Ly Oudone, Alliance Missionary to French Guyana

By Paul Kiedel, France Field Director

Rev. Ly Oudone, the first missionary of the France Alliance national church (AECM) to the Hmong people of French Guyana, died in a work accident on August 21. Pastor Oudone was cutting a large tree that suddenly broke loose, with the trunk striking him in the neck. His spine was broken and he died instantly. He was 40 years old.

Rev Oudone did not allow “youth” to hinder his influence in a culture that esteems age. After completing Bible School in his late twenties, he was quickly appointed to lead the Hmong movement in France. As the President of the ten Hmong congregations, he formed them into the Hmong Alliance Federation of France, keeping the people strongly connected to their C&MA roots in Southeast Asia. There are young men in pastoral and congregational leadership today whom he mentored and “called” to ministry. He deeply impacted the thought and policy of the France national church (called AECM “l’Alliance des Églises Chrétiennes et Missionnaires de France”). I recall him challenging the national executive committee to sacrifice for Christ, when the older men were murmuring about their hard life of service. Oudone said to them, “I don’t understand your words of complaint. I have sacrificed everything to follow Christ. My parents sacrificed because of their faith in Southeast Asia, and now they are here. What is there to complain about?”

He also challenged the AECM to involve their young people and their congregations in supporting the training of church leaders. When he requested Bible school scholarships for his young protégés, he stated that, in the Hmong churches, they would require the local congregation and the candidate’s family to pay two-thirds of their training costs, and only seek a one-third scholarship from the denomination. This caused the Executive Committee of the denomination to immediately apply the same principle to all candidates.

Rev Oudone and his wife, Marie, were the first overseas missionaries of the AECM national church mission project. They went to French Guyana in the fall of 2001 where they began working with small Hmong groups already in that country. In the six years of his leadership, these churches pulled together and other congregations were established. He declined any financial support from the France Alliance, saying the local people would support him.

Rev Oudone died, leaving behind his wife, Marie, and five children. She will be living with the extended family in Alencon, France.

Funeral services were conducted from Friday, August 29 to Sunday, August 31 in Alencon, France. It was an encouraging time of celebrating Ly Oudone’s life as well as giving emotional support to Marie in her bereavement. Hmong family members and many Hmong Christians from France and Switzerland came to these services. Rev Norbert Clement, President of the France national church, and Paul Keidel, C&MA France director, represented the Alliance at the memorial celebration.


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