[The following transcripts of letters by Sarah Alice (Troyer) Young (along with a few letters by others) were made by Mrs. Carol Whiting in the 1990s from the originals, which in many cases were very faded and difficult to read. The originals are often on very thin or poor quality paper. A very few minor revisions were made by the archives staff, including Laurie Ellison, a Wheaton College graduate student working under the supervision of the BGC Archives staff.]
[Comments in brackets were added by an archivist, except those in italics, which are by Mrs. Whiting. The full text of Bible verses mentioned in the letters were also provided by Mrs. Whiting. No attempt has been made to maintain the layout or page numbering of Young's letters or to indicate page breaks, except to have paragraph breaks at the same points as they occur in the correspondence. Misspelling in the correspondence have been left as is, as has punctuation and capitalization.]
[Many letter start on one day and then have a new section added on, headed by the date of addtion. In this transcription, a row of five asterisks "*****" separate indicate the start of a new letter.]
[Preface by Carol (Mizer) Whiting, a relative of Sarah Alice Troyer Young and the transcriber of the letters and diary:
Sarah Alice Troyer was born in 1871, one of 11 children of John D. and Catharine (Egly) Troyer. She was my Grandmother's sister. These are letters she wrote to her sisters and brothers before she became a Missionary and while in training and when she was in China as a Missionary. Her siblings were Daniel, Marietta, Anna (my grandmother), Lydia, Joseph, Emanline, David, Ellen, Martha, and John. ]
Sunday P.M. Aug 19, 1894
Dear Sister Anna:
You do not know how much good your letter did me this morning! Mr.Cushman didn't get home until after we had retired but I got up in the night and took the letter to bed with me and read it this morning as soon as it was light enough. You are the only one in the whole family who encourages me in the least, Lydia says she hopes I have given up the idea, and Dan says I am afraid she is making a mistake, and Joe says you are foolish.
If the Lord sees fit to take me home it will only be going to rest and my reward- it (death) is nothing to dread for the believer. Of course it will be harder for those I leave behind than for me because they look at it in a different light from what you do, if they only could look at it as you do it would be so much easier for them and me too. People think it such a great sacrifice to make leaving everything to go to the heathen- but it would be a much greater sacrifice to me to give Ella or Mattie and I stay at home. Since the Bible school, or rather, at the school I gave up, all so far as I know, to the Lord, if He sees fit to take one, or both of them to the heathen I am willing. Why, we make no sacrifices! it is much more of a sacrifice to have to stay here when we might be earning a great reward by going (Heb. 6:10) ["For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister." Hebrews 6:10, King James Version of the English Bible, afterwards refered to as KJV]. I am so much obliged for the money. You will have your reward. I do not need it now but since the Lord has sent it I will save it for future use in His work.
This is my last week here and I am glad, too. I just want so much to get at some kind of missionary work which I probably shall as soon as I get to Lincoln. I do not know yet whether I shall go directly to Lincoln from here or not. Probably home as I have not heard from Mrs. Arrington for several weeks. The last she wrote was that she wanted me to come as soon as they get rooms and are settled. I may hear from her this week. When I leave here I'll let you know what my address is so you can send Clifford's picture. I'll be so glad to have one. The letter you wrote before this last one was directed to Milford and I did not get it until they came down, the 30th of July. How I would like to see Clifford! I pray that he will grow up a good man, one that you can be proud of, Anna, Joe is on my mind so much. In his last letter he wrote that he had never joined a church but he was trying to live a civilized life. Now I am afraid he is trying to save himself instead of just accepting eternal life by faith in Christ. By grace we are saved (Eph.2-8) ["For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8 , KJV]. Now I want you to pray with me especially for him that he may see that he can do nothing to save himself but accept the gift of eternal life through faith in God and the Son.
I'll send you several Gospel Messages to read and if you would like to sign for it you can send the 50C to me or directly to the company. In the latest of these you will find an item about a Mr. & Mrs. A. I think you will find them very interesting after you become somewhat familiar with the names and they will give you some idea of the work in C.A. The company are in need of more subscribers and if you could find some there they would be very grateful I know.
You must be very busy when you have so many boarders. Why don't you have your girls do the cooking? Who are your girls, any one I know? Did the folks at home write you about Henry's joining the cavalry? They are now encamped at Lin. He is quite a soldier. The Cap. has taken quite a fancy to him and has promoted him to Corporal Troyer. They were encamped here at the Dale over last Sun. and Henry marched to church at the head of his company in fine stile.
Love to C.J.