LHF translator falls asleep in Christ

Categories: Americas, East/Southeast Asia, Hmong, Laos, LHF History, Thailand

1 John 4:18: Perfect love casts out fear.
“To have Christ as the perfect love that drives out all fear is so meaningful.” – Rev. Kou Seying*

This weekend, LHF Hmong translator, Rev. Laokouxang (Kou) Seying fell asleep in Christ. Rev. Seying spent his career sharing the Word with others as a missionary to Hmong communities, associate dean for Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry and associate professor of Practical Theology at Concordia Seminary – St. Louis and translator for the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF).

Rev. Seying was born in Laos in the Vietnam era before moving to the United States with his family, sponsored by the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Later, he became the first ordained Hmong pastor in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

He served LHF for many years, notably as the chief translator and editor of the Hmong Small Catechism enchiridion and A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories into both Blue and White Hmong. At the time of his death, Rev. Seying was completing the final editing of the Hmong Small Catechism with Explanation in Blue and White Hmong. Plans were also underway for Rev. Seying to lead Catechism instruction seminars in Thailand and Laos next year, but now LHF will publish the Hmong Small Catechism with Explanation in his memory.

Rev. Seying and his wife, Maykou

Rev. Ted NaThalang, LHF’s coordinator for projects in Southeast Asia, worked closely with Rev. Seying. “Kou was one-of-a-kind,” said Rev. NaThalang. “He was a teacher, mentor, theologian and friend of the Hmong community. He knew Hmong culture and Lutheran theology well and how they are to work together accordingly. The Hmong people will miss him greatly.”

LHF executive director Rev. Matthew Heise shared, “The impact of Kou’s work for the Gospel to the Hmong people cannot be overstated. He was a good man who served his Lord Jesus Christ faithfully and with every ounce of his being. As we all sorrow and will greatly miss our dear friend, we do not suffer as those without hope. We know that Our Redeemer lives and that we will see our brother Kou again with all the faithful in Heaven. Rest well in Jesus, good and faithful servant!”

He is survived by his wife, Maykou, and their children; Grace, Sarah, Seth and Malachi.

by Anna Bagnall
LHF Staff Writer