Throughout his years of ministry Xay Xue Yang faithfully served the Hmong people—first in Laos, then in a refugee camp in Thailand, and finally in the United States. The founding pastor of the Hmong Christian Reformed Church in Sheboygan, Wisc., Yang died Dec. 15, 2021.
Yang completed four years of theological studies at The Bible Institute in Laos in 1975 just as the Vietnam War ended. Thousands of Hmong who had worked with the U.S. during the war had to flee to refugee camps in Thailand. For five years, Yang ministered there among them. Many subsequently immigrated to the U.S., as did Yang, where over the next several years he planted two Hmong churches in Pennsylvania.
After moving to Sheboygan, Yang became connected with the CRC. He was ordained in 1987 under Church Order Article 7 (ordination as a minister of the Word because of exceptional gifts), then planted what became Sheboygan Hmong CRC. He served there for the next 11 years, then went to North Carolina to plant another Hmong church.
“When I think of him, three words come to mind—humble, committed, and faithful,” said a fellow pastor in Classis Wisconsin. “I am amazed at what Pastor Xay Xue and his wife, Pa, endured and accomplished in the course of their lives. They pastored in Laos, led some of their congregation across the Mekong River into Thailand, pastored for five years at a refugee camp in Thailand, came to the United States, and pastored here for many years. They had to lead their flock of Hmong people and help them adjust to a new country, new language, new culture, new way of life, new denomination. I stand amazed at Pastor Xay Xue’s faithfulness through it all. I thank God for him.”
Predeceased by his wife, Pa, and one daughter, Yang is survived by three daughters and three sons, their spouses, and 30 grandchildren.