Letter # 7 - This letter is from Janís mother Mettje, who was born in 1814 and is now 56 years old. Janís father Geugien died in 1863 at age 49, when Jan was only 18. At this writing he is 25, has been in America a year and married his first wife. Already the tender heart and longing of mother Mettje is apparent. Her repeated desire to visit Jan in America was never realized, nor did he ever see her or his sisters again.
Wildervank, November, 1870
Dear Son and Daughter,
Through the undeserved goodness of the Lord we received your letter of October 3 in good health, and from it note with great joy that through Godís grace you have recovered again. But dear daughter, to our deep pain we had to understand that you are wrestling with some weaknesses and we couldnít conclude anything other than that you still had a fever. Oh dear ones, how often the vicissitudes (wederwaardigheden) are so great in this life! We also picked that up from the letter we received from you. I thought, how far man has fallen because of sin! He is not even ________.
I was glad that we had received a note from you, and now we understand better the nature of the matter. You must write us how it all turned out in the end. I sent you a letter in September, but I think I can see that you didnít get it.
Thatís too bad, because it will now take so long (before you hear from us). We waited a little because we wanted to have a letter from Detmer and Marchien. They were to be coming from ≠≠≠≠_____ to _____ with a cargo of flax. And now we did receive it. I thought that Iíd just put it in with our letter and then you could read it as well. We couldnít have known that weíd just have written to you and couldnít greet you (for them), but once they got home then they would be able to write you themselves.
Oh my dear ones, as I sit here to write, how much I would love to talk with you! How often I sigh about it! Oh, that the Lord would purposely form us right from the cradle just what He wants us to be! Often we see the depths of it only afterwards. So I would never have thought that things would turn out this way, and so one once again ponders the future. Dear ones, if I were alone I wouldnít think very long about whether or not to come your way, but you yourselves know how much dissociation that would require. And also our way is determined from Eternity. May the Lord equip us to pray much for one another for his Spirit, because we need him in everything so much for his teaching, leading, and guidance.
Our minister visited us, for he comes now and then and asks about you. Above all he asked me to greet you. If you can, he would like a note from you. Now dear ones, I also read in your letter that you have to work very hard in order to get ahead. I do hope, though, that you will think about your body and that it is the Lord who provides your strength. Do you have your mother, sisters and brothers nearby, or are there neighbors who live close to you? We canít really get the truth out of Hendrik Ruiter. I perceived that some of his report was not completely true.
Now dear ones, may the Lord so lead us on the good way that we still see each other once in our lifetimes. Nothing is too amazing for Him! May the Lord provide for you so as to bear each otherís needs and frailties with patience. May he guide us so as to walk with endurance along the path that he has provided for us. In the hope that you may receive this letter in health, and having wished for you the Lordís indispensable blessing for soul and body, I am your loving mother,
Mettje Jans Boer
You must overlook my faults, and if you can, write back soon. You are greeted by the whole family.