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Laos native receives WMU’s O’Brien award

NEW ORLEANS (BP) — Laos native Mycie Vue of Brooklyn Park, Minn., has been named as this year’s recipient of the Dellanna West O’Brien Award for Women’s Leadership Development by WMU and the WMU Foundation.

With the encouragement of her pastor, Vue, a member of First Hmong Baptist Church in St. Paul, discovered WMU in 1993 when she sought a way she and other women could serve God.

Quickly seeing the value of Woman’s Missionary Union to bring missions education and involvement to her own culture, Vue started WMU at First Hmong to teach women in her church that God has a purpose for their lives.

Vue went on to establish Minnesota-Wisconsin Hmong WMU and served as its first executive director from 1995 to 2008. She now serves as president of Minnesota-Wisconsin WMU.

“Mycie sparkles because she loves God, desires to serve Him and is committed to teaching others to love and serve Him as well,” said Jeanne Wedekind, executive director of Minnesota-Wisconsin WMU who nominated Vue for the award, which was presented during the WMU Missions Celebration in New Orleans June 18.

“She communicates well and you can [always] see others smiling when they talk with her,” Wedekind said of Vue.

In addition to Vue’s service among Hmong women and WMU, she has served with the Minnesota-Wisconsin Southern Baptist disaster relief team since 2001, training other Hmong leaders for disaster relief and participating in several cleanup operations in the Minnesota-Wisconsin region.

Vue is equipped in the feeding, childcare and mud-out units and as a unit director. During a response to a tornado in northern Minneapolis, Vue assisted Hmong residents by translating their needs to volunteers on the team.

“I can always depend on her to assist our disaster relief ministry in whatever way she can to minister to disaster relief victims,” said David Wedekind, director of disaster relief for Baptists in Minnesota.

Vue works to develop other Hmong women’s leadership skills through WMU training sessions and retreats. She also builds up the women through personal relationships to help them become better leaders.

“Mycie’s passion for the Lord and for missions is enthusiastic and infectious,” said Leo Endel, executive director of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention, who was present to see Vue receive the award. “Her influence flows naturally from her passion for God and her compassion for people. She is a leader not because she desires to be but because people want to follow her.”

Tia Underbakke described Vue as her friend and mentor.

“Mycie has been a great influence in my life as a leader,” Underbakke said. “She supports my bold visions and ideas and encourages me to voice my opinions. She truly cares about my success and pushes me to be my best. She has opened so many doors for Hmong women, and I know my leadership in church is what it is because of her influence in my life.”

Vue and her family escaped from Laos when she was a child. After walking through the mountains for six weeks only at night, they crossed the Mekong River and lived in a refugee camp in Thailand until relocating to the United States. Vue accepted Christ as a young woman. She is married to Chou Vang, and they have four children. The family faithfully serves in their church.

The Dellanna West O’Brien Award for Women’s Leadership Development was established in 1999 upon O’Brien’s retirement after 10 years as WMU executive director. O’Brien died in 2008 at age 75. The award recognizes Baptist women who demonstrate the ability to foster leadership in women and who display the potential to be leaders in the community and the world. The award is accompanied by a $2,000 grant to allow the recipient to continue her ministry to others.
Kristin Easterling is an intern at WMU and a student at Auburn University.

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