Already been back to my home in Brooklyn for two months, and I have completed most of my translations of my letters. Together with other writings I hope to complete my project soon. 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”. May His name be honored in every nation, and may He be exalted in all the earth. The names of some of the persons in these letters have been changed, but all contents are true to my memory.
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. Stop for now. Please pray for me always. I had a safe voyage on the ship and in good health, except my nose. Photos taken on board the ship to be mailed to you after I arrive at college. Wishing you joy and Emmanuel.
Letter No. 2 Dated 08/29/1959
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. About the fur coat, Mrs. Wu said it’s too difficult to try to sell it. Even if it is sold to an American, he will want to pay in installments. I believe that since Mrs. Wu put it that way, I should not ask her to help. Besides, the weather here is like Spring all year, and very few people would need a fur coat; and since I can’t get any cash immediately, it would not be good to leave it at their house. . . I can fix something by myself for lunch, and we eat supper together; and I help with small task of wiping dishes.
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 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. I have already sent Mr. Chen’s check and a letter to let him know about it. Daddy might want to check with Mr. Chen about this in about two weeks. I now still have $118.50 after paying $3.00 to transport the trunk and
$5.00 required for tips before leaving the ship. I can buy my slip and other items when I arrive in Texas. 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.
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, 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, none are Christians. Among the thirty-three passengers, most of them are Catholics and two of them told me they don’t believe every word in h 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 steadily. I ate some pieces of bread and went to bed. As I lay on the bed, I could 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, just we could feel 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 & Mama,
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 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 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 only God can help me. No doubt God 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 Fortworth. 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 fell asleep as soon as I was in my room.
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. Wishing you Emmanuel.
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
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
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
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！ Daughter 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 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. 10
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 11/10/1959
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
I 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 everyone’s love and kindness. . . .
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. 17
Received your letter dated 11/10 on 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. 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 Soiyers 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, Dallas, Texas (Please note that Letters 24 to 53 are on separate pages not yet posted.)
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