[February 17, 2000]
Evans, Helen Elizabeth; 1923-
Full name: Helen Elizabeth Evans
Birth date: February 28, 1923
Parents: Clinton M. (Insurance agent) and Edith N. Fish Evans
Siblings: One brother
Marital Status: Single
Conversion: Approximately 1935 at age 12
1941-1946 B.A. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, in Christian Education
1949 Nyack Missionary Training Institute
1946-1948 Director of Christian Education for New England Fellowship
1949-1974 Missionary in tribal area of Vietnam (then French Indo-China) for Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA)
1976-1986 Missionary in Sulawesi, Indonesia, for C&MA
1986- Work among Dega refugees in Charlotte, North Carolina
Scope and Content
Helen Elizabeth Evans was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on September 10 and 11, 1991, at the offices of the Billy Graham Center. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1923-1991.
T1 (65 minutes). Childhood, parents, father's sisters, missionary work of Aunt Lydia and Uncle "Jack" Jackson in French Indo-China, going to camp in Rumney, New York, conversion at age twelve, work of Aunt Elizabeth ("Bess") as secretary to J. Elwin Wright and the New England Fellowship, Aunt Katherine ("Kay") and her work also for the NEF, her decision to attend Wheaton College, yielding her life to God, majoring in Christian education, classes, teachers, work on campus, Aeolian Literary Society, Foreign Missions Fellowship
T2 (45 minutes). More about teachers, classes, teaching Daily Vacation Bible School in New England during the summers for the NEF, doing rural Bible teaching in public schools, support from the Park Street Church; two years of rural work as preparation for Nyack Institute missionary training, graduation from Nyack, becomes Director of the DVBS and rural Bible teaching programs of NEF, appointment by CM&A to India, doubts about call to India, intervention of uncle and eventual appointment to French Indo-China
T3 (70 minutes). Adequacy of training for the field, theory versus practice, illness and God's healing, language study in the tribal language Koho, teaching children, teenage boys in preparatory school, and in the Bible school in Da Lat in what was then French Indo-China, tribes, Bible translation work, attending the Summer Institute of Linguistics, remembrance of David and Dorothy Thomas (CN 409), the task of the Bible school, taking the gospel to the villages, a demon-possessed chieftain, Vietnamese teachers in the Bible school, prejudices and antipathies between mountain tribes and Vietnamese
T4 (60 minutes). The Vietnamese Conflict, the Tet Offensive, rescue by the U.S. Army from Da Lat as Viet Cong attacked, loss of missionaries to the Tet, slanted media reporting of war, good things done by G.I.s for the Vietnamese people, cruelty of Viet Cong, war gave missionaries ten extra years to build up the churches, training of pastors and laymen for "cell evangelism," persecution and growth of the churches, relationship between the mission and the government, reaction of veterans, U.S. churches, and her mother to war reports and her message to the churches about the war: "When the church [in Vietnam] was strong enough to take it [persecution], the Lord took away the missionaries"
T5 (65 minutes). Discussion of the film Jungle Blood Hunters and the missionary who made the film, Gordon Smith; fear of evil spirits and bad omens, taboos; interpersonal conflicts; sex roles; tribal society was matriarchal, husbands move to wife's family, children carry mother's name; youth meetings; being house mother to teenage girls; church discipline for backsliders; difficulty in confronting parishioners who sinned; asssignment to Indonesia with missionaries David and Valerie Beck; example of a Bible school student in Indonesia who committed adultery; Bible school revival; opposition from Indonesian pastor
T6 ( 40 minutes). Curriculum of the Bible school in Indonesia; heathen funerals which were feasts of social obligations; an animist leader who came to the Lord on his death bed and paid his social obligations with a feast at his baptism; grief over leaving Vietnam; acceptance of work and people of Indonesia; her personality characteristics; work with FEBC to do Bible reading in Chrau for broadcast into Vietnam
T7 (55 minutes). Communication with people in Vietnam after the Communists took over; Evangelism Deep and Wide program taught cell groups how to witness and pray which was good training for persecution; intertribal conferences; more about Gordon Smith; Malcolm and Helen Sawyer; split of French Indo-China into Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam; working with Dega refugees in Charlotte, North Carolina, reception of refugees to the gospel when they first came and after finding homes, jobs, etc.; discovery that the anonymous patron who paid for her college education was J. Elwin Wright; description of Wright
The materials in this collection were given to the Graham Center Archives by Helen Elizabeth Evans in September 1991.
November 19, 1997
Janyce H. Nasgowitz
Type of Materials: Audio Tapes
The following items are filed in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:
T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx. 65 minutes. Interview of Helen Elizabeth Evans by Paul A. Ericksen on September 10, 1991, at the offices of the Archives of the Billy Graham Center.
T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx. 45 minutes. Continuation of interview of Helen Elizabeth Evans by Paul A. Ericksen on September 10, 1991.
T3 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx. 70 minutes. Continuation of interview of Helen Elizabeth Evans by Paul A. Ericksen on September 10, 1991.
T4 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx. 60 minutes. Continuation of interview of Helen Elizabeth Evans by Paul A. Ericksen on September 10, 1991.
T5 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx. 65 minutes. Interview of Helen Elizabeth Evans by Paul A. Ericksen on September 11, 1991.
T6 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx 40 minutes. Continuation of interview of Helen Elizabeth Evans by Paul A. Ericksen on September 11, 1991.
T7 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx 40 minutes. Continuation of interview of Helen Elizabeth Evans by Paul A. Ericksen on September 11, 1991.