Letter # 34 - This letter from sister Marchien is nearly illegible because on the second page she wrote a section vertically from bottom to top, on top of the horizontal lines she had already written! She is 34 now and apparently has 5 children since marrying Detmer in 1870, eight years earlier.


Wildervank, April, 1878

To Jan Rubingh and Wife,

Dear Brother, Sister and Child, through the mercy of the Lord we all together find ourselves in a reasonable state of health, and my wish is, dear Brother and Sister that you with dear Mettje may have the same privilege. Also that we together may have thankful hearts that we are in the land of the living because already this year so many of our contemporaries have exchanged the temporal for the eternal. Our dear Mother….. but it seems that the Lord had no desire for her death, and we also could not very well lose her. Mother is still weak, and she is not young anymore. Now she must use nourishing food, hoping that the Lord may bless the means and give her back her lost strength.

Our children are also healthy again, but they had scarlet fever and were very weak. Detmer went on board ….. and Sunday I received a letter from Detmer. He was in good health and sends you greeting….. We are just sitting with the ship ….. and the prospects are so bad and so weak …..May the Lord grant that we earn something because as an entire household of seven people. …..We are complaining and it is so dark. Otherwise I’m usually on board, but that doesn’t go so easily now because really three should go to school and we must move again, and we really can’t move and I too ………..

Dear brother, you can imagine…..How does it go with dear Mettje? Two of our children go to school. Elziena learns well and when she goes to school she will go in the big school. She learned two Psalm verses and texts in a week…..With Mettiena it does not go so well, but she is so steady in everything. Yes, 5 children and 5 different natures. Elziena is nearly 7 and our Mettiena is 6 years. They are still young. May the Lord encourage them so that they may grow up as….. so that someday they may…..with no problem or worry.

Now dear brother and sister, I have a …..so…..for the benefit of our people…put in a little letter….my Detmer. We are your loving brother and sister,

Detmer Dekker

Marchien Dekker, nee Rubingh