Monday, April 21, 2014

Hawthorne, New Jersey - September 21, 1945

There is a long gap in the letters between 1940 and late 1945.  Surely most of the letters were lost during the war or possibly just not kept.  On October 31, 1944, the family returned on the Titania to the United States to bring Edith and Esther to finish their schooling at Hampton Du Bose Academy in Florida.  The story of that crossing is not recorded by letter as far as I know, but I will attempt to get it documented through conversation with my mother and aunt. Several letters in September relate their speaking engagements at various churches. Their return to Congo was delayed by document troubles, but finally they began to see progress by mid-September 1945.  

September 21, 1945
Hawthorne, New Jersey

Dear girls,

[Lengthy personal comments.] Well, since returning to Hawthorne we have been having busy days, and it looks as if things are really moving as far as our sailing is concerned. Yesterday I went to New York and showed our old passport to the Belgian Consul’s secretary and was told the re-entry permit was good and that there would be no trouble or delay in getting it fixed up for our new passport and in getting a visa for the Congo. And so that was another real answer to prayer and we do praise the Lord for it. Then I went to a Shipping Agent and learned that it would probably be possible for us to sail on the Gripsholm (1), which leaves New York October 16th for Alexandria. 

Today I went again to see Mr. Davis and after talking things over with him he said he would arrange to have us booked on the Gripsholm and he has telegraphed to Washington for our new passport, and that should now be here within a day or two. And so it looks as if the Lord has really opened the way for our return. There is still some question of whether we will have enough money on hand or not, but if we use all we have for passage and none or little of it for outfit I believe we will have enough. Anyway I’m sure the Lord will send in the rest that we really need before sailing time.

If we go on the Gripsholm our freight will probably have to go separately via Matadi. In that case we don’t know as yet what we will do about our car. We might sell it and try to buy another one in Congo, or we might leave it here and then have it sent to Congo after we arrive if we have enough money left then. Or we may have it sent to Stanleyville via Matadi at the time we sail. It will be interesting to see how the Lord works it out.

[Personal portion redacted.] So far the reentry permit for Eddie and Nellie(2) has not arrived, and that is the only thing that is holding them up. We fondly hope it may yet arrive in time for them to sail with us.

We began our typhoid inoculations last Wednesday, Eddie and Nellie also.  We felt pretty punk yesterday but today it's only the soreness at the site of injection that bothers.

With love,

P.S. Klines enroute home, telegram said. 


  1. The motorship Gripsholm.  See this link for further details. Interesting to note that the Wikipedia article says the Gripsholm was used as an exchange and repatriation ship between 1942 and 1946.  But here we have an example of the ship sailing with American passengers to Alexandria.  
  2. Eddie and Nellie Shuit, fellow AIM missionaries.