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Church members remember terror and triumphs of mission work in Vietnam


The Oklahoman reports on the life and mission work of Ralph and Gladys Burcham, members of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. The couple served as missionaries in Saigon during the Vietnam War.

Gladys and Ralph Burcham worked as teachers and missionaries during the Vietnam War. The Edmond, Okla., couple has written a book about their experience titled “Vietnam: Triumphs and Tragedies.” (Photo by Paul B. Southerland, via newsok.com)

Missionary Ralph Burcham remembers the sounds of Jan. 31, 1968.

“We could hear the mortars whizzing over and the explosions at the other end,” Burcham said. “They just rocked Saigon. It sounded like the end of time.”

Burcham, his wife, their two children and six guests were hunkered down in a home four blocks away from Tan Son Nhat Air Base in Vietnam.
The Burcham family spent nearly two years working as teachers and missionaries in Vietnam. The Tet Offensive forced them to leave.
They didn’t expect such an abrupt end to their work in Vietnam, Ralph Burcham said. They also didn’t expect to bring nearly 300 Vietnamese refugees with them back to Oklahoma.

Read the full story.
The couple’s book, “Vietnam: Triumphs and Tragedies” is available on Amazon.com.

  • Feedback
    We are so thankful that God put Gladys and Ralph Burcham in our lives for the few years we attended OC and Memorial Road church of Christ. What a blessing they were to us as students, as newlyweds, and as new parents. We still have the quilt Gladys made for our newborn son John. John is now 25 and just recently got married.
    Sandy Berger
    October, 11 2011

    This couple is truly the image of Christ’s love, God’s mercy and the Holy Spirit’s power to do & perform. These two godly friends have given to so many and in many different ways � Christians who live with the FAITH to do what they can where they are planted at the time.
    They could not be repaid for the many, many gifts of love & labor they have given to me and so many others. OF COURSE they would not even think or realize any such debt but prayers of thanks and very small gifts in the past truly present my heartfelt love.
    Also, as I have shared with my wife, she too has been blessed through their life testimony to give whatever it is you have and allow OUR GOD TO DO. My wife Jeronia and I learned what grace really meant in God’s plan of salvation for men, from this couple. Romans today still has such a true feeling of God’s love for His creation. Our desire to go into ministry was strongly encouraged by their living Jesus with skin for us to feel and understand the power of Christianity.
    DICK ROBEY
    October, 11 2011

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