Vietnam – Hmong Outreach
God’s grace opened doors to an unprecedented mission opportunity in communist Vietnam.
It all started when Zang Lou, a leader within the Hmong Fellowship Church (HFC) in Vietnam, viewed an online sermon by WELS Pastor Bounkeo Lor in 2011. The clear proclamation of law and gospel and the message of pure grace through Jesus Christ was something he had never heard before . . . and he wanted to learn more. That same year, Zang Lou invited Lor to come to Vietnam to train the HFC in the truth of the gospel. Lor made his first training visit in 2012. To assist in his training, members of the Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI) began to accompany him on some of these trips starting in 2016. Learn more about WELS mission history in Vietnam.
With every visit Lor and WELS representatives have made to conduct training in Hanoi, approximately 60 church leaders attended to learn more about the truths of the Bible. These same 60 leaders are taking the message back to their rural congregations, preaching the message of salvation by faith, not by works – something the members had never heard before. The HFC was a church body of 55,000 members when Zang Lou first reached out to WELS. In the years WELS has provided training, the HFC has grown from 55,000 to over 138,000 members and formed many new churches. HFC leaders have seen the growth and the joy that Lutheran teaching has brought to their congregations and have expressed a desire to become a confessional Lutheran church body.
The message of free grace received from Jesus Christ replaced their old law-based preaching: Grace brought peace to the Hmong Fellowship Church, and church leadership stabilized as a result. The communist government in Vietnam noticed this positive change, and invited WELS to build a theological education center in the capital city of Hanoi.
This is an incredible, unprecedented opportunity for our synod. WELS is currently the only protestant church with official government permission to work with the Hmong in Vietnam. The Lord is opening a door to reach the more than two million Hmong people who live in Vietnam and the surrounding countries.