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Translated Letter from John Wiebe to D.D. Toews

Letter to Rev. D.D. Toews from Rev. John Wiebe regarding his visit to CO camps, 22 March 1943. (MHC, 1323-946) translated from German into English

16 Mile Camp, Rad[ium] Hot Spr[ings]

March 22, 1943


Rev. D.D. Toews

Rosthern, Sask.


Dear Brother Toews:


It has been some time since I last reported to you. Since then you have been seriously ill in hospital. I have heard that you are at home now and that your health is improved, thank God.


Upon request of the Committee, I travelled to Jasper on February 3. The first difficulties arose through the [Seventh Day] Adventists who are strongly represented there. Because of their confrontational arguments I was compelled to give clarity to the men re. law and grace, the annihilation teaching, eternal damnation, etc. Later we managed to get together again in a reasonable manner. I seek for unity in the camp but not as the expense of the truth.


The work at present is hard and is primarily at Jasper. On the ice of Lake Edith they are building a box 60 x 30 and 20 feet high, which is to be filled with ice and then sunk. Since spring is approaching, they are rushing to be finished with the work on the ice and thus are working day and night in two 11 hour shifts.


I also visited the 3 camps at Seebe for several days. The worship services were well attended and we experienced the blessing of the Lord. However, a certain pressure rests upon the men at Seebe which people at home don't know. This results from the continuing harsh treatment and dirty work. They are building “mine props” which, in spite of the hard work, they are not able to supply in sufficient number. I spoke to Mr. Holman, of a higher Board in the National Forestry Reserve. Mr. Holman's office is here in Calgary. Since then, Brother Penner reports that the treatment is better. Brother Penner is a minister of the Holdeman Church and served in Seebe after me.


Arriving in Banff, I visited the Wesley Ewerts and also the camps for several days upon the wish of Brother B.B. Janz of Coaldale. Since the road to Radium Hot Springs was closed and there was no chance for a ride, I travelled the long detour via Golden. Now I'm working here at 16 Mile Camp. The 21 Mile Camp is 5 miles away, but I cannot visit there now since 4 young men have the mumps and the doctor has quarantined the camp. If I come in contact with the men over there, I will have to stay for 15 days after the last of the men are well. I can't do that. I don't know what they will do with those who are now getting farm leave.


By means of physical work, I earn my meals as I also did in Jasper and Seebe. I want to go back to both those stations before I leave for home.


Enclosed are the lists for the camps.


Respectfully yours and wishing you health, I remain yours in Christ!


John I. Wiebe

16-Mile Camp

Radium Hot Springs, BC

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