“Lahu” is the name of one of the people groups originally located in China who over the last 100 years, gradually migrated to the “Golden Triangle” (Laos, Cambodia, Thailand) of Southeast Asia. After various times of internment in refugee camps, Lahu people came to the United States beginning in the early 1980’s. Because they assisted in the Vietnam War, They were granted special Non-citizen Immigration. The Lahu people recognize several groups within their culture. Lahu-Shi (pronounced laa-hoo-see) is the most prominent group located in the Visalia area, and surrounding cities. Lahu-Shi people also reside in the states of Minnesota and North Carolina.
The Lahu ministry at Grace is led by Vicar Soun See and Deacon Korn See. Both men have been recognized as Deacons in the California-Hawaii- Nevada District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Soun See is presently a student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO., and is on a path toward ordination into the Pastoral ministry.
Worship services are conducted each Sunday at 1 pm in Grace’s worship center. Worship takes place mostly in the Lahu language but with some English parts, and features traditional hymns as well as contemporary songs. Christian education lessons are offered for children during the worship hour.
Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and the New Year are festive celebrations of the Lahu people. During the Christmas and New Year celebration, the Fellowship Hall is decorated and reserved at Grace. The Lahu people from the community dress in colorful national garb and enjoy native dancing and music.