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Collection 678 Oral History Interview with Helen Grace Madeira Cox

Identifier: CN 678

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Helen Grace Madeira Cox (1921-2019), missionary in China from 1947-1951 and Northern Thailand 1953-1973 with China Inland Mission (later Overseas Missionary Fellowship). Topics discussed include Cox's childhood experiences and early faith in the Church of the Brethren; call to missionary work; education at Columbia Bible College and Wheaton College; teaching Bible in Virginia public schools; attending Missionary Medical Institute and Wycliffe’s Summer Institute of Linguistics; applying for China Inland Mission (CIM); learning the Chinese language; the Chinese church in Baoshan, China; various OMF workers; the Chinese Civil War; CIM’s withdrawal from China; marriage to Eric Cox; return to mission work in Northern Thailand; conversion and faith of Yao headman Brother Six; Yao people and society; family life on the mission field; Yao language work; New Testament translation; work with Yao immigrants to U.S.; retirement to Calvary Fellowship Home. The time period covered by the interview is 1921 to 2014.

Helen Grace Madeira Cox was interviewed by Robert Shuster on June 25, 2014 at the Calvary Fellowship Home in Lancaster, PA.


  • 2014

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright to the sound recordings in this collection is held by the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Archives.

Biographical Information

Full name: Helen Grace Madeira Cox

Birth: January 25th 1921 in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

Death: January 8th 2019 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania


Parents: Isaac Titus Madeira (1893-1945) and Elsie Hernley Lehman (1891-1974)

Siblings: Robert L. Madeira (1915), Hernley L. Madeira (1918), David L. Madeira (1922), Eugene L. Madeira (1927), Anna L. Madeira (1928-1928)

Marital Status: Married Eric James Edgar Cox (1909-1983) in 1951

Children: Elizabeth Anne (1953), David Edgar (1956), and Peter Madeira (1959) as well as three step-children from Eric Cox’s previous marriage to Grace Lidell: Miriam (1941), Phillip (1943), and John (1945)

Conversion: Accepted Christ at nine years old at a Church of the Brethren revival meeting. Felt assurance of salvation at sixteen at youth bible study.


1939(?)-1942 - Columbia Bible College, B.A. in Biblical Education (Columbia, SC)

1942-1943 - Wheaton College, Graduate School, West Suburban Hospital School of Nursing (Wheaton, IL)

1945-1946 - Missionary Medical Institute (Toronto, Ont.)

1946 - Wycliffe Summer Institute of Linguistics at University of Oklahoma


1943-1945 - Taught Bible education in fourteen Virginia public schools.

1947-1950 - Went to China with China Inland Mission, assigned to the city of Baoshan in Yunnan province. Left China during Communist takeover with the withdrawal of CIM.

1952-1960 - Commissioned along with husband, Eric Cox, to Maesalong, a Yao village in the Chiang Rai province near Mae Chan, Thailand with Overseas Missionary Fellowship to witness to the Yao (Mien) people upon conversion of headman of the village, Brother Six (Gway Ching). Engaged in learning Yao language, evangelizing other villages, and establishing beginning Bible studies.

1961-1963 - Returning from second furlough (1960-1961), relocated to Mae Chan, Chiang Rai, Thailand. Continued to assist with Eric Cox’s Yao language and biblical translation work.

1963-1964 - Relocated to Square Well (another Yao village) upon request of Yao tribesman Brother Eight (Gway Fong) and family to witness and teach to the Yao community there.

1966-1968 - Returned from furlough to be stationed in Yao village of Nongwaen. Worked with Sylvia Lombard to develop Yao language curriculum for new mission workers.

1969-1973 - Returned from furlough to last term of service, stationed in Mae Chan. Assisted with completion of Eric Cox’s translation of New Testament into Yao language.

1980(?)-1983 - Ministered to Yao immigrants in U.S. under Overseas Missionary Fellowship


193 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Archives by Helen Grace Madeira Cox in June 2014.

Accession 14-22

September 9, 2020

Emily Banas

Collection 678 Oral History Interview with Helen Grace Madeira Cox
Emily Banas
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US