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Thursday, September 4, 1986


PIX #1 - This photo shows Cody Cull (let) and Pow. The picture was taken after Pow had arrived in America and had lived in this country for awhile. The photo of Pow taken when he was released and arrived in America was not available.

"See if the Lord leads you to a boy" were Joyce Cull's final words to her husband, Cody, as she farewelled him to Thailiand in December 1979. He was going there as part of a Youth With A Mission medical program to work among the thousands of refugees who had pored over the borders from Cambodia to Thailiand.

Several years before, the Cull's who had one biological daughter named Ange of their own but could have no more, adopted a little Korean girl, Sarah. This cute, sparkling bundle of fun, won their hearts and quickly broke down any lingering cultural prejudices they may have had. Now they were ready to introduce another member into their family. As they prayed, they felt strongly it should be a boy.


Cody's heart grieved as he entered the pit of human suffering the the Thailiand camp. Amidst the dust and unsanitary conditions the refugees, or as they were now being named by the Thai government, illegal aliens, were pouring into Khao I Dang at the rate of 5,000 a day.

On their arrival they were given a sheet of plastic and a few bamboo sticks from which they constructed a makeshift shelter. A limited eight gallons of water were allocated to each family per day, (one flush of a Western toilet takes eight gallons). Especially in the earlist days of the camp, sanitary conditions were practically nonexistent.

But even this was better than the atrocities of war from which these people had fled. It was not uncommon for the communists to have come into a home, ravaged every item of value and left the family to grovel for whatever existence they could. Many, especially as they were fleeing to safety, existed off the bark and leaves of trees.


They arrived in the camp with rib cages sticking out from starvation. Many suffered TB and were dying like flies. cody, with the rest of the medical team, had his hands full tending the sick and dying. But Joyce's departing words remained with him.

In the midst of these thousands of hurting, displaced people, who in a few years were to see their entire population reduced from eight to only three and a half milliion, was it possible God had a little boy picked out for them...who would become part of their family?

Because they had arrived at a leter date, the Cambodians in the camp where Cody was working were classified as aliens rather than refugees. That meant they were not eligible for replacement in a third world country.

But Camp Aranyaprathet, 30 miles away, housed refugees who were eligible. Cody learned of three orphan boys in that camp, one of whom he might be able to bring back with him to America.


He took the 30 mile journey to investigate. There he met the boy named Pow. The moment Cody saw Pow he knew. His infectious smile and vibrant drive for life won Cody's heart immediately.

Both Pow's parents and younger brother had died during the war in Cambodia. In a raid with guns and rockets firing all aroung them, houses burning, people fleeing, Pow with a younger sister, Amina from whom he became separated, had fled for his life.

He had already applied to five countries for immigration. Cody felt more than pity or concern. He felt identification. Pow wasn't just another refugee child. He was the son whom God had chosen for them. Cody showed Pow pictures of their family. He explained what would be involved if Pow chose to become part of their family.

Pow's response was immediate. Yes! He wanted to become part of their family.


At that point Cody only had two weeks left and as he quickly discovered, Cambodian children are not adoptable. He did all he could to make arrangements.

Returning to his home in Indians, he continued his attempts to bring Pow to America. For the next six months, he and Joyce did everything within their power to have Pow released. They wrote countless letters, sent telegrams, made numerous telephone calls, and had at least two congressional inquiries. But it was all in vain.

Finally in August Cody came to a point of relinquishment, "I believe you've lead us to Pow and that you want him to join our family", he prayed, "but it's clear I can't achieve this on my own. I give him back into Your hands. If you want him to come you'll have to open the door.


For the next 30 days, neither Cody or Joyce did anything to aid Pow's release. Then came a call from the U.S. Embassy, "Hang on, Don't give up hope".

A Christian worker there Andrea Fowler, was doing everything within her power to assist. A few days later came another call, "Looks like it might be two or three weeks". Then finally the word they had been prayinf and hoping for came through.

"How about five days?"

It was definite confirmation of Pow's release, and within five days, a lone refugee boy, proudly dressed in his new demin slacks, shirt and a size too small tennis shoes, stepped from a plane at Indianapolis International Airport. To welcome him were his brand new American family. In his hand was a small satchel containing all the belongings he owned.


As the plane broke through the dark cloud into bright sunlight it was ringed by a double rainbow...a sign of God's faithfulness.

Joyce's heart missed a beast as all the passengers descended and Pow, who has since come to be known as David, didn't appear. But finally there he came, conducted by the air stewardess.

It was a touching moment for them all. Joyce's dad, who with her mother, had joined them for the occasion, stood with tears streaming down his face. Running out, Cody leaned over the barrier and swung the tiny figure into his arms.

As they walked out of the airport together Pow turned to Cody, "Is this America?"

At a cafeteria, one of their first stops, Pow picked almost every item in sight. Before long he had become absorbed into the Cull family and more important with a few months had made his commitment to join God's family.


Patsy Walsh Foote who grew up in Fostoria, and was included in Potluck articles in past weeks, sent me a copy of the letter which she wrote to the editor of Huntsville, Alabama Times, and which appeared in print, WoW!


To The Times: If the captain of the U.S. Naval ship hits a sandbar, losing no lives but damaging government property, his career and reputation are ruined. He is known forever as a man who "ran aground" and exists in a perpetual state of disgrace.

This may explain the absense of Gen. Chuck Yeager at committee hearings on the Challenger disaster. Brace as he is, he may have an Achilles heel which won't permit him to endure the buck-passing and supreme arrogance of NASA civilians who bullied contractors into signing off on a doomed rocket with no escape-hatch.

Now, a widow is suing and NASA has miraculously "rescued" voice tapes which prove that the crew "Never knew what hit 'em". The trained and conditioned victims would not have been quick to voice concern, so who knows what they were thinking those last moments?

The Huntsville Chamber of Commerce fell all over itself in praising the NASA chief who retired and The Times noted that his old Volkswagen "Bug" would be sorely missed in NASA's parking lot.

That should tell us something - it is German precision, militaristic self- discipline, and price in workmanship and accomplishments - NASA really lacks. A recent Newsweek article stated that newly prosperous locals patronize the Black Forest and not Detroit for status-symbol automobiles noted for superb engineering.

The tail is wagging the dog at NASA. When a man who is probably the most culpable of all appears on TV and refers to himself affectionately and grandly in the third person without a spark of remorse or humiliation, it is time for someone to have the backbone to day "this is outrageous".

Where is it written that a NASA job should be a secure and that no one can be fired and drummed out in disgrace? Patsy Walsh Foote Huntsville

Patsy's note to me said: "I wanted to show you the article which has turned the town upside down".

I was the only person to have the nerve to write, criticizing big-shots at NASA. I have had the phone ringing off the hook, with thanks and praise... and soon I will get the flak. People have been driving by...stopping and looking at me. I expect to get terrible repercusions but I can take it!

Patsy's husband is a retired Colonel from the U.S. Air Force (World War I).

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