61. This letter was a trial to translate. It was water-stained, faded and yellow
with age, and so I had to guess now and then. No periods or capital letters.
Itís from Janís sister Marchien.
Wildervank, 1 February, 1887
Dear Brother, Sister, and Children,
Through the Lordís mercy we together find ourselves in reasonably good health and my heartfelt wish is that you may receive this letter in good health as well. At noon.....will let.....read the letter which they received from you, and therefore I decided to let you know that we are well.
This afternoon we wonít have a sermon either, and this evening is the sailorsí farewell sermon...... right now the weather is really fine, and then some.....namely for the inland shipping and now I also received news from Detmer that he was safely inland also. My intuition is often correct, but I often miss regarding the (exact) time and with a household of eight people.....of the days there is a lot to do.
Our Elziena spends entire days sewing. I am so eager that she learns sewing and cutting (cloth) well, so then the one can learn from the other, and you, dear Sister, wrote that due to your circumstances you often are hasty. Itís just the same with me. Then sometimes by evening, Iím so tired that I want to go to bed, and weíre getting older as well. This summer I will be 44 years old, if I live to reach it. Each time (that Iím pregnant?) I note it with reluctance. If they had all lived we would have had eight, and I know that everything is determined so that nothing just slips by. Oh that we may place everything in his hands and that I may also do that continuously. Then I am reminded of many promises and also that he will make it all well in his time, and then it becomes easier for me.
Oh dear ones, may we come to that point and though we are guilty and..... and then there is so much for us and for our children as we go before them (as examples) because they..... and that the Lord may give us ability to make us of use and provide honor to him.
Our Hendrik and Griet are settled in Amsterdam for the winter. They are also all well. Our Berend Geuchien is completely healed, though last year he spent the whole summer in poor health. In the Courant we saw the obituary of Dominee Bosí brother and we also heard about Kaspar Bos. These days not many people are dying here. Our Mother is also really hale and hearty for her age. I would have liked to have our Hendrik and Griet here this winter, but they have it better there. They receive three guilders dock fees a day and three of their children go to school there. We still have two that go to school.
Yes, dear Children, you should see us once! And I would also dearly like to see you all as well. Your father can picture your Uncles and Aunts and our Grandmother and our situation. But we canít imagine anything about America.
Now dear Brother and Sister and children, Iíll just stop here after having wished for you the indispensable blessing of the Lord for soul and body. We both are your loving Sister and Brother, M J Rubing, D B Dekker
Dear brother and sister, Iíll write a little (more) and would like to have a letter from you. Our little Grietje is not very spunky. She has a shivering through the..... We hope that the Lord may bless the means that are being utilized for healing. But there is not much to do about it. She was somewhat feverish, but itís getting better now and she is getting more alert.
Be greeted by Detmer. Our Hendrik and Griet must go to Deventer with corn, so then they will be coming our way. But right now itís quite wintry here. This noon there were twelve who made profession of faith. They are trying to urge people to become professing members. Now the Lord knows the hearts, but I think that when itís (truly) the desire from the heart they should not just......