Letter # 41 - This letter from Janís brother-in-law Hendrik Joosten and his older sister Griet note the birth of Janís daughter Betje (Bessie) and also their own son Geuchien. Darlene and I met Geuchien in Rotterdam in December of 1955, and he was then 75 years old. Hendrik and Griet operated a barge, plying the canals of Holland. The final page of the letter, so full of faith and piety, is missing.


Amsterdam, 28 January, 1880

Dear Brother and Sister,

We are letting you know that we and our family are in reasonably good physical condition. We hope that you also may receive these letters in good health. However, Griet often has severe head pains. We read your letter stating that you were all in reasonably good health again, although you, Brother, were not yet very strong. We hope that the Lord will soon restore your lost strength. Also, to our delight, we noted that Your Wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl. May this be a trust from the Lord and may she grow up to glorify His great and never sufficiently praised Name.

Further, I can tell you that my wife gave birth on December 10 to a healthy son who has the name Geuchien. We were then two hours from here in a small village named Halfway (?). There we had a shipment of sugar beets and there in the end of November we were stuck in the ice. With the arrival of the New Year it thawed and we came here. But now it is a severe winter once more.

Klaas Boer has been with us the whole winter. We have a great companionship with him. The earnings during the previous year were in general quite poor, so that we also profited nothing. We hope that this may soon change. Regarding our ship, itís going very well. Itís much larger and more spacious that our old boat and carries a lot of goods. So when we look at ourselves, dear Brother and sister, then there is always ground for thankfulness, for we have forfeited even the smallest blessings through our inherited and actual sins.

Further, we wish you all the choicest blessings of the Lord for soul and body, also in this New Year, so that the Lord may be for us mutually our Guide and Leader in all our ways and may result in the salvation of our eternal and immortal souls in our further progress. Further, greetings from al of us. Your Brother and Sister,

H. A. Joosten, G. G. Rubingh

Dear Brother and Sister,

That you may receive these letters in good health is our heartfelt wish. We also, through the undeserved goodness of the Lord find ourselves in reasonably good health. Although for some time I was unwell, and also sometimes I have severe headaches. Then itís as though I have a fever in my head.. I also often have it internally. The doctor says this often comes from lack of sleep. May the Lord graciously take this malady from us, for he alone is the Great Physician, who can cure us from our spiritual and bodily miseries. May we simply flee to him to seek shelter in the bosom of Christ, because we have forfeited everything by our sins.

Now we are once more in a New Year. So many of our acquaintances have not lived to see it.. The Lord has spared us mutually until now so that we have reason for thankfulness. Oh, may this be acknowledged and taken note of. I wish you many blessings in this New Year. May the Lord bless you with temporal and spiritual blessings and also with your young daughter that the Lord has given you with her sister. May she swiftly grow in the fear of the Lord.

We have waited quite a while with writing, but that is not out of indifference, for our thoughts are often with you. Dear ones, it is already quite a while ago that Hendrik began to write and I was not very quick either, and now we have loaded sugar and must transport it to Groningen. Brother Detmer is home. He has been home for four weeks. Apart from that I do not know if the family is in good health. We have had a long and severe winter here. It is beginning to be nicer now. We have.......