Caleb Schrock-Hurst ‘14 Shares Vietnam Experience at Kennel Charles Lecture Series

October 16, 2019 / Andrea Wenger
Caleb Schrock-Hurst at Nhà Xuất Bàn Thế Giới Publishing House in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Caleb Schrock-Hurst at Nhà Xuất Bàn Thế Giới Publishing House in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Caleb Schrock-Hurst will draw on a year in Vietnam as the guest speaker for the 19th Annual Kennel Charles Lecture Series at Eastern Mennonite School October 28 and 29, 2019.

A 2014 EMHS graduate, Schrock-Hurst worked as a copy editor at Nhà Xuất Bàn Thế Giới in Hanoi the past year through the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Serving And Learning Together (SALT) program. In the role, he edited text meant to educate Westerners about the complex history of this country often seen through the lens of America’s “Vietnam War.”

During a recent school chapel service, Schrock-Hurst explained to students that Vietnamese citizens refer to that period of history as the “American War.” Historical narratives can change depending on your vantage point, he reflected.

The lecture series will include two days of U.S. History, World History, AP World History, Government, and Bible classes where he will engage students in the history of the Vietnam War and MCC service in the region.

Public session: Schrock-Hurst and Earl Martin
Earl Martin, local story teller who spent formative years in Vietnam during the late 1960s and ’70s, will join Schrock-Hurst for a public session on Monday, Oct. 28 from 12:45 to 1:30 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.

Martin was a young man in the late 1960s when he was profoundly shaped by time with Mennonite Central Committee in Vietnam. He and his wife, Pat, were married in a civil ceremony in 1963 in Quang Ngai city in what was then South Vietnam, when Earl was 23 and Pat 25. They now reside in Harrisonburg. See an Daily News-Record story on their reflections in March 2018 on the 50-year anniversary of the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.

Schrock-Hurst and Martin will reflect together on MCC in Vietnam, past and present.

“I’m delighted with the perspective and insight Caleb has to offer,” says lecture series coordinator Elwood Yoder, history and Bible teacher. “Caleb is articulate, connects well with students, and has given his life to a few years of service.”

Noting the school’s mission to prepare students for “compassionate service in the world,” Yoder says, “I want our students to cash in on his enthusiasm for MCC and global service.”

In 2000, Elmer and Marianne Kennel of Harrisonburg funded the Kennel Charles endowment to foster an interest in Mennonite-Anabaptist history among young people. The series honors Elmer’s parents, Elmer Kennel and Edith Charles, both class of 1932 and provides funds to support guest speakers and support student research.

In November, Schrock-Hurst will return to Vietnam where he will continue his new role as project coordinator, writer and researcher for MCC Vietnam’s 65th anniversary. Schrock-Hurst graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2017 where he majored in English and minored in history and music; earlier he studied at Hesston (Kansas) College.

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