Communication is the key to understanding

BUCKNER BAPTIST BENEVOLENCES Public Relations P. 0. Box 18267, Dallas, Texas 75278

Official Employee Publication of Buckner Baptist Benevolences • P. 0. Box 18267 • Dallas, Texas 75218 • R. C. Campbell, President

Thursday, June 12, dawned clear in Dallas. By early afternoon, the sun burned brightly from a brilliant, cloudless sky, over the gathering of employees, children and press representatives milling around in front of Pires dormitory. At about 2:15, fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, someone shouted, "They're coming!" Immediately Buckner children were running from all directions to be in their places when the buses pulled up. It was a memorable day in the history of Buckner Children's Home, Dallas – the culmination of a miracle -- a "first of a kind" experience, and one that was certainly not likely to happen again. An entire Vietnamese orphanage -69 orphans, 13 staff members, and their 13 children arrived to live at the Dallas Home. It was the end of a journey of thousands of miles, from Cam Ranh, to Saigon, to Singapore, to Switzerland, New York, Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas, and then to Houston. Earlier that morning they had left the ranch of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Martin, near Houston, where they had been staying about 2 ½ weeks. The Martins, members of West Memorial Baptist Church, Houston, had the help of other church members in feeding and caring for the children. As the two Continental Trailways buses rolled up, Administrator Harold Hime was at the door of the first bus to greet the newcomers. First off was the director of Cam Ranh City Christian Orphanage, Nguyen Xuan Ha. Following him came the smaller children, at first hesitant and bewildered by the sight of such a large welcoming audience, and cameras aimed at them from all directions. Then as staff members and several adults from West Memorial Church began to leave the bus, they gently urged the children up the sidewalk toward the front of the building, where a brief welcoming ceremony was to take place. Children on the second bus waited until the first one was emptied, then they streamed off. These were the older ones. Boys came first, then the girls, according Vietnamese custom. Single-file, they marched toward the building. All of them stood patiently under the hot sun, listening to welcomes from Dr. Campbell, and from Buckner teenager Alice Guzzy. Their words were translated into Vietnamese by Mr. Ha. Flowers were presented by Mrs. Campbell to Mrs. Ha, and by Mrs. Hime to Mrs. Tam (wife of the assistant director). After a closing prayer by Chaplain Coyle Stephenson, carefully translated for the children, they were ushered into their new home to enjoy some cool, refreshing punch. Newspaper and television cameramen followed. Some of the Vietnamese children smiled or

clowned for the cameras. Others, still a little overcome by the occasion, could only stare, reluctant to display much emotion until they knew a little more about what was happening to them. Meanwhile, Buckner teenage boys were carrying 69 identical boxes into the dormitory. The night before they had been carefully packed with each child's clothing and other belongings, and his name lettered on the side. They were lined up along the first floor hallway. Later, as the children received their room assignments, they began searching for their boxes.

Finally some of the tension eased and they began to relax. Excited Vietnamese chatter and shouts filled the air as they ran up and down the hallways and stairways, looking into rooms, locating friends, and becoming accustomed to their new home. The children and all their Vietnamese staff are living together in Pires. For six days and nights previously, many from the Children's Home staff, and some of the older children had worked to get the building ready. The children living there were first moved into other dormitories. Then the crew of volunteer workers set about cleaning, painting, washing windows, sweeping, and scrubbing floors. The building was completely repainted inside. Next came the task of setting up 95 beds (many had to be brought from other places on the campus), getting together enough linens and bedspreads, making up beds, hanging curtains and shades, and then adding the final touch of a few pictures and stuffed animals. These children and their staff had been through some unbelievably rough experiences since leaving their orphanage in Cam Ranh on.... April 29th, 1975 (date added by LK)

(Continued on page 7) (I DON’T HAVE PAGE 7 ~ LoiBeth King (aka Loi Nguyen)



Our Buckner staff and friends in Dallas marvelously confronted the unique opportunity presented them through the recent arrival of our newest residents, from the Cam Banh City Christian Orphanage. As far as we know, there was nothing but a positive spirit and attitude as we prepared, on short notice, to receive these 95 new friends. Many worked late Into the night, after finishing their regular daytime jobs, helping to repaint the dormitory and get it ready. Needless to say, I am extremely proud and grateful for the way everyone responded to this very worthwhile endeavor. I believe it has played an important part in helping our Vietnamese friends make a good adjustment to their new surroundings and our different way of life. Actually, the endeavor has just begun. There is still a long way to go, and so much to do. But, again, I am seeing a continuing positive response to the needs of these people, and it means so much. There are many Buckner personnel caught up in the care of these newcomers, and in the cultural orientation we are trying to provide for them. There are those working in the kitchen; those who are helping with clothing needs; some are seeing to medical and dental care; some are helping involve the children in recreation; others are arranging and coordinating the English classes now being taught; still others are helping the children in orientation to Sunday worship services. And the thing that pleases me most is that, even in addition to the extra activity, our staff is being careful to see that their program for the other children continues without interruption or neglect. Future planning is still to come, and will involve yet others in making crucial, lifetime decisions for these children. All who are involved with the children need our prayers, but especially do we need to ask for God's guidance and wisdom for those who will have the important responsibility of making future plans for them. The challenge that we faced with the addition of a whole orphanage into our program, and especially one we knew little about, was somewhat frightening at first. But we soon found our fears were unnecessary. As we have come to know Director Ha, his staff, and the children, we have nothing but the highest praise for all of them. They are beautiful Christian people, both inside and out, and it is a blessing and a privilege to count them among our Buckner family.

Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small in it. For the greatest grow by God's law out of the smallest. But to live your life you must discipline it. You must not fritter it away . . . but make your thoughts, your words, your acts, all work to the same end; that end not self, but God. That is what we call character.
--Florence Nightingale

For about a week prior to the arrival of the Vietnamese children, many from the Buckner staff aided by some of the older children, worked day and night getting Pires Dormitory ready. Employees from the Children's Home staff who put in time were Harold Hime and his wife, Pat; Chaplain Coyle Stephenson, and his wife, Guianna; Harold Moye and wife, Ann; Ross and Ola Mae Ward; Mrs. Gladys Turner; Paul Gray; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ashley, and Van McGuire, all of the house staff; and caseworker! Charles Ledbetter and Ken Fults. Others who helped were Kenneth Sewell, the only "official" painter among the bunch, Otis McKee, Earl Hunt and Elmer Laird. Mr. Laird even worked on his day off! Mr. Stanphill, Pete Cope and the rest of the Central Services staff were very helpful in getting together the necessary linens, bedspreads and other supplies. Those from other Buckner areas who worked were: Dean Willis, Mary Francis McKenzie, Dorothy Myers and Kevin Paszaiek from the administrative offices; Bill Baker, Director of Special Projects, and his son, John, and Mrs. R. C. Campbell.

There is no middle ground in crises. Crises bring out the best and worst in human behavior.

A crisis is recognized as an opportunity by discerning, stable persons.

These are all the people our "informants" could think of. If you worked, and your name is not included, a special "thank you" to you, and to all the others named above.

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