In our front yard, Loanda, 1966.
My Aunt Marian kept many of the letters my mother, Donna Biel, wrote to her. She returned them in 2010. Most are recorded here.
Dear Marian and Frank-
Here I thought we were getting news of the arrival of your little one. It is good to hear tht you have been feeling fine.
It's apparent you didn't get the letter I wrote answering your questions. I sent it a few days before we got a letter from you saying you had changed your address, but I had hoped it would be forwarded to you. I wrote that you shouldn't send us anything unless you want to send more candy. For one thing, custom duty is too high and we will be ready to go on furlough by the time it gets to us. We don't want to get new clothes until we are in the U.s. for we are limited to certain weight on the plane. We have given a lot of old clothes away to the poor. There is a possibility that we may be home before July- we will know at a conference in January. It is certain that this station will be closed so we could go in February but Joey has to teach 2 weeks in Bible School in Cianorte which starts in March so we may be here until April or July. The reason I think we may go home early is that next year there will be nine families to go and some will have to go earlier than others to spread out mission expense and not to leave so many churches vacant. So who knows? We may see you before you go to Europe.
In the other letter, I wrote that I had read "Bloody Morning" and enjoyed it. It tells about the Hungarian revolution. Last night we heard that it was the 10th Anniversary since the revolution started. We think the embroidered things that you sent are lovely. Someday I would like to hear of Frank's experiences when he left Hungary.
This month has been lonely for Joey has been traveling. He was gone one week to Umuarama, where special services were held in a tent. Joey was the technician, so to speak, for he used his motor to show films as the town doesn't have any lights. The following week he was here and Andy Olsen from Paranavai was special speaker at services held here. Beautiful films that came from the U.S. in August were shown every night. Films were shown outside and attendance was good bus, as usual, hardly any new ones come to services that are held regularly. Last week, Joey and Andy went to a town 2 hours from Paranavai for the same film and service campaign. It is a German community which Andy serves. Tomorrow Andy comes here and they go for four days to a town one hour from here. They both serve this German church but many members are spiritually dead so they are praying for a revival. All of this has left Joey with slight liver trouple and upset stomach, but after a day of rest he is better. Charles was so thrilled to see Joey the first week after he was gone that he couldn't say anything but laughed and laughed.
Loanda, 1966 with Bobby
Our dog had a cut on a a leg that got inflamed with bugs. Joey put medicine on it twice and that apparently killed the bugs for after a week of hardly eating anything and staying in the hole under our tool shed, Bobby now is barking as usual.
Helen at 2 months weighed 13 lbs 4 ozs. Quite a fattie! Besides breast feeding, she has cereal twice a day and sometimes a banana. It is quite a chore to make baby food as there isn't anything available except in large cities and then it is only soup or bananas. She doesn't have a tummy ache much anymore. Since 3 weeks old she has been smiling and now laughs out loud. Rachel likes to hold her and Charles gets upset if I let her cry for more than a minute. He calls her "my baby" and refers to her as "he".
Are you going to breast feed? It is nice that one can eat a lot and not gain weight. I am at my normal weight now. The biggest disadvantage is that whenever I go out for any length of time I have to take her along to feed her but it is nice not to have bottles to wash and prepare.
One hears such sad stories. A young woman who had eight children (one every year) discovered she was pregnant again. The baby is 4 months old. This lady put a stick up inter her uterus to try to have an abortion. A piece of the stick broke off and lodged there. She died of tetanus. Many babies die of tetanus because the mid-wife or whoever delivers the baby don't tie the cord with an antiseptic string. As yet there aren't any planned parent clinics. The middle and upper class use pills.
Notes along the side of the letter:
We are getting excited about going on furlough soon. Rachel is anxious to go to kindergarten. The children want to ride on a tractor with Grandpa and think it is great there are many farms to visit.