Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway
Introduction / History
Although little specific research has been done on the Lylo Akha, it is believed they number between one and two thousand people, living in a handful of villages within Luang Namtha Province in Laos. The exact location of their villages within Luang Namtha is uncertain.
From the missionary's perspective, the tragedy of the lack of evangelization among the Lao Akha is that experience in other nations has shown the Akha turn to Christ in great numbers once the Gospel has been presented and lived out before them. When an Akha village in Shan State of Myanmar (formerly Burma) was visited by a Christian evangelist from western Myanmar, he found willing and receptive hearts after encountering some early opposition... "The Akha looked at us suspiciously as we found a place and started to sing. Few outsiders had ever dared to enter their village before.... As we sang we started to feel a very heavy oppression in our spirits. It was a struggle even to breath. We all began to feel sick, and started to throw up.... Later we realized we hadn't prayed enough before we went in. We had gone in our own strength, and not the Lord's. We climbed a hill overlooking the village and for three days we fasted and prayed for God's protection and power over the evil spirits that had strongly attacked us.
After three days we went back.... We shared the Gospel and the love of Christ with the sin-burdened Akha. Most of the village listened, and to our great surprise, about thirty people made commitments to follow the Lord! Over a period of time we explained what it meant to follow God. Many people brought their idols and evil charms and asked us to burn them and set them free from the spirits that had controlled their lives for so long." Surely the best way for the Akha in Laos to hear the Gospel is from their Christian counterparts in Thailand and Myanmar, where more than 60,000 Akha believers live. Unfortunately, up until this point few have gained a vision to venture into Laos and share the Gospel with their lost cousins.
Although the whole Bible in Akha will soon be available, it was written in a script devised by missionaries in northern Myanmar. Unless the Akha in Laos are first given literacy lessons, they are unable to read it.
* Pray there would soon be strong churches among the Lylo Akha
* Pray the long wait to hear the Gospel by the Lylo Akha would soon come to an end.
* Ask God to give the Akha Christians in Burma and Thailand a vision to take the Gospel to the Akha in Laos.