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 responsibility.

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 hardly ripened.

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 deeds, Lord."

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]