Alguem vai ter que me ajudar com os nomes. Reconheco alguns, mas nao outros. Deve ter sido bem logo depois que os meus pais chegaram em 1962. Talvez Campinas?
The tall and short of it all. Dad on the left, Otto in the middle, and not sure who that is at the right. My family was known as the "Giraffes" at our missionary meetings...
Os altos e baixos de tudo. O Pai na esquerda, Otto Tollefson no meio e nao sei o nome do que esta na direita. A minha familia era conhecida como os "girafas" nas reunioes dos missionarios...
When I look at these old photos, I am often amazed at how young all of these missionaries were when they took off to some unknown country in the time that they did. Most of them were in their 20's and 30's. Mom and Dad were younger than I am now when they left Brazil in 1980. I kind of like to think of them as having the cowboy spirit of adventure, except that instead of carrying a gun, they waved a Bible.
Quando olho estas fotos velhas, fico admirada de como estes misionarios eram tao jovens quando foram para um pais desconhecido na epoca em que eles foram. A maioria tinha 20 e poucos anos. Os meus pais eram mais novos do que eu sou agora quando eles sairam do Brasil em 1980. Eu gosto de imaginar estes misionarios como cowboys, tendo o mesmo espirito de aventura, so que em vez de um revolver, carregavam uma Biblia.
Mom was only 24 years old when she found herself in Loanda, in the middle of nowhere. Dad was often gone for days at various distant preaching points or church activities. She had a small baby (me), the streets were not paved and she didn't yet command Portuguese. What courage! They both talk about how that whole region in Parana was being burned and prepped for farmland. Xuxu, which I detest, was often the only vegetable Mom could get. The sky would be covered with smoke for days on end. Dad remembered driving through roads with flames of fire leaping up on both sides. I'm a chicken compared to them!
A minha mae tinha so 24 anos quando ela se achou em Loanda, no fim do mundo. O meu pai viajava bastante pregando em varios lugares distantes. Ela tinha um nene pequeno (eu), as ruas nao tinham pavimento, e ela ainda nao tinha comando do portugues. Que coragem! Os dois contam como aquela regiao toda do Parana estava sendo desmatado e queimado em preparacao para a agricultura. Muitas vezes ela so conseguia xuxu, que eu detesto, como a unica verdura. O ceu escurecia com cinzas por dias e dias. O Pai lembra passagens que ele dirigia aonde o fogo pulava pelos dois lados da estrada. Eu sou uma medronha comparada a eles!
Brazil to Compensate US Pastor tortured in 1974. (Click for article in English)
O artigo fala sobre um pastor Metodista que foi torturado no Brazil em 1974. O Rev. Frederick Birten Morris tinha como uma de suas tarefas encorajar ecumenismo com a Igreja Catolica Romana. Ele tambem era um contribuinte para Time Magazine. A revista puclicou um artigo sobre o Dom Helder Camara, alabando ele pela critica que ele fazia sobre a ditadura da epoca. O Pastor Morris nao contribuiu para o articulo, mas mesmo assim for imprisinado, torturado e deportado de volta aos Estados Unidos. Ele continua a trabalhar com uma organizacao ecumenica envolvida com a America do Sul.
My name is Antonio R M Oliveira and I am 50 years old. Today I am a lawyer. I want to give testimony in respect to Pastor Biel. He came into my life when I was still a child, when my mother was very sick and tried to guarantee the survival of her three children, working, always sick, as a teacher of embroidery. We had no ties with the Lutheran Church, but knowing of the illness and difficulties of my mother, Pastor Biel would come visit us. He brought words of comfort, prayers and more than once, I also saw him bring food as he saw our misery. And, he would always invite me with gentleness to come and frequent Sunday School. Even though he was a foreigner, Pastor Biel was always a simple man in his ways, in the way he dressed and he would prefer to ride a bike over using the Church's car. His gentle and loving ways won me over and I ended up hanging around the Church. I went through Confirmation and was Confirmed in 1973.
As my parents were separated, I think I adopted Pastor Biel as a substitute father. And, I adopted his family a bit as my second family, his children as my sisters and brother. I even studied piano with them. Pastor Biel was always charismatic, communicating complex ideas in simple forms. To speak about Abraham at the youth retreats, he would dress up like Abraham and dramatize the role.
Pastor Biel as Abraham
(Note: The "Abraham" was actually Isaac, blessing his children before he died.
It was done at a Bible Camp in Londrina.
O Abraão era realmente Isaque, abencoando seus filhos antes de morrer.
Isso foi num Acampamento Biblico em Londrina. Pastor Biel)
It was impossible not to believe. Because of his sincerity, the importance of his message was evident to anyone who listened. I participated in the Church's Youth Group and thanks to Pastor Biel's encouragement, I signed up for a Community Assistant Bible Course at the Evangelic Lutheran Institute in Londrina. Mrs. Donna was my godmother at the end of the course. By the way, it is necessary to be fair and to recognize that Donna was always a loving person and as loved as Pastor Biel.
Ainda pelo incentivo do P. Biel, decidi fazer teologia e me tornar pastor como ele. Na minha juventude, a influência do P. Biel foi marcante. Tive nele um conselheiro amigo, compreensivo, enérgico ao mesmo tempo. E passei ileso pela maior parte dos perigos da juventude. Quando me ofereceram drogas pela primeira vez, eu me lembrei que meu corpo é templo do Espírito Santo e disse NÃO, com convicção. Me tornei pastor, e o apoio moral do P. Biel me ajudou a superar as dificuldades do ministério e encontrar inspiração para levar missão adiante, pelas várias comunidades pelas quais passei.
Still encouraged by Pastor Biel, I decided to study theology and become a pastor like he was. In my youth, he had great influence on me. I had in him a friendly counsel, understanding and energetic at the same time. And, I went through my youth unharmed by the dangers I faced. When I was offered drugs for the first time, I remembered that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I said, "NO!" with conviction. I became a pastor and Pastor Biel continued to give me his moral support as I faced the difficulties of ministry. He helped me find the inspiration I needed to continue the mission in the various congregations I served.
Tive o priviléigo de poder visitar a família do P. Biel depois de seu retorno aos EUA e foi acolhido com muito amor. Aliás, AMOR, foi a marca registrada do ministério do Pastor Biel.
I had the privilege of visiting Pastor Biel's family after they returned to the United States and I was received with a lot of love. In fact, LOVE was the registered trademark of Pastor Biel's ministry.
Sei que não sou nenhuma exceção como beneficiário do amor que ele manifestava. Ele sempre foi uma pessoa amorosa com todos. E seu amor é que sempre credibilidade a sua mensagem. Tive várias orientações políticas ao longo de minha vida. E na juventude, também a fase "revolucionária" de contestação a que via como o imperialismo norte-americano. Mas nunca consegui ver o P. Biel como norte-americano. Ele era um cidadão do mundo. Prá ele uma pessoa era em primeiro lugar um filho de Deus, tão digno e tão amado a ponto de Cristo ter dado a vida por ele. E ele tinha paciência para não politizar as coisas e dizer sempre que o ser humano é que importa. Pobres, ricos, brancos, negros, criança, jovens, idosos, cada pessoa era sempre especial para o P. Biel. E isso que faz diferença, afinal de contas.
I know that I am not an exception as a beneficiary of the love that he manifested. He was always a loving person to all. And this love made his message believable. I've had various political orientations throughout my life. And, when I was younger, I went through a "revolutionary" phase, protesting against North American imperialism. But, I was never able to see Pastor Biel as a North American. He was a world citizen. To him, a person was first a child of God, full of dignity and so loved that Christ gave his life for that child. And, he had the patience to keep from politicizing life, always saying that the human being was what was important. Poor, rich, white, black, child, youth, aged; each person was special to Pastor Biel. And, this, after all is what counts.
A passagem da família do P. Biel deixou um rastro de luz no Brasil. Até hoje, décadas depois, todo mundo lembra dele e de sua família.
Pastor Biel's family passage here left a ray of light in Brazil. Even now, decades later, everyone remembers him and his family.
O Brasil daquela época em que P. Biel esteve aqui, melhorou um pouco, progrediu, embora ainda esteja longe de resolver seus graves problemas sociais. E, tenho certeza que o papel educativo e missionário que o P. Biel desempenhou e sua contribuição pessoal tornaram nossa vida melhor. Sou muito grato a Deus pela vida do P. Biel, de Donna, Rachel, Charles e Helen. Que Deus os abençoe e recompense pelo seu amor.
The Brazil from that time when Pastor Biel was here has improved a bit, progressed, although it is still far from resolving its acute social problems. And, I am sure that the educational and missionary roles played by Pastor Biel and his personal contribution made our lives better. I am very grateful to God for the lives of Pastor Biel, of Donna, Rachel, Charles and Helen. May God bless them and reward them for their love.
Maringa ou Londrina? Sempre gostei desta foto... O cara esta ai no canto, tao intento...
Algumas jovens de uma area rural aonde o pai pregava. Elas parecem bem acanhadas e doces...
The guy in the poncho is Gene Foehringer, one of the American missionaries who had an unforgettable presence. As a child and as a teen, when Gene was around you felt like the world was alive. I lived with his daughter Ruthie in Campinas for a year and her mother was the accountant for the hostel, so I often saw her. All of them were fun, interesting, beautiful people. After we left in 1980, Gene stayed in Brazil to work with street kids in Sao Paulo. Several years later he had surgery and the blood was HIV positive. He died of AIDS in the United States, something I have never been able to accept very well. That such a man should suffer such a terrible death... But, we are hostage to our bodies and our environment, and although I do believe in the healing power of God, I think most of us are subject to the elements around us. I feel honored to have known him.
O cara com o poncho e o Pastor Eugenio Foehringer. Acho que serviram por um tempo no Rio, mas depois viveram por muitos anos em Sao Paulo. O Pastor Eugenio tinha o dom da vida. Ele entrava numa sala e todo mundo acordava porque ele tinha aquela presenca rara e magnetica. Depois que nos voltamos aos Estados Unidos, ele comecou a trabalhar com meninos da rua em Sao Paulo. Varios anos depois, ele contratou a SIDA numa transfusao de sangue num hospital. Morreu uma morte dolorosa e injusta. Ainda me choco com essa memoria. Mas, me sinto honrada em ter conhecido este homem maravilhoso!
Dona Sumiko (tallest one at the back, smiling) was a Japanese missionary. We LOVED visiting her (or, I did). We always got wonderful treats and fun gifts like watercolor paints or interesting Japanese boxes and papers. Both Japan and Germany had treaties with Brazil where they sent immigrants who received land in exchange for cultivating it. Our city, Maringa, was 30% Japanese. My best friend was Japanese/Brazilian and I'm sure that her influence affected my palate, interest in the land, and openness to other cultures.
A Dona Sumiko esta de pe, atras das criancas. Ela era uma missionaria do Japao. Gostava muito de visitar com ela porque ela sempre tinha doces ou bolachas e um presente artistico. Mais tarde, a minha melhor amiga de infancia, a Adelia era Japonesa-Brasileira e o convivio com a familia dele me influenciou muito. Acho que porcausa dela gosto tanto da terra e tenho tanta abertura a outras culturas.
Coffee was the big agricultural product in our area in the early 1960's. It's hard work, labor intensive and frustrating to grow coffee. Our state was a borderline one climate-wise. A coffee plant takes four years to produce and a freeze can kill the bush. After several of these freezes, coffee moved further North, giving way to other crops that brought great prosperity to the area: corn, wheat, soy and other grains.
In the middle of it all, there are two missionary kids, Ruthie Foehringer and me. Ruthie and I later lived together for a year at the missionary hostel while we went to the Escola Americana de Campinas. I believe she has been involved in deaf education for the last several years.
A historia do cafe voces ja sabem. Ai estou eu com a filha do Pastor Foehringer do Rio de Janeiro, Ruthie. Quando eramos jovens moramos juntas em Campinas quando estudamos na Escola Americana. Ouvi dizer que ela e professora de surdos.
Many Brazilian songs talk about the "Boiada", and this is what you see here, a bunch of cattle crossing the road. Definitely early 1960's. Probably around Loanda...
Muitas cancoes Brasileiras cantam sobre a boiada, e vemos uma aqui, um monte de boi cruzando a estrada. Deve ser no comeco da decada dos 1960. Provavelmente perto de Loanda...
I have no idea where this was taken, but it's been an all-time favorite that I would like to someday make into a large image. It says "Biel Rio" on the front. Click on the photo to see a larger image. You will see two men lounging around, shooting the breeze...
Nao tenho nem ideia aonde esta foto foi tirada, mas tem sido uma favorita por muito tempo. Algum dia, gostaria de fazer uma copia grande. Na frente do barco se diz: Biel Rio. Clicke na foto e vera uma imagem mais grande. Vera, tambem, dois homems conversando, batendo papo...
The "Rio Biel" boat was in a port of Northern Brazil when we sailed on a cruise ship the first time down.
O barco "Rio Biel" estava num porto no norte do Brasil quando nos viajamos num navio de passeio na primeira viagem.
I think these three photos are from Aquidaba, one of Dad's preaching points. Sunday mornings he preached in Maringa, which we all attended. Then, in the afternoon, he would rotate between rural churches up to an hour away. Mom would take us to the movies and we hated it when we had to go out to these rural places. Not because of the place itself or because of the people, but because we had to fidget through the same sermon we had already heard in the morning. "Oh, no..... not again!" One thing I learned from my father, which I still believe is key to life in the church, is that you don't go because you enjoy it or get something out of it. You go because you are there for the community. You go to give.
The photo above looks like a Confirmation photo. I do remember the blond. She was considered to be the hottest girl around. I agree. She was stunning. The precocious girl at the front probably wanted all of Dad's attention for herself.
The three German guys below were pillars of the community. We were at their houses many times. These people dedicated themselves to the church, many walking for miles to get there on Sunday afternoons.
I love the way these guys are standing. They look like a cover for some band, all cool, all carefully poised. But, notice the hands. Don't they look huge? That's called hard work. The guy in blue looks like my cousin Scott.
My outfit is beautiful! Dad's aunt made it (right? I'm thinking Great Aunt Martha who was also his Godmother...) and it is completely hand stitched, including little shoes. I still have it and some day hope to display it somehow.