April 22, 1928
May the Lord have mercy on us and all of you. Amen.
Here is our letter to you.
Dear Brother-in-law Jacob or Brother and Sister-in-law and all your dear children. All
of us in the old homeland Russia reach our hands out to you in greeting and our mouths to
you in loving kisses, and that includes all of us your dear relatives, brother-in-law
David Ring and sister Mariliß and our family members. It would make all ten of us in
our family very happy to know if this letter finds you all in good health. We wanted to
let you know how things are going for us at present.
Dearly beloved sister and brother Jacob and sister-in-law Sophie and family. A very long
time has come and gone and many people have already died and others have grown up, and it
seems as if writing letters to each other has made us feel more separate and we have become
cold and loveless toward one another.
But dear ones, we must write to let you know that we still feel love toward you and that it
is indeed true that blood cannot turn to water and that the love between brothers and sisters
can reach out over sea and land even though it seems our love has grown cold. And so, just
as spring is reawakening nature, we hope that there will be love between us onece again and
that it will blossom and that we will again write to each other to let one another know how
things are going for our dear relatives both here and there. Let us tell you now how we
are faring. We have some bad news to report since I, your brother-in-law David, contracted
a bad case of typhoid fever five years ago [or possibly "during the past five years"].
As you know, many people who survive typhoid fever come away from this illness with memory
or hearing loss or are crippled or facially disfigured.
Few come away as they were and so, my dear brother-in-law and sister-in-law, I lost my
sight after surviving my illness even though I have tried many kinds of medicine and cures
it has always gotten worse instead of better. Dear friends, when you lose your sight your
whole body becomes worthless, but I think that an illness such as mine must be the will of
God. He has laid this cross on me and I must bear it and leave everything in His hands.
And now dear brother Jacob and sister-in-law, I your sister find myself one of the troubled
and oppressed on this earth. I have joined the church fellowship and want to serve God
freely as long as He grants me the strength to do so. My husband's illness is a heavy
burden, for when a father is unable to lead his family, a mother must shoulder a lot of
In addition, dear brother, I must bear another burden, for we have a child, a daughter, who
is already twelve years old but who sits a cripple. She cannot take a single step and
requires a lot of care. But no matter what comes my way or besets me I must say that
nothing high or low will destroy my love of God. Everything has also become very expensive
and our earnings small. We hope, however, that God will yet give us a good rich crop since
the crops necessary to make our "daily bread" have been sparse. Our last crop and the wheat
And now dear brother and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, how are you? If you have been
blessed with earthly riches and if you are able and willing, please help us. We would like
to try once more to heal father's eyes. As he was not to blame for contracting this eye
disease, he still tried to find a cure for regaining his sight. As Jesus said, "As you have
done unto my brothers, so you have done unto me" and so we hope that you will write us a
letter soon and let us know how you are. And so, if we have offended you with our words in
any way, we want to extend our hands and hearts to you with hymn 490, "Guide me in all my
Will close for now with best regards. Farewell. Fly from my hand letter; fly to my
brother's hand and bring us a reply. The letter bears us love and tells me of such
sorrow for those for whom we care.
[unsigned, although we know it is from Marie Elizabeth (Reichel) and David Ring]