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Interviews of Eileen J. (O'Rourke) Kuhn - Collection 464


[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent.]

Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

Lists of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes


*****
Click to read a partial transcript of one of Eileen Kuhn's interviews, called "Would you be willing to go and search for my lost one?"

Click to read a partial transcript of one of Eileen Kuhn's interviews, called "Bringing a first Christmas."



Brief Description.
Oral history interview in which Kuhn talks about her family, her conversion to Christianity, her training as a nurse, life at Moody Bible Institute in the late 1940s, China Inland Mission at about the same time, her call to missions, and her work at the CIM retirement home in Toronto; John and Isobel Kuhn, work among the Lisu people in Thailand and Burma, translation of the Bible into the Lisu language, contacts with a former Kuomintang warlord in the so-called Golden Triangle, work as a teacher and administrator at the Singapore Bible College, memories of Lois and Mary LeBar and other Wheaton professors; the church in Singapore, retirement.


Collection 464 [May 8, 2002]
Kuhn, Eileen J. ( O'Rourke); 1925-
Interviews; 1992-1994
5 Reels of Audio Tape


Brief Description. Oral history interview in which Kuhn talks about her family, her conversion to Christianity, her training as a nurse, life at Moody Bible Institute in the late 1940s, China Inland Mission at about the same time, her call to missions, and her work at the CIM retirement home in Toronto; John and Isobel Kuhn, work among the Lisu people in Thailand and Burma, translation of the Bible into the Lisu language, contacts with a former Kuomintang warlord in the so-called Golden Triangle, work as a teacher and administrator at the Singapore Bible College, memories of Lois and Mary LeBar and other Wheaton professors; the church in Singapore, retirement.



Restrictions: None


Biography
Full name Eileen J. (O'Rourke) Kuhn
Birth March 21, 1925, in Glenside, Pennsylvania
Family
Parents Francis L. and Evelun (Nourse) O'Rourke
Siblings 3 brothers - Donald, Roger, Kenneth
Marital Status Married to John Kuhn, March 3, 1958
Conversion 1942
Education
1943-1946 Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington D.C. Became a registered nurse
1947-1949 Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois. Graduated with diploma in Missions
1949-1950 University of Pennsylvania Nursing School
1951 Attended a Summer Institute of Linguistics program
1970-1971 Wheaton College. Received a BA
1975-1976 Wheaton College. Received a MA
Career
1949-1952 Joined Overseas Missionary Fellowship. Worked as a nurse at the OMF Retirement Home in Toronto, Canada
1952-1956 Worked among the Lisu people of Thailand
1956 Editorial work in Singapore
1957 Furlough in the United States
1958 Returned to Singapore, married John Kuhn
1958-1963 The Kuhns served in Burma and Laos, John was Laos field superintendent
1964 The Kuhns in Hong Kong helped prepare the Bible in the Lisu language for publication
1965-1966 Furlough in the United States
1966 Returned to Singapore. After John's death on March 22, Eileen began teaching at Singapore Bible College
1966-1991 Taught Christian Education at Singapore Bible College, became dean
1981-2 Furlough in the United States, returned to Singapore Bible College
1991 Returned to the United States, served as minister-at-large for OMF. Moved to the OMF Retirement Home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania


Scope and Content
Eileen J. Kuhn was interviewed by Robert Shuster on October 20 and December 10, 1992, and May 19, 1994, at OMF Retirement Home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1930-1994.


T1 ( 75 minutes). Description of parents; father's humanism; mother's character; the family's home life; a year in the hospital because of a severe burns; the China dolls and Eileen's call to missions; lack of Christian influence as a child; a Christian club in high school; her conversion during a baby sitting job; family reaction; losing self-consciousness through prayer; nurse's training in Washington DC and her thoughts about being a nurse; telling her father about becoming a Christian; churches attended as a teenager and her early Christian life; family's objection to her going to Moody Bible Institute; reasons for going to Moody; supporting herself at Moody and learning to trust the Lord; classes at Moody; other memories of her love of Moody; war veterans at Moody; influential professors; her eagerness for Bible training; the mission program at Moody; how to recognize a missionary; missionary prayer bands at Moody; friends she made at Moody; doing children's ministry; the possibility of a child making a decision for Christ; hospital visitation; witnessing to people about Christ; social life at Moody; serving as an a Residence Assistant; benefits and weakness of the mission program; the importance of the proper attitudes toward communing with the Lord and facing problems; changes in the mind set of missionaries over the years; contemporary (1992) Americans not ready to make long term commitments; the differences between the first, second, and third terms of missionary service; reasons why she did not go to China immediately as a missionary in 1949 and the impact this had on her; Nina Gemmell and her interview for CIM candidate school; serving as a nurse at the home for CIM retired workers in Toronto, Canada

T2 (24 minutes). Reason for applying to CIM (CIM publications, the mission's financial policy, the organizational structure of the missions, prayer in making decisions), Eileen's calling to CIM; candidate school; difficulties with the Chinese language; testing people's character under stress in candidate school; questions asked; retired British missionaries she met in Canada; Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Tyler and Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Seamen; sermons of Oswald Smith; debate within CIM about what the mission should do after China was closed to them; trusting God's calling to you

T3 (71 minutes). First impressions of Thailand in 1952; fearful and joyful about arriving; being a good advertisement; bout with polio and the lesson of the open palm; learning the lesson again through the death of her husband; Isobel Kuhn; John Kuhn; what happens when an irresistible force marries an immoveable object; working among the Lisu with Edna McLaren; first night at the mission station in a Lisu village; being Jesus' friend in a place where His friends are few; conversion of Father Wood and Eileen's first Christmas in Lisuland; contacts with Chinese opium dealers; protected during an attack on a Lisu village; starting children's work and medical work; never to work with a witchdoctor; teaching the Lisu language and Bible stories; sin and fear; opposition to their work and headman Honey; later developments in the spread of the gospel in the area; deaths of Lillian Hamer and G. Roy Orpin; John Kuhn as an encourager of missionaries; Isobel Kuhn's importance as a unifier of the missionaries; challenge of a hard task; contrast between Thai and Burmese Lisu people; going to Singapore, furlough, marrying John; editorial work in Singapore; Arnold Lea; wedding proposal from John by mail; service in Laos and Hong Kong; duties as superintendent's wife; teaching Lisu Bible classes; the place of Scripture in Lisu Christianity; the Lisu worship services - singing, preaching, prayers; Christian names replacing birth names among the Lisu; the leader Lucius; Eileen's work on the Lisu Bible; Eileen's years at the Singapore Bible College

T4 (65 minutes). Readjusting her life after John's death; "throw me to the lions but don't let me work with youth!"; beginnings of the Singapore Bible College; original purpose of the school and activities of current graduates; Eileen's activities at SBC in the late 1960s; faculty of the school; English language and Mandarin language cultures; the student body of the school; presidents of the school; independent and Asian character of the school; Ola Tullcan; other missions that support SBC; starting a Christian education program at SBC; Eileen's education at Wheaton; Mary and Lois LeBar: methods and philosophy of Christian education; Larry Richards; Emory Griffin; culture shock on returning to the United States; moral and political decline of the country; reaction to the current (1994) Michael Fay situation; ways students in SBC have changed over the years; Eileen's enjoyment of teaching; benefits of a diploma in Christian Education; brief gap in tape; efforts to reach hidden peoples in Singapore; importance of materialism in Singapore culture; anti-evangelism campaign in Singapore; charismatic movement in Singapore and acceptance between different Christian traditions there; strengths and weaknesses of the Christian church in Singapore; attitude toward abortion in Singapore; religious policy of the government; continuities in OMF since 1950; James Hudson Taylor III; Eileen's conflict as to whether accept the assistant deanship of the school; responsibilities and problems of a dean; reflections on her retirement; reasons for retiring from SBC

T5 (10 minutes). Reasons for retiring from SBC (overlap from the end of T4); reasons not to retire and stay in the field; difficulties to adjusting to life in the United States; possible retirement programs missions should develop


Provenance
The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Eileen J. Kuhn in 1992 and 1994.
Accession: 92-128, 92-157, 94-50
April 29, 2002
Robert Shuster


LOCATION RECORD
Accession: 92-128. 92-157, 94-50
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE file.

# R/C speed length Sides Contents Dates
T1 r 3 3/4 ips 75 min. 1 Oral history interview of Eileen Kuhn by Robert Shuster October 20, 1992
T2 r 3 3/4 ips 24 min. 1 Conclusion of T1 October 20, 1992
T3 r 3 3/4 ips 71 min. 1 Oral history interview of Eileen Kuhn by Robert Shuster December 10, 1992
T4 r 3 3/4 ips 65 min. 1 Oral history interview of Eileen Kuhn by Robert Shuster May 19, 1994
T5 r 3 3/4 ips 10 min 1 Conclusion of T4 May 19, 1994



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Last Revised: 5/8/02
Expiration: indefinite