Every woman at the Naomi House carries an extensive and tender redemption story, and we see God’s favor on the business, the community outreach ministries, and the training of leaders within this ministry community.  Here are some of the stories of women who have been impacted by Naomi House.

SIRIWAN leads the ministry at the Naomi House.  She was born in a Christian family and loved church as a child, but the opposition of relatives led her to grow distant from God as she got older. As a teenager she wanted to be accepted by her relatives, so she practiced Buddhist traditions, albeit without joy. At the age of eighteen, Siriwan went to a Christian youth camp and it changed her life. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and desired to study the Bible. Her family was too poor to pay for Bible school, but after a year of praying God answered her prayers and she was given a grant from the Mennonite Brethren for a four year Bible school program! She loved sharing the Gospel and was chosen to join a team to evangelize in a village school for a week.  As they were returning home, the brakes on their truck broke, with Siriwan and other students riding in the open truck bed. Two of her friends died, and eight were seriously injured; only Siriwan and two others were unharmed. During the accident she remembers crying to God, “I want to share about you with many children who've never heard. I can't die yet!” God spared her life so she could share the Gospel with many children. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Her passion was to help many children know the Gospel.  After Bible school Siriwan worked in an orphanage for six years, three of which she worked with her husband.  They had two children at that time, and decided to open their home to disadvantaged village children, to give them a good education, spiritual nurturing and love.  They began hosting two children, but quickly expanded to seventeen. Her husband started a van business, to transport the children, and she cared for the home, garden, fish pond and chicken coop. The children lived with them for eight years.  Now those children are leaders and evangelists in the church, and some missionaries to other areas!  Later, God led Siriwan to serve with the Mennonite Brethren Foundation as the office administrator for the Chiang Mai Multiply office, and to teach the Bible at the Chiang Mai Juvenile Detention Center. At first she told God “I can't do this! I've never done this kind of office work before,” but now she understands why God called her to serve. Before the girls are arrested and sent to the detention center they have very limited opportunities to hear the Gospel, or about Jesus Christ. However, their imprisonment has given her team an opportunity to share the Good News with many of them at one time, in a central location.  The chance that they return to their old lifestyles and delinquent choices still seems high, but those that have heard the Gospel and have decided to follow Jesus have a great chance to live different lives. God has shown favor to this ministry and many of the girls over the years have prayed to receive Christ as their Savior! The prison guards noticed a change in these girls, as well.  It was then that Siriwan and Dao opened the sewing and ministry center that is now the Naomi House. Her vision is for the outreach of the house expand and to see women who have suffered unwarranted trials in their lives and have never been free to work for income, would have sufficient work to resource the the needs of their families, and have sufficient time growing in Jesus that their lives and families are never the same. Their hope is to see the entire community impacted with the Gospel message.  She and her husband, Wichian, have four children.

DAO is a Hmong housekeeper. With some sewing training, but lacking formal education, she has been jobless, taking care of her three children but desiring to help sustain her family. She and her husband have served as leaders in the church. Dao’s husband taught the Bible, but Dao didn’t have training to teach the Bible. Her desire was to help women and share the Gospel with them as they sewed together.  She thanks the Lord for a support team who were a gift from God to inspire the vision she and others have held for many years. Dao’s desire is to share the Gospel and provide life and job support for women in need. She is the head seamstress at the Naomi House, and together with Siriwan, has played an important role in developing the Christ-centered community.

JANYA, a Hmong Christian, is a refugee originally from Vietnam, escaping religious persecution to Laos, where then their houses were burned down including all the belongings they couldn’t carry on their backs when they escaped. Janya and her family escaped to freedom in Thailand, swimming across the MaeKhong river with their young children. But they couldn’t stay in Thailand for long. They found refuge in no-man’s land, a remote mountain community along the Burma/China mountain border. That community was a place where criminals were bound with chains on their wrists and released into the area to live among the refugees like Janya and others. There they were out of reach of officials and they sent word to a pastor to visit them and help bring the Gospel to the refugees.  Siriwan and Wichian went with their father, the pastor, and walked many days to find them. Later, seeing the families’ needs, Siriwan and Wichian met them in a Burmese city and brought their young children to foster them so the children could study in the city.  Currently, Janya and her family have been given permission to live in Chiang Mai, Thailand, though her husband works in Chiang Rai province north of Chiang Mai. She has 5 children. Janya prayed for 10 years for the opportunity to learn to sew and supplement her family’s income, as well as have a platform for sharing the Hope she has found.

PADONG is a Hmong Christian refugee from Laos. Her house in Laos was burned down including all the belongings they couldn’t carry on their backs when they escaped. She and her husband escaped to find religious freedom in Thailand. They swam across the MaeKhong river with their young children, but after running from authorities rice field after rice field, they realized they couldn’t stay in Thailand for long.  They found refuge in a remote mountain community in a Burma mountain range. Convicted criminals from the country were bound with chains and also released into the area to live among the refugees like Padong and her family.  Eventually seeing the families’ needs, Siriwan and her husband met them in a Burmese city and brought their young children to foster them so they could study in the city of Chiang Mai.  Later, Padong and her family attained refugee status in Thailand, and now Padong is sewing with Freedom Trades to help sustain her family. Padong has 4 daughters.

MAY is a Hmong Christian.  She has has a 9 year old daughter, and lost a baby through a doctor-urged miscarriage. May is a great seamstress and is eager to grow in her sewing skills, as well as her knowledge of her Creator. She has done sewing jobs in the past to help support her family, but those who give her work to do pay her unjust wages for the work she does, and she can’t contribute enough to her family’s living costs. May carries a servant heart and longs to use her skills to help her family and bless others.

PONPAN is a Hmong Christian who was born and raised in Vietnam.  Standing firm in their faith, she and her husband were forced to choose imprisonment, or attempt to escape. They fled for safety in the neighboring country of Laos, but after a few years, were again forced to leave for their beliefs. Her husband, a skilled fisherman, had studied the river patterns and crossed before them to the bank of Thailand, awaiting his family’s crossing at midnight. Babies strapped to mother’s backs, Ponpan and many others bravely navigated the MaeKhong river at midnight, narrowly escaping the river’s dangerous swirling tides, some of those around her ending their escape journey as they were swallowed by the river. After fleeing authorities by hiding in Thai rice fields, they eventually found safety in the high mountains in Burma, where convicted criminals were also sent. After time, Siriwan and her relatives were able to help Ponpan and her husband and 4 children establish residency in Thailand, and she is seeing her years of prayers answered. She is thankful to be sewing to help provide for her family, and leads the seamstresses in their faith journies as well, encouraging them through Bible study.

AM is 18 years old, married, and has a 4-year old daughter. She lives with her Hmong mother-in-law as her husband is in the military. As is traditional to their culture, Am serves as a housekeeper in her relatives’ home, forfeiting personal freedom. She and her family are Buddhist. Am struggles with her lack of independence or opportunity to earn income for her family, and has reached out for help. Dao has been sharing the Gospel with her, and she studied sewing with Dao. Am hopes to continue learning both the trade of sewing, as well as more of who God has made her to be.


“Hi, my name is Padong. I never had the opportunity to study in school. Being born into a poor family in a mountain village of Laos, we were evicted for our faith in God. Coming to Thailand, I haven’t worked because I lack knowledge and can’t speak Thai. With four young children, I asked God to give me work that would help support the needs of my family and schooling. I praise God for the ministry of the Naomi House. I believe it’s God’s answer to my prayers.”

“Hi, I’m M’Bao. The mercy of God has been abundant in my life. I come from a poor family in Vietnam. My father would constantly tell me I wasn’t beautiful and was useless to him. My younger sister and I tried to end our lives. But because of God’s mercy and His love through my distant aunt, Ponpan, she invited me to live with her, to work and serve at the Naomi House with her. If she hadn’t come for me, I probably would be homeless now, or even dead. I have found Jesus since being here and have so much joy in being part of the Naomi House family.”