Letter # 48 - This double letter is from Jan Rubingh’s sister Grietje (born 1847) and her husband Hendrik Joosten. He is a sea captain. In 1955 Darlene and I met one of their sons, Geugien (my dad’s cousin, born in 1880 and named after Grietje’s and Dad’s father) in Rotterdam; he was aged and, like his parents and grandparents, of the “old Reformed” persuasion. That is, he would not presume to go to the Lord’s table, considering himself far too unworthy, even at his advanced age and clear piety. From this letter we see that the Wildervank congregation is rent with horrid quarreling and dissension.

Wildervank, February, 1882

Dear Brother and Sister,

These letters will serve to let you know that we and ours through the goodness and patience of the Lord find ourselves in good health and our heartfelt wish is that you and yours may also receive these letters in such well-being. This we read already some time ago in the letter you wrote to Mother. May the benefits that the Lord has thus far demonstrated to us be acknowledged with a truly thankful heart, even though we have forfeited even the smallest blessings. Because if we look back on the past year then we see that the Lord once again demonstrated that He had no inclination for our death, but rather for our experience and repentance.

Further I can tell you that on December 6 my wife gave birth to a well-formed son who was named Trynko. Our children are all healthy. Our Albert and Mettiena go to school each day and our Geugien is about as wide as he is long. On Dec. 28 I came here with the ship. We have had an exceptionally mild winter. In the last week it froze a little, but the ice is not so strong that one can walk on the canal, and now it is thawing again. I think that soon we will take up our calling. Heijo Woltmoen is coming to us to go to sea.

Give our greetings to Rev. Kuiper. We do have a good minister here, who declares the unadulterated way of salvation, but there is quarreling and division here in the congregation.

Furthermore, we wish you the choicest blessing of the Lord for soul and body, and that the Lord may be our guide, counselor, and leader in this year. You are greeted by your brother and sister, G. Joosten and G.G. Rubingh. Be so good as to write us bac

Dear Brother and Sister,

Our heartfelt wish is that you may receive this letter in good health. Through the longsuffering of the Lord we also find ourselves in reasonably good health. Dear brother and sister, we have waited quite a while with writing, but we were very busy this winter. In November I came home from Oudenbroek in North Brabant and I stayed there with….. and our family increased by the birth of a young son. We now have 3 boys and a girl. May the Lord create in us a thankful heart for the blessings given. May they grow up in the fear of God and speedily be saved so that their youthful energies may not be expended in service to the sinful world.

There is division here in the church and school and even between parents and children. Recently A. Beucker was buried and the whole thing (erupted). Hendrik was so embittered against his father that he did not wish to be present at the death of his father, but rather to put him away like a dog on a wagon used for hauling stones with no funeral procession, not even himself. But M. Meinders requested the consistory to be in the funeral procession. He also resigned his eldership. Perhaps our Mother already wrote you about it. Our Dominee is going to preach in Amsterdam on Sunday so then he’s gone from Beucker and if our Dominee leaves then it will be a miracle to get one here because each one here is ….. the Lord can give his blessing. The old consistory is not staying on either.

Dear Brother and Sister and children, I wish you prosperity and blessing in the New Year. May the Lord bless you with temporal and spiritual blessing and grant you and all of us that he may preserve and prosper us….. indispensable blessing.

Our brother Detmer is not home now, but may come soon. They will write shortly. They are well and send greetings. Greet your family and Dominee Kuiper. Your sister, G. Rubingh