Biola Grieves the Death of Student Hasiet Joy Negash

Jan. 16, 2015 By Jason Newell

The Biola University community is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Hasiet Joy Negash, a communications studies major who passed away on Jan. 15 while on a student mission trip overseas.


Negash, from Des Moines, Wash., had been working with a team from Biola’s Student Missionary Union when she collapsed after complaining of asthma-related breathing difficulties. She was taken to a hospital, where doctors were unable to revive her.


“We mourn this tragedy as a community, and join together to grieve with all who loved her,” President Barry H. Corey said in an announcement to the university. “Joy was a young woman whose love for Jesus Christ was deep and abiding, evidenced by her desire to cross cultures and continents to see lives transformed by the gospel. We take comfort in the fact that she is with her Savior now.”

Negash had attended Biola since 2013, and was involved in several areas on campus, including Student Orientation Services, Multi-Ethnic Programs and Development, and admissions, where she served as a student ambassador. She was known for her passion to serve and love others abundantly.  

“Joy was a brilliant and delightful young woman,” said Paul Rood, lecturer of politics and economics. “In a reflection paper for one of my classes, she wrote how even the study of economics ‘helped my own understanding of the gospel and my Savior.’ She had a passionate interest and love for people from every nation. I recall an amazing presentation she gave on the government and society of modern India. I grieve for her family's loss and am very saddened that her life was cut short so suddenly in this distant land for which she had a passionate interest and burden.”

The Biola community is in prayer for Negash’s family, friends and loved ones, as well as the other seven members of her student missions team, which will be returning early. Counseling services will be available to students by contacting Student Development.


A public tribute to Negash will take place after students return to campus for the spring semester, which opens on Jan. 26.



UPDATE: January 27, 2015


A memorial service for Negash will be held on Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Chase Gymnasium. The service will be streamed live at


Additional resources have been made available for students during this time of mourning.


UPDATE: February 5, 2015


In honor of Joy's legacy at Biola, a scholarship will be created. For those interested in honoring her life and legacy, please go to and select "other" under designation, and type in "Hasiet Joy Negash Scholarship." If you would like to send in a check, please make it payable to Biola University and write "Joy's scholarship" on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Biola University, University Development.


For more information, contact University Communications and Marketing at (562) 903-4727.

[<Category: Student Life>]


  • Colleen Yim Jan. 17, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    Please extend my deepest sympathies to her family, friends and her Biola community. Prayers of peace while you grieve. "When Jesus comes in glory we will part no more..."

  • Matthew Burnias Jan. 17, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    .... the Lord give her family the peace and understanding she now dwells in. May her testimony never be forgotten.

  • Rev. Dr. Getachew Kiros Jan. 17, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    It is with deep sorrow that we learned the death of our dear daughter and friend of our daughters, Hasiet Negash. Our deepest sympathy and prayers go to her family and friends here in the LA and Seattle areas. Today Hasiet is born in heaven!

  • Brenda Brisson Jan. 17, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    My heart aches for her family and friends! I am praying for her family and her SMU team. May God comfort them in ways we cannot even imagine. I am truly sorry for your devastating loss!

  • Kim Griffin Jan. 17, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    Our deepest sympathy to the family of this young woman of God, and prayers for family, friends and SMU team members. We are so sorry for your loss.

  • Troy Wong Jan. 17, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    Dear Negash Family, My wife and I grieve with you at the passing of your daughter. It is a loss that no parent should have to suffer. The Lord is with you. Our daughter went to India last year and is in Ethiopia this year. We know both of Joy's team leaders.

  • Sharon Millar Jan. 17, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    As a parent of a student currently on mission with SMU in Malawi, this news touches us deeply. Grieving and praying alongside you today! May we all draw near to the only One who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

  • Sunil Sardar Jan. 17, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    We in Delhi @ Truthseekers International grieve for our sister Joy. As we recall the 3 days team served with us by washing feet of women and lowered castes, she gave dynamic gospel message in Town called Gwalior in Central India where Member of parliament , Meyor of town and hundreds of teachers were present. She had dream to empower women . May God be with her family and friends . Team from Biola is always blessing . Our continued prayers for you. At Y'Shua 's feet Rev. Sunil and Pam Sardar

  • Rahel Weldu Jan. 17, 2015 at 9:17 PM

    Such a distinctive smile that was always noticeable since she was very young. Looking at her picture & thinking of that very smile still brings a joy in mist of these pains & confusions. Hasiet ended her earthly journey as a hero, doing what she loves to do "serving the Lord loved & people she cared for" Her legacy never to be forgotten! Ongoing & sincere prayers for her loving family & friends!

  • Sabita Jesudasen Jan. 18, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    Praying so very much for Joy's family, her beloved Team India, her wide circle of friends and the whole Biola community. Having had my son co-lead last years Team India, to the very same places Joy had been in her last days on earth, makes it so personal. May her family be blessed with the peace that passes understanding, that only the Holy Spirit can empower them with at this very sad time in their lives! She for sure is cheering all of her circle of influence to be faithful, as she was, to her Lord, till the very end.

  • Pastor Bill Duncan Jan. 18, 2015 at 3:19 PM

    We had not met Joy but are involved with the children's lives at the mission the Biola group was volunteering at the time of Joy's illness. Our love and prayers to the family, the other young people who shared in this mission, and to the Biola University family. May our LORD watch over you all, and remind you that no labor in the LORD is ever in vain. Joy's love was a blessing to and for the LORD.

  • Dan Long Jan. 19, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    Our deepest sympathies to Ato Negash and his family at the passing of their daughter Hasiet. Beth and I are working with the Biola team here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The team has had no internet access for about a week until about an hour ago on this Monday evening. Our team of seven discovered the news of their good friend's passing in India and are grieving deeply. We spent some time with them in prayer and then left them together to share and pray as they mourn. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for them. Ato Negash, we are praying for the Holy Spirit's comfort for you and your family.

  • Cindy Stewart Jan. 19, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    To Joy's parents:I feel at a loss for words for your deep loss of your beautiful daughter. I can't even imagine your grief. May God give you incredible peace and understanding at this tough time. We grieve and shed tears along with you and her team and our son's team in Ethiopia. We are praying for you all here in Canada and will continue to do so. Much love and prayers go out to you at this time.

  • Joy & Grepa Razon Jan. 19, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15 Deepest sympathies go out to the Negash family in the passing of Joy. One thing we know is that Joy was doing what she is passionate for and that is sharing the gospel. May the peace of God our Father give you comfort and peace at this time of loss, Negash family.

  • Erika Tegeler Jan. 19, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    Our love and prayers we lift up to our Heavenly Father for Joy's family, team members and all who love her dearly. Our hearts grieve with you, having no words to ease the pain. Your beautiful daughter and friend will be missed and her service to The Lord will never be forgotten. My daughter lead the team last year to India so this has hit us hard as we know personally what it is to have your child serve in this way and to lead a team who is loved so much. May our Lord and Savior be the supreme comforter through this most difficult time. The Tegeler Family

  • Roger and Sue Swigart Jan. 19, 2015 at 8:12 PM

    We are sooo sorry about the passing of Joy. We have a grandson who is with the Ethiopia Biola team. They are all so sad and so are we and all our family. We have lost a son at 32 and know the pain of losing a child is indescribable. We will be praying for your family and for all involved on the mission and at the school. May God wrap His loving arms around you. He will not leave you alone.

  • Mishal Mathai Montgomery Jan. 19, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    Words cannot adequately describe what I want to convey to the family of Hasiet Joy. My heart goes out to you and I want God to just surround you with peace and comfort that passes all human understanding. Thank you for raising her to know Jesus, for the life, character and grace you nurtured in her. May you know God's nearness in a powerful way in the days and months to come.

  • Mekbeb Jan. 19, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    You are our hero, we all are proud of YOU and we are very blessed by God because of you our apostle.

  • martha Jan. 19, 2015 at 10:58 PM

    I am believe my God word Coz he have Big thing for her God knows everthings coz Lord made as to hand but I am gone say my lord word pieas read this My lord word (MARK 5 :38-43) thank !!!!1

  • Teshome Ejo Jan. 20, 2015 at 4:46 AM

    I is very difficult to accept this kind of sudden death to a young lovely girl. I feel sorry ለወላጅ ዘመዶችዋ መፅናናትን ይስጣችሁ። የእሕቴንም ነፋስ በገነት የኑርልኝ። አሜን!!

  • Atsede Mersha Jan. 20, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Ohio when I heard I was shocked but God he need her in heaven she was very gentle ,helpful,I don't have word how to explain abouu her May Godbless all.

  • Rev. Bob Fritch Jan. 20, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    May the God of all comfort, comfort her family and friends and the Biola community during this time of grief!

  • Jerry and Barbara Carlson Jan. 20, 2015 at 8:01 PM

    We extend our condolences to Joy's family and friends also. Brady provided us a picture of the team a couple weeks before they left so we could start praying for them daily. The "JOY" of the Lord just beams from Joy's face! May the Lord strengthen you dear team members, famly and all of her friends. Psalm 17:15 (Amp) As for me, I will continue beholding Your face in righteousness -rightness, justice and right standing with You; I shall be fully satisfied, when I awake (to find myself) beholding Your form (and having sweet communion with You).

  • Mauricio Sanchez Jan. 20, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Psalm 116:15

  • Belachew Gebre Jan. 21, 2015 at 12:19 AM

    I don't have words to describe who is she HASIET AMBELIE NEGASH; it was not supposed to be this way I supposed to be a little Ethio-America princess ,beautiful ,brilliant lawyer student's so what happened in the winter of 2015? Hasiet we love you for evere ever ,you have brought so light and love of GOD.we did not hidden what you had abeautiful wonderful qualities like to treat and how to make united peoples of different nation and organized ,to gave respect every one ,the way took care of children with warmth and gentlness of your heart , yor love for nature and also you had special gift for mobilization the entire family. The people around you sense and impressed by your loyality ,commitment and andall your wonderful qualities, by the way we all going out our mind on this painful and heart broken news;we do't belive it but one thing is true ?! the sadness we all felt is the force of darkness[devils] WE don't know may GOD want you for the glory ogJESUS CHIRST in heaven because nothing is impossible to GOD! soam sure we are sharing your delightful qualities in the heaven with the heavenly father's of GOD! hasietye you are always living in my mind love you so much.................

  • Berhan Tekletsion Jan. 21, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    I am heart broken to know she went to be with Lord. It wasn't her time. She left us too soon. But we get comfort knowing She is with Lord. Will meet her again. For her parents and family it is very difficult thing to accept she is gone. I express my deepest condolences.

  • Pastor Daniel Alemayehu Jan. 21, 2015 at 11:42 AM

    Her name was Hasiet that means Joy and she was born here Seattle in the USA. Her parents did pray more than 10 years to get Hasiet. She is their first born child. She was born after ten years they have got married. That is why they called her name Hasiet . Even if she was born here in America, she was living according to the word of God. She was not from this planet indeed. She did touch many souls to win to Christ by exemplary life . She was a model for the community and the church. She was so happy, beautiful, smart, Genius, kind, lovely compassionate ,friendly......... name it. That is why we called her the real Angel in human flesh. Hasiet you were here to show Christ in practical life and you did it. She really did define Christianity in a very practical ways. It is not a matter how long we live but how we live Christ like Hasiet did. I have no words to explain my deep sorrow for her beloved and Godly family, Pastor Amble Negash, Fasika and Hosaina. May God give you comfort and strength. Please accept my sincere sympathy Pastor Daniel Alemayehu, Betty and entire family.

  • Aweke Mera and Mare Ferede Jan. 21, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    Its so sad we lost our beautiful daughter. It was such a tradegy and hard to believe and we miss you Haseit. You are so young and a devoted christian, you went out of your way to help others, make a differnece in their life. Christ be with you. Rest in peace. Our deepest sympathy to Fasica and Ambele. God will be with you every step of the way.

  • mekbeb fetene Jan. 22, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    I have no words to explain how deeply we are terrorized by your unexpected death while you are on an apostolic mission to overseas. But we are also proud of you that you gave your life by helping the needy.<<YOU ARE THE GLITERING STAR OF OUR FAMILY>> I love you my little rose. meku

  • Greer Bascom Jan. 22, 2015 at 7:01 PM

    I am so very sad to hear about Joy's death. I didn't know her at all, but know one of her team members who went with her to India. I am so glad for Joy, as she is experiencing what, for us, is the thing we most want to attain--meeting her Lord face to face. Yet for us, the ones who are left, there is grief and sorrow, and longing to see her here once again. I will be praying for Joy's family, her friends, and her fellow students. I am so thankful that we do not need to grieve as those who have no hope.

  • Claire Warfel, Biola Student Health Center Jan. 22, 2015 at 9:20 PM

    For Joy's family, for SMU Team India, for Biola Student Missionary Union, and friends, family, and community... My mother's heart is aching to comfort you...standing with you in love, support, and prayers. There are no words...

  • Marie Ramaekers Jan. 22, 2015 at 10:20 PM

    My thoughts and prayers are with Joy's family and the student team that was with her. I am so deeply saddened by what happened. God bless all of you.

  • Effy Jan. 25, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    I can't explain my deep sorrow you were a very good model to the church you were a good friend . God bless your family tell Jesus I love him and god bless fascia pastor ambela hosanna

  • Tsehai Jan. 26, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    What a tragedy! I don't even have enough words to say. We all mourn for the young life that was taken from us. But at the same time we know she is now in a better place and when our time comes we will see her. May god comfort you at this difficult time.

  • Alexis Jan. 26, 2015 at 8:56 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I just wanted to let you know that even though your experiencing a lot of pain and suffering Gods going to use this time in your life to grow your faith stronger in him. He's going to use you to change other people's life by telling your testimony. I will be praying for you and all of the family members, friends, Biola students and staff that they will be able to find comfort and peace through this tragedy!

  • Abraham Adhanom Jan. 27, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    What a loss it is to hear the loss of beloved Hasiet. My prayers for comfort and peace, along with my deepest sympathy extends to the Negash family. May "the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7 Abraham Adhanom

  • Megan Barbu Jan. 28, 2015 at 1:22 PM

    What a gorgeous girl who is now in the presence of the Lord. I will keep the family and loved ones who knew her in thought and prayer!

  • Tadi Jan. 28, 2015 at 4:57 PM

    "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come ..."

  • Cassie Beardsley Jan. 30, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    My condolences and prayers for the Negash family and loved ones. May God's presence be real and evident in the coming weeks, months and years for you all.

  • Linda Jan. 30, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    Our hearts grieve with the Negash family and the friends of Joy! We pray that the Lord will surround you with His love, comfort and peace knowing that Joy is with Him now and we will all be with her one day. I thank God for Joy and her passion to serve Christ and serve others. I know she will continue to inspire her friends and fellow students to follow in her steps to minister the love of Christ and His message of salvation to where ever the Lord leads them.

  • Tigist G/Mariam Jan. 31, 2015 at 1:02 AM

    My little princess Hasiet, I have never thought you would leave this world too early. As we spoke in person as well as via phone you had so much plans to make a difference in people's life. I spoke to your mom earlier she said tonight is the hardest night in her life thinking about what is going to happen in several hours later on Jan 31st. I had nothing to say to ease my sister's pain. Hasiet you do know Jan 31st, 2015 is your little brother 18th birthday, however, he is going to spend his birthday at...... You are my hero. You have touched my life in many ways. You were the glue for our family holding us together. The God you served through out your life loves you. Even though saying good bye is the most painful thing that I have experienced in my life, rest in peace. Tigist G/Mariam

  • Beverly Veale Jan. 31, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. We are sadden for the loss yet grateful for her new home in heaven with Christ Lord her and our Savior.

  • binyam aklog Feb. 5, 2015 at 7:04 AM

    You are a hero, well done.

  • S JOSEPH Feb. 5, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    Dear Lord, thank You very much for the life of JOY, who left the JOY for the sinners, including me, to see the LOVE, PEACE, and JOY of Your Salvation. Please make me an instrument of Your LOVE, PEACE, and JOY, which our beloved JOY witnessed till the final day of her life on earth. May the LOVE, PEACE, and JOY of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with the bereaved family of JOY and the whole BIOLA, who love You and prepare ourselves to serve you, like JOY, for the glorification of Your Kingdom. Amen.

  • Navam Pakianathan Feb. 18, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    Its very touching that she had presented a paper on the governments of modern India. Being Indian myself and deeply concerned about the government of my country, its lovely to see a foreigner have a passion for India and to present a well written paper on its government.

  • SAMUEL UHENDAN Feb. 20, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    i cry for this sad news! May the prince of peace comfort the family in the name of JESUS CHRIST. Please do extend my sympathy to the entire family... May her soul rest in a perfect peace with the LORD... Humans on the earth is like people in the market.... JESUS IS THE ONLY SAVIOR.... Peace!!

  • Haleluya Kiflu Mar. 19, 2015 at 12:16 AM

    እግዚአብሔር መፅናናትን ይስጣችሁ

  • Fak Urr Salf Jun. 7, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    There is justice in the world. Everything happens for good. The REAL GOD judges everyone equally. And justice is swift.

  • Stephanie Nelson Aug. 2, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    I had the pleasure of meeting Joy when I visited Biola University on a Biola Bound. She was my student ambassador and I stayed in her dorm. It saddens my heart to have heard of her death. She was such a light and an amazing person. She definitely stood for what it means to be a true follower of Christ. <3

  • erin Jan. 5, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    It's almost been a year since Joy has gone to be with the lord. I have never personally gotten to know her, but I would see her on campus here and there and she would always smile at me and sometimes we would even say Hi to each other even though we didn't even know each other. She was that one person who knew how to say hi and smile even to people she does not know. I always knew she was a very genuine person, someone who is a true Christ follower. Sometimes I feel like God takes away people that are already too much like breaks my heart that she's no longer here but the impact she had on the lives of many are so evident and she continues to shine. her life was short but beautiful and full.

  • Ned Jan. 10, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    I don't know this person but I am sad for those that had the privilege to know such a fine person - as described. For whatever reason God determined to take her home. It sounds like she accomplished more than many of us have in her short life. She lived FOR Christ, without apology or embarrassment showed that in WORD and DEED.How many of us DO that? It takes courage to do that today in a world that is increasingly secular and godless. May her loved ones on earth be comforted knowing that she is clearly an inspiration to many. Her commitment leads me to believe that she is in heaven with many wonderful people. People will miss her but she is in the best place of all. My sincere condulances to those that miss her and love her.

Post a Comment

Your email will not be published as part of your comment.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
© Biola University, Inc. All Rights Reserved.