Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month #8
"Come, All of You": words of Laotian hymn, trans. by CherLue Vang; music from Thai folksong, United Methodist Hymnal no. 350.
I-to Loh says that this hymn, with references to Revelation 22:17, Matthew 11:28, John 14:27 and Isaiah 55:1-2, is actually a Thai hymn titled "Come, Take the Water of Life" that has been transliterated into Laotian. The hymn calls for those who are thirsty to come and drink freely. The 1987 translation was requested by Naomi Southard, chairperson of the Indo-Chinese caucus of the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists. Hymnal editor Carlton Young writes, "As with most Asian vocal music, the strength and charm of this tune are lost when burdened with Western harmonies, voice leadings, and cadences."
The Rev. CherLue Vang is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries, directing the United Methodist Church's work in Thailand since 2010. He was born in Laos and is a member of the Hmong hill tribe. After living several years as a war refugee from Laos, he studied in seminaries in Thailand and Korea. He came to the United States in the mid-1980s, living in Iowa and New Jersey. He continued studies at Drew Theological Seminary followed by United Methodist ordination. Prior to his current position, he was appointed to churches in New Jersey and the First Hmong UMC in Charlotte, North Carolina.