A Letter for Father’s Day

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  • **Today we share a second letter that Elisabeth wrote to her father in 1952.  What a precious glimpse we have into her life and heart as she writes from the center of her missionary calling and love for her parents. We bring this special missive to you in honor of Father’s Day.

    San Miguel de los Colorados
    November 7, 1952

    Dearest Dad:

    Thanks so much for your personal letter written after Homecoming.  I enjoyed your typical descriptions so much—“parents being piloted around the campus, alumni greeting one another,” etc.  It brings back memories which seem now very remote from this set-up, in both time and distance.  I have just had a most interesting afternoon with two old Colorado women who came in to the shop which Don Macario (my white informant) keeps.  Dressed in their striped skirts, beads, mirrors, and paint they are a most colorful picture, and of course their strange language is a never-failing source of fascination to me.  Most of it sounds like modifications of our negative grunt in English, “Uh-uh.”  I was sitting in the Colorado school room waiting for Don Macario to come and give me a few tips on data I’d gathered last night, when they timidly strolled in and pointing to the organ, said in their very halting Spanish, “Can you play that?”  Upon my affirmative answer they laughed in delight and motioned toward it.  So I sat down and played quite a few simple hymn tunes, while they sat and twiddled their bare, stubby toes and played with their long black hair.  After awhile I felt they were getting bored, so stopped, but they wanted more, so I played till my legs got too tired to pump anymore.  Then I went in and asked Don M. if he thought they would let me take a picture of them, so after a long confab with them in Tsachila, in which he assured them that it would not make them sick, they consented.  Hope it turns out.  I sat on the veranda with them for some time and managed to get several words out of them.  Most of the tribe is not at all anxious for anyone to learn their language, but these women were what Barbara calls, “quite sporting old sticks.”  They thought it quite amusing that I should want to put it on paper, and one came over to see what I was writing.  Sometimes I can hardly believe that this is I in this situation—that this is IT!  That I am actually doing that to which I have looked forward for six—no seven—years!  I praise God that He has fulfilled His word to me at that time, and I rest on one of the special promises given to me very forcefully in 1944—

    For the Lord God will help me.  Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”  I often pray, “Remember Thy word unto Thy servant upon which Thou hast caused me to hope.”  God has to be absolutely true to what He has said, for “whatsoever the Lord doeth, it shall be forever.  ~ Isaiah 50:7

    I pray for you, Dad, every day, and ask that the Lord will give you a peace such as you have never known before—the kind that goes beyond understanding.   That He will cause you to rest in Him.  That He will give holy wisdom in the exigencies of everyday’s living, specifically, of course, there in the office.  Remember that quote from C.S. Lewis that I showed you once?  “But I do trust for spiritual thing—‘Everything is an affair of the spirit.’”  I appreciate the Times so much here, and am thankful to know that God has given you that work to do for His glory.  I just read yesterday some of A.C.’s poems, among them,
            “We see not yet all things put under Thee,
             We see not yet the glory that shall be,
             We see not yet, and yet by faith we see,
                    Alleluia, Alleluia.“

    What shall we see in that Day when faith becomes sight?  What undreamed-of weight of glory for the sufferings of this present time?  The Lord is kind, and His love passeth knowledge.  I must stop this and go fix the supper, but I just wanted to talk to you for a bit, and let you know that you are in my heart.  I can never thank God enough for such dear parents, nor can I express to you how much you both mean to me. 

    With a great deal of love,