Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which
follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
( ) Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
[ ] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
This transcript was made by Robert Shuster and Kirk Haywood and was completed in December 2006
Collection 57, T1. Interview of Susan Bartel by Larry Clark, November
CLARK: Okay, Mrs. Bartel, as we begin this interview, we’d just like to, you know I’d like to find out a little bit about your family background.
CLARK: Why don’t you begin by telling us about your family, how many kids, you know, something about your mother and father, and the children in your family and when you were born, and things like this?
BARTEL: Okay, well, my parents, John and Elizabeth Schultz, had a large family. There were four boys and four girls that grew up on a large farm. All worked very hard, and all are still living, except one brother has passed away. And we each had our assigned chores every morning, rather early, before we went to school, and, one of mine was to tend to the chickens.
CLARK: Oh, really?
BARTEL: [chuckles] And, to feed the chickens and give them water for the day, and I also had to feed some of the other animals. And after all these chores were done, then, we would have our breakfast. And father would read a portion of God’s Word before we would get our porridge. And, no talking, and no excuses from the table ‘til devotions and prayer was over, and...
BARTEL: ...at the evening we would always in devotions always sing a song first before father would read, and we’d go through the songbook that way. Start with number one, and my oldest sister (I have two older sisters and an older brother) and my oldest sister was pretty good with music, better than my parents were, so she took the lead for the song.
BARTEL: And then after that, we would, of course, retire early in the evenings (that’s when I was a small girl) but my father was so faithful in reading God’s Word, even though we were very hardworking people, and they had a very large farm...
BARTEL: ...but he was very devoted to God’s Word, and I always admired him. I thought my father made no mistakes. [chuckles]
BARTEL: I have no recollection that he ever spanked me, but my mother sort of made up for it. [laughs]
CLARK: Oh. [laughs]
BARTEL: Because we were at her feet so much, you know, so many of us. But she too loved the Lord.
BARTEL: Then the schoolhouse was about two miles from our home, in the country. And every morning, we would go with our dinner pails, and our books in our arms, and we walked to school.
BARTEL: In bad weather, I mean, severe weather, we would get a ride, but otherwise we always walked. And it most likely didn’t hurt us, because we’re all here yet, except this one brother. And for a number of years, the morning classes were all in English, and the afternoon classes were in German, because it was a German community and they wanted to keep up the German. Writing, reading, spelling. And then, when we came home, we were to keep up the Low [colloquial] German, we didn’t talk English nor High [formal] German, and we talked Low German. That was the order of the day. And for some years, we also attended a boarding school, my church boarding school. My parents were concerned about our salvation, our loving the Lord, and this church school was really...it was very interesting for us, because we could be away from home for five days, and be with other youngsters. And then the weekend, Friday, after school, our father would come and get us. That was at another place, it was not the public school, this was a church school, near the church.
CLARK: So it’d just be during the week.
BARTEL: Yes, that was during the week, uh-huh.
CLARK: And you’d come home on the weekends.
BARTEL: Yes, we came home. And, of course, at this boarding school, we did very much memorizing, and studied more church history, and of course, reading was emphasized too. [feedback noise on tape] After grade school I graduated from the local Bible school in our hometown. That was...they called it a preparatory Bible school.
CLARK: This is at what age?
BARTEL: Then, I was in my upper teens. That was before I came to Moody,[Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, USA]...
CLARK: I see.
BARTEL: ...after I was through country school, see.
CLARK: So the early teens?
BARTEL: Instead of...yes, instead of going to high school.
CLARK: I see, that was the way.
BARTEL: Yes. Then, I always felt I needed much Bible, because I was going to be a missionary. But after I was through at this preparatory school, I realized that, times were changing so fast, I should have some high school, so I attended high school for three years. And in fact, I wanted to make it in four, but I didn’t, I mean, make all my credits in three years,...
CLARK: Oh, I see.
BARTEL: ...and...and didn’t quite make it, so I don’t have my diploma for the high school.
BARTEL: And then my parents seemed to need me very much, but I had my call for going to the foreign field, I had dedicated my life to the Lord. Ever since I was a small girl, I’ve felt that God wanted me to be a missionary.
CLARK: I wonder if I could clarify a few things before we go into how you felt like how you felt called, and how your call came to the mission field. Such as, am I to understand that you’re the third in line of the eight children?
CLARK: The fourth.
BARTEL: Fourth, yes.
CLARK: Fourth in line of. And there was an older brother?
BARTEL: Yes, and two older sisters
CLARK: And two older sisters. I see. And then, you mentioned there was a large farm. do you know about how large it was?
BARTEL: Well, we considered it large. I think it was 266 acres.
CLARK: Oh, really.
BARTEL: And that was large at that time.
BARTEL: Because we had no modern machinery.
CLARK: Oh, certainly, that would be very...that is quite a large spread-out. What were...was...is it correct that you were born in the first decade? What is your birth date?
BARTEL: Well, 1900.
CLARK: 1900. Okay, and you mentioned...I was interested, you...I was thinking about the cold weather up in Minnesota, and...and you mentioned how you walked to school except in the severe weather. How...what was the means of transportation?
BARTEL: Well, it would be...the last years, we had two cars, but there was a long time, we...in wintertime, it would be a sled, you know.
CLARK: A sled?
CLARK: That you’d take to school. A horse sled?
CLARK: I was thinking that it might have something to do with horses.
BARTEL: Oh yes.
CLARK: A horse and buggy.
BARTEL: Oh yes, a horse and buggy.
CLARK: Yeah. Right. ‘Cause cars were introduced as you were probably around in the Bible school, or....
BARTEL: Well, I was at church school....
CLARK: The church school.
BARTEL: When cars were introduced. I remember it so clearly, our father surprised us. He came with...came to pick us up on a Friday after school...
CLARK: At the church school?
BARTEL: At the church school.
BARTEL: And he came with an Imperial Six. See, we were a large family, so the Imperial Six. And, there’s quite a hill, and we got going, and oh, we were just laughing, because it was tickling us so, we were going so fast down the hill.
CLARK: Oh, really?
BARTEL: So, I recall that very, very clearly. Later on, after my two older sisters and a brother were a little older, they bought a Model T Ford for them.
BARTEL: Because they needed to go to choir practice, they were grown. I was still...still belonged to the smaller class, that would go with the parents.
CLARK: Right. And this was when the automobiles and...and things like this were just first being introduced into the whole area, wasn’t it?
BARTEL: Oh yes. There was no one else that had an Imperial car at that time, because they all had smaller cars. For some reason, my father was persuaded to get that large car.
BARTEL: Six passenger.
CLARK: What...what do you consider, to focus a little bit on the call, what do you consider, well, your earliest thoughts about that, or your earliest influences? What do you think would...
BARTEL: My missionary call?
CLARK: About the missionary call.
BARTEL: Well, we were in Sunday school very regularly, and my Sunday school teacher was...was a wonderful person, and she, as far as I know, she never married. I believe she had worked in an orphanage before she came in our area.
CLARK: Do you remember her name?
BARTEL: Oh yes. Her name was Anna Wiebe.
CLARK: Anna ...?
BARTEL: W-I-E-B-E. And she was a very helpful teacher. And then there was a couple, Peter Freezens’, were missionaries to India, of our church...from our home church. And they would come home on their furlough, and bring reports. And then another one that I admired much was Kornelia Unrau . She was graduate from Moody. So they were all influential in the....
CLARK: For the Sunday school years.
CLARK: And...and your Sunday school teacher, and bringing these people into the church..
BARTEL: Yes. Then of course, [Coughs]...now, will all this come on tape?
BARTEL: Oh my. All this noise?
CLARK: Oh, no. Go ahead, we’re doing fine. I think the tape is just sort of picking up our conversation. [chuckles]
BARTEL: Well, I did want to say a little bit about my conversion.
CLARK: Oh, okay.
BARTEL: I was timid, you know, afraid that if I would make a public confession, I would maybe not be a good Christian. I might not...wouldn’t be able to...to stand for the Lord.
BARTEL: So I drew back, for a long time, but I always prayed quietly, had my own prayers.
CLARK: At what age are you speaking of right now?
BARTEL: Well, when I was ten and twelve.
CLARK: Ten...ten and twelve.
BARTEL: Uh-huh. Then, when I was about sixteen, I made a public confession. Reverend Nickel was conducting revival meetings in our hometown, and I decided that I wanted to follow the Lord, and he prayed with me. Later on he visited our home. He gave me two Bible verses. One was Isaiah 1:18; “‘Come now, let us reason together’, saith the Lord, ‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’” And since I was timid and fearful, he also gave me Isaiah 41:10; “Fear not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; I am thy God. I strengthen thee; I help thee; I uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” At that particular time, they still had the services in German, and these verses were memorized in German.
CLARK: Oh, really?
BARTEL: At that particular time, uh-huh.
BARTEL: But, the last one, in a very definite way, has supported my faith over and over again, on the mission field and also after I was left alone, you know, with the children. That was in a way much harder than going to the foreign field,...
BARTEL: ...because I didn’t have the....I depended so much on my husband, and he was a strong support, and I leaned on him so much.
BARTEL: But the Lord led it that way, and so it must...must have been His will. [chuckles]
BARTEL: Then, did you....then you mentioned too, about the decision to go...?
CLARK: To China. Was this developing about the same time that you came to an understanding of your conversion?
BARTEL: Uh-huh yeah.
CLARK: About the same time as all these influences, and you know, Sunday school teacher, and....
BARTEL: Well, Sunday school teacher was earlier.
CLARK: Oh, I see.
BARTEL: That was...that was earlier.
CLARK: Let me...let me backtrack on that, then, how did Miss Wieber...ah...
CLARK: Wiebe. How did Miss Wiebe get you thinking about missions? What...what was she saying?
BARTEL: Well, in her teaching regular Sunday school classes. You see, there’s so many, many lessons like “the harvest is ripe and the fields...the reapers are few,” and so many, many others.
CLARK: I see. And so, then, how did you, as a result of your conversion, how....what happened that you decided that you wanted to...actually decided that you were called to be a missionary?
BARTEL: Well, I had that inside feeling. When I made a public confession, it was con....it wasn’t only accepting the Lord Jesus, I mean, Christ as my Savior. I accepted him as my Lord the same time, to guide me through life and lead me where I was to go.
CLARK: Are you....so, what I’m trying to pursue is, could you explain about your missionary call, and how you....
CLARK: Are you...are you saying that as you accepted Christ, you sort of realized at the same time that you would be in full-time Christian service?
BARTEL: That’s it. I was always afraid that I wasn’t [pauses] ab....wouldn’t be able to go to the foreign field, so I...I just pushed the whole thing off in public. But privately, I did...did honor the Lord, aim to, you know, my own way.
CLARK: Right, Right. Had...had you....it crossed....in my mind, the question that comes, had it ever...did...had you always...had you always thought that...when you were converted and when you accepted Christ as Savior, that it probably would mean for you going overseas, or had you ever considered that I...that you could accept Christ as Savior and not necessarily be a missionary? You know, when you were considering your salvation and everything.
BARTEL: Uh-huh. No, I always had those two together.
CLARK: You always did.
CLARK: Well, at that time, had you thought of China?
BARTEL: Well, I thought of anyplace the Lord would send me, you know.
CLARK: You had.
BARTEL: But I didn’t think that....Well, of course, I...I have no recollection that I thought of getting married, because I....
CLARK: You...you had not thought or you had?
BARTEL: No, because I always admired the single ladies that gave reports for mission field.
CLARK: And you were exposed to, like, Anna Wiebe,...
CLARK: ...plus some other ladies that came into church were single, and so....
BARTEL: Yes. And well, there was Aganetha Regier went to the foreign field from...the church, and she was single, and Kornelia Unrau was single, and...and I’d read about others. Elma Daaring, have you ever heard of her?
CLARK: I don’t believe I have.
BARTEL: She was earlier, I believe that she was earlier than...than these other two.
CLARK: So you were sort of thinking that you would be a single missionary somewhere in the world?
BARTEL: Oh, yes, I was going to give up everything for the Lord.
CLARK: Right. Okay, well then, what led you to decide to go away from home to get the rest of your education? Is it tied up with your decision to go as a missionary?
BARTEL: Well, I found...I found it was very important to have some preparation...
BARTEL: ...to win souls for the Lord, and I...I needed to study for it.
CLARK: So, could you go into how you decided to go to Moody, and when and how you decided?
BARTEL: Well, there were former Moody students. By the way, the one that led me to the Lord, he was a graduate of Moody, Mr. Nickel, Reverend Nickel.
CLARK: Right. [Pauses] So how did you decide?
BARTEL: And of course, I...I had some books that were helpful too.
CLARK: Uh-huh. About....from....they were published by Moody?
BARTEL: No, I think that....
CLARK: What do you mean by “books”?
BARTEL: I don’t think they were published....I hadn’t thought of that before, but I had some...some books, you know. [Pauses] I don’t think Goforth of China was at that time, but that’s one of the books that is helpful for for missionaries. Have you ever read it?
CLARK: It’s called Goforth of China?
BARTEL: Uh-huh, yeah. They, uh,...and then of course there were...as far as I know, but it just seemed to be so real to me that I didn’t doubt it.
CLARK: Oh, certainly.
BARTEL: To go.
BARTEL: And my parents accepted it, they knew it too, but I was needed at home very much at that time. My sisters were married, and so I was detained for a few years.
CLARK: So no one in your family before you had considered going into full-time Christian service?
BARTEL: Well, some were surprised, but my own family, I think knew, and they’ve always appreciated me.
CLARK: Right. Well, could you tell about how you came to Moody, and you know, how old you were when you came to Moody, and you know, your first...as you left home to come to Moody. Tell about those experiences, coming to Moody.
BARTEL: Well, I’d like to look up my age at that particular time, because I was through my first term, and my mother had a serious illness, and I was then the oldest in the family left that wasn’t married yet, and so I had to give up my studies, and go and be with my mother...my parents.
CLARK: Your studies in...?
BARTEL: At Moody.
CLARK: At Moody.
BARTEL: Yeah, yeah.
CLARK: So you had already come?
BARTEL: I had come for one term....
CLARK: For one term.
BARTEL: And my roommate was Almeda West, and I felt very much at home, I felt very privileged that I could go. And I still recall when I left home the first...
CLARK: The first time you left home?
BARTEL: ...very vividly the first time, because coming from a small town, going into a city, that was something new, you know.
CLARK: Right. This is something I’d like to explore.
BARTEL: [chuckles] Well, then, my father bought a trunk for me, and I still remember when he roped that trunk,....
BARTEL: And I can still see him do it, and by the way, that trunk has had many rides with me, across the ocean, four different times, and I still have it.
BARTEL: Uh-huh. It’s in the basement. And if it....
CLARK: But he bought it for you to go to Moody?
BARTEL: Yes, uh-huh. And if it could talk, it would tell a long stor....a long story.
CLARK: I bet it would. I think...I hope you can capture that story on tape that you tell [chuckles].
BARTEL: Well, then, of course, everything, as far as I remember, went fairly smoothly, you know, at the Institute. We, I believe we’re assigned setting tables first term, and that was wonderful, I just liked it so much. I was twelve at the table, and I just recently, the song came to me, the song we always sang in the dining room all together. You see we had a large dining room at that time.
BARTEL: And then, these assignments were daily, you know, to set the table, when you were a freshman, at that particular time. And the song that was always sung was “Be present at our table Lord/be here and everywhere adored/these mercies bless, and grant that we/may feast in paradise with thee.” And I hadn’t known that song before, but it’s still in my mind.
BARTEL: Then, when we were juniors (this is of course skipping the time in between) but when we were juniors, we were opposites of table, serving vegetables.
CLARK: Oh, I see.
BARTEL: And when we were seniors, we were head of the table and served the meat.
CLARK: Oh, uh-huh.
BARTEL: And, that brought us together a lot. We learned to know each other and all seemed like a family for one term.
CLARK: Right. So you went to Moody a total of three years, but it was broken a time of going home.
BARTEL: Yes, it was broken...broken in between, yes.
CLARK: By a time of going home. Your mother was ill.
BARTEL: Yeah, she was...she was very miserable, and ill, and so they needed me, and I did that as unto the Lord, you know, give up my...
BARTEL: ...my plans.
CLARK: So I understand that as you went to Moody, even from the first term, you did know for sure that you were going to the mission field, that was very clear in your mind, and....
BARTEL: Oh yes, oh, that was before...before I went to...to Moody.
CLARK: Right. And am I to understand also that you were focused on China, specifically, by the time you went to Moody, like had you read this book, and had made up your mind?
BARTEL: Well, any books were helpful, but not particularly to Moody, just...
CLARK: To China?
BARTEL: ...I had a burden for souls. And if it...if it was India, I’d go to India. And if it was....
CLARK: Did you ever consider - this might be interesting - did you ever consider how you would be making up your mind, as far as which...how would you be determ...had you ever thought ahead to wonder how you would determine what country to go to?
BARTEL: I have no recollection of that.
CLARK: Uh-huh. You just knew that when the time came, that a specific door would open, and you would move ahead, no matter what country. Was that...was that your approach?
BARTEL: Yeah, yes.
CLARK: I see. So, was it at...was it while you were at Moody that you began to look towards China?
BARTEL: Well, I had not looked toward China definitely ‘til I met my husband.
CLARK: Okay. Could you tell about that?
BARTEL: Well, [Pauses] I don’t remember when we had our first date. [chuckles] Because.... But...but we were together as a group several times before we dated.
CLARK: Eating and things like this?
BARTEL: Quite a few that had, more or less, the same background got together and sometimes would go out on a picnic, an outing. And so, he was one of that group, and I was one of that group, and that’s where...that’s where we really met.
CLARK: Right. And how did you get to know each other? How were you impressed to know him further, and things like this?
BARTEL: Well, I thought it was wonderful to have a missionary’s son for a husband, and then too, he had so much of the language, and that made me very encouraged.
CLARK: It was...it was through knowing, then, Loyal that you....of course he was...his objectives were to go back to China, right?
BARTEL: Oh, yes.
CLARK: From the beginning.
BARTEL: That was without question.
CLARK: Right. And so it was through getting to know him more and more, and these two things that you’ve said about being a son of a missionary, and the language, that you...your thoughts turned specifically towards China? It was because of knowing him?
BARTEL: Yes, that all helped.
CLARK: Before we talk more about deciding to marry Loyal Bartel, maybe we should talk about some of these...more experiences at Moody. Such as, do you remember some teachers, or some classmates that you had at Moody?
BARTEL: Well, Doctor [James Martin] Grey, of course, at that time, was teaching Bible Doctrine, if I’m correct, and Doctor [Pauses] [Lew Wade] Gosnell was teaching Synthesis, and Leamon was teaching Missions, and [Alfred] Holsworth was teaching Music and Composition.
CLARK: And you had all these teachers?
BARTEL: Yes, and [Talmadge J.] Beddacoffer [correct spelling is Bittikofer]. Have you ever met him?
BARTEL: Yeah. I’m not even sure how it was spelled. B-I-D-D...double....two D’s in.
BARTEL: Coffer, yes. That was his name. He was comparatively young at that time. Conducting we had by him.
BARTEL: I’ll never forget when I had to conduct my first song. He told me to conduct “Onward Christian Soldiers,” and of course, it’s...its easy, the beat, it’s easy. but after we were through with the first worse...verse, he came and he grabbed my right arm with the baton. And said “Miss Schultz, you conduct this song as if it were a love song.” [Clark chuckles] He said “This is a soldier’s song.” And he went on directing so fast with my arm, and I wore a box-pleated skirt, it’s...I don’t know if you know what that is, it’s a straight...the pleats are real nice when you stand straight, but to go and swing around, it’s like a fan opening up. [laughs]
BARTEL: And it embarrassed me so but I’ve always thought of that song. [chuckles] Then, Doctor Grey, he emphasized, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” [2 Timothy 2:15] I’m sure you’ve memorized that too.
BARTEL: And [Pauses] those teachers were all respected highly.
BARTEL: And we didn’t have anything to do with them outside of class, of course.
CLARK: No homework, as such? Is that what you mean?
BARTEL: Yeah, well, you know, with a large class, we...we were just by ourselves, except Miss Johnson was the Superintendent of Women, and Miss Redpath was her assistant. And they were very helpful. You see, they were at the desk, the information desk, instead of having young girls or trained helpers.
CLARK: I see.
BARTEL: And they, of course, inspected our rooms and saw to it the lights were out, and we weren’t lingering in...
BARTEL: ...the washroom and stuff like that [laughs].
CLARK: Right. I guess you had a certain...if...as long...in the sense of going back and continuing your education, you had a sense of getting what you wanted...you came to get.
CLARK: I mean, at Moody. Moody was giving you what you had come for.
BARTEL: Yes. What I had looked for, and then of course...does that answer your question, so far?
CLARK: Right, right.
BARTEL: Or is there something else?
CLARK: No, that’s...that’s right, I just wanted to see all the experiences at Moody, and how they influenced and were adding to, you know, your whole direction that you had set for your life.
BARTEL: Well, practical work assignments had much to...very much to do.
CLARK: Oh yeah. Tell about those.
BARTEL: Well, we were generally sent out in a group, unless you were a soloist or...or some...some special person. And, I think I had a Sunday school...teaching a Sunday School all the time. That was on Sundays. My assignment was at Brighton Mission Chapel, on Oakley, South Oakley, I believe. And I don’t think the mission is...has...is continuing there. But I had a class of girls. I enjoyed that very much, it was good experience for me. And, then too, there were group assignments - going to Pacific Garden Mission, various missions, on Saturday night.
BARTEL: And most of us would just help with the general singing, unless we would have a testimony to give.
BARTEL: And one assignment, I can’t forget, that was the jail assignment. Didn’t get that ‘til, I believe, I was a senior.
CLARK: Cook County Jail?
BARTEL: Yes. And, have chapel service there, singing, and one of them would read God’s Word and comment. And at that time, we were not permitted to talk to them, because.... They all marched in very orderly and uniformed, and it touched my heart very, very much that young girls, (most of them were young girls) had fallen into sin so early in life, and ruined their future, as it were, and lived without hope, and without Christ. But....
CLARK: Did you see some response, or were...or was it not organized where you could see the tangible results?
BARTEL: No, I think they...they had a few appointed in the back somewheres [to act as counselors], in the private room. But not not in chapel. After the service was over.
CLARK: Right, after you all had left.
CLARK: They waited for the chaplains to work with?
BARTEL: Uh-huh, yeah.
BARTEL: It was a...a very sad picture, at the same time, I’ve often wished we could do more for, you know, ordinary people could do more for the prisoners.
CLARK: Right. Are there any other notable events on campus? Anything that’s outstanding in your mind that may be added to your...well, I think we’ve pinpointed already that knowi...getting to know your future husband really began to direct...put some specifics into your call, you know, as far as going to China.
CLARK: But, and so that was an outstanding event, I’m sure, to get to know Loyal Bartel. But, what are...are there other notable events on campus that you remember?
BARTEL: Well, practi....What did I mean to say? Employment assignments was another thing. A few of them I recall very clearly, and the one I most likely had several terms. That was [to] take care of a young lawyer’s son. They lived in a large hotel at Lakeshore Drive.
BARTEL: And that was one of the largest...the tallest buildings at that time.
BARTEL: And his name was Sammy Reneke, and his father was a lawyer, and the mother was more or less a society lady, you know, that had her activities, and she needed someone to stay with him while she was gone. And sometimes, when I came home, it was almost past suppertime, and if we came late, we wouldn’t...we’d miss our supper. And I’d run home, on Clark street, [laughs] I remember that yet. You felt perfectly safe and sound, you know, run...run home. [laughs] Another time, Mildred Olsen and I were working at Montgomery Ward [a large downtown Chicago department store], and we had a very interesting experience together. It was on a Monday when Montgomery Ward had sales, and they needed extra help, and so we were helping there. That was very interesting.
CLARK: Uh-huh. That...that really is interesting. I...I don’t suppose you weren’t on campus, you weren’t on...at school during World War I, in Chicago, were you? Were you in Chicago during World War I?
BARTEL: I don’t know what that is.
CLARK: World War I, you know, the Great War?
BARTEL: Oh, World War I. No.
CLARK: I didn’t speak clearly, I’m sorry. You were still in Minnesota, I guess. Do you...do you remember the effect in...on your life? Was there any effect on your thinking about World War...World War I?
BARTEL: No. Of course, I’ve had a few illnesses, I don’t remember everything.
BARTEL: So.... [Clears throat]
CLARK: Okay. what was....I’d like to pursue about getting to know and the decision to marry Loyal Bartel.
BARTEL: Well, that was very...that was toward the last of...of...of my terms at Moody.
CLARK: That term, yeah, okay. Would you tell about that?
BARTEL: Well, I don’t know just how...how deep I can go into it. [chuckles]
CLARK: Well, whatever you want....I mean, you know, as far as deciding....It seems to me that your objective was to be a missionary, and so you were convinced.... You already said two things, that this was in line with your goal to be a missionary,...
CLARK: You know, because he knew the lang...because he was the son of a missionary, was born in China, and knew the language. So, was it a natural step to decide to marry him?
BARTEL: Well, it took thought and prayer.
BARTEL: But, well, it wasn’t difficult.
CLARK: Right, uh-huh. At what...in...at what point did you all decide to get married? [Pauses] I mean, at what,...you know, where you said you were a senior, or had you graduated from Moody when you got married?
BARTEL: Well, when we were engaged, that was before. But we didn’t get married ‘til...‘til I had graduated.
CLARK: I see. At this point do you think we can go back into some of Loyal Bartel’s background, and let you just briefly give a very brief sketch of his background as you knew him, and as you got to know him at Moody, and what you found out and knew about his background.
BARTEL: Well, I...you see, he had been at school all by himself, before, for...for some time. There was a missionary that was teaching...I don’t know if they followed a regular course or not, but anyhow, he and his brother was old enough. By the way, you thought his brother was...somebody had mentioned his brother was much...there was a big difference.
CLARK: Oh, yeah.
BARTEL: There...that’s not quite three years difference in between.
CLARK: After he...after he was born, then about three years later,...
BARTEL: Yes. Not quite three, almost three. Well, anyhow, they were then studying at home, and one of the missionaries on the compound was teaching, and she was...was....no, he was the second oldest, I guess of that group. There were also two Birkeys [sp?], Birkey [sp?] children in that particular class, but the at first, didn’t intend to come to the States for study...
CLARK: He didn’t.
BARTEL: Because he already was preaching. He started preaching when he was seventeen. And he had been conducting prayer meetings and been doing mission work with the orphan children. They were very close to him because they grew up with him. And then, of course, when he decided to come to Moody, he...I’m sure he felt very lonely at first, but there....
CLARK: Do you know how he decided to come to Moody?
CLARK: Or how he decided to come back to the States?
BARTEL: I think he took a...I think he’d taken a correspondence course first, with correspondence,...
CLARK: And he decided it was...
BARTEL: And then he decided to come to Moody.
BARTEL: Yeah, as far as I know, he was perfectly happy at Moody.
CLARK: Uh-huh. And so...so he came specifically to the United States to get his education at Moody.
CLARK: Right. And then...and then you all met, and you all were married after you finished Moody?
BARTEL: Yes. We were married in June.
CLARK: June of 19...?
CLARK: ‘26, right.
BARTEL: We were married in Minnesota at my hometown.
CLARK: Oh really.
CLARK: Was any of his family back in the States at the time?
BARTEL: Yes. They all...they came, they were on furlough at that time.
CLARK: They were.
CLARK: Do you... is there any notable things to share about the...the gathering up there for the marriage and everything?
BARTEL: No, I...I just admired the whole family very much, and I always thought they were very loving people and got along well with them.
CLARK: Did he enter Northern Theological Seminary right away after you all were married, or had he already been in school?
BARTEL: He already had one year at Northern.
BARTEL: Because I had....you see, I’d been out in between, when my mother was sick, so.... Of course at that time, my first term, I don’t think we had anything in common. It was later on, you see, that we were together.
CLARK: Right. And he....so after you were married, did he continue at Northern, or...?
BARTEL: Yes, he...he continued at Northern, finished at Northern, before we...before we left. And we lived in...our first little home was in a little apartment on Washington Boulevard. That was not for very long. Then we...there was an opening at the Chicago Hebrew Mission. And then we moved there and had charge of the place. And I guess there were two...two services connected with that. On Wednesday nights, and seems to me they had it on Saturday instead of Sunday. That I don’t remember too clearly anymore...
CLARK: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
BARTEL: ...but there were two services a week, that we were responsible for.
CLARK: I see. Was that a time of about a year that he had to complete more, after you were....
BARTEL: In ‘27. That was in ‘27.
CLARK: That he took a year more to complete after your marriage.
BARTEL: Yeah, he...he graduated in...in spring of ‘27 from Northern Baptist.
CLARK: I see. Then, how did you all prepare to go to China? I mean, after your education, and he’d graduated, and then you left in December of ‘27?
BARTEL: Yes, uh-huh.
CLARK: So, in those...how...there was a lot of anticipation. I’m sure you all were already planning, and knew that you would be going to China, even...
BARTEL: Oh, yes.
CLARK: ...from before you were married. So now, how did it...how did you prepare for the departure...
BARTEL: Oh, well....
CLARK: ...in those months?
BARTEL: See, he belonged to...to the Krimmer Mennonite, it was another branch. And so, he joined my conference, and so we applied to our board, in fact, I think that....
CLARK: That was this conference?
BARTEL: Yes, that’s this one.
CLARK: The Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Conference. Okay.
BARTEL: Yeah, uh-huh. And, they were eager to have us go out. At that time they had very few young couples on the China field. And then they, of course, assured us, well, their support, and their interest in us and in the work. And then, they made a schedule for us to visit certain churches. And we then visited several churches. That was in the summer of ‘27 and then toward the fall, we...we were still here and there, you know, living in suitcases. But it was nice meeting people and they seemed to accept us very cordially, and learned to know quite a few Christians, which was very interesting,...
BARTEL: And, then the mission board decided that we...that Loyal should be ordained into the ministry...as a minister....
CLARK: He had not previously decided that?
BARTEL: It hadn’t been...hadn’t been done before. So they ordained him at Dallas, Oregon, and (if I remember right) it was Christmas Sunday, before we went out. And we already had spoken to...had given messages to the church here and there, but he was not publicly ordained. So, they ordained us then, of course, as missionaries, and then, right after that, we went on ship-board.
CLARK: Oh, so you did...your passage was on ship of course,...
BARTEL: Oh, yes. That...
CLARK: No planes then.
BARTEL: Oh, no. I think it was thirteen days, if I’m right. It was a long trip, uh-huh.
CLARK: Tell about going to... on the ship. What do you remember about traveling on the ship, that first time?
BARTEL: Well, of course, I don’t know if women get seasick faster than men do. I’m not sure. But I had to be quite careful what I ate, you know, because we were traveling in the third class, and there’s first, second, and third, and then, Third is the lowest, and sometimes, it’s very, very wobbly, but we didn’t have a storm all the time, but we had some very stormy weather too.
BARTEL: And I often thought of Jonah at that time. [laughs]
CLARK: Uh-huh. Because it...you did have some stormy weather, you said?
BARTEL: Oh, yes.
CLARK: I’ve never been on a ship on the ocean.
BARTEL: Well, then, of course, we stopped at Hawaii and that was a big treat. I think we had one day there for sightseeing. And that was...was great.
BARTEL: Although people say it has changed an awful, awful lot. But the aquariums with all the animals was so interesting, with the fish, and the birds. And they took us to the b...banana gardens and to the...the surf field, what...whatever you call it.
CLARK: I’m not sure.
BARTEL: Well, I can’t think of the word. But anyhow, the...we did have a nice time, and then we got back onto the boat, and stopped at Kobe, Yokohama [Japan], but we didn’t get off ship there. We just stayed on.
CLARK: That’s in Japan?
BARTEL: Yeah, uh-huh. I think there were new passengers added, if I’m correct. I’m not too certain about that. But anyhow, for some reason, we stopped there. And then the first time we...after we landed in...at Shanghai, we discovered that the railroad was closed up to go to Tsaoshien, to our station. The north was fighting against the south. So we had to go on to Tsing tao, another coast city and stay there for a little while. We didn’t stay there very long. And I already could work with the language because I...Loyal could help me wherever and whenever I needed it. And another couple from our field was there for refuge, on account of their...the war, the unrest on the field, but a little later we could all go to the field.
CLARK: Uh-huh. [Pauses] So where...where’d you say that stop was...where before you got to the field?
BARTEL: Shanghai. Shanghai, yeah, we would always get...stop at Shanghai, and then take the train, but this time from Shanghai, we had to go by...by boat up to Tsing tao.
CLARK: I see. And stayed...and you stayed there until everything settled down?
BARTEL: We stayed there, yes. Uh-huh. That’s quite a German town. [Tsing tao was a port city founded and administered by the German Empire under one of the Western nations’ “unequal treaties” with China. German administration ceased in 1914, when the city was occupied by Japanese troops.] Uh-huh.
CLARK: I see. And...but you did go on eventually, back down to....
BARTEL: Oh, yes, yes. It didn’t take...take long, and we could...we could go...
CLARK: Right. Um...
BARTEL: ...back to the field.
CLARK: I was gonna ask something about um,... Oh, your farewell to your family. Was.... I.... In Minnesota, and everything, before....I suppose as you were traveling around to different churches, and then you had to go to the west coast, right, to board the ship?
BARTEL: Yes, uh huh, yeah.
CLARK: That you said goodbye as you left....
CLARK: Was that...I’m sure that was quite an emotional experience to say goodbye to...
CLARK: ...your family.
BARTEL: Yes and no both. My parents knew that I was going for a good purpose and I was in the Lord’s will. And we had had several goodbyes before, you know, that...it...it wasn’t too difficult, although they were always very anxious to hear from us, and it was one of my duties to write letters to carry on the correspondence to the many relatives, and the supporters, and...and to the conference, you know, and....
BARTEL: So... [Pauses]
CLARK: Yeah. Well, let’s...let’s see, I guess we would like to find out about some of the...the mission that...this [sheet of questions Clark had been given] asks some questions about some of the mission. “What was the strategy of the mission board for reaching the Chinese?” Do you know, did they have a particular approach (the mission that you all joined and were going out under)? Do they have a particular approach, or how was the mission set up, or...along these lines?
BARTEL: Well, see, the mission had been carrying on since nineteen-one, and this was in the early ‘28, it was...early months in 1928. So the mission was very well established.
BARTEL: But several changes had come because the orphanage was dispersed. They...they stopped that, you know. There were many, many young boys and girls that were already grown, and then, of course, they married each other, and chose each other, see, or somebody else chose ‘em for them, you know. And so there was also a big question concerning support, and so that was not continued. And several families that had been on the field already had left, you know, like Margaret Epp, the one that wrote this book [This Mountain is Mine]. She was in China with her parents when she was young. And later the parents left. I have never understood why some of them left, but I believe most of them left for the education of their children. Because the mission did not have a regular school for...for children.
CLARK: Missionary kids?
CLARK: Uh-huh. How...could you describe how the mission was set up in China. Did you have a mission station? And, you know, what was the type of work that was done through the station?
BARTEL: Well, we had...we had all these stations. They are all here [Bartel is apparently pointing to a map in the book This Mountain is Mine by Margaret Epp]. Tsaohsien was where we were stationed, that was the..the main station...
CLARK: At...at this one.
BARTEL: Right here.
CLARK: How do you pronounce it?
BARTEL: Tsao, tsao.
BARTEL: Ts, Ts.
BARTEL: Tsaohsien. You see, when new missionaries would come, they would study the language here, then they would be assigned.... This is Shanhsien, that’s another station where two ladies would be assigned. And, then Yücheng here, this...that’s where a couple was assigned, and that’s a main station. And Liuho this one here, at the Honan border, a couple was stationed there, and Lanfeng they had, and they had to discontinue, because they were short on workers, and I guess very few Christians. And Tsaochowfu, that was another station. See, this main station was about a day’s journey, walking, to get there, and then here this that I already have, Shanhsien yeah, two ladies were there.
CLARK: And you all were here, at the central station.
BARTEL: Yeah, this was the central. And all these six were also main stations, and then, the main stations had outstations, and the outstations are not mentioned here. They would be small villages, with little mud huts, and would not have a brick building for a church. These others all had the churches.
CLARK: Uh huh. Okay, I want to pursue, uh, the type of work that you all immediately set up. Let me ask a question first, though, and that is, when you first...okay, you couldn’t get into Shanghai, so you went to another town just briefly.
CLARK: And then, but you were arriving at the mainland.
CLARK: What....Tell us your first impressions, your...your....I’m sure there....You know, you had never been overseas, you’d read a lot about the Chinese, and of course, your husband had been raised with the Chinese, and you knew much about the Chinese, but what...what were some of your first impressions, of China, of the land, as you first got over to China, and as you were beginning to....
BARTEL: Well, it was so much that I had been told, that it didn’t seem so new to me.
CLARK: So you don’t remember, sort of, what’s called “culture shock”? Do you remember...?
BARTEL: Well, of course...well of course the women there, wearing the clothing, they [the clothing] were mostly black, or navy...very navy...dark navy blue. By the way, this peel is used for dying cloth. The white...they’d spin their own clothes...their own cotton, spin their own...own yarn, and made their own cloth, and then of course they dyed it, because it needed to be dark, and this dye dyes black, just a skin, from cereal, you know. It’s pomegranate, they grew in our area.
CLARK: So one of your impressions immediately was about the dress.
BARTEL: Well, yes. You couldn’t help but notice that.
CLARK: Uh huh. So, you wouldn’t say that you had necessarily gone through...you went through any culture shock, that you had a good orientation.
BARTEL: Now, of course I expected, you know, that the food would be different,...
BARTEL: And that we would have another language, and we wouldn’t tell it like in America. I...I sort of expected all those things.
CLARK: Right. And so you were prepared to meet them full force.
CLARK: So this, [Pauses] what kind of work did you all decide to set up in
China, and you say that you were eventually...how long did it get you to...how
long did it take to get located here? After you arrived in Shanghai eventually?
You know, from the time the ship pulled into the
BARTEL: Well, we’d go by train and...
CLARK: And you were headed...you were assigned here, and had to go there specifically.
BARTEL: Yes, uh-huh, uh-huh. Yes.
CLARK: And so, in a few days, you were arrived at where you were going to be?
BARTEL: Oh, yes, uh-huh. I....
CLARK: Uh-huh. And what type of work did you all decide to set up?
CLARK: And were you involved in?
BARTEL: Of course, my husband sort of continued where he’d left off when he was a boy, and then, I had to study the language, and that took much time.
BARTEL: And, so the....but they also had a printing press, which my husband took over, and trained a Chinese to set the type, to...to help with printing tracts and Sunday school lessons.
BARTEL: And then, soon after that, a Bible school was moved to Tsaohsien. The Bible school was at Tsaochowfu before, where Uncle and Auntie Schrag, an older missionary couple, they had no children, we all called them Uncle and Auntie. And then, they had a very small Bible school there. Then, he died, and then the Bible school was moved to Tsaohsien, to our station, and my husband, with the help of natives, built a school building, you know, and started teaching Bible school...
BARTEL: During the winter months.
BARTEL: And we can look at some of the pictures afterwards, if we’re not too tired.
CLARK: Okay, Okay.
BARTEL: And then, of course, that was his main work, and he was in full work right along, because if you didn’t do something at home, at Tsaohsien, he’d be somewheres outstation, with some Christians, so he was out a lot...
CLARK: I see.
BARTEL: ...before I did get to go out.
CLARK: Because you were still adjusting to the culture and the language.
BARTEL: Ah, yes, yes. Uh-huh. And then, too, I had the children later on, and it took me time to do my part as a mother, and....
CLARK: Uh-huh. I guess.... Could we move into the fact of the relationship with the government, and the Christian work in...in China, starting, [Pauses] about right in here. [apparently pointing to a list of questions]
BARTEL: Well, I thought I had written a little something...I had a few...made a few notes for that.
CLARK: I want you to be able to share everything that you’re prepared to share, I don’t mean to exclude....
BARTEL: I have muddled it up now because I...I don’t know how far I am. [papers rustling, pauses]
CLARK: Anything that you’ve discovered that we’ve skipped over? I tried to think of everything to ask to this point, at least, about background, and coming to China, [pauses]
BARTEL: Could you turn it off a little bit? [tape recorder turned off and on] Or...like...officers might come to visit us. Tea and cookies would...would be served, which was not every day, but, once in a while, you know.
BARTEL: In special.... Authorities would come, and when the Communist officers came, of course, they were friendly at first too, because they were local people. They spoke our language. It wasn’t as difficult as it was when the Japanese were there. See, the Japanese didn’t speak our language,...
BARTEL: And there was a big barrier between us. They had to have interpreters most of the time. Then of course, later on, the Communists became stricter. [From this point on, Mrs. Bartel seems to be going through a list of written questions or her notes and responding to them.] And the Episcopalian mission was a day’s journey from us. That was the only one where there was a hospital.
BARTEL: That was a day’s journey from us, so we had no hospital in our area. And their mission board ordered their workers all to leave the field when...when it got restless, when we were still there. [pauses] Then, at Tsaohsien, we really had no...we had no relationship with the Catholics, as far as I recall. They were a great help to us, though, which I will refer to later on, when we were in the hands of the Japanese at Tsaochowfu. And most of our converts...seems to me...I mentioned this before, that they were orphan children, and....
CLARK: Did you have an orphanage there at....
BARTEL: At Tsaohsien.
BARTEL: That’s right, but that was discontinued before we came, see.
CLARK: That’s right.
BARTEL: Yeah, that was discontinued by then. But, there was much teaching...I mean preaching done. And many of the orphan children, in fact, I guess there were very few, that did not stay with the church, you know, that did not accept the Lord. And this very good result from that work.
CLARK: Uh-huh. And, so you did mention something about a relationship with Catholic missionaries. Were there Catholic missionaries in your area?
BARTEL: Well, they were quite far from us, but near Tsaochowfu. When we were in prison at Tsaochowfu, they.... [pauses] Here[ apparently points to a map]...Th...there were Catholic workers closer by.
CLARK: What types or classes of people did you come most in contact with? Was it the orphans that were....
BARTEL: That’s it. Most of the orphans, and then, of course the local farmers were poor people. And there were just very few with higher education, or what you would put above the middle class.
CLARK: The warlords, were they the middle class and upper class?
BARTEL: Beg your pardon?
CLARK: The warlords? Were they middle class and upper class?
BARTEL: Well, we didn’t have the...never talked about those. That...that’s new to me.
CLARK: They...I see, they weren’t....you didn’t know of any....
BARTEL: Don’t know of any.
CLARK: Any influence...
CLARK: ...in that area...
CLARK: ...of warlords. But you definitely, even starting with the local people, had Communists in your area, from the very early days?
BARTEL: It seems, when you read the literature, you find it that way.
BARTEL: But we didn’t know that.
CLARK: I see, it was just mainly the ideologies that they were new.
CLARK: Because there was a lot of changes coming through China, wanting to nationalize.
CLARK: What’s the effect of nationalization on your...in that area? I mean, did you sense it at...or was....
BARTEL: Very, very little.
CLARK: Becau...do you think...
BARTEL: There was just a little, possibly in...in dress, and there were a few that left the area, that went to coast cities or larger cities, where they went for higher education to create more knowledge, but....
CLARK: So you think among the lower classes it was...the effect of nationalism wasn’t that strong.
CLARK: Among the poverty people. I didn’t think so.
BARTEL: I didn’t think so.
CLARK: I see. Where...how close was the...where was the largest city, and how big was your city? This...this...where you were.
BARTEL: I’m very sorry, I couldn’t give you the population now, but if you definitely want it,...
CLARK: Well, I mean, was it...
BARTEL: Maybe someday I’ll find it.
CLARK: Was it big or...
BARTEL: Well, it was...now, it was a city.
CLARK: Was it more of a village type, or city type?
BARTEL: Well, it was a....they called it a city. It was inwalled [sic], you see, like the cities all were, and had a gate to the east. We were of the east suburb. And a gate to every direction, and those gates are guarded all the time. And the gates are generally closed for the night. And then, of course, we being in the east suburb, we have our own compound, our own walled city, brick city...I mean brick wall. Not as high as the Tsaohsien wall would be, but that also is...is kept closed, and had a gate man for the night, had a gate house, I mean a gate room.
BARTEL: Someone that sleeps next to the gate, and if there’s any disturbance, any call, he...he’s to be on watch.
CLARK: So I guess it was big enough to meet your needs, like, you didn’t have to go to some city off a way to get supplies or anything.
BARTEL: Oh, well, the ordinary supplies, you could get here, like flour and eggs...
BARTEL: ...and chickens, and....
CLARK: It wasn’t a matter of going to some far city that was bigger right away.
BARTEL: No. These...these little things. But, like, coffee, and sugar, and these luxuries, [chuckles] you’d have to either wait, or...or order them.
CLARK: I see. What was...move on some of these questions, what was the relationship to evangelism? [pauses] Like, in all your activities, of...of the orphanage, and education, and.... I don’t suppose you all were involved in medical work, were you?
BARTEL: No. We...
CLARK: That was other missionaries. Okay.
BARTEL: We had no hospital, but we did have one registered nurse, and she was....
CLARK: Well, in all the activities you had, what was the relationship of evangelism, and...and how did you go about in evangelizing the people? Was it through services you had, or...?
BARTEL: Well, the services were conducted much like ours, in...except we didn’t have all the announcements we have here [chuckles].
BARTEL: And simple hymns were translated, and they loved to sing them.
CLARK: Did you have any hymns that were written by the Chinese?
BARTEL: Those that we were [clears throat] we were using, mostly came from...from the States.
CLARK: Right. But they enjoyed those.
BARTEL: Translated. Uh-huh.
CLARK: Right. Did you have a lot of contact with the home mission board back in the States, or...
BARTEL: I could tell you one more ti...one more thing...
BARTEL: ...about the services.
BARTEL: In the smaller villages, they often had the Bible verse written out in characters, then the people that were not able to read (or even if they were able to read, they maybe didn’t have Bibles) and that way they were used on “posters,” we used to call them. They were used a good deal. The songs too, we used that way, especially if they were short. The songs. And then of course, they could learn much easier if they could see it...
BARTEL: ...in large characters. Yeah, then you were asking about...what was the next question?
CLARK: The home mission board. Did...did you all report consistently to the home mission board, and what effect did the mission board here in the states have on your work there?
BARTEL: Well, they would generally give us the results of their conferences, their meetings, here, and then, of course, we over there would have our annual conferences. But it was not very well organized. We represented quite a few churches...
BARTEL: ...you see, that way, we...we did not abide just...just by one....
CLARK: I think what I’m getting at is was there a lot.... You controlled, basically, the type of activity that you chose to go into, there wasn’t like.... Was it where the mission board here, did they specify what activities to do, or were you...were you left pretty much to see the need and pursue it?
BARTEL: I think it was left open a good deal, and ‘Father’ Bartel had a great vision for planning and seeing, and much of the time, it went his way [chuckles].
CLARK: Oh, I see. Where were they, where did they live?
BARTEL: Well, they were at....
CLARK: Henry Bartel.
BARTEL: They were at the same station we were...
BARTEL: ...’til it got restless. And then when it got very restless, then they went to West China.
CLARK: They did.
BARTEL: Yeah. We lived in the same house for several years. We had one room downstairs, and we had a large dining room together.
BARTEL: And any new workers that came, they’d be there, and the parents would be...they were upstairs, [Unclear].
CLARK: I see. How many was that, do you remember? Maybe half the time that you were in China?
BARTEL: That we were together?
BARTEL: No. Lois, Lenora and Ruthie [the children of Susan and Loyal Bartel] were born, and Lois was born in our own home. My husband wanted a home for ourselves. [chuckles] So he had, with the help of the natives, built a house.
CLARK: I see. When did this unrest start, and why did the...Henry Bartel and his wife decide to move on west?
BARTEL: Well, that was after the Communists...no, that was when the Japanese occupied, you see.
BARTEL: Because, one reason was that Father had never taken up citizenship.
BARTEL: And he felt it would be easier to work in a place the Japanese had not occupied, you know, and just be Chinese, like he always had worked.
BARTEL: And then, too, he seemingly had felt an urge to do more where the Word had not been preached.
CLARK: In the west.
CLARK: Uh-huh. I guess you’ve founded a very rewarding relationship to...with the Bartels. You call him “Father” Bartel.
BARTEL: Oh yes, uh-huh, yes. He was very, very dear to all of us.
CLARK: In explaining the Gospel to the Chinese.... Did you notice this question here about...in explaining the Gospel to the Chinese, how...was there any way that you had to adapt the understanding of the message, in their language, in their culture? Like, maybe, in illustrating it in their culture. Do you know pretty much what I mean?
BARTEL: Well, if I understand correctly, and then, it always took them very long, you know. They were slow in making sudden decisions. But as far as I recall, that after they had made their decisions [to become Christians], they remained true to their decisions, but I don’t know of anyone that would...would go and conduct an evangelistic meeting like we do here...
BARTEL: ...you know, and have so many accept Christ, because their background is different
CLARK: How do you...how do you think a person was brought to...I mean, I know everyone is different, perhaps, but how do you think a person was brought to where they made that decision? You’re calling it.... You know...I mean, it took a long time, but what made them finally come down and accept Christ?
BARTEL: Well, I think that one thing was their understanding, and another thing is...is obedience with it.
CLARK: Uh-huh. After they understood exactly that...the nature of obedience towards the Lord?
BARTEL: That’s the way I feel about it.
CLARK: Do you...what...what negative influences did you see in their understanding, that prevented a faster understanding? Do you understand what I mean? What held them back? Was it their...their own religion, or was it...what did you see as a major stumbling block in their understanding? That’s what I mean.
BARTEL: I think background and rebellion.
CLARK: Uh-huh. And how did you meet...how did you meet that? How did you talk...did you talk to the issue in your ser[mons]?
BARTEL: Well, see I wasn’t a pastor...
BARTEL: ...so I couldn’t say very much about that.
CLARK: I see, I see. Well, I can understand...I can understand that. So, do you know of some of the typical reactions to the Gospel? [pauses]
BARTEL: Well, there were....Now, just exactly how far are we now?
CLARK: Let’s see.. Excuse me. [pauses] “What were some typical reactions to the Gospel?” And then, on...on down. [pauses]
CLARK: Or perhaps we could talk about the Chinese service. You were talking about how they sing hymns.
CLARK: Do...what was the order of service for a Chinese service? [pauses]
BARTEL: Well, [pauses] the order.... I thought we did talk a little bit about the service, didn’t we?
CLARK: Right. The singing...
BARTEL: Not much like ours, and...
CLARK: The singing.
BARTEL: Yes, and then, of course, like, smaller groups, a chart would be needed. In our large chapels...
BARTEL: ...the pastor would pre...read God’s Word, and preach.
CLARK: That’s right, I remember you explaining this.
BARTEL: And the...the benches are all without backs, you know, without backs, but they sit there, faithfully, ‘til it’s all over, and...
CLARK: How many would come to the services that your husband conducted?
BARTEL: Well, it would depend on what...where he was conducting, because at Tsaohsien,...
CLARK: Or, in your area, in your area.
BARTEL: In our area, the native pastors would generally take over, unless my husband would be asked by them.
CLARK: Oh, so they were leaders from among the Chinese.
BARTEL: Yes, quite a few churches.... My husband wanted the natives to...to have charge, so the church would go on when the missionary would be gone. Like, it may interest you (or did I tell you this last time) when the last baptism, the pastor was baptizing, there were twelve dozen, 144, and the pastor - the native pastor - was far on in years, and he said to Loyal, he said: “Now, how are we going to do it?” He said “My strength is failing, and I am weak, and would you help?” And, “Sure,” he says, “I’ll help you baptize ‘til you feel that your legs are beginning to tremble, until you get weary, and you raise your hand, and I’ll step right in, and take your place.” And that’s the way they did it. I thought that was very precious.
CLARK: That was, yeah. How often did you...would you have a baptism?
BARTEL: That’s the only time I remember such a large baptism. Yeah, that’s the only...and that was, if I’m correct, it was in the summer of ‘48.
CLARK: Summer of ‘48, right there towards the end.
BARTEL: Before we left.
CLARK: Do you....mainly, would you like to share what you have prepared on your...for this session, and I just want to sort of understand your reactions and your preparations for today. So if you’d share....
BARTEL: Well, concerning the meetings, I have...I don’t have a lot. It’s...you know, to teach and explain a verse, like I said, and of course, for the older churches of more mature Christians, they have long sermons. But for the younger Christians, they’ll just have a shorter verse or two...
BARTEL: to...to get them started.
CLARK: Right. What else had you looked up and prepared to share in this interview? Concerning what topics, so I can....
BARTEL: Well, did...was there something about annual...oh, about the annual conference we did already?
CLARK: Right. You said something about the mission boards would have an annual conference here and send you information on that. And then you would have an annual conference. Did you want to share anything more about the annual...
BARTEL: That’s all I have, I...I don’t have an awful lot on some of these things.
CLARK: Oh, that’s okay. We don’t want to limit you...or, we don’t want to put you...we don’t want to give you the wrong idea, that said that...that you have to share in these areas. So, anything that you have prepared to share for this time, you know, or any concluding statements for this time, and then we can plan on another.... Perhaps let me say...let me ask you this, what... [sighs] what were some of the difficulties that you experienced in your time in...before the fighting and the wars started in China? What were...up until the time that the Japanese invaded, which was seventy... ‘37?
CLARK: What were some...what were some of the impressions or difficulties that you had as missionaries there? Do you remember any impressions from those prewar years?
BARTEL: Well, there of course, is the struggle with the language, but like I’ve said before, I did have my husband to fall back on.
BARTEL: ...and then of course, we had illness, which made it difficult...
BARTEL: ...for a while, and the house help that you have can be a very big help, at the same time, you have to learn to trust them complet...completely, because it’s so easy to find somebody that stealing is sin, but when nobody sees it, then you see then that it isn’t sin. [chuckles]
BARTEL: And so the help has to be trained, that you have for...the house help, you know.
BARTEL: And, not that we had any...any big problems with it, but you still remember that....
CLARK: When do you think the first trouble...that you noticed that the first trouble was...serious trouble in the country was brewing.... Do you remember when you all...was there a time when you all discussed that there was really trouble coming up, really trouble ahead?
BARTEL: Yes, because we had no forecasts, we had no news papers, and so we didn’t know how close the trouble actually was, ‘til...’til they were at our door almost.
CLARK: This is the Japanese.
BARTEL: The Japanese, yeah. That was much harder on me than the Communists, because I wasn’t there long enough for the Communists to be much trouble.
CLARK: I see. I was wondering, should we save the talking about the Japane...the Japanese experiences in the years during the Japanese until our...another session, or shall we...
BARTEL: I think we have to.
BARTEL: It seems like the time has gone kind of fast.
CLARK: I think it has. So is there any concluding remarks about what we have so far, coming up to this point?
BARTEL: No. I was wondering, did you want to look at some if the pictures today?
CLARK: I certainly would be interested..
CLARK: Thank you.
BARTEL: It might help you a little when I [Tape recorder turned off as the reel of tape was flipped to the other side and then back on]
CLARK: I’m sure that will be fine, thank you. [pauses] So, I’m sorry. What...what year was this, that your mother-in-law died?
BARTEL: In [Pauses] ‘40.... I don’t have the exact date here.
CLARK: But it was in the ‘40s? It was during the war years?
BARTEL: I’m sorry. Yes. No, it was just before the Japanese occupied. Just before the Japanese occupied.
CLARK: [Pauses. Clark is studying Bartel’s photographs from China.] I notice that there is only men.... Oh, no. There’s women here. Where are you?
BARTEL: Right here in front.
CLARK: Right here.
CLARK: Oh yeah. And this is your husband?
BARTEL: Yes. Uh-huh. Those are...those are all men in the back. But, no, there’s some women too.
CLARK: Yes, the women are...yes, right. I was looking.... The men are in the back and the women sit in the front. Is that a custom for pictures or just the way it was arranged for this?
BARTEL: No, I think it was just the way it was arranged for this.
CLARK: I see
CLARK: But.... Was...did your father-in-law come to this memorial service?
BARTEL: Not to this, because he was at the funeral in the west, where she was buried. This young couple, he was a Bible student. By the way, she was a Bible student too, a graduate from the Bible school.
CLARK: There in your...your station?
BARTEL: Yes. But, this picture was not taken at Tsaohsien. This was taken at the coast. You can see that, it’s a little more formal.
CLARK: Oh, I see, I see. That would be the different...it would look...a different type of picture if it were in your area?
BARTEL: Yes. Now, have you heard of the bound feet?
CLARK: Right, uh-huh.
BARTEL: That...that’s the way they are. You see, when they walked, they walked on their heels, and that’s very hard for them. Now, she looks like she has very...is very fat, but that’s wadded...a wadded garment.
CLARK: Oh, for the weather, cold weather?
BARTEL: Yes, uh-huh.
CLARK: Uh-huh. Did the practice continue in your area of bound feet?
BARTEL: No, it was just those that lived in the country and had observed that custom constantly and they kept it up, there were not too many.
CLARK: Did you ever have to deal with that, as far as discouraging it?
BARTEL: No, we sort of left it all up to them.
CLARK: You did.
CLARK: That’s an example, though [in the photo].
BARTEL: Yeah. Here’s an older couple.
CLARK: Is this the same lady?
BARTEL: No. It’s not the same.
CLARK: Oh, no, I see. Did you know these people?
BARTEL: Yeah. This was my...our pastor’s...these were our pastor’s parents.
CLARK: [pauses] Uh-huh. What was the weather like in...in that area? Was it high in the mountains?
BARTEL: No, just flat.
CLARK: Flat, and much like Chicago weather, I mean as far as cold and hot, or...?
BARTEL: No, I think much.... Yes, but we didn’t have as deep a snow as we have had here.
CLARK: Not as much snow.
BARTEL: He’s an evangelist [pointing to someone in the photo], he...Huang ming tao [sp?] and, he gave us that picture of his family. He didn’t live in our area, he was a traveling evangelist.
CLARK: They came by your station?
BARTEL: Yes, uh-huh. Here’s a picture of graduates.
CLARK: Uh-huh. Who is this?
BARTEL: That’s Loyal.
CLARK: That’s Loyal.
CLARK: He looked different than over here.
BARTEL: Oh does he? Well,...
CLARK: The way he looks before this picture.
CLARK: Right, A bit...quite a bit younger here. This must have been like, in the 30's
BARTEL: Yeah, a little earlier. Uh-huh.
CLARK: And some of your graduates from the Bible school.
BARTEL: Yes, uh-huh. This...this one here, he was the writing teacher. He was also my teacher, and he wears white shoes because he’s mourning, some relative must have died. So still he’s wearing white shoes.
CLARK: Uh-huh [pauses].
BARTEL: And this was Wong, [sp?] you see, he’s with the Lord now, too. We all liked him very much. He was minister at Tsaochowfu station.
BARTEL: And this was Mati Jo [sp?] and his family, he’s one of Loyal’s good friends from boyhood, and it’s taken by our house, have some hollyhocks there.
CLARK: And that’s where you all lived.
BARTEL: Uh-huh. It’s his family’s.
CLARK: Did you all live in...after your husband decided that he wanted to have a separate home (you mentioned that earlier)
CLARK: And you...he built a home?
CLARK: And this was it, and you lived in it for a long time?
BARTEL: Yeah. After that yes, but he had to give it up after the Communists came.
CLARK: In ‘48.
CLARK: Do...maybe we’ll talk more about this later, but did you...do you know why they asked him to give it up?
BARTEL: Oh, well they took...either they made their mission buildings into offices, or they took them down completely.
CLARK: I see, and so this served as your mission building...your home and you had people in too?
BARTEL: No, this one, it was just our home.
CLARK: Just your home.
BARTEL: Yeah. [pauses] He was our cook for a while, in the kitchen, Sol Ti Fung [sp?]. As far as I know, he’s the only one that ever came from the Muslims.
CLARK: Was he...did he ever...converted?
BARTEL: Yes. He’s Christian.
CLARK: Oh, and came from the Muslim background, you’re saying. Every Chinese person who worked on the station, like as your helps, and servants, and things like this, were they all Christians?
BARTEL: There was one we did not...he did not publicly confess the Lord, and we don’t know if he later on did, but he was with the mission a long time. He was a good cook.
CLARK: But mostly they were Christians...
BARTEL: Oh, yes, uh-huh.
CLARK: ...that were....
BARTEL: This is a family picture. Three generation family picture.
CLARK: Right here?
BARTEL: The parents. The parents and then the...the son and his wife, and then the grandchildren. The father has very poor eyes, evidently.
CLARK: I see. Uh-huh.
BARTEL: Because they can be very pretty, if they do a little something, you know. This is another picture of the Bible school, another time. And Emma was Loyal’s cousin, and she was a nurse, a trained nurse, and at that time, she had responsibility with the women.
CLARK: What age groups atten...could attend the school?
BARTEL: Well, they were not very limited because these younger girls...
CLARK: But then there’s some older people.
BARTEL: ...they were in it. Yes. I noticed it’s...like this old fellow.
BARTEL: I don’t know how he got in there. And then, of course, many of them are evangel...turned out to be evangelists.
BARTEL: Ha Ping Lee [sp?] and Mao tse Tun [sp?]. Some of them I remember by names, and Sol Tin Min [sp?] but....
CLARK: You know, one thing that I’m surprised at, as I look at these pictures is their dark...a lot of them are darker complexion than I had supposed. I thought that...that, say, most of the Chinese were.... Like she seems a lot lighter, these in here, than like, this person, or this person’s complexion.
BARTEL: I think the picture has something to do with it too...
CLARK: Oh, I see.
BARTEL: ...I believe. But at the same time, Emma’s face is much whiter, than...than here, see?
BARTEL: This is a picture of missionaries. That’s my mother-in-law, and that’s the father, the father, the founder of the work. And then, that’s P.P. [?] Baltzer and this is his wife, and then...
BARTEL: Baltzer, yeah. And the little girl died on TB [tuberculosis], and Harold is their son.
CLARK: What did you say his first...
BARTEL: Baltzer. B-A-L-T-Z-E-R.
CLARK: Oh, L-T. I know some missionaries in Africa, Balzer without the T. With the....
BARTEL: Oh. Now, these are all with the Lord, except this one is still living.
BARTEL: And those two are with the Lord, and...
CLARK: What’s her name?
BARTEL: Aganetha Regier. And then, of course, this is our brother Jonathan, he’s a missionary to Japan, since China was closed. See, Loyal’s bro...youngest brother. And that’s his younger sister.
CLARK: Right here?
BARTEL: Uh-huh, yeah. This is my oldest baby, Lenora.
CLARK: Th...this is you?
CLARK: And where is Loyal? Oh, right. Oh, I see. Yeah. [pauses] Do you know how soo....let’s see, this...how many years do you think you would have been in China, by this picture taken? By the time this picture was taken?
BARTEL: How...how...how long ago?
CLARK: How long were you in China at this picture?
BARTEL: Oh. Well, three years, I think.
CLARK: Three years.
BARTEL: Uh-huh. [pauses] This is another Bible school picture, group.
CLARK: Uh-huh. Do you know what the numbers are [in the picture]?
BARTEL: Yes, it’s given in the back.
CLARK: Oh, I see.
BARTEL: The names are given in the back.
CLARK: 1932. [pauses]
BARTEL: Yeah, these are all Christian workers.
CLARK: [pauses] Uh-huh.
BARTEL: Yeah, this is Oh Lee Muso [sp?] that I spoke of, doing the baptizing.
CLARK: Oh, yes. Uh-huh.
BARTEL: This is winter here, see, all with wadded clothes. See, the churches and chapels are not heated at all. So, they always all...the women all make the family’s winter clothes. It’s very much work, my.
BARTEL: Now, this is brighter, a little bit brighter.
CLARK: That’s another graduating class.
CLARK: Really something.
BARTEL: And this was taken before that, when Uncle Schrag was still living, when the school was at Tsaohsien...at Tsaochowfu.
CLARK: Uncle Schrag, was that...how was that...how was he related?
BARTEL: No, in no way.
CLARK: Oh, I see.
BARTEL: Only. respecting him, you know.
CLARK: I see. [pauses] And this was....
BARTEL: This...this one of the old man, I don’t know just why we have him in such a big picture, but... [Chuckles, sighs]
CLARK: I see.
BARTEL: Here’s a couple with their mother. Some of these pictures have endured a lot. See, they’ve been ripped and....
CLARK: Oh, yes.
BARTEL: That’s another.
CLARK: It’s...why...is it common to have.... Like, you say most of the costumes is dark, or the dress is dark and plain,...
BARTEL: Uh-huh, yeah.
CLARK: But then, some like this,...
BARTEL: The children must have pretty ones, especially boys.
CLARK: Oh, really?
CLARK: Do you know why that is?
BARTEL: Well, because they’re happy for them, and...
CLARK: That’s interesting.
BARTEL: And cheer.
CLARK: So they brighten up the boy’s costumes or...or dress.
BARTEL: [chuckles] Yes. [pauses] Did you have time to read the book? Part of it?
CLARK: I’ve started it, and I want to finish before we...I do want to get....
BARTEL: That’s the way we...they always draw the water, open wells,.
BARTEL: And then, later on, they’d put a cover over it. And, they fill the gong in the kitchen, and then all the water is being boiled, before it’s used. This is a conference meeting.
BARTEL: Very small.
CLARK: Is...I don’t know if you can see this well. Is this your husband right here?
CLARK: I notice one change. In the Bible school pictures, he has on like, a...a, like a more western dress, you know?
BARTEL: He...some...some...sometimes, he did, and then...
CLARK: But here he has on the same dress,...
BARTEL: Yeah, that’s a Chinese gown.
CLARK: He switched back and forth, quite often?
BARTEL: Well, toward the last, he had mostly native, because he didn’t want to stand out, didn’t want to have anything against him. Because some of the soldiers were so silly, they’re out just raking about small things, they’d come and make a big affair. One time, they said “Oh, you foreign woman.” to me. That was during one time... “wearing that foreign garment.” “Oh,” I said “[Phrase in Chinese]” I said, “Pardon me, but this last didn’t have enough yarn to make sleeves in.” See, we made a vest, instead of...of a sweater. And they said “Oh, you foreign woman, you should be ashamed.” And telling me bad things. And then, afterwards, he said “Oh,” he said “my, they’re so...they’re so saving that even making something with when there isn’t enough yarn to put sleeves in.” [laughs]
BARTEL: That’s the father with workers going out to a village. The last years, he was around...very much concerned in going out with some of the others, because we had an ordained minister on the field. I mean, on the station, I should say. This is Loyal going to the Yellow River bed. We had to cross the Yellow River bed and....
CLARK: Pull the car through, with horse...or, mules.
CLARK: Or cows.
BARTEL: Those are oxen.
CLARK: Or oxen.
BARTEL: Yeah. In the dry season, you could go through without any aid, but during the rainy season, you know, it was all flooded.
BARTEL: Here’s a cute little boy.
BARTEL: This is Aganetha Regier. Often in the cities, they’d have rickshaws...
BARTEL: ...to travel by, but in our area, we mostly had wheelbarrows...
BARTEL: for one person.
CLARK: Well, this has been very interesting. I’m sorry that it went longer than we had thought, for today.
BARTEL: Well, I hope there’s something that’s going to be useful to you.
CLARK: Oh, certainly. [Rustling papers] I.... [Tape cuts off]
END OF TAPE