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Dordt College News

Lao church to host Schaap book event Aug. 26

August 16, 2006

Lao Unity Church

A dozen refugees who shared their stories of fleeing Southeast Asia to make new homes in the Midwest will be honored at a public book dedication Saturday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. at Lao Unity Church, 601 Court Street, Sioux City.

Crossing Over: Stories of Asian Refugee Christians was written by author James Calvin Schaap, Sioux Center, and published by Dordt College Press. Schaap will speak and sign books at the event.

Former Iowa Governor Robert E. Ray will also be an honored guest at the event, sharing from the preface he contributed to the book. As governor, Ray advocated and promoted Iowan sponsorship of refugee families after he and his wife Billie visited refugee camps in Thailand in 1979.

Several of the Southeast Asian refugees whose stories are told plan to attend the Aug. 26 book dedication and release. The nine stories in Schaap’s book contain the “Crossing Over” experiences of Khay Baccam (Sioux Center), Pahn Anolouluc, Kongkham Saengthammavong, Dokmai Vongphakdy, Somphet Southaya, Keo and Bounjoon Phommarath (Sioux City, IA); Sohn Dedthanon, Sawan and Hongthong Siri (Worthington, MN); and Bounma and Bouphanh Sisombath (St. Paul, MN).

Dinh Van Lo, Des Moines, will also be in attendance. He is the president of the Iowa-based Society of Thaidam-American Friendship, a board member for the Laotian American National Alliance (LANA), and a member of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

The public is invited to this open house and book-signing, followed by a reception with ethnic food served by the Laotian hosts. The book is available at the Dordt College Bookstore, and from other area book outlets and on-line book outlets (ISBN 978-0932914-67-5).

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