Letter # 30 - This double letter is from Jan Rubingh’s older sister Griet and her husband Hendrik Joosten. They operate a barge and are spending the winter of 1877 in Wildervank. The second letter is practically illegible, but it’s basically a copy of the first. Notice how these letters follow the same pattern, and all speak of a godly life and faith.
Wildervank, 15 Feb., 1877
Dearly loved Brother and Sister,
We are letting you know that through the goodness and patience of the Lord we may find ourselves in good health and hope that you may also receive these letters in good health. Were it otherwise it would cause us sincere sorrow in the great separation from one another. We` read the same with gladness from your letter, for good news from a distant land is as cold water on a tired soul. May we simply acknowledge these blessings with a truly thankful heart which the Lord has until now manifested to us. But, dear Brother, and Sister, I must cover my face with shame when I consider how the time passes.
This winter we have been home for eight weeks, though now we are resuming our work. There were more tjalken (??) than there have been in many a year. The shipping industry has greatly increased here in recent years because the external (ocean) shippers are now going internal (on the canals), as Koos Scholten, Jan Scholten, Peter Duiven and some others. We have not had much freezing here this winter, but now it’s come again.
Further we wish you the precious blessing of the Lord for soul and body, and that the Lord may mutually be our counselor and leader on all our ways and may work out to the salvation of our eternal and immortal souls in both beginning and continuing. Further, be greeted by your brother and sister, H. Joosten, G. G. Rubingh
Be so good and write us back.
Dearly Loved Brother and Sister and child,
Theses letters are sent to you to let you know that through the goodness and patience of the Lord we find ourselves in a reasonably good state of health. We hope the same is true of you. If it were otherwise, it would be heartily sorrowful for us. Great are the blessings which we may enjoy above so many others in our time and place.
(The rest of this letter is basically illegible, but here are some phrases: “with a truly thankful heart”, “though we all have ….through inherited and moral sin, so that we can make no plea”, “the offer of salvation and grace”, “may guard us as a flower of the field”, ”that we may meet each other with gladness, where there is no parting.” “Kiss your little Mettje for us”, “We hope that you may receive these letters in good health, and again wish you the Lord’s blessing…”)