Bonners Ferry Couple Recognized For Years of Vietnamese Support
Eileen and Jay Lantry of Bonners Ferry (Idaho) recently received special recognition from the Vietnam Seventh-day Adventist Mission for their more than 30 years of dedicated support.
The Lantrys first became interested in Vietnam over thirty years ago when Jay served as superintendent of schools for the Far Eastern Division. During that time the Lantrys formed a special friendship with two young national teachers in Vietnam, Bach and Lam Nguyen. Both taught at a school in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).
During the bombing of Saigon, Ralph Watts, who organized the evacuation of American Adventist missionaries out of the city, got Bach and Lam out on the last plane when the government collapsed. They used the hospital ambulance as a decoy to get them safely to the airport. The plane full of refuges flew to Los Angeles where eventually Bach and Lam found work at the Voice of Prophecy Bible Correspondence School.
Through the years that followed their harrowing flight, Bach and Lam did not forget their families, friends and co-workers still struggling to survive in communist Vietnam. Through underground contacts, they were able to funnel aid back to keep the people and their faith alive. The Lantrys, affectionately called "Mom and Dad" by the Nguyens, took on the sole support of the work in one province in the central highlands, a remote mountainous area that would have had no other means of support.
On Oct. 2, Bach and Lam Nguyen traveled to Bonners Ferry to present a plaque on behalf of the Vietnam Mission to the Lantrys. The plaque had been hand-carried out of Vietnam to the Nguyens. It reads:
"The Vietnam Mission of Seventh-day Adventist, for dedicated support of the church work in Vietnam, gratefully expresses appreciation to Dr. and Mrs. Jay Lantry. Presented on occasion of the 80th anniversary of the founding of Seventh-day Adventist work in Vietnam in 1929."