Cliff and Donna Biel, Early 1970's
My Aunt Marian kept many of the letters my mother, Donna Biel, wrote to her. She recently returned them. The most interesting parts are recorded here. This one is from my father.
Dear Marian + Frank:
I just couldn't get handles on a Christmas letter this year, but Donna did, bless her. She's been upset though, not hearing from anybody on her side of the family and almost nobody on ours.
We just had our Carnaval Bible Camp- went really well in spite of the rain every day. In our room there were about 15 mattresses scattered on the floor, so close they were almost one bed. (Did I say mattresses? Rather, lumpy, slightly damp, holey, smelly old straw ticks). But that was only for sleeping.
I'm going every night now except Monday to a different place for special services.
An interesting case stopped by the other day- an oldish German who was operated on for cancer of the larynx but they didn't get it all. He was on his way in to Rio to see if he could get free cobalt treatment. We "talked" quite a bit.
His story: POW in Siberia from 1945 to 1953, released in '54, he came to Brazil. His family was all killed during the war. Why POW so long? He was a member of the SS- Tank division (Konigtiger), 52 tons.
Anyway, I believed him, gave him passage to Rio, a Bible (in German).
Then a little later a drunk came by. "Jesus brought me here", he said. So I asked him if he was an evangelical and he said yes, but separated from the Assembly of God by Vice of Drinking. "But, when I fell, it wasn't my fault", he said. So as soon as he said that, I knew he was just wasting time. So I gave him directions to the Assembly church and he lurked off: in the opposite direction.
How's your family? We're all fine here.
We bought an old, used piano for Rachel to start taking lessons. The teacher comes for half an hour, three times a week. The piano, bought from a Canadian family, cost- get this- $460.00. New it would cost around a thousand. That's one thing I like about Brasil: old things still maintain their value.
Possibly, we'll be home in '73 for a 2 month visit. Our mission has a new option for missionaries called 22-2, twenty-two months service, two months furlough. We won't know for a while if it goes through or not (our application).
Rachel and Charles ride their bikes to school now. Charles tripped over (by our street corner) the other day- came yelling home. "My head, my head!" "Ehhh!" Couldn't find the lump. "Ai My arm's broken!" Next day after school, "Ai, My arm's not broken but it's out of joint!" He gets beside himself, magnifies.
Guess this is it for now,