Letter # 27 - Janís mother Mettje tells that ďUncle Harm BoerĒ put out to sea from London, and was never heard from again!
Wildervank, May 9, 1876
Dear Loved Son and Daughter,
We received your letter and money in reasonably good health through the undeserved goodness of the Lord and from it we perceived with joy that you are all well. It is so pleasing to me, dear ones, as I read that you again were able to visit your (wifeís) parents. We can rejoice in that, but you can understand how painful it is for me that from our side we must miss that. One lives, dear ones, in hopes and desires, and then it is as though that provides our only comfort, but here so often that is shattered and changeable. May the Lord give us, dear ones, above all that we may mutually enjoy that comfort that we, in life and in death, may belong to Christ. That in itself is not subject to any change.
Our Marchie is currently on the ship, dear ones. They are currently in Copenhagen. They were in good health. We received a letter from her on Friday. They have both of their smallest children with them. When we write you she said that we must send along her greeting. The two oldest, Elsiena and Mettiena, are here with us again. They make it pretty busy for us now and then. As one gets a bit older it gets a little bothersome, and if Heigiena is busy, then the work falls to me. But then again sometimes they are so dear. If only you were here once with your dear Mettje! That would be such a joy.
Our Griet and Hendrik are working on the new canal and had to transport coal to Amsterdam. They also were in good health. We never get a letter that omits saying that if we write to you, we must send you greetings. They have a profitable (business?). They donít come home to us very often these days because there is a lot of freight, and so I often must experience that the one is here and the other is there. May the Lord allow us to rest in his way. We are still in the land of the living, but concerning Uncle Harm Boer I can only share with you a tragic account. In February he was briefly here with us. Then he was with his ship in London, and Detmer was there also, but when he put out to sea it stormed every day, and now there is no news about him, and there is also no hope anymore. Jan Jakob was with him. It is so tragic for me because I was quite fond of him. They had nine children. Dear ones, now Aunt Jaantje still has eight with her and the youngest is only half a year old. Last year they outfitted a new ship with great difficulty, and then with such a huge household itís almost unimaginable.
Itís not very favorable for seafaring now. Detmerís affairs are still not settled, but he hasnít paid anything either. The Procurer said that they must not do that, but as long as itís not settled, itís worrisome because the law is so often handled wrongly. May the Lord guide it all to a just end.
In the church things are also pitiful. Rengen Brouwer and Uncle Okke Pronk (he is not worth calling my uncle) and Aaltje Onkkes were excommunicated from the church last Sunday. I believe I wrote you about it earlier. Aaltje is living in ______ and has a child from Okke Pronk. They both went to America together, but last summer hastily returned. He could not do well there at all. Now he has to support her as well, and his wife is with him and she is so permissive with him and is so glad that he is home again. He was even an elder in the Church! Just as our congregation bled in earlier years, so horrible it is now. The only good thing is that the truth is proclaimed and we can find no fault with our Dominee, but the Council leaves much to be desired. A son of Beuker is going to marry a daughter of Opke Nieboer and a son of Bentum is married to a daughter of Jelte de Jonge. Others of the Council did not want discipline applied so strictly as it had been in this instance with Pronk. It now became (obviously) necessary, but it should have happened earlier. If judgment begins in Godís house it doesnít bode well. May the Lord shelter us now!
Dear ones, the sowing is done. For fourteen days it was favorable weather, but now every day there is such a cold east wind. Now things are going backward instead of forward and it freezes every night.
Now dear ones, I better desist because Iím running out of time. Our Heigiena is very busy this time. You must excuse my handwriting and mistakes. You must give your dear Mettje a kiss for us. May the Lord favor us once more, so that we may meet one another on this side of the grave. With him nothing is too amazing. If you can, write us back soon and tell us how it goes with your church and circumstances. Now, dear ones, you are greeted by me and our Heigiena a thousand times. May the Lord be our mutual Guide and Counselor in all our ways. Now that I have wished for you the indispensable blessing of the Lord for soul and body, I am your loving mother, M J Boer
Be heartily thanked for the money! Dear ones, above all, greet your family. I had forgotten that. Dear ones, be greeted one more time.