Letter # 40 - This letter from Janís mother is full of news, but it is in terrible condition. Its yellow leaves are falling apart. Since Janís daughter Betje was born on Oct. 19, 1979, he wrote his mother the very next day. Janís sister Griet is also pregnant. That child was born in Jan., 1880, and was named Guechien (after his grandfather, and my great-grandfather). I met that Geuchien in Rotterdam in 1955! He gave me Janís farewell address to the Wildervank Young Menís Society, which Jan must have given to his sister Griet.


Wildervank, November 8, 1879

Dearly Loved Son and Daughter,

Through the undeserved goodness of the Lord we have received your letter of October 20 in reasonably good health, and from it we perceived with great joy the blessing of the Lord to you. When we received your previous letter, dear ones, it brought great concern because, dear son, you had not recovered from the fever, and you, dear daughter, your condition (of pregnancy) after so many years rightly caused concern, and then to move and not even have a house, though thatís not quite so because you told us that you had a dwelling there in the house of the people from whom you bought the land. But now itís nearly winter! Did you sell your land satisfactorily, or did you keep the other land?

If you sometimes are not strong itís hard work from early to late to keep it all clean, and soon you wonít have any more ready-to-wear clothes either. But, dear ones, donít take it ill of me that Iím just sitting here writing (like this). You can surely realize that my thoughts are often with you and then often come the thought of how much I would like to be with you once as well. But, dear ones, through all these considerations and Ö..today we shouldÖ..the great benefits whichÖ..enjoy our wages and also see that the Lord may give us all together really thankful hearts that you have recovered from your fever, dear son, and you, dear daughter, had a successful birth. May the Lord speedily restore your lost strength, and my heartfelt wish is that your little children may grow up in the fear of the Lord.

We havenít heard any news from our Hendrik and Griet in fourteen days. At that time they were in Holland. Our Grietís time is coming in December, and then sheíll be on board (the barge) and that causes worry, too. Dear ones, Detmer has left Koningsberg for England.

Through Godís goodness we are in possession (!) of our own minister, Dominee van Hogen from the Hoogeveen. He appears just fine to us. Last Sunday he had his inauguration and was installed by Dominee opte Holt.

Here there is generally great amazement, as you also wrote in your letter, that Dominee Kuiper married so quickly, but everything has its time.

Dominees are in general somewhat luxurious. Nowadays they get big salaries and even presents from some. Some have enough to do, but donít always do it, and thatís not for the bestÖ.. I want to honor for her work, therefore. I always had great respect for Dominee Kuiper, so if you meet her, greet her and her children from our Jaantje Dik. That is Detmerís sister; she was not yet married but was home with her mother. You know, she lived next to Stoffer. Sheís going to marry the Dominee from Urk. She is 55; he is 63 years old. He is a widower, but I canít give you any more details right now.

Is there a school near you? Is your family all well? Can your Mother come to visit you now and then? Dear ones, I just canít put away from me the hope to see each otherís faces on this side of the graveÖ..but sometimes I getÖ..the LordÖ..if it is not possible according to his counsel down here, that it may then be afterward in the eternal glory.

Now, dear ones, may the Lord be our mutual Advisor and Leader in all our ways. Having wished for you the indispensable blessing for soul and body, I am your loving, Mother, M. J. Boer

Ö..If you can possibly manageÖ..write us quickly back how it is with you. Kiss your dear children from us all. If there is anything in this letter that doesnít strike you just right, please overlook it. Once again, dear ones, hearty greetings, M J Boer