FRIEDERICHSEN'S PHILIPPINE JUNGLE DIARY
OF MOUNTAIN DAYS 1941 - 1942
(The following diary was discovered in April, 2001. It tells the story of a missionary family to the Philippines who were there when World War II began. May your heart be enriched as you read of the difficulties this family faced as well as their unwavering trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. A more extensive family history is included at the end of the diary).
Paul and Kay Friederichsen and their sons, Doug and Bob were with The Association of Baptists For World Evangelism
LETTER TO KAY'S FAMILY
My dear Ones at Home,
There is no telling if you will ever get this letter, but I am writing anyway so you can know what has happened to us since war broke out here in the Philippines, in case we never get home again.
One afternoon just as we were getting ready for mid-day siesta, we heard the sound of airplanes coming overhead. Paul and the children rushed out into the garden to watch them when suddenly there was a mighty roar of bombs and the bang, bang and boom of explosions. Shouting, they made a dash for the small air raid shelter we had built under the cement steps in front of the house, and I ran out to join them after I had gotten the first aid kit. By then the motors roared overhead like thunder. I will never forget the white faces of the children. I crawled into the shelter and we sat for a while shaking with fright. When things seemed quiet again, we came out. Just then the planes returned to machine gun the town and we hustled back into the shelter with many people from the street crowding in with us. They were shaking and sobbing with fear.
The shooting sounded so loud and close and we wondered when a bomb would hit us. There was a girl in the shelter with us who had jumped off a truck and hurt her knee. I dressed her wound while a doctor sat beside me holding a revolver and shaking with fear. He was too scared to even help!
As the planes roared away, we came out of hiding to see the town of Iloilo burning and the people rushing around in all directions trying to flee the town. Heavy toll had been taken in lives; the soldiers' barracks had been destroyed and many soldiers killed, planes destroyed; civilians lay dead in the streets and Paul saw one taxi burning with the driver blackened to a crisp.
The rest of the day was confusion - people rushing away, buses heavily loaded, every vehicle piled high with people and bundles and all rushing, rushing, rushing trying to get out of town. We decided to stay there for the time being since we had no place to go. But while we were eating supper a car motor roared by and sounded like planes. Both children blanched white and Doug almost vomited. War is always hardest on children. It was then that we decided to pack up and try to get out of town. Supper was disbanded and we loaded up the car with what we would need overnight and drove away to the seashore some ten miles away where the mission had a little bathhouse for picnics.
At the little beach cottage we tried to clean away the spider webs and set up our camp cots in the pitch darkness of blackout. I well remember the horror of touching clammy lizards and sticky spider webs and creepy cockroaches in the darkness. We slept but fitfully that night and listened to the sounds of patrolling motorboats along the shore, and saw the flames and fires flickering along the Iloilo horizon.
That little bamboo cottage was our home for two weeks, and we spent Christmas there. Celebration was limited to trying to barbecue a duck, and it wasn't much of a celebration for the duck tasted like burned rubber!
Paul returned to Iloilo each day to care for business, and gradually brought things that we needed from the home. He was warned by the authorities to escape from the beach for it was expected that if the Japanese landed they would land on the beach where we were staying. They advised that a place farther interior of the island would be safest.
The next day we packed up again and traveled into a town inland where we had a church and pastor. There we found a house to rent, but it was so dirty that it took almost two weeks to get it clean and livable. Paul was able to ship some of our things from home to furnish it. We never did get all the bugs out of the house for the owner had kept his corn in the parlor and the corn bugs lived in the very walls. Also, the neighborhood goats had made a practice of coming up the stairs to get their dinner in the parlor, so we had to shoo goats away constantly. We had barely gotten settled when the provincial government decided to move into that very town from Iloilo. Once again we became the target of the enemy, and felt we should get away from this town and back into the mountains. It was while Paul was in the train station that the Japanese raided and bombed the area, and he lay on the ground in a ditch until the planes had gone. They returned again in a few moments, and he lay on the cement station floor for an hour. No place seemed safe.
The next day we began packing again in preparation for going up into the mountains. Strangely enough, our pastor from the mountain, Del Carmen, arrived just then to advise us to go with him up into the mountains where there was much need for missionary work.
Our problem was money. Communications had been cut off from America and although there were funds in the bank, they were in the name of the Mission and we could not take them out. Paul sold his electric generator and tent and other such equipment to the army, but they would not pay cash until the war was over, so we were still out on a limb financially. Some of the Christians brought us food and tried to help in different ways; we sold our radio and other unneeded things, but we were still in need.
The Lord led Paul into trouble the next day that seemed to solve the problem of money. As he was driving from Iloilo, his car loaded with things that we needed from home, he was stopped by an upstart lieutenant who found some negatives amongst our things. Thinking Paul was a spy, he took him to the civil administrator. This man knew Paul and released him quickly, but through him Paul was able to get a letter commanding the release of our money from the Mission deposited in the bank.
We were able to buy supplies with this money as foodstuffs and other necessities were fast diminishing in the area so we bought up canned goods and kerosene and whatever we felt we might need in the future mountain living. What a preparation it was! We left our trunks of clothes, silverware, dishes, etc., with Christian friends and loaded up the car almost to the top with necessities. Even the running board and car top were piled high. We left civilization in the late afternoon and followed the river that foots the range of mountains which backbones the island of Panay. Long after leaving the road, we crossed that river over and over again as it crossed our trail some dozens of times, and each time my heart beat hard as the stones clanked and banged against the oil case or gas tank - I wondered if we would spring a leak. So heavily loaded were we that there was difficulty in crossing the stony, muddy trails and the swift river streams as the water swished into the car itself and soaked the things near the floor.
At last towards evening we reached a deep ford that we could not cross with a car. Here we hired carriers and left the car. While Paul bargained with the men we laid our stuff out on the road and rocks to dry in the dying sunshine. My Bible was one of the things that were wet and the red ink from the edging stained the pages. Our soap also was at the bottom of the load and was a sticky frothy mass! I felt a little lost as the rough mountaineers shouldered our possessions and splashed away across the river towards the tiny hut where we were to spend the night. The hills rose dark all around us and my heart wondered, "just what does the future hold?"
Another of our fine pastors had joined us for this missionary project and Mr. Latorilla, a Filipino evangelist, was a help to us as we were able to help the children across the deep water and up the steep trail to the "inn". Puffing and panting, we picked our way through pig mire and climbed the slimy ladder into the hut. Curious faces filled every window and door and there was dead silence as they stared at us. It was the first time they had seen Americans. No one answered when we greeted them; they could only stare.
Seating ourselves on the only place left for us, a bamboo bed, I tried to make conversation and smile and keep the children happy even with all the staring audience, but we were weary and discouraged and the boys were hungry and unhappy. Under the house and visible through the bamboo slats floor, was the barnyard where the caribou were tethered and the stench fairly filled the air. The filthy floor and forty or more people that squatted on it spitting beetle nut juice through the slats, made me thankful that we had brought camp cots along with us.
Putting up those cots amidst the confusion of the curious crowd was a feat in itself. I "washed" the children with alcohol and got them into bed as best I could. But even when it became dark the people did not go but settled down to watch the American children sleep and sat and chatted and spat all round the beds.
Acting upon inspiration, I took out my accordion and began to play. As I played, I walked out of the room into the kitchen and the crowd followed me. We gave them a concert and Latorilla and Del Carmen gave them a sermon and the bedroom was quiet and empty. One young chap got out his banjo (a twangy native instrument) and kept beautiful time with the music (I won't mention the harmony) and we sounded like a "real hillbilly band"! I began to wonder if I was playing jazz or choruses.
All that hectic night people chattered about the house, tiptoeing in and out to watch us sleep. The caribou bumped their horns against the beam under my bed, almost jarring me to the floor. The stench was stifling. About six men slept in the room with us, and the bugs dropped off the layers of drying corn ears hanging in the rafters. I picked bugs off myself and "longed for the day". Roosters began to sing long before daylight as two family favorites had been tied in the bedroom all night and crowed lustily in turn until morning.
It was well on to mid morning before we were ready to begin our mountain climb to our future home. For three hours we had fussed and bargained and haggled with cargadors (carriers) over their price and size of the load, etc. Misgivings kept growing in my heart as well as seasickness in my stomach. I just knew that I could not make that mountain climb.
The peaks rose above our heads that morning as I struggled up the first easy hillside. Easy? I had to throw myself panting onto the grass at the top to rest and Douggy looked as white as a sheet. Bobby had a cargador to help him. I felt sicker than ever. Up, up. up. I gasped and wheezed and felt so sick I could not even take another step, and knew I was doomed not to make it. We had gone just a half an hour and there were four hours to go!
Poor Paul was stumped. We had sent half of our stuff on two days earlier with Del Carmen and here we were with the other half and twenty cargadors and a fat wife! There was nothing to do but go back to our "inn". How the people laughed as they saw us come straggling back!
That afternoon Paul scoured the country for a home for us to live in, and I stayed on the bamboo bed trying to entertain the children and keep them out of the filth. A baby with a bad cold and runny sores kept coming close - I was glad for the alcohol bottle!
It was a discouraged Paul that came back to say there was nothing suitable and we would have to go on the next day.
With pressure and a good fee, we persuaded four men to agree to carry a hammock on a pole for me on the up hill climbs, and I would walk on the straight and down hill areas. We hired a man to carry each child.
Again we started off. This time it was more encouraging. How those poor fellows grunted and groaned as they climbed the rough trails and I had to hang on for dear life in case I fell out and down the precipices, but we kept going anyway.
The men who carried the children had them sitting in a sort of a sling that they wore around their foreheads. It was a marvel the way they could clamber over rocks and up hills like that.
Going down one place the trail was about a foot wide and a foot deep in mud. We sloshed down, down, down.
As we came to the last great peak, the worst of all the way, it took thirty minutes straight walking to get down. Did I say, "walking"? I mean, "sliding". Sheer as a canyon, with no path or steps or foothold, we careened down grabbing what we could and keeping going because we could not stop. Even the cargadors slipped. Once the man who was helping me fell, dragging me with him. We landed in a heap at the foot of a six foot mud slide. How my muscles ached and my knees shook, but on and on we went. My shoulder was out of joint from the pulling of the man who followed me, and I had long lost sight of the rest of the party in the jungle. Once we stopped at a spring to rest and again I felt mighty alone in that mountain wilderness.
But the mountain did end at last. At the bottom was a river rushing over boulders and pebbles and oh, so cool. Best of all, was the sight of the rest of the party waiting there for me. Was I glad to see them! So glad was I, that I slipped on a rock and almost cracked my shin.
We had lunch there and I doled out the remaining food in our tins to the cargadors, who gobbled up the rancid sardine sandwiches and rotten hard-boiled eggs and they liked them just fine.
Then we started on again. This time we followed the riverbed. And what a bed - with six-foot high boulders, sliding down on my belly; again jumping from one crevice to another, inching along slick mossy edges and wading, wading, wading all the time. About seven times we crossed the river and three times it was armpit deep with fierce current. Was I tired! My short riding up hills was nothing compared to the "downs" I had to walk. I marveled afresh at Paul as he traveled right along like a veteran mountaineer seemingly tireless and surefooted.
At long last we climbed a small bank and came out on a clearing in a sort of valley surrounded by mountain peaks. This was our home, "be it ever so humble". It was humble all right - about 20 feet by 14 feet and made of woven split bamboo with a grass roof and high on timber stilts, it looked lovely but tiny.
Again we picked our way through the pig slough that surrounded the rickety steps and entered our home. Del Carmen had engaged the place and was waiting for us, and so was everyone else! The place was jammed with men, cargadors and barrio people.
We must have presented a sorry sight with our middy clothes and hot dirty faces, but it was thrilling to the natives to see a real American woman and children in their own barrio. This was one of the places visited by Paul on his former trip pioneering to Panay, and the lieutenant of the barrio was most friendly and welcoming.
The next problem was to change clothes. There was one large room in the house and a small kitchen and both were crowded with men. But we had to get dry, so I got clean clothes out and changed the children behind a box, but how could I change from my soaking breeches and shirt into proper dress?
I did - somehow, amidst absolute silence. Every eye was fixed on my maneuvers and a smile of approval greeted me when I turned around at last "clothed and in my right mind". We certainly gave them their money's worth!
Again the people would not go home. They stayed and stayed and stayed. It got so late and we were tired and hungry, but they stayed and looked and looked.
When they did take their departure that night, I cast a hopeless eye at all the beetle nut juice everywhere and the myriads of cockroaches that were just coming out of their holes in the latticed bamboo walls and grass roof.
How glad we were for our mosquito nets! We rightly named our new home "Cockroach Center".
What followed was a hectic week of getting settled, disinfecting, brushing, filling in pig sloughs and building chairs and tables, etc. The cockroaches were impossible - in everything and everywhere, big and little, brown and black, fat and flat - they certainly ran the roost! We tied our clothing in bags and put books and food into wooden boxes fastened to the walls with netting over the front, but still they got in - into our beds, our clothes, our food, our water! We certainly ran a close second to the ten plagues. Roach droppings were everywhere - on the table, on dishes and in our hair.
But cockroaches were not all. Rats, handsome ones with white chests, that made holes in the rice bag and nibbled the candles and very precious soap (we could get no more on the island).
Worst of all were the fleas. Hopping in the dust under the house, they were soon carried upstairs and into beds before we knew it. Paul was the first to suffer and his ankles looked like a bad case of small pox. Bobby's legs and arms were almost as bad and the bites became nasty sores as he scratched them in his sleep.
It took much time and hard work to fill in all the muck about the grounds as each shovel full was brought in by Paul, I then leveled and trod it firm. Soon all was clean and healthful again much to the interest of the mountaineers who gathered daily to barter and watch. They were soon bringing in plants and ferns for my rock garden and some even went out into the grass before spitting!
Everyone in the countryside and around came in with their wares to try and get some American barter and see the strange white people who were always cleaning their house and grounds. It was most tiring having to bicker and barter all day long as our supply of food was soon stocked. We made a huge coup for the chickens and got corn meal and rice and sweet potatoes and eggs. It was my job to sing and play the accordion for the visitors as they gathered in numbers.
Satan tightly binds these people, living in fear of evil spirits, enchanted animals and witches. Not one can read and they have no desire to learn. Teeth are blackened by beetle-nut, clothed in rags and filth (they have no soap), and eating only rice, corn and sweet potatoes, they know little of the outside world and could care less.
The first Sunday we had two services, each with about twenty people. Childlike, the people cannot concentrate long and are easy to laugh, hard to understand and remember nothing.
Behind our house is a shrine with image and bowl for the sacrifices to the spirits. Underneath us is a month-old grave that was beginning to cave in, until we filled more earth into it.
A wild country, the scenery is also wild with rich foliage, tall cutting grasses, mountains, streams and burned off clearings where the people have their farms (such as they are!) Wild boar, fox, snakes, pheasant and wild chickens and large lizards help to make the undergrowth dangerous. No one leaves his home without a spear or sword.
The river is close to our house and Paul has made a rocky path down the hill to where we get water and bathe and wash clothes. The children want to spend all their time in the swimming hole, but we dare not let them go alone. One large centipede about six inches long, looking like a lead pencil is used here by revenge seekers who place it on the foot print of any enemy and it tracks down the victim and kills him. Happy thought!
Furniture making from raw wood is no joke. One young chap offered to make a chair for us and spent a long time doing so. It was a fearful and wonderful chair and in the presence of many people he presented it to me. I sat on it very gingerly - and oops! Down it went as flat as a pancake! It was most embarrassing.
We feel the presence of the evil one here as never before. The third night after we arrived, a violent tapping on the wood of my camp cot awakened me. It resembled exactly the tapping of fingers in some rhythm or tune. The rhythm was repeated several times and then changed. I awakened Paul and the children but all had been quite still and Paul examined and found no one under the house but the tapping continued and Paul also experienced it. We prayed together for victory of the principalities and powers and the noise ceased instantly. It has not yet returned. We are encroaching on Satan's domain here but we pray it will soon belong to the Lord.
Because we are so alone (there is no one near us at all) we have been keeping a homemade oil lamp burning all night to discourage thieves. It smoked rather badly, but we attached no great importance to the fact until I began to get dizzy, so dizzy that I could not climb the ladder and even do work about the hut. It was most alarming and I began to think Satan had touched my body. Then we thought of the smoke from the lamp and changed to another lamp. I got well the next day!
Our Visayan is improving fast for no one here can speak English except Latorilla, Del Carmen and Manuel.
One of our fears now is sudden accident and sickness for it is impossible to get medical aid. We must trust the Lord. He has kept others in similar places.
Sunday, February 1, 1942
This morning we had about fifty people come to our services. We began about 9:30 when the first people arrived and kept on until noon as more and more came. It was a sight to see the men threading their way through the tall grasses with their long spears and the gaily-clad women with cheap baubles and beads and ornaments.
The space under our house is the "church". We have made pole seats and placed tin cans for spittoons. Unfortunately, they all spat on the floor and took the "spittoons" home! The great questions asked was, "Can we have more than one wife?" The lieutenant of this district has two wives and has never come near us here. This afternoon there is to be a witchcraft feast in one of the homes and Latorilla and Del Carmen will go to preach there.
We took our dinner down and ate beside the river, it was so peaceful and quite after all of the confusion of the morning.
February 18, 1942
The past two weeks have seemed long. Paul left us here and took a trip back to civilization for supplies. He fell down the back steps just before leaving and hurt his ankle but went just the same and arrived safely. He spent several days buying things and getting necessities, helping Helen and doing other chores.
While he was away the days passed slowly for me. Nights seemed long and I dreaded them, but there was no occurrence of the tapping. Manuel stayed here at night to "protect" us! The first night there was a rat in the canned goods and he was scared to pieces thinking it was ghosts!
When Paul returned he brought everything under the sun from insect repellant to medicines. It was a busy few days getting it all put away.
That Sunday we overflowed our quarters. There were about seventy-five people and they perched everywhere, including the chicken coup. I drew a picture and told the account of the creation and wondered just how much those hoary heads and darkened hearts understood. These mountaineers do not know how to sing - their singing is a strange minor drawl both tuneless and heartless. It is real hard work to get them to sing and the result is pathetic and painful. One old chap insisted on beginning his song about half a line after everyone else. He would sing at the top of his voice and disturbed the whole meeting, but during the messages he would interrupt to say, "we are old and slow to learn, and these things are all new to us!"
I have been having success with my doctoring. Several old folks have had their sore eyes cured and one child has been coming each day to have his scalp wound dressed. It is about four inches long and gaping wide. I would sew it up only it would hurt too much and the natives do not care if their wounds are neat, just as long as they heal. The little tyke keeps taking his bandage off and it seems the wound will never heal! I threatened to cease treating him if he removed it again, so now we ought to get somewhere. One man has a huge cut on his finger almost severing the finger. It looks rather green to me - hope it's not gangrenous.
This week I treated both Doug and Bob for worms and have noticed a definite reduction of appetite since!
The natives are most trying at times - especially when they spit and spit and spit! I have to spray Jay's fluid all over the ground each day to disinfect after them. This serves to kill the fleas too, so I kill two germs with one spray.
We hired a man to plow up a piece of ground for us and he tried to gyp us horribly. So now Paul and I have been doing it by hand with a shovel and spade. We made our own rake from bamboo and nails; it's indestructible! We now have a large garden and have beans and vegetables and carrots coming up. We planted tomatoes and other things this week. Paul and I are doing all the work and we are noticing a difference in our health. I have lost weight and feel fine and we eat like horses.
We are as brown as nuts and my color has come back so brightly that the natives think I paint myself and it was most alarming last week to see the women coming to church all painted up. We had all we could do not to laugh. They had vivid red daubs on their cheeks, chins and noses!
We have a porch built on the house now and decent steps that I can climb gracefully (!) and also a bedroom built on. We were so crowded in our little one room hut and were bumping into beds and boxes all of the time. Now e have our beds and washstand in the little room and can have more room in our "parlor". The roof leaks badly and we will have to have more grass put on. They make the roof of the cogan grass that grows everywhere with the walls of bamboo. Daylight comes in the walls like a lace curtain and so does the wind and rain! It is very cool up here and we need blankets and sweaters on at night. It is a most healthful climate and we like it.
We barter instead of pay for work done and it cost us $4 to have our new room built which we paid in old clothes!
The wild beasts are visiting us these nights. I think fox has killed three chickens.
Soldiers come by here quite often; they are planning to make this a storage base for food and we even heard that the medical corps is coming to make its headquarters here. I hope so! Two British soldiers visited us and we had tea on our new porch. Everyone marvels how the children and I ever got here. It gives me a little prestige!
Our chickens are beginning to lay now so we hope to be self-supporting soon! If only we could get milk. The natives refuse to try to learn to milk their caribou. One chap did bring his animal to have Paul teach him and when the caribou was all tied up and they were just going to milk, she broke the rotten rope that held her and away she went over the hills back to her hungry calf. Neither caribou nor man has returned!
One night I had another scare. We were awakened by a weird wailing out in the river canyon. It was such a queer noise unlike man nor beast and I could only think of the Irish "banshee". It kept up for a while until we began to pray and then ceased suddenly not to return. Truly this is the devil's domain.
Paul brought some Flit back with him and we tried to reduce our cockroach friends by raiding them each night. The first night we killed so many that the ground was covered outside and every inch of space inside was covered with corpses. Unfortunately our puppy, Pal, and one chicken that got loose, ate all the dead bugs all night long and both died the next day. Even our new room is infested now since they go from one roof to the other. I get into bed before Paul begin to use the Flit, for the groggy insects fall all around like rain and I prefer to have them fall on my net than in my hair!
February 17, 1942
Well, Paul has just left for town again, so I am alone for a week. How I dread it! I have the gun handy but would rather die than use it. Latouilla and Manuel will stay here at nights to keep us company.
It was raining pitchforks this morning when Paul and Del Carmen (Del will be bringing his wife to the mountains) left but Paul was dauntless as he surely does have more ambition since coming here. Paul hopes to bring back some goats for milk and other supplies that we may need during the coming year. We understand that we cannot get any more supplies from the U.S. for the duration of the war, so must buy now before it is all gone.
I was impressed the other day by an old woman, her son and daughter-in-law who came from Tanagon Dagat (the Hidden Sea). They said they had come to hear the "good music and words" that we teach. I sang and played the accordion for them for a while and then Latouilla gave them the gospel. "Oh, but", the old woman exclaimed, "we must worship God and the spirits! If we do not sacrifice to the spirits we will be killed by a wild beast!"
They all practice sorcery. One of the chiefs here is the witch doctor and although he came to church he did not approve that we are teaching to worship God only and that He is greater than all spirits. It would put him out of business.
February 20, 1942
These have been busy days for me. Manuel cut his finger badly while out "hunting" and I have had to do all his work. Washing dishes is no joke when pots and pans are jet black with smoke and have to be scoured with sand.
The fox is busy again so is a giant lizard. Three chickens have been killed, one bitten so badly that it had to be killed. We are trying to set traps for them but they eat the bait and get away. Last night we heard a great ado in the coup and found the traps sprung again, but no animal.
This morning a caribou trampled through our sacred garden and nibbled the beans, trod up the seedlings and wrought havoc with the beds. Oh, for the life of a farmer!
We are hoping to reach the people here in a special way through prayer. There are only about four families that are interested as yet, and it's hard work for Latorilla as he climbs the mountains and visits in the huts. This morning we had an hour of special prayer. Surely God will work.
February 24, 1942
Paul came back safely and we were glad to see him coming up the riverbed way off down the valley. He brought back more stores, having spent almost all his money on supplies and we hope to get enough to last us a year at least. The army has now taken his car, so we hope to get some money in payment one of these days. All the cars here are being taken for the army. We did not get a goat for we hear they are not very successful here, so will try to get a cow later.
Sunday was a happy day since about fifty came to church and reading school. We are trying to teach the people to read Visayan so they can keep the truth alive here even after we are gone. Just as we finished our meeting a whole family from a far district tribe came. They had walked many hours, so we gave them another meeting and the first audience stayed on so they got a double dose.
A poisonous (deadly) spider had bitten the daughter of one of the chiefs. She did not call for help until the poison had penetrated her whole body and yesterday she was shaking and very ill. We tried to persuade her father to send for a doctor at the army post one half day away but he said he could not leave his farm to go. When I asked him which was most important, his farm or his daughter, he replied, "I will leave my daughter to God (or fate), I must care for my farm. We know more about our mountain herb medicines than the doctors do. I will not go for help." Truly this is a heathen land. He did take the medicine I gave him to help relieve her pain.
We have come up against trouble with a younger chief. He was our friend when we first came but money has gone to his head and he has been dishonest. It was he who tried to cheat his fellow cargadors out of their money that Paul paid them, and it was he that built our bedroom and did a very nasty poor job, so that the roof leaks and the floor is not tied down. When we asked him to fix the roof he wanted more pay and later promised to come and do so, but still has not. It is too bad the way he has turned out for he was so promising. He has lost respect with his people and is afraid they will take away his chieftainship. He dreamed the other night that they murdered him; he is in real fear. We are praying that this will produce conviction and he will be saved.
People are clearing all around the hills in order to plant their "farms" for this year. It is too much work to clear the grasses and keep one place year after year, so they all change locations year after year, chop down the soft timber and leave the hard wood standing. When the space is cleared, they burn it off and leave all the stumps right there and plant around them. They grow only sweet potatoes, dry rice and a few vegetables. It will be very ugly all round us when they burn it all off, but we have no say in the matter.
February 25, 1942
This morning Paul and Douggy left for town. Douggy has a cavity in his tooth and has frequent gumboils, so he will have it cared for in Iloilo. They went off with a chief from another place of whom Paul persuaded to go to the hospital for treatment and he will have to carry Douggy. So Bobby and I remain to hold the fort here. Today I dyed many of our white clothes; soap is so scarce that white is not a good color any more!
Yesterday I went to visit the chief's daughter who had been bitten by the spider. Manuel went with me and I had a good workout - up hills and down dales over the river and up slippery banks to the dirtiest house in the mountains. It is a big place but a regular pigpen inside and out. The sick girl was lying on a bed covered by a filthy cloth and animals and dirt are everywhere. When these people came to church they were always so dolled up that I never guessed the filth in which they lived. The girls themselves looked like Cinderella's (mostly Cinders!).
I sat amongst the filth and tried to cheer the sick girl who is seemingly getting better after all. She put on a great shaking and illness when I first came but as we chatted she forgot to shake and even laughed heartily. I read the Bible to them and prayed, but their minds are so childish that I wonder if they will ever understand. They enjoyed the singing best - that seems to penetrate their dull senses as nothing else can.
On the way home I stopped at all the other huts that we passed and chatted with the mothers who spend their days just sitting and fondling their babies and talking. No wonder they think we Americans are crazy. One man remarked, "You are too industrious - you work, work, work all the time."
March 9, 1942
Paul and Douggy got back safely and the child walked the whole jolly way himself. How he did it I don't know. He has certainly developed since coming here. It was a six hour hike since there is no car now and most difficult to make connections in the lowlands since there are but few busses or trains running.
We did get a cow and Paul looks like an old farmer as he milks her. At first she gave but a cupful of milk for she has never been milked before. Paul made a cow shed and even thatched it himself and made a regular milking stall so she can't get away. We have had a circus with the old gal - she thinks up more ways to fool us - butting, holding back her milk and objects highly when we tie her calf away at night. But Paul now gets about a quart of milk from her and hopes to do better in the future.
Now that Paul has gone back to town again, it is up to me to play the farmer. You should see me trying to milk! I get about a teaspoonful of milk!
This time Paul had gone to visit one of the churches. The poor pastors will all be cut off financially now and it will be hard for them. The Iloilo church has completely evaporated and the pastor, Galila, is out of a job. On the other hand, the Christians who have gone all over the island are helping the smaller churches, so the pastors are doing better than before.
I am staying alone at night this time. Perhaps I am getting more used to the wilderness.
Our garden is beginning to look nice now, but nothing is large enough to eat. My troubles have just begun, for the race against bugs is now beginning. The eggplant trees have black bugs, the beans have red bugs, the pichay (Chinese cabbage) has green worms and so it goes.
The coming of soldiers here has spoiled many things for us. With plenty of money, they have overpaid the people and make it hard for us. Too, they are eating up the local produce that otherwise would have come to us, and now they are introducing cock fighting and gambling.
Last Sunday we had a fine attendance and it was most encouraging. The reading school is especially promising and speaks well for the future.
But yesterday the men were away in town or at the cock fight and our numbers were lower. The interest was better, though, and we pray that the message went home. One family came all the way from Tanagon Dagat and they were most responsive. The mother nudged her grown son and said out loud. "You are a sinner like the pastor says!". One old lady left her seat in the back and climbed over the poles to squat on the front pole like a chicken as she listened.
Last week Del Carmen and Latouilla went on a trip to Tanagon Dagat. They found great interest and real response there and many people learned to pray. After a weeks' stay they left many professed Christians who were saying prayer before meals and trying to live up to what they had been taught. All professed to forsake their witchcraft. This is a great joy after praying for these people to see the Lord answer! I only wish our people here were as responsive.
My personal work is limited these days. I have been able to deal with the soldiers, but the other people do not comprehend my spiritual conversation very well. The drawings in chalk are successful, however, and the music is well liked.
I have now learned to bake pie and cookies and biscuits and cake over an open fire. If we can only get supplies, we will not starve for good things to eat. But the trouble now is to get supplies. There is no more food coming in and the island here does not raise anything except a little rice and coconuts. When our flour runs out there just won't be any more. Already we cannot buy any matches, canned milk, flour, dry goods, drugs - all are exhausted until the war is over.
March 16, 1942
Time marches on. Yesterday being Sunday, we had a good program planned that was unexpectedly broken up. People were gathering for church and thee was a good number attending the reading class. Suddenly there was a disturbance and women began to shriek and panic reigned. I dashed downstairs to find that a child had fallen unconscious in convulsions, and the people (having never seen such an illness before) were in great excitement. The women were almost tearing him apart and screaming,"Return!, Return!" for they believe a witch takes the person who faints and leaves a substitute body in it's place. I was not so alarmed at first and told them to bring him upstairs, but when I got a good look at him I realized he was not just fainting, but in convulsions and blue around the mouth and his eyes were rolled up, etc. He looked awful and the father pulled his bolo and threatened, "I will kill someone if my son dies!" Someone took his knife away but he still went tearing around trying to vent his excitement and trying to get his bolo back again. The other men had their bolos drawn in case there would be a fight. By this time the women were crying and the mother screaming. I got hot water started and Paul got out Moore's doctor book while I worked. We applied a mustard bath, spirits of ammonia, hot water bottles, blankets and everything known to us in the book, but the child did not rally. The panic grew as they saw our efforts were not availing and I realized that much depended on our success. These heathen people were ready to murder us if we failed, for our church was the place where the sickness occurred so they would blame our religion and us. It was a case where we HAD to win. Quieting the people as best we could I had different ones lead in prayer as I worked. Kneeling beside the boy, I massaged his limbs to get the circulation going and splashed cold water in his face - in fact I did everything but of no avail.
Every time one of us led in prayer the child seemed to rally a little and the people gradually quieted down to watch. We permitted only the relatives to remain in the room and Latorilla preached to the rest downstairs.
For two hours I worked. Sweating, aching and nearly exhausted, I kept on while the admiration grew on the faces of the women who had been so panicky. We talked quietly to them about heaven and God and the reason for sickness and the cause of this sickness, to prepare them for death for I could not believe the child could recover because he was so far gone.
Again we prayed and then the boy began to breathe more heavily. I dashed water in his face with great vigor and kept on and on using basins of water; with each splash he began to recover, moving his lips, eyes and face - until at the end of the time he opened his eyes in recognition.
We put strong hot coffee down his throat as soon as he could swallow and then stopped to thank God. What a testimony to prayer and everyone knew it! The old grandmother who had screamed about the witch said, "Look at the American, she has given her very sweat for the child. It is because of her that he lives", so we were able to say again that it was God and Him only who gave life. There never was such an opportunity for testimony and we rejoice that God heard our prayer. After drinking hot milk, the child slept normally and went home soon afterward.
Today we hear that people are beginning to laugh at the age-old belief in the witch. Oh that God would deliver them from the bondage of Satan!
As for me, I was all in. The nervous strain took more toll than the physical, although today I can hardly walk from kneeling so long. But it was worth it if one soul will be saved.
Yesterday afternoon we had our first communion service. Mrs. Del Carmen is now here so there were six of us in all and the service helped to stop my nervous shaking that I suffered all the rest of the day. Later a young man came to tell us of one of the men here who had an accident with his spear and had pierced his side under the heart. I gave him medicine and told him to come for treatment when it was a little better.
Life here is not monotonous!
March 24, 1942
Another week has passed. We are alone here now having discharged Manuel (for many reasons) and are enjoying having the house to ourselves.
Last Sunday was a good day. Very early the people began coming, almost an hour before beginning time and one couple brought some slips of a vegetable and proceeded to plant them in our garden. It was our first love gift in the mountains. Another woman brought a gift of rice and eggs.
When church began we had about seventy people and all were very quiet and attentive. As I was drawing, one man, quite large and imposing looking, wanted a front seat. There was no room on the front benches so he picked up an empty condensed milk can and brought that to the front and sat on that. I wish you could have seen him! He bulged all over the can but sat seemingly quite comfortably with his legs and arms as braces. All around the "church" was a fence of spears about eight feet high stuck into the ground as the men entered.
After church when everyone was going home another group of people from a far-distant barrio arrived for church. Latouilla and Del Carmen have been trying to reach all the surrounding barrios and many new tribes are hearing the gospel. It is encouraging to hear that there are six people professing salvation here in our barrio so now we will start a believer's class for them this week.
A few soldiers came to church. They are very much feared here, and after the service one of them tried to make up with one of the girls. Her brother almost started a fight right there and then and the soldier had to retire most disgruntled.
This morning we had a visit from the head of the medical corps and they are going to make their base here now. I thought we would like to have them here but now we are sorry to hear that they are coming, especially since they will build their bodega and hospital but about two hundred yards from us. With all the mountains here, why do they have to come right to our place?
Caribou visited us twice this week and badly trampled the garden. Our vegetables are getting large and it's discouraging to have them so hopelessly trampled.
Sunday night we invited the others over for a little meeting. We first did some shooting with Doug's B-B gun and then had a Bible study. We then had a Bible game and refreshments. My sponge cakes cooked over the open fire in a frying pan are tops!
March 31, 1942
Some neighbors killed a caribou yesterday and we were able to get some liver and meat, so today I am canning three quarts of lean meat for the barren future. This is the second time we have had meat in two and a half months.
We have all been sickly the past few days with fever and upset stomachs. It seems to have been caused by the native tomatoes that were given us. They are marble size and slightly tomato flavored but they don't evidently agree with us.
Last week we had a new floor put into our house so that now the bamboo slats are regular and well tied down and we are not afraid of breaking a leg. Before the children kept falling through and hurting their shins.
Sunday saw our "church" full up with new people. Few of the regulars came; all have been scared away by the soldiers. It was discouraging as well as a joy to speak to new people. The Bible classes were effective and we tried to give them all they could take, in case they don't come back.
We hear that the man (the old chief whose daughter was poisoned) who was sponsoring the soldiers' gambling and cock fighting is being convicted in his heart. He told someone that he was going to give it up. He has been coming to our services and seems very interested. The young chief, on the other hand, is getting worse and worse - he even asked us to give him kerosene for a light for his gambling party. They played all night, but without our kerosene.
But back to our Sunday service - there were over seventy present and they were very quiet and as Mr. Latorilla sang an invitation song at the end there were several who were touched. If these new people come back and so do the old ones, we will have to get more logs for benches. What a joy that would be!
Today Paul is out with Del Carmen visiting the new converts to try and establish them and encourage them. The lad who had a fit here two Sundays ago had other spells during the last week and the old grandfather, a devilish old man, insisted on performing sorcery for the boy, but the family (of whom there are many families) refused to allow it. This is a real answer to prayer.
Another man came for medicine for his child. He was on his way to get a pig to perform sorcery for the child, but promised that if the child recovered he would give up sorcery for all time. The aspirin I gave him reduced the child's fever immediately and he and his family came to church for the first time Sunday.
Life here in the mountains is certainly hard work. It is either hoeing or chopping wood or carrying water or scraping soot from pans or boiling drinking water or washing clothes all day long. There is no time for siesta or rest. I am trying to teach the children, too, and do some sewing and canning.
Food is very scarce. Now that the dry season is here even the little vegetables the people had is dried up. We had to carry water for our garden each night and its rather hard work on Paul. He climbs sixty steps up a sheer bank for each bucket and it takes thirty buckets each night. The garden is doing well now and the produce is helping us out. I don't know what we shall do when the flour is gone; there is no more to buy. What I have is very wormy, but I sieve them out and we eat the little ones as they make up for our lack of meat!
The cockroaches have full sway again - just as long as we don't eat them we are content. We have given up trying to kill them, as they are impossible! They are on the spoons, the tables, in the flour and in saucepans, but we don't mind so much for they are fairly clean as there is no dirt near the house. One day they got into the chicken stew that we were just going to eat. It was good stew, so we fished most of them out and ate the stew (and a few roaches as well, I fear).
The doctor book calls the trouble that Paul and I have been suffering with is Neurasthenia (a serious nervous condition brought on by stress, often causing insomnia). I have a rather severe case and do not find it improving as I hoped it would up here. Recently I find myself awakening much at night and lying awake fearfully listening for robbers, etc.
The burning of the farm clearings begins this week and it is a mighty forest fire while the dried wood flares up and I am fearful for our house. Last night it came so close that I was sure our grass roof would catch fire. There is one very large clearing across the river from us that will scorch us while it burns. I hope it does not kill our garden.
April 9, 1942
Very early one morning we heard someone under our house and found it was the young chief from the top of the next hill who came to buy "burying cloth" for a dead child. The child had been sick for a week with fever and a slight cough. We had given medicine and I had even given her a sponge bath, when the little minx had bitten me deeply. Because she did not recover fast enough, the parents took her to the "medicine man" who lives nearby and whose wife has been quite interested in the meetings here. We were disappointed when we heard that preparations were on for sorcery and the pig was a-cooking. That night as we went to bed and during the long hours that I was awake, I could hear the metallic tom-tom of the spirit drum as they offered the sacrifice to the spirits and then feasted. I prayed that the child would not improve for then the sorcery would get the credit and the child who was only three would be much happier in heaven. The poor little thing had never had a bath until I washed her and she went around naked and eating only corn and rice and sweet potatoes. In her sickness they fed her bananas; so I prayed that God would take her as a sign against the sorcery.
So the next morning word came that she was dead and they wanted to buy cloth. I hurried up the steep high hill to where she was and found her breathing but unconscious. Very carefully I explained to all the assembled relatives and friends that they had sinned in sacrificing to spirits and that God was grieved - that if I tried to help them it would be only help, for the child was dying. Only a miracle could cure. They all admitted their sin and that sorcery was a failure and begged me to do what I could.
As I examined the patient I found her low with pneumonia. With Mrs. Del Carmen to help me as well as Moore's doctor book, I did all I could to relieve the suffering and waited for the crisis. It seemed to come soon, the pulse stopping and the eyes rolling up and the body stiffening - but she seemed to recover again after two minutes and the breathing was easier. I left then, since my two kiddies were sick at home, and Mrs. Del Carmen watched the sick girl. It seemed hopeless to try to care for the baby if she did recover for they have nothing with which to feed or care for her. The case seemed only prolonged.
After I reached home, word came that she had died. This time it was so and I gave the parents a pink baby blanket to wrap her in so they could take her home across the mountains.
One old lady who thought she was helping before I came had been squeezing the child's stomach with both hands. I asked why she did that and she said she was holding in the breath so she could not die! Of course I had to suggest that this be discontinued when I took charge and when the child died this woman said, "See, when I let go the breath escaped!". The old sorcerer's wife spoke up, "You cannot hold breath when God will take it." How I pray this lady will be saved.
It was a sad procession that passed our house later when the dead child was carried home and the family followed behind silent and forlorn. One old sorcerer stopped the procession to proclaim, "The child died because of the spirits of the farm clearing in the neighboring county". Poor people!
So it was that last Tuesday I went to the bereaved home for a Christian funeral - the first Christian funeral in the mountains. The family consented that the Del Carmens and I would go to help. It was a long way and we followed the river for a half hour and then began to climb. Up, up, up a sheer mountainside with only a poor trail to follow, it makes me dizzy to look down. Soon we could hear the wailing. It is the custom to wail here before and after the burial when all the neighbors come and wail, the louder the better, much like China and Bible lands. It was weird to hear the wailing coming down the valley from the small hut perched way up the mountainside. As we drew near they ceased (they are ashamed of their custom) and fanned themselves and cheered up. There is little real sorrow I fear.
About sixty people had gathered and it was a wonderful opportunity to preach for many of them had never found their way to our church as yet. One old chap sat and listened with his face shining in interest. His grunts and exclamations constantly interrupted. We sang and I played the accordion and then we all spoke - it was an opportunity of a lifetime.
During the service they had to keep applying "perfume" to the coffin for it was the third day since death. They believe that the body must be kept three days before burial in case the "witch" might return the spirit; if decay sets in, they know that the spirit has been eaten and will not return.
The little grave was two feet deep and dug in the midst of the pig mire. I played softly as the coffin was brought out and laid in the grave. As we had prayer the mother threw a banana leaf containing ashes (some superstition) into the grave and then the men began to fill in the earth. I played again to dull the thuds of the clods as they rattled onto the little coffin; my soul shrank as I saw the men tramping the earth down with their feet and walking all over the grave. We are praying earnestly that this family will be saved, for the men waited to deal with them after I left.
Sunday was Easter and we had a real treat. Guess what it was? -A loaf of bread! It costs 25 cents now and we have not had any for ages. The children had colored some eggs with crayons.
Our service was well attended again. The message of the resurrection was indeed new to these people.
All week we have been sick here in the home. Bobby had quite a spell of fever and Paul was very ill but all are better today and we praise the Lord. It is hard to manage when Paul is sick for there is no one to milk the cow or draw water, etc.
One of the men from Tanagon Dagat who had professed salvation during the visit by Latorilla, was eating with some of the natives here yesterday. He bowed his head and gave thanks to the Lord before them all (amidst much sneering and laughter) but stuck to it just the same. Praise the Lord for some fruit for His glory!
Another couple has expressed their desire for baptism and we will teach them first, though, for it seems they know so little.
April 18, 1942
So much has happened and we are daily counting our hours until we are either killed or taken prisoner. The Japanese have come into our island now and are making fast progress towards us here. We will not try to escape them and will go into concentration camp if they take us. But we hear of terrible treatment of the Americans who were caught in Iloilo (killed and mutilated) so we are hoping this will reach you even if we are gone to our Home in heaven. This morning we read I Thessalonians 5 and especially noticed verse 10. We only pray that death will be speedy and that the children need not suffer - dear little boys, how precious they are to us!
As to other news up here - we were rejoicing that God is working for us - what will happen to our little church in the wildwood now? The mountaineers are all leaving their homes and going to hide and the huts around us are filling with lowlanders. Whole companies of soldiers are stationed all around us in hiding. There will be fierce fighting here soon and we have no place to hide except in the Lord.
Remember the old sorcerer who performed for the little girl who died? Well, he came to church the next Sunday and listened very carefully. A few days later he called for Del Carmen and his wife said, "Now tell us again what you said about sorcerers going to the lake of fire." So Del Carmen was able to preach to them for a long time and the old man said, "I will give up my sorcery and serve God." We are praying for him that he will truly be converted.
If anything happens to us you will know that we are not resisting or trying to hide, but will give up to the enemy when they come to get us.
April 19, 1942
This is written between dodging into the ditch to hide from the circling planes. The enemy is now very close and everyone is jittery - me included! My Neurasthenia is manifesting itself dreadfully these days - sleep and rest are far from me. Some soldiers came by this morning, deserting the army. We can hear guns in the next town.
Later: no one came to church this morning until later when five army men came. So we pulled ourselves together and had a meeting for them. It cheered our own hearts to sing, "Bye and bye when the morning comes!" Paul gave them the gospel simply and powerfully and all professed to accept Christ - how eager they were and how interested!
Food is scarce. Rice storage is being burned to keep it from the Japanese. There will be a great famine soon.
April 20, 1942
All is confusion. Airplanes are roaring overhead and soldiers fleeing. Last night we had a service for the soldiers here in the camp. The Lord gave us joy in witnessing to them and they enjoyed singing as we taught them choruses with the accordion. Several soldiers slept under our house and their snores disturbed us considerably so that we had no sleep. Everyone is jittery for we hear that the enemy is coming our way now.
By afternoon all the soldiers have left, strewing the path with clothes and everything too heavy to carry. Many have thrown away their guns and gotten civilian clothes. They are all deserting. So we are left alone in our home - waiting for death. How precious the Lord is! As we are packing up so that Del Carmen can salvage some of our things if possible, we keep watching our children and praying that God will spare them the horrors of war.
Many soldiers are coming and rushing past now as they retreat before the oncoming enemy. All tell us that we will be killed if we stay in the house. Truly our hearts are realizing the "sorrows of death".
I got out my accordion and we sang together as a family the wonderful hymn "Under His Wings". It was the last time I played it in that place. We gathered together for prayer and talked carefully with our kiddies about salvation. Dear little Bobby: He said, "Yes, I want to go to see Jesus, but I don't want to be hurted first". Paul was the fortitude of the family, and tried to cheer us up by Scripture and kindness. I confess I was almost prostrate - had not eaten for two days and my heart was dissolved into jelly it seemed. I could only pray that God would show mercy.
We knew we would have to leave all the food and things of our happy home and say goodbye to it all as we took a walk about the garden and saw the ripe beans, the large pichay, the fresh spinach and the egg plant blossoms. Paul cut the cow's rope so she could go home and we gave the chickens a goodbye amount of rice to last a long time.
By this time the last soldiers had left the camp near us and they had set fire to the stores they had been stockpiling up for future days of battle. It was a huge blaze and the tins of foodstuffs popped and banged like artillery fire. It was a horrible sight to see all those canned goods of food, along with packages of medicines, and other equipment and oil being consumed by fire - when the famine is so soon coming.
The enemy did not come by night after all, and we tried to go to bed. There was no sleep, the storage fire kept up all night and the cans popped and thundered.
Paul and I spent much time in prayer, and then decided that it might be safer to start for the lowland towns to give ourselves up before the marching army comes up to get us. The advancing men will have no time to bother with prisoners and will shoot us here. So we got busy and packed two suitcases with a change of clothing and a few essentials and a bag of bedding and food for the journey - leaving everything else behind forever.
All that I need, He will always be
All that I need til His face I see
All that I need for eternity
Jesus is all I need
Doug shined up his Daisy Red Ryder BB gun and gave last instructions to Del Carmen as to caring for it. Then he went into his bedroom and buried his head in his pillow and wept his heart out. Poor kiddie! How hard it all is.
April 21, 1942
Very early we awakened the children and got a little breakfast. Then closing up the house, we left for the lowlands. Paul carried the heavy loads on a pole over his shoulder; I carried the other bag with a strap over my forehead like the mountain women. Douggy carried a small bag of medicine, and Bobby carried a lamp. We left in pitch darkness and climbed the first hill a very sad company. But the Lord proved Himself to be all we need.
We stopped exhausted at the house of a mountaineer and asked for someone to help us carry one load. At first no one would do so, all being afraid of the oncoming invaders. But as we prayed, one man did offer to help and we hurried on again. That trip will never be forgotten. Along the river bed we trailed over stones, huge and small, through water that was deep and slimy, through brush and cutting grasses, on and on. Little Bobby and Doug trudged like soldiers. Paul carried a full load and I dragged on with the smaller load. As we went on, a man offered to carry Bobby a short way and we again saw our Father's hand. How God met with us as we traveled! Every step was His power. Surely "He giveth the power to the faint and to such as have no might He increaseth strength".
After two sleepless nights and not having eaten for two days, I marveled at my strength, as the way seemed endless. Doug began to tire and I invented games to play as we walked. Walking 1/2 hour and resting ten minutes we kept on till about noon. Once I slipped and sat in a nice little pool like a bath tub, getting soaked all over. It was cooling anyway! About noon we sighted airplanes and heard their bombing. American planes, praise the Lord!
We began to wonder at the wisdom of giving ourselves up to the Japanese. Just then we met some leftover American soldiers whose company had also deserted. They advised us not to give up, they had been to Luzon and knew that many civilians had been shot even when they surrendered. So again we were in a dilemma and called upon our Heavenly Father.
We stopped at the house of the chief here who happens to be our friend, and then tried to find a house to stay in for the night where we would be safe. As we talked a messenger came saying that the Japanese were advancing up this valley. We immediately gathered ourselves all together and started out again. How tired we were, and what a long way it was to the shack we were told to occupy. On and on again. At one place the bank was so steep that we slipped down faster than we went up. Bobby was exhausted and I could not carry him, so Paul took him on his back with his own load and carried them both.
As we were climbing the last steep hill, a man came rushing up in great anger. He had wanted this shack to evacuate his own family, and now we were taking it. He talked so fast and scared us since we could not understand him. We have no interpreter now and managed with only the Visayan dialect. Again we sent an S.O.S. to our Lord and He gloriously answered for this same man came the next day with a bamboo tube of water as a peace offering!
We reached our shack about dusk. What a hut! A thatched roof filled with holes, a floor of a few irregular slats of bamboo, one wall of bark and one of loose bamboo slats and two sides with no walls at all, perched high at the top of a steep mountain with only a wilderness all around. We were at the mercy of the beasts (if there are any) and the Lord! His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting.
Twelve feet by nine feet; one corner is the kitchen, a pile of straw is the bed - that's all. We had no cooking utensils, no dishes, no knife, no nothing. We borrowed two big earthen pots, one plate and a bamboo tube for water - that consists of our cooking department. Again our Lord has met our needs by helping us to manage without anything. He gave us rice and eggs and a few such things. We went to bed in the "outdoors" and were glad for our nets and mats. A mat was all we had between us and the floor.
We spoke long and fervently with our Lord that night. What a Savior! I did not sleep much that night, I was too tired and the floor too hard.
April 22, 1942
Morning broke over the high mountains all about us - blue mountains, sparsely inhabited and covered with wild forest. We cooked rice for breakfast, just rice. I could not eat since my nervous strain had affected my stomach. Paul showed signs of strain too, and we could just sit about our hut all day. Even the children were too tired to want to play.
We cast ourselves again in our Father's hand for the day and He gave more grace to face an empty future and impossible present. We praised Him for food and clothing and shelter. Early in the morning our friends brought us a chicken and some more rice. So we praised the Lord again for His love.
The water stream is about 1/2 hour steep descent down and hard climb up from here and Paul was too weak to carry the heavy 9 foot bamboo tube. We needed water and God sent our angry man with a tube-full! We have no basin, no cups and no containers of any kind.
Deadened by weariness and weakened by sickness we just sat all day and prayed. He knoweth the way that I take and we just left it all in His dear hands. We sent a note to Del Carmen telling him of our plight and hoping he had salvaged some of our things from the other house. We felt much as our Lord as He was poor, and rejoiced to suffer with him.
April 23, 1942
Another morning, glorious pink tipped the dark blue mountains and shone into our open air shelter. How we prayed again that morning! What was our future? What should we do? Later in the morning Manuel came, sent by Del Carmen to see what we were doing after getting our note. How glad we were to see him and the big sack of canned goods he brought! Sad to say he told us of the robbing of our house by the natives, of the lost things, of the two Jap soldiers staying there, and how they had to run from them, and how they entered the house. Truly the Lord led us forth in time. So we can trust Him for the future.
That next meal was enhanced by the canned goods which helped the rice slip down. Praise the Lord! We are also glad for the empty tin cans to use as cups, etc. Manuel will return and try to see about the rest of our things, if he can get any for us. The days ahead will be hard without our food and milk. But we must trust that to Him who has led us so wonderfully up to now.
It rained in the night and we knew too well how disastrous it would be if we got wet. The Lord knew too, for when I called to Him for it to cease, the rain stopped immediately where we were even while it continued to rain down in the valley.
April 24, 1942
What to do now? We pled again with the Lord for leading. To try to hide out will be dangerous; no medical help, not much food, no safety and death if we are caught. But it would be happier for us to die to sickness than violent death at the hands of the Japanese. Too, they are attacking and raping women. We must live one day at a time.
A man came today and brought eggs and bananas. Our Father is still caring for us. I had to go to the river to wash clothes this morning. Our soap was all stolen so we had to wash with just muscle power. It seemed a long, long way to the river, down steep trails and through dense underbrush and sharp-edged cutting grasses. Douggy went with me and we sat on the stones of the stream where few men have ever been and washed our clothes. Birds and monkeys twittered and chattered overhead and the vines and bushes made an arch over our heads. My wash was anything but clean but I can't help it. On the hard climb back we gathered leaves for plates and covers for our cook pots.
We spent time today reading the story of David. Our situation seems much like his - fleeing and hiding with the Lord. Many other Americans are doing the same today here. We are trying to locate a band who are hiding somewhere around here and join up with them, if possible.
I look around our "house" here as I write; one corner a little mud pile and a fire cooking baked sweet potatoes and boiled eggs. No walls. The other corner is a rice pounding mortar that we use for a wash basin and dish pan. Another corner has our straw and bundles of bedding. The corner where I sit has a suitcase and a small basket and our cooking tins. That is all. But the Lord is here. We have known His presence so closely before. I could never doubt Him again for He is so real to me. How precious the Bible is! We went to bed more peaceful of heart than since we left our other home. Our hideout here seems so complete.
About midnight I was awakened by what sounded like shots echoing in the valley below. It startled me terribly and we counted seven distinct bangs at intervals. My heart began to pound and my stomach turned to jelly. I lay awake the rest of the night praying. But next morning the natives assured us that it was the bamboo trees popping in a small forest fire.
April 25, 1942
We spent much of the early morning in prayer and Bible reading. As we read we claimed the truths in prayer. We happened to read II Thessalonians 1 and came to verse 11 and 12 which we had received from the Lord the day we landed in Iloilo August 1,1939. How we prayed that God would yet fulfill that verse in us! At breakfast of rice and bananas and a can of sweetened milk, we imagined what you were doing at home. We kind of wished we could drop in for tea and sit at the breakfast nook!
Visitors came in soon after and two men fixed our roof holes and put some extra bark on the windy side of the shanty. God is caring still. Others brought bananas and some vegetables. After lunch Del Carmen and Manuel arrived with more supplies. They told us in more detail of the robbing of our house and how the thieves had cut open our powdered milk tins and emptied the milk out to get the tins. They described how the bedding was stolen, the threads from my sewing box, the boxes of supplies of cocoa and vanilla, the towels, clothes, and dishes. Douggy's gun was taken by the local chief, but one of the thieves had left his very fine dagger, so Manuel gave this to Doug and saved his little heart from breaking. The dagger is much more useful.
Del Carmen will try to salvage all that is left in the house and keep it until we need it. We find that we have to keep our hearts crying unto the Lord to keep from being overly anxious for things. After all, we gave them all up, and now that God has seen fit to save some, we can but praise and not complain. They also said my accordion is in safe hands.
The chief here is a fine man who knew Paul last year when Paul traveled these hills and stayed at this house. This man is taking a personal interest in us now and has selected a lovely plot on his mountain farm where we can build and live. His sons are building a one-room hut already that will keep out the typhoons that should come this next month. This last news is too wonderful for us to believe. We, who had given up all hope of a home again, who were expecting death or imprisonment and starvation; and now this! My God shall supply all your need. Praise His name!
April 26, 1942
What a happy outlook God has given us! Hope, what a wonderful thing to heal the sick stomach and heavy heart! The ants got into our sweet milk last night. You should have seen Paul and Doug fishing them out. We drank the milk -- "fried ants taste like chestnuts". The days here in our shack are getting difficult now since we have been here so long. There is no place for the children to run since we are perched on the slope of a steep hill, and they get tired of just sitting on the floor. In fact, all of us are sore of body from sleeping and sitting on the floor for almost a week. We are hoping that we will get used to it soon as we will have to sleep on the floor without bedding as long as we are here. All of our blankets were stolen except two cotton ones we use for covering.
We cannot complaint, for in the concentration camp, we are told they sleep segregated on the stone floor. God is good to us to let us stay together. It was an uneventful day with no visitors. Paul walked over to the chief's house to see about the building of our house, but found that they do not plan to build until the planting of their crops is over. This is discouraging, but we will pray through this and let God work for us. Deut. 33:12 was a great blessing to our hearts.
April 27, 1942
Psalm 116 was most appropriate as we read it this morning. Surely the Lord has met us in all our trouble and we can trust Him for the future. Each morning before we get up we read and pray while the sun rises over the mountain, and then when our few dishes are done we have more time for Bible study and prayer. The days are one long Bible conference!
Paul went to see about the building of our house and getting more of our things brought from Kabatangan. He bumped into a family of wild pigs on the way. A cow got sick here in the valley and so they butchered her and we had meat. Don't ask what it died of, I don't ask questions like that anymore, we just cook it well and enjoy it.
April 28, 1942
Our verses for the day were II Thessalonians 3:3,16. We rejoice in our faithful God. It is cold and rainy today and my heart longed for our nice warm blankets last night, but God will provide something for covers if we really need it. He never fails. Paul is beginning to make stools for our new home today. It helps to keep him occupied during these long, tiresome days.
More wild pigs visited us last night in the moonlight. Wish we dared fire our gun; pig would taste good. We have nothing for dinner today but are waiting to see what our Heavenly Father will bring us. Our American money is still good here in the mountains. About the future we do not know. If Jap money comes up here, we will be sunk. But no, I forget that we still have the Bank of Heaven. My gums are pretty bad again; this too we must trust to our Lord, for we can never reach medical care now.
The rain came down in bucketsful late in the afternoon and leaked into our hut. I prayed definitely that it would not keep on raining into the night so that we might not catch cold. And God again answered and we had a peaceful night. It began to rain again as soon as night was over!
April 29, 1942
Rain got us out of bed this morning. It is a dreary outlook for the day, but Paul was cheery in the Lord and we had comfort in prayer and song.
Just as we were to have breakfast, Manuel came and told how the house had been robbed yet another time. He spoke of how soldiers are billeted in Kabatangan again. He also told of how there are reports that help is coming from America and that there is fighting in Iloilo. Would to God that latter is true! We have been praying so much for deliverance from this war.
Many of our things are now here stored in the chief's house. More than half our foodstuffs have been stolen. But since there is a captain now in our house in Kabatangan, we are sending him a letter asking him to send soldiers to go with Manuel to try and retrieve some of our things from the natives, especially bedding and food. We have been praying much that God would convict those people and they will give the things back. They even took our egg beater and flour sifter - they never beat an egg nor have seen flour in their lives! Nothing can be replaced anymore now in Panay.
Two shots sounded out near us in the woods just now. Wonder what they could be? Paul is away seeing about our new house and Bobby and I are alone (except for the Lord). Without the knowledge of God's presence I could not stand these days of suspension and hiding. We found out later that the shots are men hunting wild boar with guns the soldiers threw away.
April 30, 1942
I've wondered what some of the spic and span housekeepers in America would think if they knew we have to wash dishes here in one tin can of water. We have to carry water from so far that it is very precious and we trust the sun to cleanse what our washing does not. We are glad for the tropical sun.
Wish they would hurry and get our new house done as there is plenty of water in a running spring brook close there.
Since all my white thread was stolen, I am learning to sew with hemp - it is strong but difficult. We are learning to roast chicken over the coals after it is boiled, and bake sweet potatoes in ashes - all is good experience for us. Romans 8:28 is surely true.
We are studying our Visayan Bible today and hope to begin reading it to the people who come to sell food to us. If we can't preach, we can read the Scriptures. We long for a ministry here where no Gospel has ever been preached since the one trip Paul made here last June. The chief here is the one where Paul stayed before and had services when they were halted by a typhoon. Strange how that trip last year has prepared the way for us now - God is still leading.
May 1, 1942
Spent all day sitting in the shack while Paul and Doug went to build a place for us to stay on the new property. The evening and next morning was the tenth day!
May 2, 1942
Our wedding anniversary! Early this morning we bundled up all our things at the shack and trudged over to the place at the property that Paul had prepared. It was a long hot walk and we arrived to find the new house in the stage of 4 poles as yet and the workmen sitting around chatting. Will they ever build? Paul's shack is only a roof made of banana leaves, and this afternoon we are all trying to make it rain proof as the thunder rumbles over the hills. We are making a raised platform of sticks and leaves to sleep on. It was so far for Paul to come back from supervising the building of the house, so we are going to stay here until the house is done unless we get rained out.
How hard we all worked to get our shack rain proofed. About 4 o'clock rain clouds began to gather and long low rumbles told us that a real storm was coming. We piled our stuff under the roof on the platform of sticks and leaves, and the children took off their clothes to get a bath in the rain.
With a crack and splash the rain came and we were all wet and cold. We huddled under the shelter and got dry clothes on and then waited. The wind whipped the water into our shelter and soaked everything - us included. It was very cold and rain came down in torrents and dripped through the roof and drenched the leaves under us and poured down the mountainside in rivulets that made a pool under our hut where the firewood and shoes were placed.
How it rained and rained and rained and blew and thundered - such a storm! Paul and the kiddies got in one place where the roof was not leaking and I stood to shelter them from the wind and rain that blew in from the other side. For more than an hour I stood drenched to the skin in that cold gale, thinking of pneumonia and everything else. Paul sang and chatted to the children to cheer them up.
By the time the storm had passed it was late and nothing could be dried out. Our firewood was wet so we could not cook supper, and we opened our last can of crackers and potted ham and ate supper on that. It was with apprehension that we prepared for the night. Fortunately the bedding was fairly dry and our mats made a shield from the wet leaves under us, but the lightning and thunder kept up. Just as we were going to sleep, boulders loosened by the rainwater came roaring down the hillside to crash into the valley below. And down came the rain again. We jumped up to gather the bedding, etc. but it only rained a short burst and didn't blow. We went back to bed again with new apprehensions of being struck by one of the large rocks slamming down the mountainside. Bobby slept through it all, and later when the moon came out and the rocks slowed down, we all spent a fair night. But the experience rather cured us on camping now that the rainy season is here.
So ended our wedding anniversary day!
May 3, 1942
This is Sunday. The men did not come to work on our new house and it will take at least two weeks that we can see now before they get the roof done. So we decided to pack up and move back to the chief's house to stay.
There is a house here belonging to his son which he is willing to rent to us until ours is done. The only thing is that it is on the main trail and not so safe for hiding, but after our wetting we are glad for a real house again.
When we arrived at the house the family was still occupying it and expected us to move in with them while they were still there. We did not enter the house, however, and let them understand that we would have the house alone when we rent it. After awhile they moved out and we moved in. With a bottle of Jay's fluid and water we sprayed the place before opening any bags.
So here we are now where next? Only the Lord's grace has helped us through these trying days. We are veritable pilgrims and strangers.
After dinner we went down to the river to wash our dishes. The children swam with the chief's boys and the caribou - the same water in which we washed dishes and our hair. We are trying to learn to go barefoot since our shoes were all stolen and there are no more to buy. Out here in the country where there are no people and only God's clean earth, it is fairly safe to go barefoot. We are going native in every sense it seems. Our food is now mostly rice, there is nothing much else to get.
Night found us stretched out on the floor with our mosquito nets (blessed nets!) over us. Will we every get used to the hard floor? Under me the caribou snorted and bumped against the house and suffocated me with his smell.
May 4, 1942
Morning comes very early when the many chickens began cackling and flying down from their perches under the roof, then the pigs began squealing and the caribou started his stomping. We spent the day opening our salvaged boxes and taking stock of what we have left. About half of our goods are gone. What we have left is the part the thieves did not want. But God will supply our needs. I have just four old cotton dresses and Paul has two khaki suits - when they wear out we'll make fig leaves.
I did the family wash in the river with no soap. "Tattle-tale gray" prevails, but who cares, we are just like all mountaineers now. The children swam to their heart's content until the caribou herd came to claim the swimming hole.
We were low on food, so low that I cried to the Lord constantly for supplies to be brought. And He heard my prayer for we got some eggs and spinach - the first spinach since we left our garden in Kabatangan.
Paul is trying to fix his salvaged radio battery charger so we can get the world news again when we get into our new house. When, I said, for the men have now said they will not build until they have finished planting their fields. They promise to begin next Saturday. So far there are a few poles started.
May 5, 1942
Last night they removed the caribou for me so that menace was gone, but we were then visited by rats instead. They chewed and rattled and scampered and dropped corn from the ceiling. This house has the corn hanging in the rafters.
I thought of Mother as I lay on the floor with only a net between me and the vermin (note: Kay's mother was terrified of rodents). Praise God for the victory He has given me over insects and bugs. Such a thing was never dreamed of before I came here and yet here I have lived in Cockroach Center, with rats, centipedes and fleas, and this house is now infested with lice!
Beneath is the pigpen where dozens of pigs wallow and squeal and grunt below us all day long. Chickens by the score are everywhere.
May 6, 1942
Last night we were kept awake by the rats again. There seemed to be dozens of them and this morning the nets and floor were covered with chewings from the corn in the ceiling and other debris. Paul found one rat had made a nest in his radio.
More soldiers are coming through again; many who ran away before are being rounded up now at the point of a gun. Discarded guns are being reclaimed and fixed and the army is getting into shape to operate when aid comes. One Filipino major stopped at our house, he has also been hiding. Psalm 34 was comforting to us as we lay on the floor before going to sleep.
May 7, 1942
We had a better night last night since I put rat poison all around the house. Many have died since the poison is gone and thus it was very quiet all night.
Our outlook this morning seems rather hopeless with day after day in this place with nothing to do. We can't really unpack our things here, and there is no place to sit because there is an absence of chairs or a table. Dirty people are all around and dirtier animals are everywhere. Will we ever be settled in a home again?
Reports from the lowlands are most alarming -- the very mention of Japs makes my stomach sick. To meet any will be certain death and mistreatment. The soldiers are combing the hills now for food. This will make it difficult for us again. We have nothing for dinner today and are praying for something. God is faithful that promised.
Later we made our lunch on fried sweet potatoes and rice. Not a very well balanced diet, but it was all we had. Many soldiers came through towards evening and they gave us extra cans of salmon and sardines, and so we had rice and fish for supper.
The rest of our goods came from Kabatangan and we now have three pillows. We are grateful for these for we have been using clothing for pillows and it is as hard and lumpy as a rock. My accordion came and I could not help the tears streaming as I played it again.
We arranged a meeting in the chief's house for the evening and there were many soldiers as well plus all the local mountain people. Del Carmen was supposed to come with our goods, but did not show up, so we held the meeting ourselves. It was quite a job since half of the audience did not know English and so Paul spoke in English and I tried to interpret in Visayan. We read the Visayan Bible and sang to them. Paul had a searching talk with the soldiers and we pray that they may be sincere as they promised to accept Christ as their Savior. It is good of the Lord to let us witness for Him again. We thought our ministry was over.
One of the chickens died today. I feel sure it ate one of the cockroaches that had died eating our poison. I lived all day in fear more would die and that the pigs might eat one of the dead rats. Douggy found a rat in the afternoon, and we made sure it got buried. That night one pig set up a terrible squealing and I am sure it was sick. I lay in fear and trembling in case it and the other should die - but they did not.
May 8, 1942
Today Paul has gone to another village to try to get a battery as the acid had been spilled in bringing it here. It is the first time he has ventured away from me since we left home and I feel rather alone.
Douggy is out helping the chief's son plow. Both children are learning to live in the soil as never before and they are picking up Visayan very fast from the many native playmates. I only hope they don't pick up germs.
Bobby is busy polishing the butcher knife. Knives are their only play- things these day, and they make all sorts of things from bamboo and roots. Psalm 130:6 -- Even so, Come Lord Jesus!
May 9, 1942
Paul worked hard to get his radio working but to no avail - the new battery is dead too. He was able to get some flour when he was away yesterday and will get more later. We are very glad for this. He hobnobbed with the American officers at their quarters yesterday and they are indeed a hopeless and unhappy lot. They have been robbed by the natives and Filipino soldiers of everything they own. Some are even barefoot and have no hope of getting things until the war is over. When, oh when will help come?
Paul and I tried to make a batch of soda crackers. It was tedious but they tasted fair. I don't know any recipe for them but wanted to save the flour if possible for it is already old. We hear that there is to be an invasion of these mountains within seven days by the Japs. They are accumulating forces now in several places to besiege the mountains where the general is. What will this mean to us and our house not built? Again we turn to the Lord and cry for help. We also hear the Americans in the lowlands are in prison in Iloilo. Psalm 138:7,8. We can trust Him.
May 10, 1942
Paul has gone today to find a cave to hide our goods in case we have to flee. We do not want to be robbed again. The rats must have multiplied in the night. Debris is everywhere this morning and corn dropped all night.
Praise the Lord for some eggs today. We have had no fresh food for a long time and our canned goods are so precious we do not want to eat them. The Lord is testing us sorely but we can trust Him. The verses of Psalm 139:9,10 came home to me afresh this morning. We are in the uttermost part of the sea in the uttermost part of the mountains -- but even here He will lead and hold! My gums are getting so much worse; they bleed continually.
May 11, 1942
This is Sunday, but we will not have a service today, but wait until Del Carmen comes and have real preaching. It is very hot and noisy and dirty. The thunderclouds gather each day, but there is but little rain as yet Wish it would come so the Japs can't come up here.
It was a trying day being cooped up in our one room house. How we are praying for our own house to get finished. But the favorite word here is "manana". Everything will be tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.
May 12, 1942
More American officers came by this morning. Poor fellows, they are so dejected. None of them have any use for the Filipinos. We are getting to realize more than ever what a race of rats the Filipinos are. This war is showing them in their true colors: liars, thieves and cowards. They even rob each other.
Paul went to work on the house this morning and he is building the porches and stove area. It seems that his blood is very thin for it does not heal his cuts and sores, as it should. His hands get so cut up when working with the bamboo and each cut festers even though treated and cleansed carefully.
I am now wearing Paul's underwear. It fits fine and he does not need it. I also wear a native skirt which is a long cloth wrapped around and tucked in. I am doing this to save my four dresses. I have cut my hair short since our mirror was stolen, and am going barefoot. Will we ever see civilization again?
A man brought us about 100 eggs so we can now eat eggs and help save some of our canned goods. We celebrated with a 12-egg omelet for lunch.
This is the planting season here that probably accounts for much of the slowness of our house building. After the men cut down the trees on a large area on the side of a hill (the steeper the better) they burn the dry wood in a huge forest fire that scorches all the woodland around. Then they sit home and loaf while the women plant. With a stick to dig a hole, they drop a seed into the ground in and around the stumps and fallen timbers. What grows grows! Next year they will move on to another area because it is too much trouble to keep the grasses down. Soon these hills will be void of vegetation and create the island into a dust bowl.
America seems so far away. O to be home again! There is no chance for missionary work now and we would like to find a place of greater service. But in the meantime we must bide out the time until the Lord sees fit to deliver us.
May 13, 1942
Another very hot day. The rains are slow in coming, except the night where we tried to sleep out! More Filipino constabulary soldiers are coming by and such smarty fellows they are. How I hate being here when they all stare and talk so crudely. The Intelligence major came by again; he is very friendly to us and told of the sea battle when the Japs were put to route. Hurray! Hope U.S. comes up this way soon.
A young squirt soldier stationed here is reporting that Paul is a 5th Columnist traitor spy. These Filipinos are the lousiest lot. We got the radio to working for the first time and got the world news. Paul is very happy about it although it takes 1/2 hour of cranking up the battery for 15 minutes of listening.
Some soldiers left their dog here with us since they did not want to take him further. He belongs to their captain, but we hope they will not come back to claim him for he is a nice dog and has taken to us. He is a big fellow and is called USAFFE.
Picture us as we go to bed. Four of us in a row on our mats on the floor, a big dog at our feet, a chicken perches at the side, rats overhead and cockroaches all around, pigs under us and a caribou nearby. "Old McFriederichsen had a farm, E I E I O!"
May 14, 1942
What are you all doing today? Home seems most attractive these days. We hear that the Japs are treating the Americans very badly; the civilian men prisoners have to carry water and do menial work during these hot days. Even the British consul is having to work carrying water on a pole across his own shoulders.
Our army made a raid on one of the Jap patrols and killed some and took a few prisoners. The Japs retaliated by shooting many civilians for each Jap killed - German stuff. So our army is rather hand-tied, we must just wait until aid comes -- if.
Our house is getting done at last. We hope to move in about 4 days. Paul has made the "stove" using a table filled with earth to build our fires on, and today plans to make the kitchen table out of bamboo slats fastened closely together.
About six American officers stopped in around noon. Two of them had chow with us. Poor boys, how they long to be home and out of this hopeless hole here. They have received the command from the Japanese Invading Forces Command that all military associated personnel are to surrender now. We wonder what this will mean. How unworthy this country is of our protection, and it would be better if the U.S. would leave it. If only they would ship all Americans back to the U.S.A. and let the Japs have the islands - they have proved so worthless. We are praying that such will be the case. Manuel came to visit.
The heat continues. Here in my hut I have to keep the door shut so as to keep an audience away, and it gets very hot with only one window. Our dog is proving a real pal to Paul and the children. They all go off to the "property" together for the morning.
Perhaps this new plan to surrender and talk terms with the Japs is the result of the impending invasion of the mountains. Whatever it is, I hope it will mean deportation of whites. Psalm 146 seemed most opportune this morning. Our hope in armies is gone "there is no help". But we are trusting in God "which keepeth truth forever" and "which giveth food to the hungry". Praise His Name "the way of the wicked he turneth upside down"
We are planting some native spinach near our new house so as to have something fresh to eat during the next three months before harvest. If the army disbands we may get some of their canned goods. I think we will stay in the mountains indefinitely for Iloilo is burned and even should there be peace, there is nothing to do there.
A cat got into our house last night so we had bedlam indeed. This morning we are sleepy. Paul had been growing his beard for the past three weeks, but he looked so much like a German baron or "Redbeard" that he shaved it off this morning. It's nice to see his face again.
The men promised to have our house finished by Monday since we promised them more money if they do. I will be glad to get away from this filthy courtyard.
As I look out of my windows I can see our chief and he sits on his front porch wearing a shirt the color of mud from dirt and a g-string of the same color. He examines his bare legs for fleas and sits and sits. His shaved head and bare legs remind me of Ghandi.
Then too, I can see my own clothesline where the wash gets a good sunning to make up for the lack of soap. It is real work to get towels and khaki pants clean with no soap. My fingers are still sore.
My front porch composed of loose logs laid across a frame is also most interesting. There the lunch dishes are sunning on the oilcloth table covering. My dinner set comprises of four tin plates, three tin cups, and one shaving mug, and some tin cans. The sun is my best friend!
Bobby fell off the porch today and hurt his back. How glad we are he was not seriously hurt. We are low on fresh food again. This is the famine season here and we will find it hard to keep fed until June; but after all we have a Heavenly Father who can keep us better than the natives can. He "giveth food to the hungry".
We get our drinking water from the river, and today I found a small fish in our boiled drinking water. So I guess we could call it fish soup. It has been a long time since we had fresh fish. The children brought home some water snails the other day, and after boiling them we had a great time sucking them out of the shells. Ugh! I could never eat one! Bobby delights to roast small river crabs and then eats them shell and all.
May 16, 1942
The germs of this place are beginning to overcome us at last. Both children are getting colds and I am rather sick today. My trouble is mostly nervous, but my back gives such pain that I find it hard to keep going. The stove and all our things are on the floor and I have to bend over all the time. From the time I begin to get meals until the dishes are washed I am bent double. It is making me quite miserable with backache.
If all goes well we hope to get into our own house in another day or so and there I will have a kitchen table and stove at the proper height. The natives squat as they do their work, but I have rheumatism so badly in my knees that I cannot squat down.
We give quite an exhibition each day as we wash our teeth. A toothbrush is a novelty here in the mountains and the people marvel as we clean out our mouths. "The Americans eat so much that their mouths get very dirty" is the consensus of opinion.
Today Paul has gone out to find food. The people here eat only plain rice, rice and rice all of the time and cannot understand why we should not do likewise. They think six eggs should last us a month. Every egg we buy is a half hatched chick anyway, so if we kept them a little while they would be meat.
We hear that the young chief I have told you about stole the greater parts of our things at Kabatangan. He swore before the soldiers that he had taken nothing, but we hear now that he was met with a group of his men carrying heavy loads. The army captain who met them searched the loads for army loot and found our things - my slips and underwear, food, etc. But the army will not help to recover the things for they say it is civilian stuff and not their business. Not their business! What is their business? Martial law is all the law there is now, but the Filipinos are too cowardly to enforce it. Instead of a "standing army" we have a "running army". Running away. The white flags are now waving at all outposts. What will be the outcome?
May 17, 1942
Here we are in our new house. So new is it that the roof and walls are not finished. But we will try to camp here away from the filth at last. My heart is very heavy today. The future seems so bleak and our stay here in our home so temporary. We spent much time reading the Word and praying.
Paul had to stay at the old house until all our things were removed. It took all day, and the man said it would all be moved in the morning. Because our things were not here we got our food separated and so could not get any lunch. I fed the children cold biscuits and raw sweet potatoes and we sat on the floor and watched the workmen work (?) First, one man would do a little and the others would sit and watch him; then another would do a job and the others would watch him. It seemed out of order for all to work at once. When they got tired they all left saying they were going to get more bamboo. But they did not return with any more material, but went home instead.
By the time Paul came in the evening little had been done. Paul had suffered all day with a bad headache. He had been able to deal with a soldier about his soul, however, and we hope he is really saved.
The rain came about five o'clock and how it did rain. The unfinished roof leaked plenty and reminded us of the first night we have stayed up here on the hill. The wind whipped in the window, door and open spaces and we felt a little seedy. But there was enough roof finished to make us safe for the night and we went to bed on our new floor that was almost as soft as a pine board - but not quite.
May 18, 1942
How quiet the night was! The dog Pal was the only disturber of the peace as he barked at monkeys and birds. There are whole families of monkeys living here. Sometimes as many as six big ones gambol in a tree at once. We have no cockroaches or rats here, but there are mosquitoes instead - and many ants.
We spent the day getting settled, but kept wondering how soon we would have to pack up again. The workmen finished up the grass roof and all the walls so now only the windows and doors, the steps and porches remain to be completed. Our back steps are just a bamboo ladder and poor Pal goes down on his nose every time.
Just before supper Del Carmen and Manuel came. They had come to tell us that the thieves in Kabatangan had threatened them with death, and they are now afraid to stay there. Del Carmen had announced that the thieves were known, and so they are after him, and are ruthless men. So after prayer we decided he should move here and work in this neglected valley. Kabatangan has had a witness, and this place has not. So they will come here and we can begin missionary work here and they can move into our house if we have to leave. We don't want to be robbed again. They had supper with us and they went on to hold a service at the chief's house.
Just as I was washing dishes Douggy came runny in howling. He had been chopping a tree with a bolo and the heavy knife had slipped and chopped the side of his knee. It was a nasty deep cut right to the bone. I was wondering if it might be a broken kneecap, but it is only a flesh wound. I applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, and dressed the wound quickly. Thank God we are away from that dirty place which would have infected the wound surely. That night I slept by him to watch for hemorrhage, but it did not even seem very painful.
May 19, 1942
Since coming here to our clean place the sores on Paul's hands and the children's legs are healing up fast. It is so good to be alone and quiet, so quiet. Perhaps it is just the calm before the storm. We had a very precious time of Bible study and the Lord drew close to us as we thought of the dark future and what might be in store for us.
We praise the Lord for supplying food for us, for we have plenty of vegetables and eggs this week. He has never failed us. One of the American majors sent the kiddies two bottles of candy - what a treat!
My baking powder was stolen and I have now learned to make cakes and biscuits with soda and no acid. The recipe books say it can't be done, but my pastries are perfect and with no taste of soda either.
I spent the day washing clothes and doing home chores. Paul is now getting the world news but he must spend much effort cranking up his battery. It is good calisthenics for him, however.
May 20, 1942
A lovely sunny morning with birds singing everywhere. This location is a real paradise. Would to God we can stay here till we go to the U.S. Bobby and I are both feeling sick today. Too much excitement, no doubt. Doug's knee hardly hurts him at all although the wound is still open.
May 21, 1942
All feeling better today. Paul and I spent much time in prayer and Bible study this morning. We were able to spend time especially in intercessory prayer for all our special friends in America. How dear you all seemed to us as we prayed for you.
All the cuts and sores are again festering. It must be our diet or blood that causes it, for Paul and the children are a mass of bandages. Even small scratches fester, and it is most distressing.
Rains come heavily each afternoon now and our roof is not very rain tight and we get quite damp, but it is better than our banana leaf shelter. Paul listened in to a broadcast from Manila when some of the prisoners of war there were told of their conditions in the concentration camp. Of course it was all propaganda, but gave us some idea of what to expect if we were captured. The greatest trial in the camps is lack of food and milk, which is the case here too.
May 22, 1942
Because of our sickness and sores we all went to the hill behind our house and took a sunbath. If we can do this each day, it may help. Paul has a bad infection in his finger that is causing it to swell and become very painful. His hands are a mass of bandages. He started to make a dining table for the family, but had to stop for his hand hurt so badly. At night he could not sleep and soaked his finger in hot Epsom salts.
May 23, 1942
Paul's finger is still very bad. After soaking it again and reading "Moore's Medicine" we lanced it and relieved the pus. Hope it will begin to heal soon. Gave the whole family a dose of Epsom salts to try to purge our blood of these infections. We took another sunbath, but it was very sultry after so much rain. Our systems are missing the weather at Baguio.
Heard today about the full surrender of our armies in the Philippines. They were told that if they did not give themselves up, the 1200 prisoners in Bataan would be executed. So again we are in turmoil. What does this mean? Does it mean we must surrender too? When and how?
Our days in our Hideaway cottage are already numbered. All our hope of reaching America is over. Perhaps it is best for our recent hope had tended to make us unhappy with our lot here. Now, at least, we know there is nothing better in store for us and that we must be content. Our Lord alone remains the same. Praise His Name!
May 24, 1942
This morning Paul left early to try to meet with the American officers before they break camp and report to the Japs. Perhaps they can advise us.
Rain, rain, rain. The rainy season is surely here and it is very damp and steamy. This is Sunday, but no sign of Del Carmen yet. What has happened to them; why have they not moved? The hills are ringing with gunshots as the soldiers shoot off their bullets before they surrender. Some men had so few bullets that they had never shot their guns before.
Spent the afternoon with the children playing games and telling Bible stories. How long will we be together as a family in this, our new little house?
A tremendous thunderstorm came up and just as it broke, Del Carmen and Manuel arrived. Latest plans are that they will remain in Kabatangan, and we no doubt will go into the concentration camp. We will try to sell our recently built house. They stayed for supper and how it thundered and rained. Went to bed rather lonely and damp. I miss Paul. What will prison camp be without him?
May 25, 1942
Had a bad night. Was awake thinking much of the time. Trying to plan how to pack for concentration. Read Mark 10:29,30 again. We had read this passage in our reading just before leaving Grand Rapids. The Lord has never failed us.
May 28, 1942
Have been too busy to write these past days. We have been sorting our clothes and medicines, etc. into 4 boxes - one for each of us - in case of our leaving. Paul was able to meet with the other Americans the other day and found they had also been robbed. They will let us know when orders come for American civilians to report. Until then we will stay here.
Our house is still uncompleted. No windows or doors, and how the winds and rains do blow in! Doug has come down with a cold and fever, and his sores are the slowest in healing. The big wound in his knee will take a long time yet.
Because we have no soap, I tried to dye some more of our light colored clothes. It was a failure job, however, for I tried to put too many things in the dye and they all streaked. Our clothes are so few and this seems the last straw. Because it is so rainy, it is hard to get dry firewood. So we spend more time huffing and puffing to cook with wet wood. We will appreciate civilization when we get back.
May 30, 1942
Our radio news sounds as though America is really going to do things - but when? Found one of the dread phosphorus centipedes. They are thin and long and give off a phosphorus glow when squashed. They try to enter the ears of people and live there, and any section of them will live after being broken off. Horrible insects! I'm glad we caught this one. They live in grass roofs.
We are trying to eat up our canned goods now. Better for us to get the benefit out of them rather than leave them to be stolen. So we have all the pears and peas and corned beef and soups we can eat. Douggy is not well, had a fever a couple of days and his gums are bothering him. His leg is healing so very slowly.
I dyed more clothes khaki colored. They were more successful this time. White clothes are hopeless when you have no soap. One of my dresses (I have but four and this was the nicest and newest) was ruined by upsetting the Mercurochrome bottle over the front. I was heart broken and tried to dye it blue the other day, but it was streaked like the rest of that dye job, so now it is completely ruined and can be used only as a work dress.
Paul just returned and said that the Japs are coming this way today or tomorrow. So this may be the last I shall be able to write in this diary. The Lord is near to us and we can trust Him.
June 1, 1942
No Japs yet. I've had this diary hidden in the roof until now. We have had great joy in our Bible study and prayer. The closer we come to danger the closer we come to God, and He comes to us. There is no place for self-sufficiency.
Yesterday I found a ten-inch centipede with huge legs under a tin can I was about to lift. Horrible thing. It took a lot of chopping to kill it. Another of our pests here is the wood-boring ant (comparable to your termites). They eat everything - paper, wood, cloth, and have strange black and white bodies. In addition, monkeys -- whole colonies of them - haunt the trees around our house. This morning we saw one about as large as Bobby. Too bad we don't have our gun; we threw it away in some bushes so as not to be caught with it in our possession.
American news sounds as if she is planning to do great things - but when? Is it all talk? We will miss our radio. Paul sends the news to other Americans in the mountains as they have radios. In the lowlands only Jap stations can be listened to.
June 2, 1942
Someone gave the old chief here a small tube of Colgate toothpaste. He came to ask if it was medicine. When told it was soap for the teeth he was duly impressed. Squeezing out a little on his rough dirty finger he proceeded to wash his teeth that were so stained by beetle nut chewing that dynamite couldn't have cleaned them!
A man came this morning to have a wound dressed. He walked easily and handled the sore foot roughly; but after I had doctored it, he was so proud of the bandage that he limped away on his heel to keep the bandage clean to impress his friends.
Almost killed myself trying to wash a sheet and two mosquito nets in a dishpan. My! But they are awkward to wash!
June 7, 1942
Wings over Bacan! No, not airplane wings - just bug wings. They come at night and swarm into the house to the lamp. One night they were so thick that we could hardly breathe. They are strange worm-like bugs with wings that drop off and scatter everywhere. It isn't so bad that they come into the house, but after they drop their wings they crawl into the nets and beds. That's the last straw! In the morning we sweep up wings and dead worms and dip them out of our water can. The cockroaches have found us again - all kinds of them. They are not so plentiful yet, but are increasing. The boring ants are making tunnels everywhere. They bore the sawdust first and then build it into a closed tunnel up the wall or post to their nest.
We sent Manual to the lowlands to find out about Helen and Elsie and also about what we should do regarding surrendering to concentration.
Several days of sunshine have seen us out sunbathing and trying to get healthy before we are confined. Wounds are healing faster. We are eating up our canned goods and feel we are living in the lap of luxury. It is too good to last as this must be the feast before the famine. But this time we will eat what we have while we can.
Our radio is standing us in good stead; we hear of the raids on Germany and are encouraged.
June 10, 1942
Surely life had become too peaceful for us here and the Lord has again jolted us into trouble - and closeness to Him. On June 8th Douggy suddenly complained of a stomachache. I dosed him for such but he got worse and fever and nausea came on and the pain got worse. Immediately I had panic in case he had appendicitis and I had given him a purgative. All night I labored with him alleviating his fever and nausea and pain as best I could. It was a terrible night indeed.
Next morning he was worse and now had severe diarrhea. The latter allayed my fears about appendicitis, but now he began to suffer badly with cramps. He had to use the pan every few minutes. All day long he suffered, and I with him, as he moved each 15 or 30 minutes with terrible pains.
Looking up "Moore's" I knew he has dysentery, and a real dose too. How my heart sank! Real nausea and sickness overcame me as I agonized with the child during the day. My nervous tension has made my stomach react immediately and the result is that I am almost prostrate like before leaving Kabatangan.
Night came on and my panic increased as the lad did not improve and we had no milk. No milk - and all he should have was milk! How we tested the Lord in prayer as Paul chased out to try to find a cow. Douggy was craving milk but we have only sweetened concentrated milk out of a can and that nauseated him.
Paul did secure a cow and she was brought but he could get no milk that night because she kicked the traces over and would not let him near her. As we went to bed I had a severe nervous attack and it affected by stomach and whole body. We could but cry to the Lord for a miracle, and cry we did.
Praise His Name, He heard our cry and the night passed with only two potty interruptions. Surely He did a miracle for us. How precious His Word was. This morning Douggy was much better, so much so that I was able to take heart again and get my wash done. His attacks are much fewer and less severe. Such a dramatic recovery could only be the Lord's hand that has healed.
Paul got a quart of milk out of old Bossie this morning and how precious it was. God is good to us. My day has been busy sterilizing the milk and fixing invalid food and caring for disinfecting, etc.
Disaster seems to follow disaster. Bobby now complains of pains. Paul, while chopping wood, cut his milking hand badly as well as a hundred other small mishaps. Our medicine is running low. But the Lord is close to us in a special way, we have had sweet times of prayer.
June 13, 1942
The week has dragged along and Doug seems much better, though not well yet. He is growing weaker on his milk diet, but is getting better. Yesterday Paul was very ill with one of his dyspepsia headaches. It was a hard day since I had to carry water and care for the cow and keep the home fires burning. Paul is better today, but I now have a slight case of diarrhea myself. Where will it all end?
A party of Japs with one of the American officer prisoners passed up the mountains searching for the storehouses of the army. They stayed the night right at our house in Kabatangan. Del Carmen tells us that the interest in the preaching is keeping up in the district there. The converts are holding true. We praise the Lord for this.
Those who did the stealing of our things do not go to the services. Now and again they appear in our clothes and our utensils are seen in their homes. It makes one mad, what can one do? The young chief there was invited by one of our friends and as the visitor entered the house, the chief stripped off the shirt he was wearing and hid it. Later the visitor went to another house to a feast and who should walk in but the chief with the shirt on! Of course it was Paul's. The chief and his wife arrived with shoes on and were also wearing other pieces of our clothing. They spent a miserable feast - on the way home they were seen carrying the shoes!
June 21, 1942
God has answered prayer and Doug is now well and getting brown and strong again. Paul and Bobby have both had sick spells and we feared they were coming down with the dysentery too, but now we are all well again.
When our American friends heard that we had dysentery, they sent for a doctor on our behalf. He did not come until yesterday - 8 days later. He said it was too rainy to come sooner. A typical Filipino doctor, he blustered into the house announcing that he was not only a doctor but the mayor of this province. Well filled with native wine, he was in high and giddy spirits, far more interested in the war news than in medicine. All he knew was Mercurochrome and warm water. Paul tried to show him his finger that is still very sore, but he did not bother to look at it. He just kept saying, "Yes, yes, wash in warm water and apply Mercurochrome". He also said "Milk is the worst thing for dysentery, never give milk". We did not pay him for his visit.
Manuel returned from his spy trip to Iloilo. He visited Helen and Elsie who are hiding in a place that has only matting for walls and roof. They get drenched every time it rains, which is every day, and are both sick. They were glad to hear from us and to know how things are.
Iloilo is a shambles, burned and empty. The Americans that were taken prisoner are being kept in the city jail. But somehow the Japs have not sent any decree for all Americans to report, and we wonder why. Perhaps they will leave us out, and we are now planning to stay here indefinitely.
It is very hard to get food again. We will save what little canned goods we have left after our eating spree. Just now a man came to get our regular radio report for the Americans at Kunsad and they have sent some vegetables, a loaf of bread and a pineapple. What a happy surprise! They will send to us regularly after this. God is good!
June 24, 1942
Once again we are packing up to go into the concentration camp. News has come that all civilian renegade Americans must report by June 30th. What a disappointment now that we have become settled here! But these have been happy days here and we will never forget them. We are cherishing much these last few days together.
The Kunsad friends sent us a big piece of fresh pot roast and other fruits and bread yesterday. It was a real treat.
Today we are busy sorting things and packing. We are going to find it hard to be cooped up with people when they have nice clothes. Most of the Americans are ritzy and rich and I will be very dowdy indeed. I would be so much happier if I could stay here in the mountains and wear native dress.
We will be taking only our clothes and some home remedies with us. Del Carmen will again take care of our other things until we need them. Until what will we ever return? We hear of the German threat to kill all Jews if England invades. Japan will probably also kill all prisoners here in the islands when and if they should have to leave.
Our imprisonment will be at least for one year and I cannot imagine that all four of us will live through it. The hardest part will be to be separated from Paul and not seeing him at all. The men are interned in the jail, and the women and children in a schoolhouse far away. How we must rely on the Lord. I will test His grace as never before. My nervous condition makes me a most unfit person to care for the two children alone. How I need the Lord's help!
Today my physical condition is bad with diarrhea and heart pains since I am nervously upset over this new plan. Douggy's eyes are infected today; a man visited here yesterday and brought germs. I am treating his eyes hourly.
The Japs are forcing everyone to bow down to them (old fashioned Japs bow) and it seems so ludicrous to have to stop and bow to each soldier and guard wherever they may be. No radios are allowed; we will leave ours hidden here in the mountains.
Perhaps you will not hear from us again. If not, this diary will tell you something of our joys and pains the past six months. They are nothing, we feel sure, to the miseries that are to come. How we need your prayers!
Last night we claimed for our verse Psalm 57:1. Whether the Lord permits us to live or not, we will meet you all in GLORY. We go into concentration without even a photograph of you at home or each other. May we ever keep the vision of the Lord before us. Your faces come before me so often in the night hours.
How wonderful if we were all spared to meet again around the fireside at 415 E. Madison in Wheaton! Where are Don and Charlie? (Note: these are Kay's two surviving brothers) How I pray for them. How are you all and what are you doing? My questions die into empty air, but we can rest to know that HE CARES.
We do not regret that we obeyed the Lord's call to come here to the Philippines; there never was a needier field. So we praise Him for the chance to bring the Gospel to these mountain areas. We pray that the "wilderness" experience here and in concentration will fit us for greater service in the future.
God has been searching our hearts much, and we realize how far we have come from true holiness. May He enable us to live His best in the future.
June 27, 1942
Our friends at Kundad were never able to send their messages with last instructions about going into concentration. The Japs came through their area of the mountains and took them all away. We have been waiting for word from them, and it was not until late yesterday that we heard about them.
We plan to leave very early tomorrow morning. We are having difficulty getting cargadors (carriers) since the hillbillies are afraid to go to the lowlands. But we are trusting God to supply what we need.
Del Carmen and his wife and a convert from Kabatangan came yesterday to visit. It was a difficult day what with packing and all the confusion and having so many extra people. He will return today and remain in the house until all our things are removed to his place after we leave. Manuel will go with us we expect.
Douggy has had quite a case of conjunctivitis. Thanks to "Moore's" I am able to treat it correctly. I am taking two books with me - the Bible and "Moore's"!
We have been asking the Lord for a special favor from the Japs - that we might be allowed to even stay at Doane perhaps.
This will be the last I will write in this diary; I wonder if you will ever read it? God has been good to us and we praise Him for the happy years together in His service. My heart is very troubled these days and I wonder if I will live to see you all again. If not here - then up There!
Goodbye for now.
"Kay Friederichsen's Family History"
Kay Friederichsen was one of four children of William and Katie Hockman who were missionaries in China at the time of the Boxer Rebellion in the early 1900's. The children were Bob, Charlie, Kay and Don. These children were all raised in China. The Hockman family stayed in China until the Communists took over when they were forced to leave and had to return home to Wheaton, Illinois.
After returning home, their son, Bob, entered medical school and graduated from Northwestern at the top of his class. He met Winifred Thompson and as they both had wanted to serve as missionaries, they married and subsequently went to Ethiopia where Bob was a surgeon with the Red Cross. This was during the Italian-Ethiopian war in 1935 and Bob was called upon to help the wounded and also defuse the dud bombs that fell so they wouldn't be harmful to anyone. Even though he did this many times, one did explode in his hands and killed him, just before he was to meet his new baby daughter who had been born away from the war in Egypt. That baby was Ruthie Bell. After Bob's death, Winnie came back to the states where Bob's parents made a home for her. Winnie and Ruthie lived with them for 10 years until they died. After that Winnie became a housemother and worked for Wheaton College for many years. Ruthie met Gordy at Wheaton College.
The Hockman's next son, Charlie, to their knowledge, was never a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. He joined the Army as a career soldier during World War II where he served in Europe. He died later in England when Ruthie was a teenager.
Kay, their third child after college days, married Paul Friederichsen and they also wanted to serve as missionaries. After some training here in the states, they set out in August of 1939 and landed in Iloilo, a town on an island in the Philippines. While in the Philippines, World War II broke out and the Japanese took over because of the involvement of the U.S. to the Philippines. It was during this time that Kay and Paul and their two children, Doug, age 7 and Bob, age 4 found the need to escape for their lives. And it was while they were ministering there in the jungle that Kay began this diary, before they were sent to the concentration camp. They were in the concentration camp about two years and a half before being liberated and sailed home to San Francisco. The Hockmans both went to Glory a few months before Kay and Paul were home, so Kay never saw her parents alive again.
Kay typed out a book that was only bound but never published which the family has in their possession entitled, "Like Them That Dream". Many of the facts in Kay's diary were repeated in that book. After Kay and Paul were back to the states Kay wrote some other books as well, one of them being "God's Word Made Plain". Kay became a Bible teacher and chalk talk artist in later years. Another of Kay's books was entitled, "Dr. Bob Hockman, Surgeon of the Cross", the story about Ruthie's father.
In April 2001 Doug and his wife, Jan who live in California, and Doug's brother Bob who lives with his wife, Cleo, in Minnesota, came to visit Ruthie in Oregon (see their pictures below). These cousins had not seen each other for many years. Doug who is a pastor is now 68 years of age and Bob who is a graphic artist is now 64. This visit was wonderful as the cousins reminisced about the times they had as children in Wheaton. It was at that time that Doug told Ruthie when they were going through the effects of their parents, after the death of their father, Paul, that this diary was found. They had no idea it was in existence as it was hidden in the bottom of a drawer. Doug promised to send it to Ruthie, which he did.
The Hockman's youngest child, Don, graduated from college and went to medical school as well. After his marriage to Lorrayne Benson he practiced medicine in Wheaton for many years and had two children, a son Rob, now living in Missouri and who also is a doctor, and a daughter Raynie Smith, who lives in Wheaton. Don passed away many years ago and his widow is now in the same nursing home in Carol Stream where Ruthie's mother was until her death in January of 2000. Don's families are all believers.
It is interesting that Paul's only sister, Florence Friederichsen, lives in a retirement home in Rockford and at the age of 96, came with Bob and Doug when they visited in Oregon. Gordy and Ruthie are blessed every time they visit with her as she is truly in love with the Lord.
|Doug and Jan||Bob and Cleo|