Saturday, January 20, 2018

Aba, Belgian Congo - March 26, 1946

In which Coralee writes about a "hot, hard day", and Ralph sends oodles of love and a flower to his girls.

Dear, dear girls,
Your letters have been so good and they have come through very quickly.  Yours of March 4th reached us March 18. That is lovely! It makes the absence seem less.

This has been a long hot, hard day. Eddie and Nellie and Uncle John left us this morning. Eddie and Nellie are to be in the Evangelist school at Blukwa. We are so sorry they will not be here, but the need is very great there and so they are happy to fill in. We hope and pray that they may soon come back to us here. The Epps hope to go for furlo as soon as possible and the Brashlers too. 

Uncle John came and spent the weekend here.  He always brings a blessing. He is just the same.  Miss Wightman came in with Uncle John and also Aunt Rose Mary. Miss Wightman and Miss Utting plan to leave for England April 21. Aunt Rose Mary is to be at Todro with Miss Settles until someone comes out to help in the work there. Just now she too is here because her boxes came and she wanted some things out of them.

A cable has come saying Miss Gingrich is coming by clipper on March 21. So we hope to be able to welcome her soon. Cooks, Basha, Uhlinger and several single ladies hope to sail the end of March.  The need is very great.  So we hope many will soon come.

We are in the midst of reroofing the white hospital. It is a tremendous job not only in size but because of the high eaves.  The roof leaked so badly we couldn't have used the building in the rains. We are disappointed that no tiles were made for it while we were at home.

drawn on the back of very thin aerogramme paper
Ralph's gara lily
We have had several good rains and it is lovely and green, real spring-like.  The red lilies are simply gorgeous. Eddie took a lot of colored pictures.  That reminds me that Father Schuit wrote that the colored pictures Eddie took of us as a family were very nice. It may be you will have received yours. I hope so. Thank you for the snaps you enclosed. They were very interesting. Hope the next ones will be better and give us a clearer idea of what our daughters look like. Someday I hope you can have a better camera. So glad you persevered in fixing the film Edith.

I have written on this paper because Daddy drew this "red" lily from some on the desk here.  He didn't want me to send it but I know you'll like it. He says he can do better and I hope he will be good and do it.

We are enclosing a check for $50.00 for you both. We would like for you to use as much of it as you need for some new evening gowns or if there's something else you need or want more that is okay with us as long as it is for you both.

My suggestion would be white evening dresses that you might use in Wheaton if the way should be open for you to go there. As I remember many of the girls wore white there. But you feel free to choose as you prefer. This is for your birthdays. We thought to send it now so you could have it for all the special events before Commencement.

Get the pajamas and other things you need and send the bill to the mission. We love the way you girls so carefully think of the cost of things. That is lovely but it makes us long all the more that every need be met for you deserve the very best, and we mean for you to have it as much as is possible. 
Some day when you go shopping would you look for a couple of patterns for me. Something neat and tailored. Something you think would do for me. Thanks a lot.  Also a nightie pattern. Now I'd better close here and see to other things.
With a heart full of love,

Dearest girls,
Your old Dad is very tired tonight as we have been getting to bed late with the company here, and up very early for the meetings.  But I must at least say hello, and many thanks for your fine and cheery letters. We are happy that you are happy and we trust the Lord will continue to bless you as He has been doing.

We are still waiting for news about a car to be sent to us.  We have heard that the Dodge strike is over and so maybe a car will soon be sent us. But we have written to Mr. Schuit saying we would prefer a Chevrolet as they are cheaper to run, and gas is a real item out here. But Chevrolet is still on strike and so he may have already bought a Dodge.

The rainy season is very near and we are glad! 
Oodles of love,


Aba, Belgian Congo - March 20, 1946

In which Eddie Schuit writes to Edie and Esther about Aba.

Africa Inland Mission
March 20, 1946

Dear Edith & Esther,
Greetings from Home!  We wish you could be here, these spring days when rainy season isn't far away and when the hot dry days are about gone. The red lilies are all out today and the clear skies make the hills so clear out Todro way.  There's still the gara winds to keep one form perspiring too much, and its one of the nicest times of the year at Aba.

Now I know you can just about picture your house - your Mother walking down the path in her white dress to talk to men fixing soli for the hospital roof, and we found your Dad tapping his finger on a black man's chest down in the ward of the hospital which is so typical of our Africa Doctor - so the machinery at Aba and Hospital Hill moves along.

The ol' homestead is exactly like it used to be, except for the two big mango trees which used to stand in front of the house. Nothing has changed outside of that.

We have been living in the annex for several weeks now, (eating with your Mother and Dad) and it's been grand to awaken in the morning fresh and cool, listen to the hymns being sung on the dispensary porch, and realize that men and women are hearing the life-giving story of Jesus and His death on Calvary.

There have been a number of remarkable conversions lately, and one can see the Lord working in various ways. There's no doubt at all that His hand is upon this place and His presence dwells here.
There's a real need still for more helpers in the harvest field - "the laborers are few" and that's never been more true than present. So it's our duty to do what the rest of the verse says, "Pray ye therefore..."

Your letters have been good to read, and we praise the Lord for caring for you in such a wonderful way. May He continue to guide you in your future days. We'll be praying for you about all this.

I just went down to Kenya to get the little Chev - that we rode about Hawthorne in, and now it is here at Aba. I wish that I could have bought your Daddy's car out too, for he needs a better car than he's got. You'd have lots of fun in the roadster though, and the rumble seat is nice and comfortable - except when it rains!!!

Akubu, Yoane Kusala, Mose Muda, Timeteo Tiriaba, Ysefa Drupa, Kibi, etc. are still on the job and are the old faithfuls abou the work - pray for them.

Will close now. We think of you and speak of you often.

Love, in Him,

I John 3:1-3

I believe this letter is from Eddie Schuit, a very close friend of the family. Click here for his obituary.