Mother Teacher Book … by way of introduction …
every American has heard of the Vietnam War. What many Americans do not
know is that this war had messily spilled over into the neighboring countries
of Vietnam. Quiet mountain villages of Laos were bombed. Young Laotian boys
barely taller than the firearms they carried were enlisted by the C.I.A. to
fight the communists. This was the Silent War; the war in Laos that by
official U.S. declaration, did not exist. Refugees fleeing the communists
were crammed into filthy barbed-wire camps in Thailand.
The camps were bursting with the sick, the hungry, the
dying, and the hopeless. Lois Callaway was an American missionary in
Thailand at that time. Yoon Choy Saechao was a young village boy in
Laos whose life was forever changed by the Silent War. It was in the stench
of the camp that their lives intersected, and Yoon Choy found salvation.
I was privileged to sit and listen to both their
stories. History is best heard from those who were there. These two stories
have become a singular story of crossing cultures and survival. It is as
much a tribute to Lois Callaway as to the Mien people like Yoon Choy, whom
she loved and served. One person with a heart inclined toward the will of
God, can effect change. Lois Callaway showed me that this can be true.
NADINE ELKERTON arrived in this world in a simple sod home in Adena, Morgan
County, Colorado on November 24, 1921. She distinguished herself in Fort
Morgan, Colorado High School and in that city in journalism and anticipated
a career in that field. She was active in her church youth group and there
felt the call of the Lord on her life for foreign mission service. She thus
entered Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. There she met C.W. Callaway.
After a 2-year courtship they married in Enid on May 28, 1942. They
ministered in Glencoe, Oklahoma. While continuing studies at Cincinnati,
Ohio Bible Seminary they ministered to Syria and Bethel Christian Churches
near Orleans, Indiana.
They first went abroad in December 1946 for a year's
study in missionary medicine and Burmese in London, England. After a
frustrating 6 months of trying in vain to extend their visas in Burma they
served a year in Kunming, Yunnan, Western China. Forced from China by the
communist takeover they went on to Thailand where they arrived on October
18, 1949. Most events in this book occurred in Thailand. Throughout their
ministry they have been supported by several local congregations of
Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.
C.W. & Lois have 2 sons born in America, one
daughter born in China, and a son and daughter born in Thailand. Lois died
in an automobile accident near Napa, California on September 5, 1996.