Somehow I decided to embark on another visit to China for a vacation. I have a vision, and, if it’s from the Lord, He will provide the strength, wisdom, connections, relationships, and resources, all my needs, to make it happen. I want to complete my project—before I moved to a retirement home. I want to be serving by writing my story—as my mother wrote on a piece of paper I found stating: “Over these four years, God’s grace has been recorded in these letters; for this reason these letters (200 approximately) remain and are kept—to remember God’s grace”. Myay His name be honored in every nation, and may He be exalted in all the earth.
Letter No. 1 Dated August 26, 1959
Dear Daddy and Mama,
Right now I am staying at Katy’s house. Praise the Lord I have received all your letters. Daddy’s first letter, sent to General Steam Ship was received first. After arriving at the Wu residence, I received two letters including one from Julie and another one from Mrs. Hensel. I also received one from Debbie. With all these letters, my anxiety was replaced by relief, and it made me very happy. Now let me tell you what happened today: I got up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast, a boat sent from US border patrols came on board, and a few medical officers came to examine our X-Rays, for thirty-three of us. A few X-Rays were kept by them, without explanations. Praise God I was only asked to give a short answer and passed without any problems. The second group abroad was officials from Immigrations, and again I easily passed.
After these visits, everyone’s luggage was carried by ropes to be dropped on shore for the purpose of inspection. Thank God everything in my luggage passed. As soon as our ship docked, I was getting anxious when I did not see anyone waiting for me. Then I heard someone calling name – someone from Foreign Overseas College and University Students Inc. came to meet me. Katy’s family was expecting me to arrive tomorrow (28th) and did not come. Instead, Mr. Finley and a secretary (Japanese lady) came together. Thank God He understood my fears and prepared everything for me. I also later found out that my father had written a letter to them stating the date of my arrival.
I thought they should take me to Katy’s house, and I called their number. When Katy’s younger brother answered, he told me I had many letters to be picked up. Mr. Finley then drove me to the address where the Wu residence is located, and they made sure I was safely at the right address.
After about an hour later their elder sister came home. Cecilia and I had a nice conversation catching up. She called her mother, and they were coming home later. She started to cook at six, and I had dinner with her and their two younger brothers. Mrs. Wu was glad to see me later, and she appreciated the gift I brought: a can of fried meat.
My big trunk, due to the expense to move it to the house, was left at the Greyhound Bus Station, where it can be kept for one week; and I could easily take the fur coat out anytime. Katy’s house was very big and located on a mountain. The two sisters’ room is behind the garage, very roomy and big. Upstairs were rooms for Mr. & Mrs. Wu and the two brothers. Since we were downstairs, we can feel free. There was a sofa which opened to be a bed. This bed had been made for me. I think I am going to bed and will finish this letter tomorrow. 10:30 pm
This morning I started to write as soon as I got up. When Mr. and Mrs. Wu came home, I was already asleep and did not wake up until 8 a.m. Their family ate only Chinese food, just as I am used to. A while ago Mrs. Wu apologized for not meeting me, and they already left for the day. In a little while Katy will take me to Greyhound to purchase a ticket and then to the Post Office to mail a package to Mr. Chen and my letter to Dr. Tyson. I have already typed it. I gave Cecilia and Katy each a pair of slippers and they both liked it. I did not mention about the fur coat, as Mrs. Wu was quite busy—maybe later. I trust the Lord to lead me and to give me wisdom. Please tell Mr. Chen and remind him that I mailed his letter. . . Please pray for me always. As soon as I arrive at College, I will mail our photos taken on board the ship to you. May the Lord be with you, Emmanuel! Daughter Min-yen 08/26/1959
Letter No. 2 Dated 08/29/1959
Daddy & Mama:
My bus ticket has been bought to leave at 8 a.m. on September 1, passing Los Angeles to Waco. I will get off at Temple, the place where Daddy told me. I already wrote to Dr. Tyson about the date of my arrival on September 3, and asking someone can be there to meet me. I wrote a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Hensel to thank them for inviting me, but that I have no time to visit. I received another letter from them, but I still don’t think I should visit but to arrive at school quickly. . . The weather here is still cold– in the 50’s. My grey sweater is just right for room temperature, but I have to wear Katy’s long coat when I go out. I heard that the weather in Texas is hot right now. Praise the Lord I am very healthy; knowing that you have prayed for me, my nose is not bothering me now. I have milk and bread every day, which taste better than rice. I slept on a sofa bed and woke up at 10 a.m. I can watch TV to pass the time. Please don’t worry, because the Lord hath prepared everything. I read the Bible every morning and evening, pray, and I have faith that my heavenly Father will be with me every moment.
I have been at Katy’s house already a few days. Right now everyone is out except me and their brother Sunny. I remember I already told you about the day I arrived. My trunk is now at Greyhound Station. The day after tomorrow (8/30) I will get it out and together with my suitcase to be sent to Texas. I can pick it up upon arrival. . . .I can fix something to eat for myself, and I help with small task of wiping dishes after dinner.
On the boat, after leaving the Philippines, I have seen what the Lord prepared for me. Let me now tell you my testimony: After the ship sailed away from the Philippines, an officer asked Miss Wu and I to move from the Captain’s cabin to a room on the same floor. We could hardly believe it when we took a look. There were two comfortable beds, a basin, a chest of drawers for our clothes. This was better than a regular room. We stayed in this room for the next two weeks. My only regret was that there were no true believers on board: the Captain, two Officers, and others are not Christians. Among the thirty-three passengers, most of them are Catholics and two of them told me they didn’t believe every word in the Bible is true. I have talked with them that our God is almighty. Only another sister who is a Pentecostal and I understood salvation—thank God He saved me.
Not surprisingly, God’s wrath came upon us on August 13. A typhoon was chasing our ship with winds at category eight, and the epic-center was 120 sea miles away. When I got up I felt unsteady and could not walk or stand. I ate some pieces of bread and went back to my cabin. As I lay in the bed, I could feel it rocking from right to left and from top to bottom. At about 4 pm, I was beginning to feel sick in my stomach and could no longer stay healthy; but there was peace in my heart that stayed knowing that God will protect me. Just at that moment, another passenger came to our cabin, followed by the Captain. We heard the good news that the storm had passed. The Captain told us that had we had left the Philippines on schedule– four hours later–, we would have been in the heart of the storm. I did not eat supper. On the next day, the waves were still hitting the deck but not as hard. In the afternoon, the waves were calm and the storm was over. I ate congee for three or four days. Just like I was home, my appetite was good after recovery. I ate two bowls of rice and a piece of bread. Since then the sea was calm, and we could feel just like on the land. I even saw a whale! I will send some photos–three photos. 8/29 afternoon.
Letter No. 3 – September 4, 1959
Daddy I love & tMama:
Praise the Lord I arrived on campus at 9 p.m. After three days, the journey has been completed. The school sent two campus boys driving the school van to meet me and take me to be settled in a room. There are three dorms, and I still don’t know which one I was at. I will tell you all the details later. Dr. Tyson will not be on the campus until Monday, September 8. His secretary told me to stay for now and everything will wait until Dr. Tyson returns. Since I was very tired from not sleeping on the bus, I fell asleep as soon as I lay down. This was my first night after arriving here. This morning I woke up at 9 a.m. There was someone next door—a girl from Hong Kong. We were immediately like old friends and stayed together. She arrived at 3 a.m. She is a Christian and a very nice person. This morning two more American students arrived. They live in Texas. Tomorrow all new students are scheduled to arrive. Let me tell you everything after I see Dr. Tyson. This letter is just to let you not to be worried since I have arrived safely on Campus. My three suitcases have been brought to the campus—everything seems to be okay so far.
The trip from San Francisco to Texas took two days, and it was not easy. But please don’t be alarmed—because the Lord heard our prayers and I am here. I left Katy’s house at 6 a.m. Mrs. Wu (Stella) did not take me due to the early hour. Katy and I got a taxi and paid $5.00 to take us to Greyhound Bus Station. I immediately looked for my trunk. An elderly worker told me it might not have been brought here, due to workmen on strike. I was supposed to take the 8:15 a.m. bus but decided to take the next bus leaving at 12.00 noon.
As I sat at the station, I realized that all I could do was to pray to God. Thanks to God because He answered. At about 9 a.m. the same old man asked me to go to the storage to look and I found it. Since it was at the Station for over one week, it was taken to the storage. I gave the trunk to them and bought insurance since the fur coat was inside. Mrs. Wu told me she had three coats not yet sold.
I got on the 12 noon bus and arrived 11 p.m. in Los Angeles. It was midnight, and I had to wait three hours for another bus to go to El Paso. I did get on the right bus and called Dr. Tyson’s secretary when I arrived at Fort Worth. She told me someone will be there on time to meet me and to go to Waco. At Waco I bought a ticket to Temple ($1.30). At Temple, I picked up my luggage. From Temple to Belton, it took only 30 minutes and I was met by the two campus boys.
At the campus, since meals will be served starting tomorrow afternoon, Annie Chang and I went shopping. We got milk, bread, two burgers, a can of tomato soup–each paid 50 cents for lunch and dinner.
There is a kitchen where we can cook. Everything is cheaper in Texas, I mean as compared to San Francisco. It’s a good thing I did not buy anything there. Just received Daddy’s letter and I read every reminder he mentioned and will try to do my best. It’s hot in Texas about 95 degrees. I am in good health but miss you. But since I am able to receive your letter dated 8-31 today 9-4, I am happy. I pray every night for you; my discomfort with my nose has been over; and everything is here and not lost. I still have $110.00. I heard Annie Chang saying she is paying $200.00 each year. I trust the Lord will prepare for me, and you need not worry.
I will buy vitamins when I have a chance. The college is very big and beautiful. I have not yet walked around. I am taking a nap now, and probably will write you again Monday. Please pray for me—our heavenly Father will honor us when we pray together.
May God be with you, Daughter, Min-yen 09/04/59
PS: About Mrs. Inn’s book of hymnals, I have it with me. Please, Mama, buy one to give back to her.
Response to my Letters 1 – 3 missing original
Our daughter Min,
Since we received your letters sent from Katy’s house, we waited anxiously your letter telling us you with the good news you have arrived at your college. Day after day we waited but still no letter. I was truly very anxious. On Sunday, I spent the whole afternoon waiting for the mailman with a letter in his hand—because I was thinking you are so young and had no experience traveling—you mentioned about discomfort in your nose in your last letter.
This was enough to go to the Lord I serve seeking help. My Lord heard my prayer. You had a safe trip—the Lord sent His angels to protect you. Just as Psalm 121 stated, the Lord hath proven in your life. “The Lord sent His angels. . . “ I thank God for your life, and I willingly surrender my life to do service. God hath truly blessed our family, my child, you will honor the Lord, and depend on Him! If ever you feel no peace in your heart, don’t do it. The two missionaries who met you in San Francisco, you need to write to thank them, giving a testimony about God’s glory. In your prayers, you should pray blessings on them. As for the Wu family, I was not very close to them, and they were nice to extend their hospitality to you—even though you might not feel it, you should be grateful and write to thank them. You must remember to give thanks to God—important!
You have started life in new surroundings, every move and every act you are to be careful: what you eat, where you stay; you must look up to the Lord in faith—pray every moment as He is your only source of help. When in difficulty, bow your knees—just like when you lost your trunk, you found it after you prayed; you saw the glory of God. This is the only lesson you need to learn from God, as He leads you.
Your father already mentioned what you are to do in detail, but the most important thing is to follow God’s guidance and do everything through His hands. . . After you left, we have our bed-room to your room. The bed-room is now my study room. Two desks are placed on each side of the wall. This makes your father and me very happy. Regarding financial status—we saved $20.00 last month and paid Aunt Anna back. We will pay again this month. You need not be worried. We will pay back fully. Glory be to God!
My work keeps me very busy, and I really praise God for using me. . .do not be worried about me, just pray and give thanks for us. May God be with you and give you His blessings. Mama 9/11/59
PS: Write whenever you can!
Letter No. 4 Dated 09/09/1959 missing original
Daddy & Mama,
I went to see the President this morning. I just told him because my parents spent a lot on my travel expense that I have got only a small amount left. He asked me how much I still had. I told him $100.00. He then wrote my name down and said: “It takes me three or four days to straighten things out, but we’ll take care of that.” I really thank the Lord, as He help me solve many difficulties. I was planning to go and see Dr. Tyson earlier, but Mr. Mason, the current administrator, was in charge of scholarships. He spoke to us during Chapel that if anyone needed financial assistance, we may see him. Somehow I felt he was the wrong person to see, but I needed to wait for Dr. Tyson.
On the next morning, I prayed for courage and went to the same office; but this time Mr. Mason at the door and going out. As soon as he left, Dr. Tyson walked in so that I could have a meeting with him. It was just the Lord was watching over me. I believe my financial problems would be taken care of by Dr. Tyson.
None of the Chinese students here have a full scholarship: they pay amounts $600.00, $500.00, or $200.00. Most of the American students， also poor，need to work part-time, leaving no jobs left for us. This week we have orientation, and all the speeches we heard have to do with Christianity. This is really a Christian college, and some of the students have already been called to serve the Lord full-time; and most teachers are Christians.
I have joined the First Baptist Church in Belton along with other new students. A letter will be sent to Amoy Street Baptist Church requesting a response. After this letter is received, I will be officially accepted as a member.
We have very strict rules: no activities other than going to churches on Sundays; lights off every night at 11 p.m.; breakfast at 7 a.m. After this week of orientation, classes will start on September 14.
Thank God I am in good health, even though I prefer Chinese food; I sleep well every night; I have rented a mailbox paying 25 cents. Please address your letters from now on to Box 687. Enclosing two forms for you to complete and return to the Dean of Women. Daughter Min
Reply to Letter No. 4 missing originals
Received your postcard this morning and your letter dated the 9th this evening. Much to our relief and thank God for answering our prayers, He hath granted our request, as you are now at the best school. The elderly President, full of love, helped to resolve your problems and extended his kind hospitality. God gave you wisdom and good health to handle problems in a challenging situation. As Dr. Tyson has stated, “We’ll take care of that”, you should not be having financial problem and may concentrate on your studies. If you need money for other expenses, you can write home and we try to send it. Take care of your health, and buy two bottles of vitamins B-12 and C; get snacks if you are tired of the food; but must be nutritious.
You need not try to find out what others are paying and how much scholarships they have, and don’t tell them your situation, as some may be envious.
You have joined the First Baptist Church—you will be set aside and love the Lord. We will pray for you. From the postcard, your dorm looks very big and clean. Your room must be nice; we are not worried. You need to get beddings before it get cold. We have received the two form, and we will send them back to the Dean of Women—for your convenience we gave you permission for every item, but please use your own judgment. . . Daddy
Our daughter Min,
Your father’s instructions are on the above page, and I have looked at the postcard with the photo of your dorm. I praise the Lord for His wonderful grace. Another letter told us your teachers are spiritually minded—enough to prove that the Lord was leading your way. You need not fear but wholly lean on Him. God will not let you be without any problems and proceed easily; but the ones He loves He will train for a closer walk. Remembering how you started to apply until you became a student, did not the Lord proof His faithfulness? Therefore, at this time, you need not be fearful or anxious, but learn to “cast out fears” and “look up to Jesus”. . . (Matthew 6) . . . Wishing you joy of the Lord, Mama
Letter No. 5 – Dated 09/12/1959
Daddy & Mama,
I have been at school for over a week now, and although missing home, praise the Lord I can get along well in my new environment. I had a note from Dr. Tyson, when I registered yesterday, telling me to pay the amount of $100.00 including fees for books at this time. I was able to pay $60.00, and I had $40.00 to buy books. This is not a lot of money, but I do trust that the Lord will prepare everything for me. I already met a lady in the sophomore class who is from Taiwan. I can borrow three books from her, and she told me I could wear her uniform for my PE class. The total, including miscellaneous expenses, should not be over twenty dollars.
Before I spoke to Dr. Tyson, I was worried every day; but now everything is fine—you need not worry. We register again next January, and I trust the Lord will make a way for me. Another important issue I need to let you know is that Daddy needs to tell me about it. According to US Immigration, the expiration date for the visa cannot be later than my passport date of expiration. Since my passport expires next May, I need to renew my visa in March.
After registration yesterday, Miss Yang went with me to the home of Dr. Tyson to give him my gift. It happened that they were home and happy to see us. Miss Yang told me that Mrs. Tyson loves gifts. I praise the Lord for preparing the gift for me to bring.
Orientation is over, and classes start next Monday. Let me first tell you about how we eat—since Mama might be concerned. We are served three meals a day. For breakfast at 7 a.m., we line up with plates in our hands and are given bread, butter, jam, milk, a small bowl of cereal (cornflakes), and bacon (sometimes). I love everything, tasting better the bread I eat at home. At 1 pm, we have lunch: starting next Monday each student is assigned a table number (8 in each table). After a prayer, by the Dean of Women or a guest, then each hostess will start passing dishes around of the main course. A co-host will serve drinks. Hosts and co-hosts are students so we can feel free. We eat different dishes each meal consisting of meat, vegetables, salad, and a dessert. We have milk, water, and ice tea. We have soup in the winter.
I seem to like everything, for salads I can add some dressings. I am getting hungry just writing about it. Dinner is served at six, similar to food served at lunch. Now let me tell you my schedule for classes: and my room. My room is on the second floor of one of the three dorms. It’s about the size of your bedroom. There are two large windows, and I can see a big tree outside.
There is a Chester of drawers with four big and two small drawers, not new but useful. On the right there is a small table with a big mirror for putting on make-up. There is also a bed, a bookcase, and a desk. Two chairs are placed in front of the desk and the table respectively. There are venetian blinds for the windows, but some students added curtain for a prettier look. On the right of my room a small room with a sink and space for hanging clothes; my three trunks are placed there.
An identical room is on the other side, and we share the room in the middle with the sink. I am telling you all this so that you know that the Lord hath provided what I eat, where I live, what I study more than I ever thought possible. Our heavenly Father heard our prayers; and because my mother is doing faithful service, He blessed me. I pray that the Lord will be with you moment by moment and bless you with good health and fruitful service.
Is Mama still busy every day? God’s work has to be led by Him. I wish we would be reunited soon. It is turning cooler, below 80 degrees. I have added a sweater in the morning and evening. I am taking Vitamin C, paid $1.25 for a bottle, but it is good for helping end my discomfort with my nose. Since the college has strict rules, please return the two forms quickly to the Dean of Women. I did not write many of our relatives in Taipei for saving money from buying stamps; please give my regards to each of them. Hope to hear from you soon; I have not received any letters for many days. Wishing you Emmanuel！Dtr.Min
Response Dated 09/20/1959 to Letter No. 5
We received yesterday morning two letters, one dated September 12 and the other one August 29, while you were at the Wu residence. I don’t understand how it took so long, as we were very concerned waiting to hear from you. The reason is because you did not write the address clearly, even made a correction. Please do write clearly in the future.
Thanks be to God for His mercies so that you are now settled to start studying at College; God gave you wisdom and good health so that you handled your circumstances appropriately: registration, bringing gifts, uand going to see the President. You need to, in the future, be more careful—taking time to think things through before you act. The food seems to be nutritious and sanitary, and we are very glad, hoping you will grow stronger.
From your schedule I noticed that you have a class three hours after lunch, and I suggest that you take a nap for health reasons. As for the extension of your passport, there is absolutely no problem. I will ask about the procedure and let you know—then you just have to follow the instructions. But keep the letter of employment for your visa and don’t lose it.
Your suite-mate next door you must get along—knowing her temperaments. Since you share a closet a sink and meet every day, you need to get along nicely. You have very small amount of cash left. Did you buy a pillow and blanket for your bed? Please let us know the cost, and we will try to handle it. Since you forgot to endorse the check from Mr. Chen, I had to go to the bank to resolve the problem. In the future please do not forget to endorse checks and money orders. Since you need to write your signature often in America, may I suggest that you practice?
Here in Taipei, we are happy and peaceful and in good health . . . and whenever we talk about your life now, your mother always praises the Lord for His mercy and pray for you. Your grandmother is very proud that you are a student in an America. Looking at your photo, she commented you are a very lovely lady. We all wish and pray for a reunion soon.
Do you think I should write another letter to Dr. Tyson to thank him? When you write to Mrs. Hensel, you might want to mention what happened and how he helped you. Your friend whose father works at the consulate office, you need to keep writing, as you might need help with the extension of your visa. Please write to your friend Julia Ho, and I wrote a letter to her father, my class-mate. I ask that he look after you. Don’t forget to keep warm as the weather changes to cooler temperature. When you feel hungry, buy a package of cookies. Daddy
You have been at College for two weeks. We really give thanks to God for His marvelous grace mercy. When we started to pray, we never thought God would grant our request so quickly. It is all because He loves you. Now that you are a student at a Christian college, it could only be God’s provision. You need to be searching to know what the perfect will of God is.
Align yourself with the Word of God: be at peace with your neighbors and try to get along; but always striving to be holy; for only those who are holy can see God. (Hebrews 12: 14-16) This is your rule of conduct, and it will go you good to follow.
Whenever you are in need, you will pray. Mr. George Mueller, who lived in 1800’s, operated an orphanage. When there was no food left for three days, he prayed. The next day, as everyone was sitting with a table set up for breakfast, there was a knock at the door. Someone came with a truck full of food items and asking to donate to the orphanage.
It’s up to you, my child, to do what is required for His blessings. My child, we have no extra money at this time to send to you. As you know, we still need to pay back money to our friends and relatives. Since they are not yet believers, we cannot afford to be stumbling blocks. So you need to pray to God to supply your needs.
Mrs. Hensel, a friend introduced by Rev. Loo, might be able to be of assistance, and the fur coat might be sold for cash. Your father and I love you more than ourselves, since you are our only child; but we must love the Lord more. He us our only source of supply, and we trust He cares for us. I still serve the Lord as I have been doing—and His grace is sufficient for me. You need not worry but pray for me. I am in good health and happy in our home. Only thing is we miss you here with us friends and don’t stop; God loves us to have loving friends. Mama
Letter No. 8 Dated 09/29/1959
Daddy & Mama, Just finished my first class French and have an hour to be writing you a letter. I was so happy to receive your letter yesterday, to know you are in good health and feeling joyful at home. I thank Lord for answering my prayer. As for my life now—because of God’s mercies, I can get along well in this new place. I have gained some weight, at 101 lbs. . . My suite-mate, Judy LaCompte, and I are getting along very nicely. She has a habit of sharing me her letters with me. She is from a State far away, and missing her home. Since the weather is still hot at 80 degrees, I still wearing my summer clothes. Everyone Monday I can put my dirty clothes in a pillow and give it to the laundry to be washed for free, get it back on Thursday. . .
On Sundays, I dress up and wear my pink or yellow dress and my pair of high heels. . . .There is a revival service on the next two days. We had a special prayer meeting at dorm for this meeting. Nearly everyone prayed. I just wondered how some of them could pray—because I have seen them go out on dates in the evenings. I wondered if they are saved and have Christ in their hearts.
The speaker at the revival spoke about how his family saw a movie, and then he talked about the movie. I was interested, but we don’t have anyone who preaches like Mama. While some preachers in Texas are preaching the correct gospel message, there are even less in San Francisco. I pray every day for Daddy and Mama to come to the States. I have received a letter from Mrs. Hensel, Sara Loo’s friend, inviting me to spend a week-end at her house in Dallas. I ask Daddy’s ad vice for when to make my visit. I hope I can get a ride from someone going to Dallas, and it would be better than going alone. I think I should write to thank her; she wanted to give her regards to Mama.
I have met Rachel, the daughter of Pastor Chang, but we are not yet close friends. Another lady, from Jen Ai Baptist Church, recognized Mama in a photo I showed her. This lady and I attend the First Baptist Church in Belton together. . .
I have been eating more at breakfast in order not to get hungry before lunch at 1 p.m. I like drinking two big glasses of milk with bread and butter. I would like to get a bag of cookies costing 29 cents. I miss eating Chinese food, but I have no pot, no salt, and no oil to cook anything. Maybe you can send me a can of fried meat for Christmas. I would really like it, and please send me my books for practicing piano. I can try to practice on a piano, but not if it costs a lot to send.
So happy to know that Mama is now the Director of spiritual formation ministry. This is what you can be serving well; I pray that God give you strength from above and good health. Does Daddy still play tennis every Saturday? Please buy a chicken next Saturday for your nutrition. I have fried chicken every Sunday. I wrote Debbie a letter last night, and also one to Miss Ho. I have to go to my next class and will write again. Wishing you Emmanuel! Daughter Min
Letter Number 10 Dated October 9, 1959
Just as I was on my way to class and passing by the Post Office, I received your letter. It was a joy for me, and knowing that you wait anxiously for my letter, I have started to write it as soon as I got back to the dorm. This morning, I was in the toilet when the phone rang and missed the call. There was a note for me requesting that I see the teacher. I was fearful, not knowing what it’s all about. I found out that I was chosen to be the speaker at a program sponsored by the Department of Education. I was to be representing Chinese students and speak on the topic: Educational System in China. This program, to be held next Thursday, at 7:30 pm, will be attended by all teachers in Belton. I feel surprised and excited, but also scared. Thank God for giving me an opportunity, and please pray for this specific request. I only wish there was time for you to give me some information, but please pray for me. The Lord will give me my message and show me how I should act.
Tomorrow is the day for our Freshmen Reception. Each of us would have an escort in an arrangement made by the College. There are twenty of us, and probably all female foreign students in Texas happen to be here. An equal number of young men, in other colleges in Texas, have been invited.
I get along well with everyone, and Liz Yang, my big sister, is going to let me wear her earrings. I did not want to wear one of her dresses, but decided to wear my white lace dress with a sweater (Debbie’s gift) over it. . . .
I was planning to visit Mrs. Hensel’s house next week, as one of my friends, offered to give me a ride. However, I was still undecided what to do. A little bit later my friend told me she needs $3.00 from me, and I told her that I was not going. The next time she would be going home would be Thanksgiving, and I can go then. Please give me advice.
There is no hurry for you to send my books for practicing piano, this can wait until you send my package on Christmas. I get credit for joining the choir, and I enjoy singing and practicing every Wednesday. We plan to be traveling during Christmas to perform in a concert. I have no problem in any of my other classes, and I get along well with everyone. My dorm is not far from the building with classroom, and the distance is about the same from our home to the bus stop.
So glad to know that Mama has started to take English classes, but please don’t study too hard. You need not worry and will learn fast when you come here. Some students on my boat did not speak English, but they learned to speak after they arrived. If Mr. Chan can visit me, he is welcome. But the Lord prepared everything for me, so that I shall not want. Daddy may be working on plans for our reunion, but the Lord’s time is the best—we need not hurry.
I know you have spent a lot of money for getting me to college, but please buy some nutritious food and don’t try to save money. On Saturdays you can prepare some dishes and enjoy. So happy to know that Mama has been serving faithfully what the Lord called her to do. The ministry of planting a gospel center was the work of the Lord, and I pray often for you. Please give my regards to our relatives and friends; let me know if I should write to them. Daughter Min-yen
Reply to Letter Number 10 Dated 10/05/1959
Our daughter Min,
On Wednesday the Kung Fu Road Gospel Center held its regular worship service, and Mrs. Culpepper was scheduled to be our speaker. I got up early to pray for the Holy Spirit to bring people to come. In the afternoon, our Lord answered my prayer—all the chairs were taken by people who came. When I came home after the service, I received your letter dated October 9th, to know you were also praying for the Gospel Center. The Lord heard your prayer, and continues to hear your prayers for every family residing our street– Kung Fu Road. May everyone come to hear the Gospel message and be saved as he accepts Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
This week I had to be presiding a meeting every day. By God’s grace, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit each time . . . it really was His grace and mercy. This afternoon would be the time you make your presentation. I trust the Lord will strengthen you as you seek to please God and not men’s praises, for fear of becoming proud. This way, whatever happens, success or failure, you need not to be joyful in the Lord. Be careful in all your attempts.
We are very pleased that you have gained some weight . . . If swimming is not good for your health, and then discuss this with someone at College. May our almighty God straighten you in every way! About you’re worrying that clothes not fitting, you need not stop eating. . .
You need to pray to the Lord, and by believing you will receive it. The Lord will heal you when you keep on trusting until the end. . . We are very pleased with what you are telling us about your daily schedule. Please keep it in the days ahead. May Almighty God uphold you and bless all your efforts. Mama
Letter Number 11 Dated 10/16/1959
Daddy & Mama,
As I write this letter, my heart is joyfully praising the Lord. I just returned from the auditorium where I presented my report. The Lord heard my prayer, and yours, allowing me to speak coherently what everyone wanted to hear. This evening’s program was organized by the Association of Elementary and High school Teachers in districts near Belton, and the topic of discussion was: “Educational Systems around the World”.
Several different countries were represented including: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Panama, Canada, and Hawaii. I was the speaker from Taiwan. After I spoke, the Dean of Women came over and said: “You are a Fresh man who can really speak.” Only a few members of the faculty were able to be present, but I thank God for helping me to do well. . . .
The weather here could change drastically to be cold. After it was pouring in the evening, the temperature seemed to have dropped twenty degrees; and everyone was wearing his winter clothes. I don’t know why I have not been sleeping well at night, but I had some assignments in English and Religion classes. Fortunately, most of the students are attending a Baptist Convention in Fort Worth this weekend; and I can catch up on my rest. I am still gaining and now 104 lbs.
When it’s cold, I don’t want to get up for breakfast; my watch is broken. I hope Daddy can tell me how to fix it. Right now I can borrow Judy’s alarm clock, as she does not get up for breakfast. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have classes at eight, and I like to have my breakfast before I go to my class. But on other days, I would have to wait one hour after breakfast for classes starting at 9 o’clock.
I overslept and did not wake up until 7:30 a.m. this morning, and I missed breakfast. On my way to class, I received your letter to know you are both in good health. I thank God for taking good care of you. During a break between classes, Annie and I went out of the campus to the stores. I bought a bag of cookies, for 35 cents, and I am eating as I missed breakfast. I pray every morning and evening, and read from Psalms and Proverbs in the morning and from the devotional book, “Fire on the Altar” in t the evening. Every Wednesday and Sunday, Annie and I pray together. Annie is the one I met when I first arrived, and she is from a Protestant high school in Hong Kong. There are two others from Hong Kong, one is a Christian. Annie and I are trying to share the Gospel for the unbeliever to be saved . . . I have decided to visit Mrs. Hensel during Thanksgiving, which is better for me.
Last Saturday we had a good time. Five male students from the University of Texas were invited to be our escorts to the event. The program was organized by the Junior Class and very entertaining. I have sent my letters to my friends at Amoy Street Baptist Church, and not sure if they received it. … I also keep up my correspondence with Kathy Hsu, whose father works at the Consulate. May the Lord be with you. Daughter Min Yen
Reply to Letter No. 11
Our daughter Min,
Received your letter No. 11 dated 10/16. We are happy you had a successful presentation. Without much information, you did a good job. Thank God for helping you succeed. In the future, you need to always do your best and never be self-complacent, and God will give you wisdom and more good things. Rising up early and not late getting to bed early should be your regular practice. I mailed you a schedule for your daily living, please try to follow it. . . .
Your watch is broken. . Try to find out how much it costs to have it fixed. If it is too much, perhaps you can send it back, as it takes only ten days in the mail. … In the meantime, please ask to borrow Judy’s alarm clock so you won’t be late for classes. Rev. Hunker told your o request for transfer of membership has also been received. After the next congregational business meeting, an official letter will be sent to the First Baptist Church of Belton with approval for of your request.
I received a letter from my classmate, Mr. Ho. His daughter Julia is your friend. Mr. Ho told us about how everyone in his family has to work hard. They are not able to be like you—studying in College. Thank God for His great mercies. …Good for you to visit Mrs. Hensel on Thanksgiving. Daddy 10/23/59
Letter No. 17 Dated 11/14/1959
Daddy & Mama,
Although I have my English exam the day after tomorrow, but as I was getting ready to have my nap, I thought I ought to write you. I got up immediately—because I have many things to tell you. Last Saturday, November 7, was my birthday (same as it appears on my records for admission), and I thought I should not tell anyone so no one would need to give me a gift. When Judy asked me about it, I did tell her. I slept all morning Saturday, got up to eat lunch.
I had just finished washing and was drying my hair when Judy came to speak to me. She asked me to help her to move a table in the basement downstairs. I did not hesitate and quickly wrapped a towel around my wet hair and still dressed in a robe, I followed her.
When I reached the basement, I saw many people sitting there; and was a little embarrassed for my appearance. Suddenly everyone started to sing Happy Birthday! Someone took my picture, and Judy led me to a table on which I saw two cakes. Judy had made the cakes and she put many small candles on it. I bowed down and tried to blow but needed others to help before all candles were blown out.
Then it was time to open my gifts: a new black sweater, a white camisole, and a dark grey skirt. These were packed in two big boxes, and there was a card signed by twenty people. I still could not believe this was really happening and could only thank God for helping me to be loved by everyone.
Now I need your prayers and Mama’s advice, as we are going to work with FOCUS to be starting a Chinese Bible Class. Ted Choy, the Director for ministry to Chinese students, had been writing to recruit me to be the leader of a Chinese Bible Class on campus. At first I thought no one would be interested, but when I spoke to others about the idea, they were interested and even had the same idea for a while. I found out that two others at another dorm were already FOCUS members: Rachel (Pastor Chang’s daughter) and Elizabeth Yang. Mr. Choy sent me a form to be completed with names and addresses, and on Sunday afternoon, I went around two dorms to get names
This was really the work of the Holy Spirit, and I was just following His guidance. After attending church, I decided to go to see Elizabeth and take the form with me. It happened that Annie was also going, and the three of us prayed and discussed how to do the work. We wrote our names, and Elizabeth’s roommate also wrote hers. Annie and I went around and got sixteen name to fill up the form.
On the same evening, eight of us gathered in Rachel’s room to discuss the time, place, and format for classes. We decided to meet every Sunday at 1:45 p.m. at one of the rooms in the dorm. We would be speaking in Mandarin, and we will study the book of John. Two students would prepare the lesson each time. Next Sunday, we will meet at Rachel’s room, and she will lead the discussion.
Everything is happening so fast that I believe it is God’s will for some of us who are nominal Christian to learn to be followers of Christ. Annie and I pray every Wednesday for our friends. As we prayed after we scompleted the form, we felt the Lord was pleased with our work. As we still need an approval from the College, the Lord made it possible again. The Director of Spiritual Life happens to be Rachel’s friend, and she can make the request
Please don’t worry about me, and please pray for this new class. If it is God’s will, He will lead us. I have sent my Christmas cards to our friends including Pastor & Mrs. Culpepper, my friends at Amoy Street, and your friends. I write you about your letter to Dr. Tyson. May God be with you! Daughter Min-yen
Reply to Letter No.14
Received your letter dated 11/14 and 11/16. In your letter you described your birthday; this made us grateful for the Lord’s great mercies. As a sojourner in a strange place, you were blessed by daring people. But please, at this time, try not to be engaged in too many other activities. You need to work on establishing yourself as a good student. As Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, you need to grow in wisdom and knowledge while in college. Just look at the lives of people like Moses and Paul—they were well educated. When God called them to be His servants, they were able to apply their knowledge to explain the Word of God for the purpose of winning souls.
When I was a student at the seminary; I remember Pastor Lien-hua Chow spoke to us about the importance of a good education. He told us a story: once there was a doctor who did not clean his hands with sanitizer before he went out to treat sick people. There were many sick people on the streets, but he would only be spreading his germs trying to help them.
This illustration tells us about the importance of concentrating on understanding the message before doing the ministry. For this reason, I would not recommend you to join activities what would be taking away from your studies. 。。。 I trust the Lord has a plan for every child of His, and the fact that He gave you this opportunity to go to college, His will would be for you to be educated. Your enthusiasm in serving the Lord’s work is good, but I must warn you not to be too popular, but pray to the Lord and hide under His mighty arms . . . As I have become a follower of Christ, and from my experience having been in ministry, I can tell you to wait upon the Lord for renewal of strength.
When I was becoming very popular as a young columnist for a newspaper, my father tried to change my name to two Chinese characters meaning “hidden”. . . .You might want to read Galatians 6 to know that one of the gifts of Spirit is “self-control” and pay attention, also share this with your young friends. Remember that His Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. Mama
Our Daughter Min-yen,
So glad to hear that you had your first birthday in America, and how exciting it was. . . . Your life now is both challenging and exciting, and I hope you can quiet down somehow and concentrate on your studies. I hope you can take care of yourself and not be overly busy about other activities. You should be seeking to grow spiritually and be making promises you cannot keep. That way you might sacrifice respect from people who are your friends and neighbors.
. . . When you are ready for your visit to the Hensels, please start getting ready ahead of time so you don’t forget anything. . . . Remember to listen more and speak less. People always like to talk about themselves, and you will be welcomed if you talk less. Remember to send Dr. Tyson’s letter and also send your recent photos to us. Daddy 11/18/59
Letter No. 22 Dated 11/27/1959
Daddy & Mama,
Right now, I am at Mrs. Hensel’s home, after I left with my friend Nelma Jo in her car. Other passengers included my big sister Joyce and two students. We left at 2 pm and had pleasant conversation while enjoying the view from the car windows. We arrived in Dallas at about 5 p.m., and then I gave directions given me by Mrs. Hensel. We soon found the house where I was to be staying. It was a beautiful house, and Mrs. Hensel welcomed me at the door. I was not prepared for such a wealthy family to be my hose, and I felt shy and timid.
They were very nice, and in the evening, there were two guests who came to dinner. Since I was the honored guest, I had to answer many questions about Taiwan. I did my best to answer as I enjoyed a spaghetti dinner using real silverwares. After sitting at the table for three hours, they remained another three or four hours before leaving, about eleven o’clock.
The Hensels are owners of an optical company, and they have twenty-one employees and a black house maid. It reminds me of the residence of Julie Huang in Taipei.
Judy, my roommate, did not go home to Ohio but stayed in Dallas. She called, and we went out to eat dinner. Judy was impressed with my host family, and I thanked my Lord for giving me the best. They told me to consider this as my own home and come back when I have a chance.
This after noon, Mrs. Hensel wants to take me shopping at some big stores in the city and to see the tallest building. They are also going to take me to see Dr. Criswell, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is known as the largest Baptist Church in the world. They are being interviewed for membership and are being accepted into the fellowship of believers next Sunday.
I did not mention about the fur coat, because I perceive that they are quite shrew business owners. Besides, Mrs. Hensel spoke during the dinner about the weather not so cold hat anyone would need a fur coat. I trust the Lord was telling me to be cautious and to wait for a chance. You will pray that the Lord lead me if I should speak. Do you remember I told you they have two adopted children? The Hensels are from Germany, but their children look like Americans. There is a beautiful piano, and I played one piece. Their daughter is thirteen, very pretty and kind. I plan to give them gifts I brought with me: a pair of pillow cases with embroidery of Chinese children. I sleep on their daughter’s bed, very comfortable. Right now, they are both not at home, and Donna and I are watching TV. I have Mrs. Hensel’s robe on, and I am going to change to my outfit for the day after breakfast. Pray for me and I will tell you everything after I get back to College. May God be with you, Min-yen
Letter No. 23 Dated 11/30/1959
I left the home of the Hensels at 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon and arrived back at school at about 9 p.m. My “big sister” Joyce picked me up in her car. Since I was feeling tired after spending five days as a house-guest, I went to bed and did not wake up until 8:45 a.m. this morning. I rushed to my Religion class at 9 a.m. and have returned to my room. I feel happy to be back at the College, and this is my home now. When I see my friends, they are like family to me. Now let me tell you what my visit was like. When I arrived at their house a Wednesday afternoon, there were already two of their friends, Mr. & Mrs. Soiyer.
A table with silverwares was set up for our dinner which lasted three hours. In the course of our meal, Mr. Soiyer asked me many questions about Taiwan. When he started to discuss politics, I told him that I did not read newspapers. I was remembering what Daddy had told me—not to discuss politics. Our dinner lasted three hours, and the guests left at 11 p.m.
I slept on a sofa-bed with their daughter Donna, and their son Don came home late from his boarding school. My roommate Judy called on Thursday and picked me up in her car with another friend. The three of us had dinner, and then Judy drove her car on a tour to enjoy looking at holiday lights at homes—before bringing me back.
On Friday, Mrs. Hensel, Donna, and I had lunch together at a restaurant, and in the afternoon, we paid a visit to the Hensel’s Optical Store. It was very huge, and there were many workers including secretaries, optometrists, and technicians. Mr. & Mrs. Hensel each had his own office.
After the visit, Mrs. Hensel took Donna and I to Neiman Marcus, a large store with escalators. Donna bought an outfit costing $30.00, as everything was expensive. After dinner, the Soiyers joined us to go bowling. When we got there, Mrs. Hensel did not feel well; and we went back home early.
I almost forgot to tell you this: in the afternoon we went to see Dr. Criswell, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. Mr. & Mrs. Hensel were being interviewed for membership. . . . Dr. Criswell spoke with everyone including me. When I mentioned the name Dr. Tyson, he told me they had a meal together recently. I felt very honored to have met servant of God.
Mrs. Hensel did not feel well, and Donna and I stayed home to watch TV Saturday. In the evening, we attended a wedding taking place at a chapel of the First Baptist Church. . 。 。 On Sunday, my last day of visit, we went to Church in the morning, and I left at 4 p.m. She kissed me “good-bye” and thanked me for the pillow cases I gave her. . . . Now about my plans for Christmas: I have a plan and hope you like it: I can stay one week at Nelma Jo’s house (the lady who gave me a ride to the Hensels’ home) and another week at the Hensels. I wait for your approval before making a decision. I ask Mama to please write Mrs. Hensel a letter as she would like to correspond with you. Her address is: Mrs. G.O. Hensel, 1014 Evergreen Hill,
From Letters 24 – 53 A Brief Summary
Then it was Christmas and I was invited by a sophomore class student, Cathy Garrett, to go to Houston. I ended up, to my relief, at her friend’s house. I was told that she had four younger brothers who made life miserable for a previous guest.
At the Jolly house, I was given a very small room at the end of the kitchen with a bed and a chair; but I was safe from noise of children. I was eating regular meals except when Mrs. Jolly skipped lunch, and I did not dare to ask for food.
On Christmas day a feast with a turkey and all the trimmings was shared with several visiting relatives sitting together at a long table. I remember attending a New Year’s Eve worship service with the Jolly’s. There was a program and then each of us were asked to pray making our petitions known to God. As I watching others kneeling, I also knelt to pray. At this sacred moment I met the God who answers prayers. I needed a scholarship to continue to study, and there was no word from the office of the President yet. The Lord answered my prayer and granted my petition. When I returned to school after the holiday break, I received a letter from Dr. Tyson about a scholarship to pay my expenses. I continued to enjoy my life as a student, and then it was my first spring break.
Letter No. 54 Dated 04/16/1960
This morning Janelle Smith and I and I rode a taxi to the bus stop, purchased one-way tickets—as her parents might give us a ride back to school. It cost each of us $6.00 for a departure at 5:17 a.m. We rode until we reached Waco, where we transferred to another bus to Tyler and Lindale. Her mother, two sisters, and two brothers picked us up at Tyler. … Like at the Jolly’s I just helped with dishes, I sleep on my own bed in the room where the three sisters live. … Tomorrow we will attend First Baptist Church in Lindale. We got invited to have dinner at her friend’s house. When her parents are not home, we can rest and do homework. I have an exam on Religion class and a short story to complete for a writing class. Her mother said, “I’ll feed you.” I have many delicious meals to enjoy. I again thank the Lord as He has led me to this home, and I pray I may remain His child everywhere I go. . .. When we return Sunday, her mother will drive us half way to a bus stop. … She liked the cans of tea I gave her. Daughter Min-yen
Reply to Letter No. 54
Our daughter Min,
Received your letter sent from the Smith’s home, dated 04/16, to know you have arrived safely at Janelle’s home. We are glad. This is a Christian family, and these people must have God’s love in their hearts; and we feel safe and would not have to worry. . . Yesterday Edward and Fred, sons of our neighbor Uncle Chen, both received their passports to come to America. They will now go to the American Consulate to receive their visa’s. If they get it, then the boys will sail in July.
Mr. Chen told me that he has written to Mr. Kessler about your summer job. Once there is news, he will inform you. You may just concentrate on your studies, God will prepare the best for you. . .. We are doing well.
I just returned home after a prayer meeting and have taken a bath before I write this. . .. We are praying about your summer job, asking that the Lord will guide and decide for you. God is sovereign over all. Mrs. Helen Liu is leaving the country—she will go to Brazil first and then to America. She will stay at the home of Miss Bertha Smith. . . but she will not visit you. I believe your father and I will visit you. . .. I have been blessed with the gift of evangelism. Many new ladies are now coming to the Gospel Center. I will run the race on the path the Lord has led me for His glory. It’s now getting late and I will write next time. Mama 04/27/60
Letter No. 61 Dated May 19, 1960
Daddy & Mama,
I don’t know how to thank you for sending me more than enough for my expenses to travel. I was only hoping to have you send $20.00, but now this amount. Thanks be to God my place to go for the summer has been decided. Two days ago I went to see the student from Dallas and told her that the lady who told me she had an apartment wrote to let me know she plans to sell her house and no longer has a room for me.
She was very touched and told me not to be worried. I would be able to stay at her house for a few weeks and then worry about the summer. She told me she had previously invited me to go for Christmas and Easter; if I can go now, she welcomes me. She said, “I will take care of you” and for me not to worry about anything, as she will just think of me like her little sister. I have now made plans—the best thing is that this student has a car. I can ride with her, but my luggage might need to be sent at the Post Office. I can save money to pay for a ticket. I feel God’s provision for me is better than others, who are going to New York City and live in an apartment. Nelma Jo Little’s address is: 1431 Presidio, Dallas 16, Texas. Please use this address to send letters after the 20th.
After I get there, I will look for a job. Please pray and give me your best advice as to what I should do. 1. Go to the employment office—this is what most people think is the reliable way. I have written to an agency. They told me after I get to Dallas, they would help me. My classmates told me we can go to Texas Employment Agency. It is run by the State and is free. 2. Visit the Hensels’ home and ask if they may know of any jobs. 3. Read newspapers and inquire by phone. After I find a job, the first thing I will do is to send money to pay Mr. Chen back his loan. I now have a testimony to share. But please don’t worry about anything – after hearing my testimony, you will understand how the Lord cared for me. . .Please continue to pray for us to be reunited. Daddy’s birthday is on May 25, and I will be in Dallas—at my friend’s home to be celebrating. The Lord has been merciful to our family and
Blessed us with good health and always be filled with joy. Wishing you Emmanuel – Daughter Min
Letter No. 62 Dated 05/25/1960
Daddy & Mama,
Nelma Jo and I left yesterday afternoon. We rode in her car and arrived at her home in Dallas. Right now, we are both sitting at home writing letters. Her mother left for work, and just the two of us home. Thank God for my safe trip to this home. I had a busy day yesterday: in the morning I went to see Dr. Tyson, but he went to Church. I ended up speaking to his secretary, Mrs. White. I made a reservation and paid $15.00 fee for a room in the dorm for next year.
A few days ago, I was very fearful and hesitant about speaking to Dr. Tyson about my bill. Then when I finally summoned my courage and did visit his office in the morning, he was in a conference with someone. I was at a loss not knowing what to do—and went to my classes.
When I went again in the afternoon, Mrs. White told me that she related my message, and Dr. Tyson would be taking care of my request. I was told by Mrs. Burnham, at the Business office, about an unpaid amount on my bill. I needed a missing amount I spent on books to be made up before I would be allowed to take final exams.
But Mrs. White was very kind and loving to me. She probably read all my letters sent to the President, and she made it a point to be kind every time I go to see Dr. Tyson– introducing me in a special way. My problem resolved, I went back to thank Dr. Tyson for helping me this past year. I thanked Mrs. White and told her that I have decided to go to Dallas for the summer. I also picked up my paper for a work permit at the Business Office—for my summer employment.
Mrs. Burnham asked me to leave my address for the summer, and she promised to mail my passport (sent to Immigration for an extension) as soon as she received it. After I returned to my room, I started to pack my belongings.
I left my big trunk and my beddings in a paper box in the storage unit on the second floor. A housekeeper told me I could do this—as the storage down in the basement would be damp. I put my name on the box and left it.
In the afternoon I had my last exam in English, and it was not difficult for me. I returned to my room and packed two suitcases and a paper box. Nelma Jo insisted that I can take my luggage with me and for me not have to mail it. I ended up putting both of my suitcases under my feet and the paper box between the two of us. This solved the problem of having not enough room.
At 6:30 p.m. I said “good-bye” to Annie Chang and others before leaving the campus. We talked and laughed all the way, and we stopped to get some food—each a hamburger and a coke. We listened to music from a Christian radio station and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. We soon arrived at her home, and I remembered I was here before during Thanksgiving holiday.
Mrs. Little was standing at the door to welcome us. We left everything in the car and took only items we needed for the evening. Mrs. Little prepared dinner for us—and I ate my second meal for the evening. It was one of my favorite foods – pork chops. We went to bed early, two of us in a big bed. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep quickly and did not wake up until the next morning.
I just had breakfast, and Nelma Jo is outside moving our things from her car to the house. I thank God for preparing this home of a Christian sister for my stay. She kept telling me not to look for other lodgings. She has a job starting June 1, but she can help me to find my job this week. Tomorrow we are going to the Oak Cliff Employment Service. On the following day, I hope to go and visit Mrs. Hensel. Please don’t worry; the Lord is with me. He leadeth me with His own hand. I feel peaceful and filled with joy. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord”
(Psalm 1)—and I trust He will prepare a place for me to work. Pray for me! Hope this letter will reach you soon—to let you know I have arrived here safely.
I have cashed Mr. Chen’s check. Except for a down payment to reserve my room, I have not spent any money. Nelma Jo did not allow me to pay for gas or anything—saying that I need to save it until I find a job. So thankful and I know that Lord sent help from above. No one can be against us i onf God be for us. May God’s blessings be yours too!
Letters 63 – 81 – a summary: My first summer vacation was spent in Dallas. I worked as a baby-sitter for a Chinese family, arranged with the help of a retired missionary. Mrs. Holloway know one of my mother’s teachers at the Taiwan Baptist Theological Seminary, and she helped me to find this job. I believe the Lord heard my prayer as well as my parents’ prayer and moved the heart of one of His servants to go out of her way to help me. She introduced me to Dr. & Mrs. Tang during the time I attended a Sunday school class at the First Baptist Church. While they were still deciding, she encouraged them to proceed to hire me. I later found out that she called my college for references.
Dr. and Mrs. Tang went out every morning, and I stayed to prepare lunch and sometimes dinner for the family. I wrote lesson plans and tutored the twins, both ten, and the nine-year-old on their summer home-works. I slept in the same room with the baby, and my biggest concern was the baby get his daily naps, making sure the three older boys did not wake him. I also did housework like washing and ironing clothes, cleaning the house and the garden.
On Sundays, I attended the First Baptist Church with them and listen to Dr. Criswell preaching. I was able to see Mrs. Holloway when I attended her Sunday School class. I tried to put on a dress and to look more like a college student than a baby-sitter. People at the Church were very nice, and they welcomed me. Thank God soon it was time to go back to school, and I made enough to pay for another semester. I was paying $200.00 and relied on scholarships when received.
Letter No. 75 Dated 07/29/1960
Daddy & Mama,
When I returned from First Baptist Church on Monday, I saw your letter in the mailbox, but did not have time to it despite how much I wanted to read it. I rushed to prepare lunch for the boys, and then I went in to my room to read it. Praise the Lord for giving you strength to thrive in the hot weather to do work and serve the Lord. …Mama has been leading as many as fourteen services a day; you must be exhausted, but I also believe that the Lord will give us strength as our day and need not be concerned. I suggest that you eat some nutritious food—perhaps buy one watermelon every week. In August, Mama is schedule to be serving at the Retreat as one of the counselors. I hope Daddy can also attend, if you have the time. … Even though it was two years ago, I can still remember the messages I heard—helping me so much in my trials. …
This week I have been taking the four boys to attend Vacation Bible School these two weeks, but also very joyful. The boys were tired after attending classes each day, and they stayed quiet in the afternoon. While Leland takes a nap, I get to wash my clothes and do ironing for me and the boys too. I clean up the rooms a while until their mother would be returning around six. Mrs. Teng would prepare a complete meal each time including meat and vegetables. ..Although I would love to eat a lot, I try to be modest and refrain from over-eating. We have ice cream, watermelon, and other fruits every day, and we have bacon, eggs, and milk for breakfast. I usually get up later and after everyone finished eating. I hope I could try to get up earlier in the future. I go to bed every night about ten after taking my shower. The night before last night, it was very hot and no cool air was coming in; I was turning from right to left and did not fall asleep until midnight. I was afraid but thank God for helping me to get through the day. I slept good last night, and I was awakened by the sound of thunder and had to close a door. It was raining and still raining, helping us to feel cooler—from the previous day when the temperature outside reached 104 degrees. I finally managed to get up early. Since Leland had a runny nose, I stayed home with him and did not go to the Church. Anyway, this is the last day of the vacation bible school, and I had time to rest and call Nelma Jo to ask if she mailed me my passport.
Since she was afraid it might be lost, she did not mail it; and I was relieved. Since I plan to attend go to an evening service at her church Sunday, I would be able to pick it up. From this experience, I learned to
trust the Lord; and once again I would bring my concern about financial support and trust that He can provide my needs—in the best way. Let’s pray together about this matter. …
I am in good health, and much stronger than before when I was home. This summer of working hard helped me to have some practice how to be an adult. There are just four or five weeks remaining, and the Lord is always with me. I wish you take care and pray for me. I will write again when I have received my passport. Emmanuel, Ming-yen
Reply to Letter No. 75
Received your letter, and we feel now you are our good daughter we love—diligently serving others as you serve the Lord. This is all we ask and hope you can be. You are also in good health, and the Lord doth bless those who love and serve Him, more and more in the future. Like Abraham, who was a blessing to others, you were carefully doing your job caring for four boys. You were able to be the light shining in darkness. I rejoice greatly for your progress in learning humility and obedience—in order to follow Him. May the Lord bless and keep you always.
Time has passed so fast, and in a few weeks you will be going back to school. In these last few weeks, you need to be very careful in order to leave a good impression on others. Especially for Mrs. Holloway, use this opportunity to shine Christ’s light by leaving a good impression. We still need to be joining you in the States. Please pray and then let us know what steps of preparation is necessary. Your father already started to apply, and it seems not to be hopeless. … As you quote from Psalm 37:5, let us give all the glory to God. Mama 08/04/1960
PS: As Typhoon passed over Taipei a few days ago, our mission center was safe and protected by God.
Praise the Lord, we received your letter dated July 29, and we thank the Lord giving you good instructions how to trust the Lord. …In four weeks you go back to school. You made to make a schedule when to return to the campus, to register, and to see Dr. Tyson. …I believe he would be willing to help you again, as he stated in his letter about his willingness. He wrote as follows: “It is a joy to have her on our campus and to be of assistance to her as she gets her Christian college training here.
We will be praying asking the Lord Who will answer and grant us our request. A typhoon passed though the island last week, but no severe damage: Taipei was spared, but it will take one month for Tainan and Taichung to be restored after damages. …. When you receive your passport, keep it in a safe place and no need to show it to anyone. …Continue in prayer for our future reunion. Blessings,
Letter No. 78 Dated 08/12/1960
Daddy & Mama:
I received your letter this morning. …I trust that Mama has already returned home from the Grass Mountain. …I have recovered from my insomnia and slept well every night after dinner. I tried to rest also during Leland’s naps—this way I am not feeling too tired. …Tomorrow is Saturday, and I decided to stay at home to help out with a dinner party instead of going shopping with Nelma Jo. Mrs. Teng told me there will be more than ten of Dr. Teng’s associates coming. Since I decided not to go shopping, I hope I have a chance to go with Mrs. Teng. If Daddy need any kind of medicine, I will try to get it when I get the ointment for Mama’s corns. I will try to get the portable closet if the price is not expensive. ..Only three and half weeks before I go back to school. Daddy is right saying that I need to have a plan, and not be rushed. School starts on September 15, and registration has to be done a few days before classes start. For BSU council members, there is a “Pre-school Retreat” one week before school starts. Therefore I plan to go back on September 7, and this is also the day the boys return to their school—so I would feel my job is done. It also depends on when Nelma Jo would be returning, and I hope to travel together with her—so I can feel safe and happy. Nelma Jo really showed me Christian love, sincere and humble. She reminds me of my good friends Julie and Debbie—two Hwang sisters. I praise the Lord for this friend, but her divorced mother is not yet a believer—perhaps that explains why she does welcome me. I wanted to give her a fan, but Nelma Jo asked me not to; and I gave it to Mrs. Hensel. As I still need to give her a present, please select a suitable gift for her—maybe a bowl since she mentioned her love for “China”. If I visit during Christmas, I can give it to her. I can’t think of any other presents for you to send me for Christmas, except for a pair of shoes. I have been wearing shoes you sent: my red one I wear everyday, the black one when I go out, and high heels for going to Church. I just hope to have a pair of white shoes to match my summer outfits. But I am content that even though I did not go shopping for any clothes, the Lord touched Mrs. Teng’s heart, and she gave me two summer dresses, and another pretty one I can wear for cooler weather. Because the Lord hath provided all my needs, let us praise Him! Wishing you Emmanuel, Daughter Ming-yen 08/12/1960
Reply to Letter No. 78
I have just returned from the Camp and let you know how the Lord’s blessings came down during the past week. Over two hundred students attended, including your friends from Amoy Street Baptist Church. I was able to give your regards to each of them, and I plan to give $1.00 as your offering on Christmas. The Wong sisters were there. ..But I still need to disciple them to become more like Jesus. We need to be changed from our old nature to be living the risen life of Christ—with our obedience to follow His command to preach the gospel.
This month we have repaid all our debts, thank the Lord. Our next step is to start saving for us to come to America. We have very little, but we trust that the Lord will bless us—if it be His good will. Wishing you more blessings each day, Mama 08/22/1960 & 08/23/60
Letter No. 79 Dated 08/23/1960
Daddy & Mama:
It is already Thursday night; I did not receive any of your letters this week. … I am concerned and don’t know, but I trust our Heavenly Father is watching over you, as He watches me. …Two days ago, in the evening, it was very dark when we went out together. I was missing a step and fell down sprained my ankle. I was in great pain and had to be helped to get up. Since Dr. Teng was home, he put me on a chair and gave me instructions to keep my foot lifted. He spoke to me gently—showing me Christian brotherly love. I did not break any bones, but my ankle was swollen from the sprain. …I got up after a day of resting, and I need to be careful walking. …The Lord has given me a rest for two days, and I had opportunity to read some books and write letters.
One good news is that I was able to go to Nelma Jo’s house last Sunday, and I picked up the mail. I have my passport back extended until May, 1961, and a letter stating my application for an extension has been granted. I have my passport in my suitcase, and don’t worry about me losing it. I also received several letters: two wedding invitations, one from the Dean of Women asking me to write to a new student from Hong Kong. She wrote: “I heard about the good speech you made at Ramona Baptist Church”. She was looking forward to see me at the campus soon, but she does not know how anxious I am to be back. The lovely campus and the warm rooms—making me feel at home. Most of all, the happiest thing would be to see my friends again. But school does not start until September 15. .. And please pray for my remaining three weeks here.
Mama has probably returned from camp by now, and I trust the Lord gave you a good time. .. Daddy needs to be careful because of the difference in temperature when he leaves the office. Do you have lunch at the snack bar? You should be eating more fruits in the summer. Please give my regards to Florence and her parents and let them know I miss them. Please write me soon. Wishing you Emmanuel, Daughter Min-yen 08/24/60
Reply to Letter No. 79
Our letter was delayed due to my week at the Camp. We are doing fine here at home. I already wrote about my experiences during the week—how the Lord kept us by His grace and His love never fails (Psalm 146:5 & 147:148:15). When I read your letter to learn that you sprained your ankle, I was very sad; and only after a time in prayer and believing that the Lord will heal you, I could feel the peace that passeth understanding. May God give you His peace and when you lie down to sleep, you will not be anxious but give all your care to Him. The Lord leads us day by day, helping us be an example in word, deed, love, faith, and purity. By His strength, we can live each day, and this has been my experience. As I was blessed in my ministry, I would be confronting insurmountable hardship—that is when I need to rely completely on the Lord’s guidance, trusting Him with all my heart. Mrs. Liu would not be returning to Taipei but will be remaining in America to study. In her absence, the position of the Director of Women’s Ministry has been assigned to me. Next Friday, September 9, we have a big meeting for over three hundred people. This would be the first time in my life, so please remember to pray for me. May all glory be to the true God. Wishing you Emmanuel and joy in trusting the Lord, Mama 08/24/60
Letter No. 80 Dated 08/24/1960
Dear Daddy & Mama:
Right now it’s ten o’clock in the evening, and I want to write you this letter—since I got up late this morning and slept a while after lunch. I still have not received your letter, maybe tomorrow. Every time it seemed a coincidence that I would get yours at the same time I mail yours. God’s spirit is among us: we are together in the Spirit, though apart. Jesus said that we did not choose Him, but He chose us first. I recall how we were like lost sheep, worshiping idols; yet while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God’s love led us to Hong Kong, and Mama was the first one saved, followed by Daddy and I—as we became a Christian family. Now, the Lord brought me to America alone, giving me a chance to be educated, not just in achievements but in qualities as well. Not living at home, I learned to be courteous and unselfish at different homes. I believe that’s what I tried to do during my past year. I was fearful that I might get sick if I worked too hard, but this past summer I learned about God’s faithfulness. . . I miss being together with you, but I really thankful for this opportunity to grow in faith. At His time, we will be reunited. I have recovered from suffering a fall and spraining my ankle. I can walk without pain, even though there is still a swollen part on my ankle. I was planning to go shopping, but I believe the Lord’s will is for me not to spend any more money. I trust that God will provide my tuition and keeps for next year. …In two weeks, on September 7, the boys will return to school. Nelma Jo and I will probably go back at the end of the week. Since school does not start until the 17th, I might have to pay if I returned on September 10. Nelma Jo has completed her summer job and is resting at home. But she lives quite away from my place, and I have already asked Mrs. Teng to take me to a beauty parlor for a haircut and permanent. She might take me this week. I also hoping to get some presents for the boys: they told me they like to read about animals in China. Since there is not enough time for you to send it, I might get it here. About the box you are sending me, I need a pair of shoes and some curtains. …I have been sleeping good knowing that my heavenly Father is watching over me. …I hope to buy the medicine for Mama’s painful corns. Please try to take public transportation instead of walking in this hot summer. I stay indoors every day and not go out.
Wishing you Emmanuel, Daughter Min-yen 08/24/1960
Letter No. 81 Dated 08/29/1960
Daddy & Mama:
Received your letter dated 08/23, and I was glad as I did not hear from you for a week. Nice to know Mama has returned from the camp and is in good health. Time really passes quickly, and I just have two more weeks at my summer job. When I recall how the Lord led me safely through the summer, I give thanks for this experience. As I begin my next semester, I need to follow Daddy’s advice and make a planner. . . Last Saturday, I got a chance to go to a beauty parlor for a permanent. Since Mrs. Teng had time to stay home, Dr. Teng drove me to a big department store: Sangers. I did not want to spend my money, but Mrs. Teng told me the cost $8.00 is the same at other stores. I paid $7.25 for a cool perm—my hair is short and curly so it will not need to be cut probably the whole year. . .I then had time to do some shopping: bought two pairs of socks for Daddy—on sale at the basement discount department. I did not get Mama’s stockings but will wait until the price is less expensive at another store. I head a hot dog and a piece of cake for lunch, and Dr. Teng picked me up in the afternoon. I have not been paid yet. Mrs. Teng asked me if I had enough money for my hair permanent, and I will wait until they pay me on the last day. They are honest people and I don’t think I should speak up. . .Mrs. Teng gave me a white new blouse she bought at Sangers. She asked me about when I go back to school. When I told her anytime from the 10th to 14th she said okay. . . .Last Sunday, it was Mrs. Teng’s turn to share her testimony at our Sunday school. She spoke about God’s love. . .When Dr. Teng was starting his practice, he had to rent a unit at the Doctors’ Building in Dallas. It was very expensive, and everyone seemed to think they might fail; but they believed it was God’s will for them. They chose to trust God and no other people. They soon had many patients every day, and the Lord has been a present help when needed.
After hearing this testimony, my faith was renewed—I trust that God will take care of my financial problems in the coming school year. . .Psalm 121:2 states: ”My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” . . .I wrote a letter to Mrs. Liu last week to the address of Missionary Smith. I also received her letter, sent from Washington, D.C., but the calendar she sent was lost in the mail. So happy to know that Mama is now the Director of Women’s Ministry and I will pray for your service at the meeting on September 2. Wishing you Emmanuel, Daughter Min-yen 08/29
Letter No. 82 Dated 09/09/1960 missing original
Daddy & Mama,
Received your letter dated 09/01 and know how worried you are about me, but I don’t understand how is it that the Post Office did not deliver my letter sooner. Just hope this one will be delivered soon enough to ease your concerns. First, my ankle has completely recovered, and I already
walked around with my heels twice or three times without pain. . .. The lord once again provided for me: I can leave (this summer job) the home of Dr. & Mrs. Tang tomorrow night. . ..
Last Tuesday I was using the iron when I accidently touched the arm of little Leland and caused a bubble from the heat on his arm. Not knowing what to do, I just prayed asking the Lord to bless and keep me. In the afternoon I received a phone call from someone, and it was Bobo. She had returned to her home in Dallas and wanted to find out when I was planning to return to college. When I told her as soon as possible, she asked if I would like to ride with her Saturday leaving at 5 a.m. I would need to get to her house Friday (tomorrow) and spend the night.
According to what is stated on the catalogue: new students can arrive on the September 10, but returning students need to wait until five days later. You might recall that I told you about Bobo—that she was chosen as the President of the student body for this year. Thus, she can select people to work during the week of orientation of new students. When I asked if I could stay for free those days before school starts, she told me I could be hired to be helping new students to stay free. I was so grateful for the Lord’s help in my time of need and when least expected. That morning I read from the Bible: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is in the Lord” (Jer. 17: 1).
I truly believe that Mary Hardin Baylor College is God’s will for me, since it is possible for me to return earlier and to help new students during the week of orientation. I also believe the Lord will provide all my needs, having already experienced the evidence of His faithfulness. I have prayed if I need to speak to Dr. Tyson and let him help again—if it is His will, I go again to see him. But if the Lord has a better way to provide for me, then I will be waiting for His guidance. Let us once again bring this to the Lord in prayer, trusting that God will bring it to pass.
One summer has ended. As I look back, my heart is filled with gratitude. Unless the Lord helped me, I could not have done this job. May I share this experience with you: as a baby-sitter, my job was to make sure little Leland takes a nap. When I first came, he usually slept at about 3 in the afternoon. If I just left him in his crib, he will not go to sleep. I needed to pray before he fell asleep. The Lord answered my prayer every day, and a month passed with no problems. I prayed every time fearing the consequences: I would not be able to rest, and his mother would be asking me about it.
Then one afternoon, I tried every way—holding him, changing a bed, etc.—until I walked out of the room. I suddenly realized what little faith I must have: Our Lord is the Creator of the universe, and is anything too hard for Him? My faith conquered my fear, and I no longer doubted but was placing my problem in His hands. Ten minutes later, it was quiet inside that room. I entered again to find Leland fast asleep. Since that day I no longer carry this burden—knowing He is with me; I am weak, but He is strong.
I am happy to say that from that day on, Leland did not cause any problems. I enjoyed my restful afternoons, and I have learned a lesson in trusting God. I remain healthy and was able to visit the beauty parlor for a permanent. I have experienced staying at some place other than my own home, and I am never so anxious to return to College as now. Have a lot to do today, and I have written done what Daddy told me to do. I will write you again as soon as I get back to College. Wishing you peace and joy. Daughter Min-yen
Letter No. 84 Dated 09/10/1960
Daddy & Mama,
This morning we left Bobo’s house at 5 a.m. and had a nice ride until we reached the grounds of where I longed for all summer. I praise and thank my Lord as I entered these gates—my heart filled with gratitude for successfully completed my summer job. Right now, I have retrieved my trunk and moved everything back to my room. Just went to the Post Office to pick up my mail and a package you sent. When I opened it, I saw each item you have purchased specifically for me, and I realized how my parents love and care for me: my white shoes fits, and I am already wearing it, a beautiful work of art which I need to give to Dr. Tyson, two silk scarves which I will give to Nelma Jo and a teacher. Let me know what you want me to do with these.
Mrs. Tang drove me to Bobo’s house last night, and she gave me a check for $200.00 before we separated. She told me that I could cash the check to pay for my school tuition and fees. I believe this way I will not be spending any money until I register. I just bought some items like tooth-paste and just have $5.00 left, hopefully enough to last me until the day of registration. I now weighed 102 lbs., but I should be able to gain it back when I start eating my meals at the dining hall.
This afternoon there is a meeting for all campus workers to be trained to help during new students’ registration—to assign jobs for the thirty-five of us helping during the week of orientation: checking students names off on a list, correcting articles, working in the dining hall, etc. I was so happy to see my ‘big sister’ and many friends. I hope to rest in this afternoon. Tomorrow I go to Church and rest in the afternoon. I will write you more about my plans but need to stop so I can mail this letter and go to lunch. Wishing you Emmanuel, Daughter Min-yen 09/10
Reply to Letter No.82 & 84
Daughter Min –
So happy to receive your last letter from the Tangs’ home dated 09/09 and another letter from school dated 09/10. Praise the Lord for leading you safely back to school. Reflecting on this past summer: how hard you worked, and we were worried and prayed for you. Your testimony was telling us how God answered our prayers. Now that our package had arrived, you will find a Chinese painting—not an expensive gift. Please try to find a frame for it before giving it to Dr. Tyson. Also you need to give Mrs. Tyson a big scarve. We will send more later for others you may wish to give.
The amount you pay for your room and board should be kept at the same amount as last year: $100.00 to be paid first and then ask Dr. Tyson to help with the rest–as he stated in his letter, he is willing to help again. We will pray very hard asking the Lord to move his heart to have compassion and be willing to help you.
As you begin a new semester, you need to set up a schedule for your daily living: when to get up, go to the bathroom and shower, before you begin each day. Try not to engage in extra-curricular activities, but you need to do exercise or go swimming, but not to be playing vigorous ballgames. Remember to be more of a listener than to be talkative, so people would like to have you as a friend. Never criticize as this is the teaching from the Bible. . ..What you need to do with the fur coat is to take it out of the trunk and let it be in the sunshine for a few hours, before packing it. Buy some moth balls to keep it clean and without damages. Keep important items in a safe place including your passport, keys, watch, pen. Hide your money from the eyes of others and do not let anyone borrow from you. Now that you have lost weight, take care and hope you can gain back to be 110 lbs. Please send us your schedule for classes and your daily schedule. By God’s grace, we are in good health and full of joy. Everything is fine at work as well. Not to be worried. Wishing you joy and peace. Daddy 09/16/1960
Ps: When you receive the package, let us know if anything is damaged.
Dear Daughter Min,
Received both of your letters after I came back from the market, and I was very pleased—for the Lord already led you safely back to school. It was not the same having to stay at the Tangs’ home during summer, but now you can be back at College—your home away from home. You are now enjoying the golden stage of your life as a college student; I advise you to use your time in pursuing an education. This has been a very hot summer, and I thank God we have passed through safely, at different locations. Although you lost weight, but you will gain it back after a while. But do be careful to wearing warmer clothes when it starts to get cold. I suggest you carry a light jacket with you, but don’t forget to bring it home. We read from Proverbs 18:16 stating: “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” You need to bring the gift for Dr. Tyson to him, so that he can help you again. . .. As for the Tang family, you need to give thanks for everything. This was an experience for you to learn about getting along with people. Don’t criticize them before your friends, as you might lose some friends. But pray for them and keep quiet about your life during summer. Start planning for your next summer early and be praying about it. Please tell us how your friends made out in New York City during summer. It’s beginning to feel like autumn here, how is the weather at where you are? Wishing you joy and peace in the Lord! Mama 09/17/60
Letter No. 85 Dated 09/14/1960
Daddy & Mama,
I have been back at school for several days already and praise the Lord everything is fine, and you need not worry. Since I got back, I have been thinking about my scholarship—whether I should go to see Dr. Tyson. Despite what I was praying for the Lord to send some other means of help, I made up my mind to go see him this morning. On my way to the President’s office, I met Miss Capt, and she asked me to see her Friday.
I was fearful when I went into the President’s office, but he just went out. So I asked Mrs. White, his secretary, about my application for a scholarship. She was unable to find it and asked me to fill out a new one. Just as I completed it, Dr. Tyson walked into the office. Since he seemed to be busy, I just told him to look at my application. He agreed, and I gave it to Mrs. White.
In my heart, I realized this was God’s timing . . .. and I have faith in God—that my help will come from Him, at his time and in his way. . ..In Romans 8:28 I read: “For we know that all things work together for the good of those who trust in Him, and are called according to His purpose.” I hope you will trust God about this matter. Please give thanks to God for what He hath done for me. He hath chosen me among thousands to be worthy to take up my cross and follow Him. I will keep the presents—the one for Nelma Jo I can give to her when she returns to school. The other gift I can wait until Christmas. Although I don’t know how the Lord will provide for me, I have an idea that my advisor, Miss Capt, can help me. She is an elderly lady with God’s love in her heart. She has been my favorite teacher and my advisor, and even though now semi-retired, she is willing to be my advisor this year. When I came back after the summer, she was the first person I met—and right away she hugged me and said, “There’s my girl!” I will see her Friday, and the Lord willing, He will move her heart to help me; I will write you immediately after our meeting.
Right now, I have another problem I need to pray—I cannot decide which major to choose. I am considering the fields of education and sociology. I am just waiting for the Lord to show His will for my life—as I willingly follow His plan. (Romans 12: 1-2) This semester I have two goals: to draw closer to God and to study hard, also will not be joining many extra-curriculum activities. I will give you my schedule after I set it up.
There are many new students, and I help in the kitchen. Most of these students have Christ’s love in their hearts, and everyone is full of enthusiasm, giving me an encouragement. I pray that our teachers will not become proud—when they see many students, but that they will serve the Lord by lovingly teaching each student to grow in wisdom and be closer to the Lord.
I have not yet cashed my check . . .. I wish you were here to tell me I will not be able to do some of your suggestions, but please just pray for me. May the Lord lead me in the right path for His mercy’s sake.
May God’s grace be overflowing with you! Daughter Min-yen
Reply to Letters dated 09/26/60 & 09/28/60
We are so glad to receive your two letters dated 09/26 & 09/28, bringing some good news. Praise God as He gave you the courage to go see Dr. Tyson, and you were able to do the right thing. Thank God that He gave you a loving benefactor, and he is willing to help you again. You need to have faith in God and the courage to complete the task. Faith without courage or courage without faith is to bring no success. …
You have learned a valuable lesson now that you did what you were hesitant and unwilling to do. This semester your selection of classes appears to be very practical and beneficial to your health—swimming is good for you but try not to overwork and be losing your strength. Once you are in the water start swimming immediately, and you will not catch a cold. Once you are out of the pool, towel dry and put on your clothes, or else you be catching a cold. . ..
Your school is like a big family: you need to get along with your teachers and other student. Again, try to speak less and listen more, and please let me know you are doing it in your letter. Today is the mid-autumn festival, and we have moon cakes at home; it is our hope that our family can be reunited in America. We pray every day asking the Lord to lead us to America and be together soon. If we have faith, we can have success if we act with courage. In your leisure try to find out about the procedure for neutralization and citizenship in the U.S. and write to inform us. Did you take the fur coat out to be in the daylight before storing it again? As we are thinking about sending another package in November, let us know what we should get—some food items from Taiwan, etc. Tell us early so we can have it sent to be received by Christmas. We need to send the Hensels a gift and tell us what is appropriate and if we should send it directly. This winter, the most important thing is that you need to buy yourself a coat: one that is already made and wait a while before you buy it. Try not to get it at once, but after you have looked at it a few times and still like it. It should not be more than $20.00, and it should keep you warm. You just try to decide by yourself, without asking for anyone’s advice. If you cannot find a suitable one, you could also buy it in Taipei; just write to us and let us know early. Wishing you joy and peace, Daddy 10/05/60
Thanks be to our Heavenly Father for His grace and mercy, and He hath led you to do His will for your life. As you followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit to see Dr. Tyson, you have learned a valuable lesson. Just as Esther in the Old Testament needed courage to follow Mordecai’s request. She fasted three day and had then went to see the King. She became the one to save lives of the Jewish people and the nation from extinction. That is a testimony of God’s faithfulness. In the future, you need to search and find God’s perfect and acceptable will for you. As a leader, Dr. Tyson will not forget that he had already made a promise—and all you need to do is follow believing in God’s faithfulness. Today is the mid-autumn festival, I was the speaker for two meetings. It is almost 11 p.m., and I have not yet taken my bath. So, I will stop writing, but just hope that you have faith in God. I am in good health, except for not able to sleep at night. Just pray for me. On October 10, your father will take me to see the parade from his office. I heard that he won the tickets by lottery. This is God’s gift for me, and I rejoice greatly and praise Him. Wishing you good health and keeping the faith, Mama
Letter No. 98 Dated 11/21/60
Daddy & Mama:
Friday I received your letter: so glad to learn that God protected you and gave you peace. I am doing fine—and able to keep up with my lessons. However, I did receive another letter from college asking for my payment of $175.00. I did not know what else to do except to see Dr. Tyson. As he was not at the office but went home already last Friday, I went again this morning. He will help, but he also must report to the school officials. He asked that I pay $200.00–$100.00 already paid and another $100.00 to be paid next semester. I believe this was his arrangement, and I should not ask anymore. So, I write to you about this situation, to consider how to resolve this problem.
God’s help is always there for me, helping me out at least for now until later. I trust God’s plan and timing is the best. I regret and blame myself for not delivering the gift for Dr. & Mrs. Tyson right after I got it in your package. I was thinking that this should be a Christmas gift—as I see many presents displayed on his desk given by foreign students, not sure if ours can be equally valuable. I have not received any reply from Mrs. Hensel to my letter. I might have a chance this Christmas to bring them the gift, when I attend a winter retreat for Chinese students in Dallas. Our friend, Mrs. Helen Liu, wrote that she would also be attending and serve as a speaker. Several of my friends here are planning to go. Before anything, I wanted to consult with you—if you think I should go to stay with a friend, then I will not go. However, I hope to have a chance to be with other Chinese students, so I won’t be homesick. For thanksgiving holiday, I have been invited visit the home of a classmate in San Antonio. We will get there by car Wednesday and stay for five days, returning next Sunday. Please don’t worry about this trip, as I remember your advice and how to be careful. I also need to visit the library to do research for a term paper for an English Literature course, and there are three final exams when I return.
Please pray for me—to depend on the Lord’s helping me to overcome all my difficulties. I need His guidance for me to turn down some invitations as I have not enough time to study. Pray and give me advice so that I may travel life’s path and be advancing to success.
Last Saturday I sent a package consisting of Christmas gifts and sixteen Christmas cards, with hopes that it will arrive on time. Some gifts include: two pairs of socks for Daddy, two pairs of stockings for Mama, four bars of chocolate candy. Though that’s not much, but hopefully you will like it. . .. Some classmates who transferred to other places are telling us, in their letters, this is a better place compared to where they are: the cost is more expensive, their classes are too hard to study. One student is in New York City working and studying at the same time. I thank the Lord for placing me at this small college where I can meet scholastic requirements, and teachers are nice and have God’s love for students. Let us pray for our reunion soon. Abundant Blessings, Daughter Min-yen
Letter No. 100 Dated 12/03/1960
Daddy & Mama:
This morning Annie Chang brought me your letter to my room, much joy for me. I was very touched by the fact that you decided to give me support by saving on your spending. I did not appreciate how my parents loved and cared until I have been away from home. I realize now how much it cost you to raise me, and this makes me want to study hard to give glory to God and make you proud of me. I trust I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me—even though some of my courses are not easy. For example, my typing class requires me to complete ten exercises every week, and I need to make up for the week I was in the infirmary, making a total of thirty lessons. I spend one or two hours daily to practice typing. For my literature class, grading system is different: 500 points for exam and 1,000 points for each term paper. I handed in one before Thanksgiving and that other one after Christmas. My grades for a Fine Arts Class are earned from going to shows and visiting museums (50 point) and staying in the dorm to watch shows on TV (10 points), listening to music on records (10 points). I have about 200 points, and I earned another 50 points by going out with other students to see a play at the campus of Southwestern University. Such activities take up my time and money but help to heighten my interests for fine arts. My best subject is English, making 99 on my last test, an A for my report, and 81 on my second test. I made C on my Education Class. For my Sociology class, I need to be especially careful to study hard for each class. The teacher is known to be the toughest one, and no one can make good grades. I was unable to do better than a C—as her test questions are not based on books but from her lectures. I was unable to take good notes and often missed the main points, but I seem to be getting better than when I started. I do not complain but my heart is filled with gratitude–since the Lord hath giving me such an opportunity to study and be trained. I realize that I cannot do this by myself, but I can give myself to the Lord to help me to be trained, no matter how hard it is, to be of service to others and a shining light for His glory.
Our president spoke the other day saying that college education is necessary for anyone desiring to realize his potential to be of service. Due to my load of classes, I need to excuse myself from extra-curriculum activities, I decided my last engagement, requested by Mrs. White, is going to be the last time I will agree to speak. Regarding the tour for a choir from Texas to visit Taiwan, I was not accepted due to my lack of musical talent. I thank God for not leading me into temptation and delivering me from evil. But as Mama warned me, I must be careful not to put myself in such situations. Don’t worry and just pray for me—that I may be able to know the way to follow the Lord. I have not yet decided to attend a retreat in Dallas this Christmas, as Daddy said it might not be so easy. I could just visit and stay with a friend, like last year. The same classmate, with a loving heart, has invited me to go to Houston again. Muriel also invited me, but I don’t want to go twice to the same home. Most likely I will go to Houston again. Let me know what you think, and I need to decide before December 10. Christmas cards for Dr. Culpepper, Rev. Hunter, Missionary Chow and Tam were sent last Saturday with my package, and I hope you receive it before Christmas. Wishing you grace and joy of the Lord. Daughter Min-yen
Response to Letter No. 100
Just received your letter dated 12/3 and thanks be to God you were not recruited as a member of the choir to come to Taiwan. Please remember what your mother told you: never to place yourself in situations that are unsafe for you. May the Lord guide you to places you could go. Glad you on able to meet requirements for your classes. From now on, try to keep up with required assignments, and try not to be too concerned about the grades. Also, your health is important: set up a time to rest and don’t be anxious. Try not to waste any time in gossiping, talking, attending meetings or entertainment. Utilize every minute on your studies, health, and the Lord’s work. This way you will not be wasting any time. The present for Dr. Tyson needs to be delivered, don’t forget to do it. When you go away for Christmas holidays, you will take what you are going to wear, and remember to carefully store and lock your belongings, as it is a long holiday. You will be better off taking warm clothing as it will get cold. Be careful getting on and off cars, as many accidents happen this time of the year. It would be even better if you stayed at home to celebrate.
If you are going to Houston again, please try to visit the Chinese Embassy to ask about passport extensions—so you need not be making another trip later. You might also want to ask how you can become a citizen.
We will be sending Christmas cards to Dr. Tyson and Mrs. Hensel tomorrow. The postal service is rather slow as you have not yet received our letter mailed on October 29, and I hope you will get it before you go away for the holidays. Since your birthday this year is on December 24, may I wish you a happy birthday. Another word of advice: please be sure none of our letters is lost or stolen, and you can refer to them for in instructions. Your letters are numbered, and we can read them again, and you might want to do the same with our letters. Wishing you joy and peace. Daddy 12/09/1960
Our daughter Min-yen,
Why your letters need to be delivered by someone else—you need to open you own mail-box every time. You need to put these letters in a safe place, and you need not tell others about everything—this is wisdom. In your last letter, you mentioned about how Dr. Tyson is willing to help you again. We are ve onry glad, but we also need to prepare some funds for your needs, so you can feel safe. How as parents we are very concerned about you being so far away and on your own. Praise the Lord for He doth care for each of us, and we can feel a relief knowing you are led by His hands. From your letters, you let us know you are realizing how we have loved you. As you are going to Houston again, be sure to inquire about how we can apply to become citizens. We need to cooperate and pray together. If you do find a summer job and can pay your expenses, we can start saving for our trip. Right now, even if we can be permitted to come to America, we have no money. That is why I perceive this is not God’s timing for our reunion. We can pray for the Lord to give us good physical health though still apart.
I need to take care of myself and thank you and I accept your advice to eat nutritious food. As the weather becomes cooler, I was able to get some wrappings for making spring rolls. I was thinking of you when we were eating. Last Saturday, we bought and cooked a duck for nutrition. Although we don’t have new clothes, but old ones still fit to wear. I praise the Lord for providing our needs. He is our Shepherd and we shall not want. We can lie down in green pastures. Daughter Min, you can go and ask for assistance from Dr. Tyson. As almost 100% of Chinese students receive financial aid from schools. As I prayed about this matter, I felt the Lord reassuring me that you will receive help. So, take courage and go to see Dr. Tyson for whatever you need. Merry Christmas, Mama
Letter No. 101 Dated 12/7/1960
Today is a happy day for me. In the morning, I had to take a very difficult exam consisting of seventy-five questions for the Education Course. I stopped by the Post Office to look at my mailbox, and I was surprised to find a notice about a package. I knew right away it was sent by you, and it was the biggest box in the Post Office. Despite the weight and raining outside, I was excited and carried it to my room. First, I thank the Lord was making a way for me just on time about my scholarship. I received another bill from Miss Burnham asking me to pay $148.00 in ten days. I was wondering why she did this when she knew that Dr. Tyson already said he will take care of it. She had been here longer than Dr. Tyson and had authority over financial matters. It seemed my classmates were also afraid of her, as she tried to make us pay more than necessary. I blame myself for not letting her know about receiving help from Dr. Tyson. After I received this bill, I did not know what to do. Even though he promised, but how could I be rushing him every time I get a bill. The Lord made a way when there was no way: I could bring the present to his home, and then go see Miss Burnham. If she would give me more problems, then I could see Dr. Tyson to discuss it. I was praying every night for your package to arrive, and today I received it. Thank God for His faithfulness to help me with my problems. I think the best time to go is Friday afternoon, hoping that he might be home. I trust if it is God’s will, He will make a way for me. I was not worried and believe God’s way is the best way. After I have done my best, the Lord will go with me. Pray for me please!
When I opened this package, I could see many items I had asked for and more than I expected. I really like the two pairs of shoes: they fit me perfectly—one for casual wear and one with high heels for me to wear to formal occasions. I did not find shoes like these here, and many friends would be kind enough to be giving me compliments. When I saw cans of food (meat, pickles, and cakes), I could hardly wait until the week-end to eat them. These are all my favorite food items, and I would have appetite to eat the food I get at the dining hall during the school year.
I was thinking about where to go for Christmas for a long time, and I made my decision to join Annie Chang and others to go to the Chinese Christian Students Winter Retreat in Dallas. …If I go, I would be able to meet other Chinese students, and our friend, Mrs. Helen Liu, would be there as one of our speakers. Annie told me I could use her typewriter to practice my typing. I could also visit my friends including Mrs. Hensel, Missionary Holloway, and Dr. & Mrs. Teng during my stay in Dallas. Most of all, I really needed to be closer to God—just like the time I attended a retreat at Grass Mountains with other young people at Amoy Street Baptist Church. This retreat would be held at Baptist Church Lodge located in the beautiful hills of Mt. Lebanon. There would not be any cost, just give whatever we could as donations. Not sure about two other places I could also go, but I did not want to visit the same place I went already in San Antonio. I will write after I have definite plans made, but please give me your suggestions.
Blessings always, Daughter Min-yen
Letter No. 104 Dated 12/22/1960
Yesterday afternoon we left Waco by car for the Mt. Lebanon Retreat Center Camping Center. We arrived at about 5 p.m. and were taken to a big room where we would lodge. After unpacking our belongings, we joined others for dinner in the dining room. We met others from Hong Kong, and they welcomed us. There were only about ten of us, and but we expect others to be here later—since the program does not start until December 23. Our friend Mrs. Helen Liu told us she would be arriving on the 23rd. For these two days, we were free to do anything we like, but we would need to cook for our meals. There is a heater in our dorm room, but I still feel cold and a little strange. Hopefully I will get used to the cold and feel at home. Our program, when it starts, consists of daily devotions, Bible study (led by Mrs. Liu), and messages from speakers. I would have a chance to do some homework while waiting for the program to start. I hope to practice typing (Annie’s typewriter), read books on a list for Education class, and memorize new words for English class. I also hope to have catch up with my sleep and enjoy some good Chinese food. Please don’t worry about me but pray for me. I follow what your advice to me: speak less and listen more and be careful. I still feel a little guilty because I did not wait for your approval to be at this retreat, but I would have a chance to visit my friends in Dallas. I have brought the painting to give to Mrs. Hensel, and probably stay with Nelma Jo a few days—waiting for the time I can go back to the campus. We leave the camp after the conference ends on the 31st, but the College opens on January 3rd. We might stay with Pastor and Mrs. Chang’s daughter again in Waco. When we stayed there before the conference, I gave her two cans of fried meat and a can of preserved cabbage (given by Mrs. Liu). She liked these gifts and told us to go again after the conference. I will write you once we decided what to do. Please don’t forget to write me here, and our address is: Baptist Encampment, Cedar Hill, Mount Lebanon, Dallas, Texas. I have not received your letters for a while, so please write me. After we go back to College, we will have our exams in two weeks; and I will need to prepare. Let me now tell you about the retreat: This place reminds me of our summer retreats at Grass Mountain. The dorm for women is a large room with about twenty beds, and the bathroom is located inside—with hot water and very clean. Some of the students at the camp are from Missouri, and they are very friendly to us. However, there was some misunderstanding between Annie and I due to our idea of making good impressions before others. I try to be an example in word, deed—for the glory of God. This is my only prayer, and I trust the Lord will be with me. May God’s grace be with you, Daughter Min-yen
Letter No. 105 Dated 12/30/1960
Daddy & Mama:
Right now, I am still at the Winter Retreat for International students, and I have been getting used to this place. There is a sweet spirit in this place—I got along nicely with others. Every speaker’s message touched my heart, especially when I heard testimonies share by other students—how each one so willingly to speak up and not be shy. I see sweet expressions on each face, and I know it is the presence of the Lord. I praise the Lord for deciding to come here and not visit some homes this Christmas. It reminds me of our summer retreats at Grass Mountains in Taipei. People are very friendly and helpful to each other. Most of them come from Hong Kong, except Mrs. Helen Liu, two sisters, and me. Best of all I can see Mrs. Liu, and she is sitting right now with me. Seeing her, I remember my mother; and we prayed for our reunion. I was eating a lot of greasy food, and I lost my appetite. Others treated me like a younger sister, as I rested in bed for a day. I recovered quickly and got up this morning feeling good. I must be careful when I eat, not to be sick again. I also had a long nap of two hours today, and then I got up and washed my hair. I had a very good dinner: curry chicken, winter melon soup, pork, and rice. There us an evening worship service, and some testimonies from students. After we return to our dorm, we have a prayer meeting led by Mrs. Liu. Praise the Lord when I did not receive any letters from you, Mrs. Liu received your card; so, I know you are fine.
Today is our last day here, and tomorrow morning we leave. I thank the Lord I have a place to go. Our chemistry teacher is picking us up, Annie and I, to spend another three days at her house, until classes begin. You need not worry about me, and I will write again as soon as I got back to school. I am feeling fine and fully recovered. Mrs. Liu wants to thank you for the card and let you know she has been helping me all the time. Since my birthday was December 24, everyone sang Happy Birthday to me, and Mrs. Liu prayed for me. We went to the prayer room together and had fellowship. Praise God for His grace, allowing me to learn God’s word from her, and I know I have been in the presence of the Lord.
The theme of the conference is: To know Him and to make Him known. Each message seems to be speaking to my heart. Mrs. Liu spoke on the passage from Ephesians, and I learned that the Christian life is not easy, but we need to rely completely on the Lord’s strength. “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17)… She recalls one time as you both were praying, and the Holy Spirit descended upon you. In her sermon, she gave an example of how we need to be crucified with Christ: she told us how she was convicted by the Holy Spirit about her sin of cheating on an exam. She finally had to make a confession to both of her teachers, Rev. Chow and Rev. Hunker. She was putting all her pride and self-respect to death, and she admonished each of us to do the same. I hope to receive your letter very soon. God’s grace be with you always. Daughter Min-yen Please note that Letters 105 to 139 are appearing on the next part–Continued Letters Home
Letters Home Continued from Previous 12/03/1962
Letter Dated 12/21/1962
Daddy & Mama:
I have already left school and arrived at my classmate’s house for the Christmas holiday. I was planning to attend the winter retreat in Dallas but decided that I needed time to study and to give up the idea; and, instead, come to this Christian home where I was previously. Also, there is a library where I can find reference books to read. Instead of going to Dallas, I came to a small town—in order to have a rest and start preparing for my finals early: several courses I am taking are requiring me to spend a lot of time, and the only time I can catch up is during the holiday. I am afraid that I don’t do well and forfeit my chances to be continuing in a graduate school; and this might give me the chance to catch up. I am staying with a loving Christian family, and I can be more casual and spend my time studying. I hope you are going to have a nice holiday, and I miss being home; but please write and let me know about your holiday. I will be here until January 3, and I hope to be able to visit some friends (members of churches) in Houston, but not to take away the time I need to study. On my way out of school, I stopped by Dr. & Mrs. Tyson’s home to deliver the package of a Christmas gift. He was happy to receive it and gave me a Christmas card. I also gave the two royal lamps to the Dean of the College. I am keeping other gifts, but I will give a few cans of tea to the Bourge family. Praise the Lord, and these gifts are more precious because you have selected them. I already finished several cans (almost half) of food items, helps to keep me in good health and not have any problems. I sometimes seem to feel depressed and need to trust the Lord and rely on His guidance. I pray for the Lord to open a door for me so I can concentrate on my studies and not be concerned. Please be not concerned—as whatever circumstances, the Lord’s strength is sufficient for me. I will pray about Daddy’s plan and what his is doing for the possibility of coming to America. I will pray about it asking the Lord to make a way—if it is His will. …Did you receive my package yet? May you give more love to the Lord! Daughter Min 12/21/1962
Letter Dated 01/23/1962
Daddy & Mama:
I am so glad to have received your letter during my exams bringing good news. I am glad to learn that Mr. Chen has arrived in America, and I hope he can assist me as I plan my future after graduation. I just finished my exams, and I registered this morning for my classes in the new year. Tomorrow I have a holiday, and then classes will begin. I was very fearful during my exams, and I did not do too well. I am not sure if I passed Accounting, and three out of ten students dropped the course. The problem, I believe, is in my wrong selection of some courses: I did not need to take Accounting and Physics, and I end up with a lower grade average.
After considering and learning from what I did wrong last year, I have selected 19 credits consisting of six courses including three for English (Shakespeare, Modern Poetry, and Modern Drama) two for Sociology (Research Methods and Family and Child Welfare), and Chemistry. My plan is to obtain a C+ grade, in order to apply for a graduate school. … The two courses I chose for English are very popular for English majors. I will be graduating in May with a major in Sociology and a minor in English. But if Dr. Tyson is going to help me, I hope to stay for summer school to be taking two more courses—for a double major in Sociology and English. After summer school, I can go to Dallas and look for a job to work for a Children’s Home. This can be some experience for me in the field of Social Work. Also, the Director of BSU used to work there, and she might be able to recommend me. I hope to work for half a year in order to repay what I owed for summer school. After this I hope to go to a college in Texas to study for a M.A.—preferably at the University of Texas. Dr. Tyson is familiar with this school, and he would at least be able to give me a letter of recommendation. He would like me to be furthering my study, and I could get my master’s degree in one and half or two years. After that, I can do research work or teaching in Sociology. These are just my plans I can only imagine. I trust the Lord and He will lead me and make a way. I let you know my plans (and not anyone else) and hope you can give me some advice or your opinion—before I make any plans. Anyhow, I need to concentrate and strive to study hard. I have already ordered invitations to be sent to people for my graduation. I will send them to you as soon as I get them. I also hope to notify the American Embassy that I wish to have Daddy attend my graduation, if it helps with getting a visa. Due to the expenses incurred in ordering my invitations and other fees, I don’t have money to get books for the new semester. I am waiting for my tax refund check which should have been received the end of last year. I don’t know why you did not receive my package yet, as it was sent on 11/15. For the New Year, we are having a Chinese meal. Blessings! Happy New Year! Daughter Min-yen 01/23/1963
Letter Dated 01/30/1963
Received your letter dated 01/24/63 and praise the Lord giving you peace as you remain at school. Another semester has ended, and your schedule of courses for the new semester appear to be more suitable, but your chemistry course may take up a lot of time—though this is easier than Physics. If you need money to pay your expenses for graduation, write us early and let us know to take care of it so you don’t need to worry. About your plans for what happens after graduation, we have discussed it and made these suggestions: 1. We hope you could go to graduate school to get a master’s degree. 2. You should try to get a scholarship including tuition, room and board, etc. 3. If no scholarship, then you need to support yourself by working part-time. This means you will take less credits and finish in a period of a few years. I know some students from Taiwan doing the same thing, and they needed to remain at schools in order to extend their visas for staying. They needed to work and earn enough money to support their families, but they take at least one or two hours to study at schools. If they got some friends willing to help them apply for permanent residence, then they can remain in the country. That’s what two members of your mother’s church did, and we shop you can find out how you can do the same thing. 4. If you are unable to do the above 2 & 3, then you will get a temporary job to work at the office for a while before you go to a graduate school. Please find out more about how you can extend your visa, so you don’t make any mistakes. You mentioned about summer school—there is no need to remain at school after graduation unless you find it necessary for the extension of your visa. … Dr. Tyson wrote us after you delivered our gift to him, and I have not yet responded. Is there anything he can do, and you would like us to ask him? Mr. Chen is in America, and you need to write him a letter to express your gratitude for his help in the past and for the future. We hope you will dress warmly for the cold weather and take it easy in order to recover from an exhausting week of exams. We are praying earnestly every night for you—and trust that the Lord will give His best to you. Emmanuel! Blessings of joy and peace! Daddy 01/30/1963
PS: Please keep this letter for future reference
Praise to the Lord for His faithfulness and grace throughout the last four years for you and our family. Therefore, we are reminded we need to depend more on Him as in His presence, we can make it through every day. “Eyes have not seen, nor ears heard the things that God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Cor. 2:9). Right now, we don’t know what happens after you graduate, but I believe God will prepare for you what you need. His will for you now is to focus on your studies and trust in the Lord. Even though you failed to gain good grades last semester, don’t worry about it. We know that all things happened to us according to His will and work together for our good. You try to live in the present—day by day.
I have a friend at my church, Miss Yin, who is now studying at the University of Texas. I understand that she must work hard with her studies in order to be getting a scholarship. She was considering how she can support herself by working part-time. Even with the minimum wage of 60 cents per hour, she cannot find any jobs. She is considering going to New York City, as there are no jobs in Texas. She already has M.A. degree. For you, I think you might want to write a letter to Mr. Chen who lives near New York City. At the same time, you can discuss with your classmates about graduate school—and even travel together. As you look to the Lord for His help, you need to spend time in prayer. We will be praying for you. You need not be anxious about the future only trust the Lord. Since I am preparing to start my work for the New Year, I will continue in my next letter. Wishing you success! Blessings! Mama 01/31/1963
Letter Dated 03/05/1963
Daddy & Mama:
Just as I was about to write a letter, I received your certified letter and a check. This really helped to calm my fears quite a bit. These past few days, I was very tight on my cash—as I had to pay for a ticket to see a play (requirement for English) and order invitations for my graduation. Miss Burnham will not take any orders without $2.00. I got up early in the morning to pray and gave my problem to the Lord. What happened, almost a miracle, was that I received a letter that morning from a church with a check for $10.00. It stated that the gift was from them after hearing my testimony during my visit. This can only be the faithfulness of God…I remember visiting the church during the Christmas holidays, while I was a guest at Aline’s house in Baytown. Mrs. Bourge, Aline’s mother, told me previously about a package given by people at the Church with gifts for me including a red sweater, a stylish plaid skirt, and a black dress. When I needed some close friends to give me advice and did not seem to have anyone, the Lord hears and answers my prayers. … This was an experience for me to always trust the Lord for my needs. Now that you have sent me $60.00, I can pay my expenses during the spring break and some fees incurred for graduation. I even have money left to travel after I graduate. I just hope this is not a burden to you and that you are not working too hard. Mama should be giving up some work at the churches, I suggest. You are also preparing to some me some clothes, and I am very excited. But I don’t need to have some very fashionable dresses, just get me another blouse like the grey cotton one I carried from Taipei—as this one is too worn out. Some of the blouses I find here don’t fit me, and I just hope you can send me both short and long sleeve, one of each, in yellow and pink. I can match my blouses with a permanent-press skirt –to make up my wardrobe for both spring and summer at school. I only need, for food, two cans of dried meat; sometimes I have not time to cook my dinner, but I can take some bread from the dining hall back to eat at my room. Another item I desperately need is a box (about 20) of name cards I had ordered for my high school graduation—to be used with my invitations. Please rush this to me. This is one semester with my heaviest load, as I am taking 19 credits and hoping for a B average. It is not easy: I must skip meals, sometimes sleep six hours, and did not go to Church last Sunday. I two tests tomorrow, and each of my three English courses requires a term paper. I am beginning to understand the perils of a student, but I keep on going for the goal that is set before me—to study in a graduate school. When it snowed a few days ago, I had some photos taken outside for you to see the snow. If I need you to write to Dr. Tyson about my plans, I write let you know later. I will write to Mr. Chen soon. I still have many letters to write and must stop for now. I will try to answer your letter sooner next time. Emmanuel! Daughter Min-yen 03/05/1963.
Letter Dated 04/04/1963
Daddy & Mama:
From your last few letters, I learned that Mama was not well; I was very worried and prayed for you asking the Lord to take care of you. You work so hard serving the Lord, and your devotion has been seen by others and deserves their respect. From Mr. Chen’s letter, he mentioned about your service—he willingly gave his blessings and helped a family of believers. He told me that if you come to the States, you can share the Gospel with many Chinese people still without Christ. I, however, suggest that you start by taking courses at the seminary—perhaps the same one Pastor Chang attended. I was a retreat and visited this school with a beautiful campus and many students coming from foreign countries paying affordable fees and requiring knowing a little English. If you are interested to apply for this school, I would be able to write a letter to the President of the Seminary. He was here at our college to be the speaker, and you can also write a letter to Dr. Culpepper asking him to recommend you to be a student at this school. I remember someone I met, and she came from Hong Kong to study at this seminary. Her English is not good, but her classmates welcome her, and they even jokingly ask to visit her room in order to practice Cantonese. Among students in colleges and graduate schools, married women always seem to get best grades. When single students like me see one of the married women in same classes, we know we need to study harder to get a good grade and be still above average with A or B. …I needed to work very hard for a whole weekend and did end up with a B for Modern Poetry. But another student, probably in her forties, received a grade of 94. When I read her paper and compared it with mine, I see that hers is longer and includes more information, but she did not have some descriptive views I included. It seems that teachers in this school based their grading system on quantity and not quality. But I always like to write well and not just be including many reference books. …I admire how Mama can memorize a lot of information and your talent as a writer. You are such a good student, and please consider this and let me know so I can write to a seminary for an application to be air mailed to you. This way, when Daddy gets his passport, you can be getting yours too—and we will be reunited as a family.
Letter Dated 04/17/1963
Daddy & Mama:
Did you receive my previous letter, written in English and Chinese, yet? I have not heard from you, and today is the third day after my spring break ended. I stayed at the campus for nine days, but I paid only for seven days not included two Sundays in the amount of $14.00. I had planned to complete a few papers and study for an English vocabulary test—one of the two tests required for graduating students and including 2,000 words mostly already learned. My schedule was such that I had not free time. After classes resumed, I need to start preparing for exams in order not to be staying up cramming on the night before each exam. I end up with no good grades this way. Right now, I have barely a B average including all courses. Praise the Lord, I have selected courses that I am interested in and can be getting better grades. I look for the Lord for His help. Uncle Chen wrote me, and I wrote back to thank him asking that he continue to help Daddy with your plans. I also wrote to Mr. Larsen to thank him and to let him know that I will plan to arrive in New York City early June. I plan to visit Debbie in Washington D.C. and attend a summer retreat at Ambassadors for Christ Headquarters. If you think I should go to New York earlier, then I can cancel my plans and arrive earlier.
In my last letter, I suggested that Mama apply to study at a seminary, and I mention this again. Mrs. Tyson and her father are joining a team to travel to Japan for a short-term mission tour. They will be passing Taipei where they will stay at the Grand Hotel. If you are interested, you can visit them and speak to them about your plans for Mama to study at the Southwestern Baptist Theological seminary and Daddy to find a job in the United States. There is a possibility that Mr. Ray will give you a letter of recommendation. I visited their farm one time and know that they are one of the wealthy farmers, and I also know that they love the Lord and have connections helpful for your application. It’s up to you, as I am still inexperience and just wanted to let you know about some opportunities. For an extension of my passport, I already wrote a letter to (Chinese Embassy) Houston, and I probably will have no problem. …I started to pack my clothes and found many dresses I no longer can wear. There is a large pile of clothes including ones given by my big sister. I don’t know what to do and just wondering if there are places to donate in Taipei. I can send some back home or just give them to people in villages here. Emmanuel! Daughter Min-yen 04/17/1963
Letter Dated 05/05/1963
Daddy & Mama:
On this Sunday morning, I have the time to write this letter. Truly these past few weeks I was rushing to finish my reports—one has been handed in with two more to complete. I also have a weekly report to hand in for a Social Work course. When I count the days, I realize that it is only three weeks before finals; and I feel very fearful and nervous in anticipation. Adding to these concerns, I need to have a new passport. My passport has no more room after three extensions were stamped on it. For this, I’ll need to send a recent photo and pay $5.50. This means I must wait for the Chinese Embassy to send it to me before I can send it to the American immigration office for my extension. I already spoke to Miss Burnham about this, and I think she is willing to assist me. So happy to receive your package – I was busy with writing a term paper when it arrived with your gifts including a beautiful Chinese dress, a pair of red slippers, and three cans of my favorite food. I have not been to the dining hall for three days, and I am cooking some rice to eat it with some fried meat. I completed one of the three papers consisting of 4,500 words, and I still need to complete two more. I have done most of the research during my spring break, and I just need to organize my notes and complete each paper. Moreover, I still need to pass a vocabulary test and memorize 4,000 English words with roots in Greek and Latin. That means I have no time for anything else until after my exams. I am anxious about getting a B and not a C grade for a few courses. All I can do is to trust the Lord to give me strength as my day. About where I will go for the summer, I have no time to think about it. I know I will be going to New York, and it will probably cost $50.00 or $60.00 to travel including baggage. When Annie left, she paid $30.00 to ship her baggage, but she took the train. I think I can travel by bus with my baggage at no extra cost. I will probably donate some of my clothes to a church… Let me know if Daddy needs me to do anything to help him with his application for a passport. But we need to pray for the Lord to help us—knowing our efforts are in vain. I realized that as I tried with my effort and still did not get grades I hoped to get. The American people live in the present, and they pay little attention to the past and the future; just live one day at a time. This is how Christians can live with hope and be strengthened to live victorious lives. I will try to follow Daddy’s instructions and each of the four suggestions to my best ability. Blessings! Daughter Min-yen 05/05/1963
Letter Dated 05/19/1963
Daddy & Mama:
So glad to receive your letter giving me the good news that Daddy can come to America soon. Praise the Lord for answering our prayers, but I hope you plan everything carefully. For my part, I will be looking for ways to help and facilitate your plans to travel and to find a job in order to remain in the States.
Once you find your job, you will not need to worry about financial problems. Final exams start next week, and I went to see Miss Burnham today. She asked me to pay the balance of my bill totaling $100.00. I had to give her the two checks I received from Mr. Chen, and I only got $10.00 left. I will need $50.00 for my ticket to travel to New York, and I wonder if you can ask Mr. Chen can send it. All I can do is to stay at school and wait for the check, and then I can leave to go to New York. This is unexpected that students graduating are not eligible for a scholarship. I did receive a refund check of $80.00 from the government, but I needed to pay for my diploma and renting a gown for graduation ceremony. I also paid $35.00 for staying at the campus during my spring break. I hope I can leave right after my exams, instead remaining longer, as I want to be a good example. I can only ask that you send me the money now, and I can pay you back instead of sending it to the school. I ask Daddy to please do this immediately.
About my extension—I receive my visa from the Chinese Embassy in Houston extending my stay until May,1966. My advisor has help me to write a letter to the Office of Immigration in San Antonio, Texas, and I should be receiving my passport back in two weeks. Our summer vacation begins on May,29. I can stay a few more days before summer school starts. Even though I must wait (for my passport) before leaving for New York, I have a chance to prepare for my summer. I have checked my schedule at the Bus company, and it will take forty-eight hours traveling to New York, and my bus fare is $46.00 including my luggage. Blessings! Daughter Min-yen 05/18/1963
Letter Dated 05/29/1963
Daddy & Mama:
Praise the Lord, I have finally completed four years of college! Our Baccalaureate Service was last Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Belton. Our speaker has a PhD in Religious Education, and he admonished all graduates to devote our lives serving in areas constructive to society and our neighbor. I am not sure can do this and not be concerned about pursuing my future and my American dream.
We need to use our gifts in the service most beneficial to others. I started to go over my plans accordingly, but I had to stop in order to keep up with what is on my plate now. I trust the Lord to guide me in the path of righteousness. Monday was the graduation ceremony for our class of ninety students. After each of us went up to the platform to receive her diploma from Dr. Tyson with a handshake, sang the class theme song, we all turned the directions of our caps (from left to right) signifying the change from students to graduates. Some were crying but not me—perhaps due to having had many other previous departures so that in comparison I did not feel too sad. I was more concerned about that fact that I still have not receive the money I needed to travel to New York. I received your letter this morning and the check in the afternoon. I went immediately to get a ticket for the bus—to be leaving tonight at 7 p.m. from Belton, passing Memphis and Washington D.C. before arriving in New York City. Since I might stay in D.C. and visit Julie to attend her graduation, I will take the bus for the next day to go to New York City. I will write to Mr. Larsen about the time of my arrival, and I also have someone going the same way to keep me company. I left a paper box of my books in the basement and will ask someone to send it to me later. Mr. Chen told me that he cannot come to meet me due to his busy schedule, but he wrote and told me that he has asked Mr. Larsen to meet me and take me to stay at their house. I feel safe knowing I can stay at a home and pray that the Lord will open some doors for me to find a job. I don’t think it’s too difficult. I still have $20.00 left, after purchasing my ticket, to be used for traveling to Long Island and getting some food during the trip. …I will write again when I arrive in Washington D.C. and New York City. Please remember to pray for me. I am in good health but lost some weight from skipping meals and lack of sleep during exam week. I should recover quickly. Must stop now and be getting ready to leave. Blessings! Daughter Ming-yen 05/29/1963