World Council of Churches congratulates Nobel Prize Winners
The World Council of Churches (WCC) acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca congratulated the Nobel Peace Prize winners. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov. Sauca expressed solidarity with their ongoing fight for justice and peace.
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The World Relief family celebrates the life and ministry of Evelyn Mangham, who passed away today at the age of 98.
Along with her late husband, Grady Mangham, Evelyn began World Relief’s refugee resettlement program in the 1970s.
Evelyn Breaden was born in 1922 and spent the early years of her life as the daughter of missionaries in the Middle East. After marrying Grady Mangham, she moved to Vietnam, where the couple lived and ministered from 1947 to 1967 as Christian & Missionary Alliance missionaries, teaching in a Bible school and supporting church planting and discipleship among the Montagnard people. They returned to Nyack, New York, where they worked from the Alliance’s headquarters.
In 1975, when Saigon fell, Evelyn and Grady began receiving urgent pleas from people whom they had known in Vietnam who had been forced to flee as refugees. “We had to do something,” Evelyn reflected in a 2016 interview. The couple tirelessly worked to advocate for refugees to be welcomed to the U.S., knocking on the doors of both the U.S. government and the various churches that had supported them as overseas missionaries. Evelyn would often work from the hallway of the denominational offices in Nyack, insisting that churches welcome the large number of refugees who were arriving. In a single year, Alliance churches welcomed more than 10,000 refugees who had fled Vietnam and from conflicts in neighboring Laos and Cambodia.
In 1979, this effort that had initially been coordinated by the Christian & Missionary Alliance’s Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA) Services and then through Lutheran World Relief was brought under the auspices of World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, which had been focused on empowering churches to care for vulnerable and displaced people overseas since its founding, but which began its U.S. refugee resettlement ministry under the leadership of Grady and Evelyn Mangham. Grady Mangham continued to lead World Relief’s refugee resettlement program until 1987, resettling an average of 6,300 refugees annually from countries all around the world. Since then, several of Grady and Evelyn’s children and grandchildren have served World Relief in various capacities.
The refugee resettlement program that Evelyn Mangham helped to found has now resettled roughly 300,000 refugees to communities throughout the United States. In the coming months, World Relief anticipates receiving between 7,000 and 10,000 individuals who have recently fled Afghanistan in an evacuation with many historical parallels to the refugee crisis in Vietnam that sparked Evelyn and Grady Mangham’s ministry. The local church remains central to our mission, just as it was when Evelyn and Grady founded the program.
The World Relief family throughout the globe grieves Evelyn’s death — but not without hope, confident in the resurrection through Christ that was Evelyn’s greatest hope. And we celebrate the incredible legacy of Evelyn and Grady’s life and ministry.
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