my faith journey.

Calling
After seminary, I hope to be ordained as an Elder in The United Methodist Church and work in local churches. I also hope to create a bridge between the first and second generations of the Hmong people, as well as between Hmong churches and other United Methodist churches.  I am passionate about Christian leadership, because I do not believe the church can survive in this generation without strong leaders who love God and are passionate about extending their services in love to the people around them. There is much to be done, and I am so excited about where God will take me.

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