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Letter from Folks/Children in India to Phyl, Grace & Paul, 1950

Recently I was going through some old personal files to make sure there was nothing there I didn't want historians to find. (What DEEP, DARK secrets are you hiding, Paul?) I ran across this Christmas letter from folks and the children in India in 1950 to those of us in the U.S. I thought you might want to read it as a memory of times past, both the pains and the joys of growing up in our family. I, for one, would never trade the experiences and the privilege, but letters such as this show memories and times that remind us that there were costs involved as well. - Paul

(Check out Loey's name in this letter. Also, most comments in parenthesis are ones I couldn't help but add while retyping this for the web page. -Jo)

December 9, 1950

Dear Children in the Homeland,

Our Christmas and New Year's Greetings with 2 Corinthians 8:9, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be made rich."

Another year is rapidly drawing to a close. For all of us it has brought new experiences. These experiences have let us see anew the abundant grace of God. He wonderfully leads and supplies our needs. Paul went home during the year, Grace and Ricardo got married during the year, Phyllis completed college and started graduate work in university. All of these were important steps in life. Here in India we have just kept plodding along at our work. There has not been much change. We received new missionaries and have provided them with a part of this bungalow so that they have an apartment of their own. The Krauses came out to help in the Kodai boarding. The rest of the work has gone on much the same. And so we come to this Christmas season with grateful hearts. While there is war in the world and prospects of even a larger war, I should rather say, threats of a larger war, we have the peace which Christ came to bring.

We are not sure where you will be having your Christmas celebrations. We think you may all be together at Grandma Jungas' home and will thus be together for a few days. We have not heard from any one of you however on this point and so we are not sure. We hope you can spend a little time together. I know Grandma will be happy for it and we will feel that at least part of the family is united at that time. Here we will have the Christmas as usual. The Christmas morning service in church is always a large one. We will have the school program on the 21st. Then the students go home for the vacation and the compound becomes more quiet. Soon after Christmas we have our Missionary Council meetings in Gadwal. I don't remember just what we got for the children for Christmas, I think it is some souveniers like gongs or something like that. Baby will have to have something too. I believe we will get her some blocks. The children also need fountain pens but I am not sure that we can get any good ones now. Imports are restricted and so we cannot get them easily, not good ones. Mama's went into the river and so she needs one too. My greatest need is a "double", one to take over one full part of this mission work. The best Christmas gift would be a few days together with all of the children in one place. However, while we are far apart one from the other we are happy because we all know that we love each other.

The next few weeks are very busy ones. Tuesday we go to the city for shopping. Wednesday we take the Krauses back to Wanaparty. Friday is Sports Day for the school. The following week we have final exams, and Christmas program on the 21st, Christmas here at Mahbubnagar, Missionary Council meetings at Gadwal from the 27th till 29th or 30th. Then comes New Year and by the 3rd the students come back and that means the busy days of reopening of school. I hope that somewhere we can get in a day for an outing at the Dindi project.Visitors have been many lately and so we have not had time for any outings thus far. All too soon the children will be leaving for Kodai. Now we have our happy family sings every evening. When the children go songs also largely cease.

Now mama will add her part and the children are all to write too. God bless you richly,

With much love, Dad

Dear Paul, Phyllis, Grace, and Ric:

Dad has left me so little space that I must use up the margin. First of all I too wish you a very happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year. We miss you all the time but maybe a little more at Christmas. Some day I hope we may have one more Christmas together. Meanwhile I hope you can be together at grandma's--the four of you. It would be good for grandma too not to have to be alone so much. We will be thinking of you especially that day. We here will be having meetings, I suppose--at least in the morning. Our own celebration will be on Christmas eve. What nice times we used to have on those evenings.

As dad has said--we are very busy these days. Rarely do we sit down as a family alone at the table anymore. There have been many visitors--not for visiting exactly, but people passing through on business. Of course we are glad to have them stay with us. It rarely gets dull. How I wish we would have a little time to sew, however. I have much to do and little time to do it in. Since Saul has not been able to cook I have had to spend much time with cooking. The girls are learning too. Gwen is official cake-baker. Yesterday she made a good Lady Baltimore cake. Joanne has been ayama for the baby. (She didn't know I purposely walked Loey's buggy in a direction so the sun would hit her eyes and she'd shut them & go to sleep faster; then I could READ - Jo) Betty has done much cleaning. All too soon the children will be gone again. I hate to think of it. I always feel worried when they are gone. How wonderful when these partings will be forever over! Joanne is much better--in face she seems quite well again. I think she may have been nervous about something--maybe her teacher or studies, and that made her so run-down. Gwen and Betty and Margie are well, except that Betty still has trouble with her leg. We may have to take her to Dr. Taylor. Baby is growing up fast. She has a strong will of her own. (Can you believe that, Gary????) Now that the children are home, she has plenty of company. She loves dolls and it looks so cute when she plays with one. But she usually likes the expensive ones best. She likes to kiss and can give a real "smack". Paul--she enjoys the pictures of you and her which we show occasionally. I wish we could get some of Phyllis, Grace and Ric too so she could learn to know them. Now she is about out of her baby clothes and I must get busy and sew. Even now I can hardly keep her warm when it is so cold as it is now. I just never get time to sew for her.

When you are at grandma's, please all of you go and give her each one a big hug and kiss for me. I am praying the Lord may give me the joy and privilege of seeing her again when we come home. God bless you, my dear children. We pray constantly for you.

With love and kisses, Mom

Mahbubnagar, Deccan, India
December the 10th

Dear Paul, Phyllis, Grace, and Ric,

Merry, merry Christmas to you all. You will all be home now and be having a nice vacation from your school work as we are. I am sure that you will have a wonderful time giving and receiving your presents. I already know what I am getting from Mom and Dad. I found out by accident. (Yeah, right!) But that does not lessen the happiness in receiving it I am sure. It is so hard to make anything on the sly here. I think Mom has seen all the presents I have made her and the same with Gwen and Joanne but that is just too bad. Wednesday we go Christmas shopping, and I have a few presents to get yet. I have saved some of my money from teaching piano. As for candy and all that, I am glad we can not get so much as you for I would get sick on itlike I did at Reedley. Soon the High School here will have their program and Daddy said they could put on a few dramas so I think it will be very interesting. We really celebrate Christmas for a long time here as we already had one Christmas in Kodai in October. My share of this letter is filled I think so I will have to close. Again I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Love, Betty

Dear Sirs and Madames,

Do you like my new heading? I have turned Indian. I was just at the girls boarding and had a nice bowl of buua, yummmm. Tonight after the evening service we are going to Bethleham for their Harvest Festival. This morning we had one here and there were only about 5 chickens and only a few fruits, most of it was cloth and stuff like that from the school kids. (You can see the signs of future materialism here...) Vacation is sure super. I wish it would last longer because we are having such fun sewing. I am knitting a black sweater for myself. I have finished the back and half of the front, but now I have lost my pattern. Later: we just came back from Bethleham. It was interesting. One man brought a goat and another brought a calf. To bad you weren't here to see it all.

You will be receiving this around Christmas so I will wish you MERRY CHRISTMAS which this letter was supposed to be for in the first place.

Love, Gwen

Dear People,

lst half is Sun, 2nd-Mon, in my letter. J.H.
Its nearly Christmas time so I guess I had better write for once. Here the others are all drinking cocoa and so Id better write in a hurry. We just did all the floors with linseed oil and then found out it was sticky. We then put village wax on but some parts still stick. Two and a half years yet till we go to America. I cant imagine being in the U.S. with you all.

Mom has most probably written to you about little Leando. (He was a little Indian boy whose mother had died; we were taking care of him for awhile and then an Indian couple took him. - Jo) He sure was a cute kid. I wish he hadnt died. Tonight the Schmidts and Krauses are coming back from Deverakonda. Tomorrow we are leaving for the city at seven or so if we can make it. Were going to drive back in the evening. By the way we're going in Kaspers car cause the Dodge is too small. We sure miss the car. You should of seen it. It was sure different than before the accident. It wont be long before we go to the hills. In a way I can hardly wait cause I havent been to school for ages. I like school alot, specially arith. It will be awfully cold now and dreary. I sure pity you guys in such icey weather as you have. (I didn't pity you enough, and ended up living in icey Illinois year after year after year...) The others I notice (for Im not supposed to read) have taken my closing but Merry Christmas anyway.

Love, Joanne

Dear Paul, Phyllis, Grace, and Ric,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. (Now check out all the GOOD news Margie tells.....) I went to Wanaparthi last week to visit Judy Studebaker. I took Jackie Kasper's water-gun and shot Judy's dog. Then he ran away from us. They named the dog "Piddles" because he always made puddles on their floor. Jackie Kasper gave me Julius's doll and his little bike. He has two dogs, Mickey and Buddie. One time Jackie blew his horn and Mickey came running and sat down and lifted his nose into the air and howled. He wanted to blow the horn too. Once Jackie was playing some records and he was playing one named "Water Music" and Mickey came and he wanted to sing too. Our cook Saul fell down from a ladder and broke both bones in his arm. He had to have three stiches in his head too. Next year I will be in the Fourth Grade. We are going to the city tomorrow. We have a lot of flying foxes here. They look like big bats but their bodies are like foxes. The boys make curry out of the ones that Daddy shoots. I would hate that. Once Daddy shot ten of them with one bullet. (Wow!!) At the girl's boarding there was a big snake about as long as a bed. Daddy came and shot it in two. Another time there was a little one in our door. We made strawberry and brittle icecream for tonight. We are using the Schmidt's new ice box.

Barrels and barrels full of hugs and kisses for each of you. Margie

Dear Paul, Phyllis, Grace and Ric,

They say My section for writing was to small so I have to write again. (Actually I clearly recollect that Gwen grabbed the letter away from the rest of us, saying her ideas were better than anyone else's.) We are supposed to go to the city tomarrow and the Krauses are coming with us. I am not to anxious to go for it is quite tiring. Remember the shopping lists we used to make and always lose again? Well, thats how it is now. Dad finally lent us a note book for that purpose. The days are going awful fast. It is almost Christmas and I am racking my brain trying to think of somthing to give everyone. The only thing I can do is sew and so I have to sew things for people for presents. Phyllis, cant you give me any ideas like you used to in Reedley? I sure need a few insperations.

This morning we washed. The machine always stops and we always have to start it again. It gets abit boring after starting it a dozen times. A woman came this morning and complained that her husband beat her. I hope he gets punished hard.

Its getting around supper time at the boarding so I think Ill stop. Merry Christmas and a Happy new year, Gwen.

P.S. Somthings ailing this typewriter, I think.