This is a complete and accurate transcript of the second oral history interview of Helen Nowack Frame (Collection 255, T2) by Paul Ericksen in the Frames' home in Chicago, Illinois. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English words or phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. Foreign terms which are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The interviewer would interject "Um-hmm" or "Un-huh" occasionally, but these were not transcribed unless they came at a definite break in the conversation. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was attempting to say. Readers should remember that this is a transcription of spoken English, which of course follows a different rhythm and rule than written English. Place names in non-Western alphabets are spelled in the transcript in the old or new transliteration form according to how the speaker pronounced them. Thus, Peking is used instead of Beijing if that is how the interviewee pronounced it. Chinese terms and phrases which could be understood were spelled as they were pronounced with some attempt made to identify the accepted transliterated form which corresponds to it. During this interview, noise from trucks, automobiles and airplanes can be heard almost constantly and so these notations were not added to the text.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence 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 made by the transcriber.
This transcription was made by Janyce H. Nasgowitz and Greg Thompson and was completed in April 1995.
Collection 255, T2. Interview of Helen Nowack Frame by Paul A. Ericksen, September 13, 1983.
ERICKSEN: This is an interview with Helen Nowack Frame by Paul Ericksen for the Missionary Sources Collection of Wheaton College. This interview took place at the Frames' home in Chicago, Illinois, on September 13, 1983, at 9:45 A.M. Well, Mrs. Frame, when we finished talking last time, we had just begun talking about your return to China after World War II had ended in 19...late 1945, early 1946. Do you recall any of your impressions when you first got back to China, seeing, perhaps, evidence of the war? Anything that struck you when you got back to China?
FRAME: [As Ericksen is speaking] Well...well, at first, we were living in Shanghai, and I was there longer than my husband because he had to go back and...go back inland to Anking and get the buildings all ready for the language school because everything had been torn up and...and our whole...whole premises had to be done up again. The windows were out and the floors. They had made fires on the floor...wooden floors.
ERICKSEN: Who? The Japanese?
FRAME: The Japanese, and even kept their horses, I guess, [laughs] inside. And...and so we...my husband had to go ahead and he couldn't take myself and my children into that situation right away and so we stayed in Shanghai for some months. And it was a bit trying, but we had a nice premises there, and a nice compound.
ERICKSEN: In Shanghai?
FRAME: Yes. We got back our same...same compound and, of course, things were a bit torn up and everything, but it was our...our compound, and we lived well there. And it....
ERICKSEN: [As Frame is still speaking] Now, excuse me, was that the...the headquarters...? [Ericksen continues to speak, but it is unclear as Frame is louder]
FRAME: That's our mission headquarters on Sinza road in Shanghai, and the troops were all going home then. And the mission was able to get big stocks of army supplies for just a matter of transporting them back to the mission home. So they got lots of canned goods like coffee and [pauses]...what was it? [pauses]...what's the pie you make [laughs] at Christmas time, that's in tin cans...filling? I can't even remember. My mind's not that good anymore.
ERICKSEN: That's okay.
FRAME: Never mind.
ERICKSEN: We don't have pie at Christmas, so...[laughs]
FRAME: Minced...minced meat.
FRAME: Yes. They had minced pie often, and big tins [laughs]. We had so much of it at Anking that we got pretty tired of it and made it into cookies and cake and all sorts of things [laughs]. But we were very grateful for all the tinned...tinned material. I don't know if they say tinned in this country or canned. One's British and one's American. I forget which is which.
ERICKSEN: Can you describe the compound a little in Shanghai?
FRAME: Well, it has...it had two big buildings. One was the administration building with four stories, and then there was a big building at the back, five stories, where missionaries would come and go and reside, or if they had to get some very neces...medical treatment, those living near the coast. Those inland didn't ever get there. And they had a common dining room and we had...Ray and I had two rooms there with the two children when we were there. And they had servants to clean...clean the place and to work in the kitchen, a Chinese cook, and Chinese servants. And....
ERICKSEN: [As Frame is still speaking] So did you get Chinese cooking?
FRAME: No, we had generally Britishers. They were...there...there were more of them and often it was a British lady who was in charge of the dining room. Some were there for many years and did a good job. And the fifth floor was a...a hospital where...Dr. [Paul] Adolph was there at the time when I was there. And when we came out I had a miscarriage and was up in the hospital two or three months before I lost the baby. And....
ERICKSEN: [As Frame is still speaking] Which year was that in?
FRAME: That was...let's see, we came out in '51, so I imagine that was 19...around 1950. About that time or '49. No, it could have been '49 or '50, I forget which. And the other was Administration building for the whole of China. Our...our B.D. department, B.D., Business Department. We called it just the B.D. And when we wanted to order stores for inland China, we would send for the B.D., and they would send stores way inland for us. And you have to think ahead for baking powder and [laughs] all sorts of things, three months...three or four months ahead. You...you couldn't wait until you were out of things. You had to think ahead. And then the...also, there was a big box room down in the basement of one of the buildings where all the freight coming and going and missionaries coming and going from foreign countries that came. And we had a very fine business manager who met the boats, or met the trains from inland, or the boats from inland, too, or up and down the coast, or from other countries. We...it was really busy. You had...always had to haggle with the [laughs]...the coolies the price and there was no set price, so that was lots of fun, I guess, for the business manager. And [pause]...and all the correspondents, and the...the secretaries, they lived in the business administration building. They each had their own little place and ate at a common dining room just among themselves. And so they had a little more privacy. And there were...there were quite a lot...lot of apartments for those working in Shanghai. Those who lived there all the time and worked there, they had their own apartments and ate in their own apartments.
ERICKSEN: What about the grounds between the buildings? Were they large and spacious?
FRAME: There was a...a good size ground for the children to play in at the back. There...there was...I don't think they did too much work like on the compound amongst the Chinese. I may be wrong. I'm sure they had meetings for the workers on the compound, but I mean generally, if their work was in the city, they would go out to these various places and do the work, like university students, or...or different church connections. Those living there often had practical work with...with Chinese organizations.
ERICKSEN: What kind of neighborhood was the compound in?
FRAME: It was an ordinary Chinese street. It wasn't right in the middle of the business section. But it was a nice area, I think. [Pauses.] Oh, yes. I remember when I was up in the hospital, it was just about the time.... At one time they...when the communists took over, we had come down from Anking for the last year or two of those five years we were there because of fear of the communists. And we had had the language school. The mission sent out new workers. I guess everybody thought [laughs] they were crazy to do it at that time...time because everybody was fleeing from China, and there were very few other missionaries in China at that time. But we had the language school. I think another man, Mr. Dunn, Mr. Gordon Dunn, was in charge at that time of the language school. And, of course, Ray was teaching still, and the Japanese did take over while we were there. And I remember one night in the hospital, I was getting to bed. And I was standing at the window, and saw this plane way up high in the sky and these tracer bullets going in every direction against it. And the poor thing was trying to get...get away from the...the tracer bullets. And finally we saw it hurtle down. We couldn't see where it hurtled but you could see that it was hit and came down.
ERICKSEN: Now, was that Japanese or communist?
FRAME: That was...by this time it was communist, yeah, this was communist because when we went back the Japanese were already defeated. So, it was a communist. They took advantage of the situation.
ERICKSEN: So this is while you were in the hospital that you saw all this out the window?
FRAME: I saw this...this one occurrence, yes, and then we...we heard the guns. And then one night we heard some shooting very near and news came somehow that the communists had taken over. And some of the leaders fled, but others stood by their posts as they were ordered and got shot. And for the next day was really our...was it the year-end day of prayer?...or was it in the middle of the year? We had two days of prayer, one in the middle of the year, and one at the end. It...no, it must have been the end of the year and the next day was the day of prayer. And we were told to stay in that first day, and so we stayed in and then I think the order went out that people should just go on living normally and not be afraid of...of the communists. The communists themselves gave these orders and I think the next day we had the day of prayer and we went out on the streets. And at the different corners were soldiers with their bayonets, almost at every corner. And quite a lot of them were from the north, so we could understand their...their language better than the Shanghai dialect. We couldn't understand, but the soldiers from the north, they looked pretty bedraggled. I guess they had been fighting no end. We could understand what they said because they were talking Chinese. Of course, we didn't stop to talk to them, but every once and a while they'd accost somebody. But at first, right at first, nothing happened. But later on it was hard for the...the leaders in the compound. They had to deal with the communist leaders. But we ourselves, we just didn't go around, we just walked.... Actually, we were living...later we were living off the compound in the Lutheran headquarters, what was the Lutheran headquarters which they just handed over [laughs]. And...
ERICKSEN: They handed it over when they left?
FRAME: Yes, they left. And [pauses] it was very wonderful the way the Lord arranged for our mission to evacuate. After '51, they decided...at the end of '50, no, I guess just before the turn of the year, they decided that we would all evacuate China because we were becoming an embarrassment to...to the people. If they were seen with foreigners, they...it wasn't very safe for them, so they...they realized that we couldn't do missionary work much after that. And to evacuate...to evacuate over six hundred missionaries was no small thing. And earlier they had established a headquarters in Hong Kong, where gifts of money and the support was sent to Hong Kong. But to get that money into China, the inflation was so bad that American money wasn't worth anything by the time you got it changed into Chinese. But the Lord so arranged it that a...a medical group, I guess they were in the government, were able...were able to rent all our property...they were able to rent all our property because at that time we couldn't draw out any of the money we had in the banks in China. And they...this medical team paid three years in advance, three years rent in advance, and that was enough to bring out all our missionaries instead of sending any money into China at that time. And when we got to...to Hong Kong, rather than rent hotel space for an indefinite time, until people could get boating, they sent the missionaries home as fast as they came out, rather than staying in Hong Kong. Because China was closed and they didn't know then just what they were going to do about the future of the mission. And so there was a Christian businessman in Shanghai, he got permission from the British government to...to rent this...these quonset huts. They...they weren't good enough [laughs] for the soldiers anymore. They were all rusted and...and in bad shape. And he fixed it up. I guess the mission paid for it, and wired...wired up all these quonsets huts, about six or seven. One was used for a dining room and another had to do for washroom facilities. And he got it all fixed up and the...the British government loaned the mission two hundred camp cots and a lot of army blankets. And as they came out, we were put into these...[clears throat] women and children in...in different ones, and the men in a...another...another quonset, or another two quonset, whatever it was. And as soon as people came out, they were sent home to their various countries. And they hired caterers to do all the...to bring the dishes, to do the cooking, and prepare for the whole gang in this one big quonset. And...and so...so, in that way the mission paid ever so much less for our evacuation. I mean, they just couldn't have met the...met the big hotel bills and all that. And...and then there was the passage money. Of course, lots of people were sending...sending out money for passage for their friends and...and people in their church and everything. So that the Lord supplied these needs in a marvelous way.
ERICKSEN: How did you get to Hong Kong?
FRAME: We...we had to get a permit. We had to go downtown, and oh, the streets were lined with Chinese, demonstrating. Mao Tse-tung's picture held up high and [laughs], one day we, Ray and I, went...we had to go down to...I guess the Chinese consulate and get a permit. And we had to have a...a Chinese to...to stand behind us and...guarantee us. And we got this permit and then when enough of us, I guess, or as soon as we got permits they would take us to the train., our...our helpers, our Chi...Chinese and missionary helpers. We would go to the train station and we were permitted to get on the train and go down to Hong...well, we didn't go right to Hong Kong. We went to the other side. There's a bridge...there's a bridge there, and [we] had to get out there and have all our things examined again, all our cases and everything. And then we walked over the bridge. I guess somebody carried our things. I don't remember. And, oh, my, that was a wonderful feeling to get...get some free...freedom again [laughs]. I think of Mr. [Ernest?] Carlburg from Wheaton, he...he [laughs] kneeled down and kissed the ground when he [laughs] got on the other side [laughs], and saw the British flag. It's...it's such a relief, you know. You just...it's such a strain otherwise.
ERICKSEN: Was the tension pretty persistent?
FRAME: [As Ericksen is speaking] Well, you just...you...you just know that you're...I think it was worse for the leaders. We didn't suffer too much. At that time, Shanghai was a showplace and they didn't clamp down as much as later on, you know. Some of our missionaries from inland China...some were treated pretty...pretty rough. And they came down on these boats with very poor facilities and came down the Yangtze River...and they...some of them had a real...very rough time, and were quite sick. And...and...but we in Shanghai fared much better because we didn't have that inland trip to take.
ERICKSEN: When you did have contact with the communists, how did they treat you?
FRAME: Well, the only ones we had contact with were those that examined our baggage.
ERICKSEN: That was the only time?
FRAME: That's...that's the only time we had real confrontation.
ERICKSEN: [As Frame is still speaking] Even when you were in Shanghai?
FRAME: Yes. Well, the leaders had to meet with them, but just the ordinary missionary who wasn't responsible.... We...we didn't have any trouble.
ERICKSEN: You say there was a confrontation when they examined your baggage. What was that like?
FRAME: Well, we just watched them examine our baggage [laughs]. We had to be careful what was in our baggage. I mean some things we might have taken that...or take...not taken because of that, but...because they were so suspicious of everything. You know, they...they'd...this plane now, or they'd tell you it's a spy plane. They'd just make up stories, you know.
ERICKSEN: When you went...you say you and Ray went down to get permission to leave with the Chinese persons backing you. Would you have to meet the Communists then, too?
FRAME: Oh, yes. We had to answer their questions and....
ERICKSEN: What did you do then?
FRAME: Well, they asked why we were leaving China. I guess we said we...we can't do missionary work anymore, and we find we are an embarrassment to them. I...I don't remember just what it was. We had to be very careful. I guess Ray did most of the answering for us.
ERICKSEN: Did you...did you know the sort of things they were going to ask you ahead of time?
FRAME: No, you don't know. Or...or he may have heard some...some things from others. But the...the leaders, they stayed on until practically everybody came out. There were only two or three who just didn't come out for a year or two. There was a couple, the Matthews, Mr. Matthews and someone else. Mr. Matthews was here in our headquarters for a long time and he...he and somebody else, they were house bound up in West China for a year or so before they were allowed out. Maybe a year or two. Some took almost two years. There's a very interesting book (I imagine the mission would have sent it to the Center) on the...the...The Reluctant Exodus [by Phyllis Taylor], it's called. And it tells about the leaving China.
ERICKSEN: Let's back up just a little to when you first got back to China in 1946. What was...what was the position the communists had then? Did anyone realize that they were....
FRAME: [As Ericksen is still speaking] Well, they were busy in...in North China, but they hadn't reached down...down in central and South China yet. They had taken over North China quite...quite sometime, I think. Or at least they were taking over.
ERICKSEN: Was there any sense of what was going to happen in the next five years back in 1946?
FRAME: I think so. I remember when...when we went up to Ji...Kuling, which was another summer resort. That one summer we were up there Madam Chiang and his wife [she means Chiang Kai-shek and his wife] were up there. And that was when [General Douglas] MacArthur went up there to...to interview the...the Generalisimo. 'Course there were early uprisings like in '26, 1926...there were some early uprisings and I think [Rudolf Alfred] Bosshardt and [Arnolis] Hayman were into the hands of communists at an earlier date. And, you see, John and Betty Stam were murdered earlier on . That...that was in...in...central China in Anhwei province. But they hadn't spread quite to the extent they did later. But we knew...we knew there was trouble. And the mission did their best to try to keep people away from the trouble, you know.
ERICKSEN: Was there any sentiment among the missionaries to leave earlier than the mission did?
FRAME: Well, I think...I think some were told they could go, and some did, some who had churches backing them or relatives who persuaded them to leave. And maybe they felt led to leave. So some...some left early. There...there were a few in that last year of language school at Shanghai, which was forty...I guess in '49...no, '48 maybe, who...forty...maybe '48, who flew west and they had a language school going. In '49, they had a language school going in West China, but they had their problems, too [laughs], later on. But the Lord brought out every missionary safely. Every missionary, and there were six hundred plus. There were very few other missionaries. There's an...an occasional [siren] missionary who just would not leave. I think one...one man died in West China. His wife and, I think, his children went to Wheaton College. I forget the name now. But I think the father died in China. He just didn't feel led to leave.
ERICKSEN: What was it like, staying at the mission when most of the other missions were evacuating China much earlier?
FRAME: Well, I think even some...some in our mission didn't...didn't feel...feel quite right about it. And there...there...there were differences of opinion. But the leadership felt led to stay, so...in our mission, you...you obey your leaders. But it's marvelous how the Lord brought everyone out.
ERICKSEN: Speaking of the leaders, can you recall anything about the general directors during your time in China?
FRAME: Well, Bishop [Frank] Houghton met us at the train when we came out, I remember.
ERICKSEN: Back in '30....?
FRAME: That was...no, this was when we came out, '50....
ERICKSEN: Oh, I see.
FRAME: No. [Pauses.] No. That was when we went from Shanghai to Hong Kong. He was there to meet us. He was already out. That's right.
ERICKSEN: What can you remember about him? What sort of man was he?
FRAME: He was very, very fine...very.... He did what he felt was right. Others...some maybe didn't feel he did what was right, but he...he did what he thought was right, and I think he had a lot of conflicts. But he was a...he was a very fine man. Very...he's British, and most of our leaders have been British. Hudson Taylor now is of British background [laughs]. His father came to this country, and so he got his education in this country.
ERICKSEN: Was there ever any conflict in the mission, perhaps between American missionaries and British leadership just because of cultural differences?
FRAME: Not too much. They...they...were friendly. I guess they often put Americans with Americans and British with British, although the workers I worked with, for the most part, were...were British before I was married.
ERICKSEN: Who...going back to general directors, who was the general director before Bishop Houghton?
FRAME: D. E. [Dixon Edward] Hoste. No. And then there was...I think.... Oh, I can't remember. Gib...Gibson or something. No, I can't...Gibbs, I think,...Gibbs [George W. Gibb]. And...and there was Mr. [John R.] Sinton, who...who was.... I guess he was...I don't think he was General Director, but he was near the top, a very fine British man, very fine. And D. E. Hoste was leader when I went out to China, and he was the one that came down to the language school and designated us, each one. He was a great prayer warrior. He knew all the missionaries and their families by heart. He prayed...prayed for hours every day.
ERICKSEN: Were these different men...were they very personable? Did you feel close to them? Were they more distant leaders?
FRAME: No, they were very friendly, but I mean the ordinary missionary didn't...didn't see too much of them because...because they had their work and we weren't at headquarters very much, you know. No, they were...they were very friendly [laughs]. And my husband always repeats this, that Mr. D. E. Hoste said...after we were married, he said, "I suppose you're the Frame and your wife is the picture" [laughs]. He had a high squeaky voice [laughs]. He...he'd like...he'd...he'd joke about things but sometimes [laughs] some people didn't always take it as a joke [Ericksen laughs]. Like our senior worker. She was told, "I suppose you are averse to prayer," and the poor dear...she had two sets of twins, and one in between. I guess she had enough to do [laughs] without spending the time in a public prayer meeting [laughs]. And that always...that got her down. But he was just joking.
ERICKSEN: Do you recall the classes of people that you had contact with through your whole time in China?
FRAME: Well, our province was one...one of the poorest in China. It's the province where the Lord has done the most these...these last years when you hear about China, or Honan, H-E-N-A-N, they spell it now. We used to spell it H-O-N-A-N. It means south of the river. "Ho" is river and "nan" is south. And it was a very poor province and women had never gone to school and.... But they were having schools by the time we had been there a few years. They were having schools for girls and boys. But the people as a whole were very poor. And Ray would see...would mix with the men, which...who had...had education...some had had good education, but the women, not so much. Although they worked hard to...to push forward in those days. There were a lot of women that wanted to learn.
ERICKSEN: Was literacy...illiteracy a big problem in terms of evangelism?
FRAME: No, I don't think so. They'd have these posters. The Religious Tract Society was a very good society, and they made big evangelistic posters about...like the cross and people carrying burdens and their burdens dropping off at the cross, or...or a bridge across to get to heaven. They could...you could explain things to them through in that way. And we had these phonetic classes for the women. But the men on most...for the most part, I think, could read here, or read some.
ERICKSEN: Were there any groups of people that tended to be more resistant to the gospel than others?
FRAME: I suppose the educated were...would have been harder to reach. But, after the Boxer trouble and things cleared up, they were very friendly with the missionary for a long time, until.... That was from about 1905. My folks got in, and then.... The Boxer Uprising was, of course, in 1900. But after there was understandings or treaties made, then the missionary work was much easier, and the people would listen, and then you could lead. A lot of the...a lot of the people became church members originally through being healed physically, or being...having their demons cast out. You see, they...they have no insane asylum...they just don't have an insane asylums and, if you have a demon-possessed person in your...in your home, they're there to stay. And it...it's...it's very difficult, so many would bring them into...to the city. And they would live in the chapel for...for a few days with their relatives. And they'd bring what they needed and...and the Lord would deliver them. And...and in that way, they...they felt, "Well, this religion really works." And many were turned to the Lord that way.
ERICKSEN: Seeing the power of....
FRAME: [As Ericksen is still speaking] The Lord.
ERICKSEN: ...the power of God at work?
ERICKSEN: Did you know any families who had pro...a problem like that [unclear].
FRAME: Why, yes. We...we...we met with...often, if we went to the outstations, they would bring in somebody. And everyone would pray for them. And I remember one girl. We thought she was about forty or fifty. Her hair was all disheveled and it was pretty wild and, after the demon was cast out and her hair was brushed, here it was just a young girl. And Ray had some very hairy experiences out in the country. And there'd be a certain demon that would just travel from one...it was cast out of one person, it would go into another. And...and I remember seeing a woman, well, I think in her casket. She...she had really died, and she had a demon of eating, and could eat huge quantities and yet she was just so skinny. And, oh, there were all sorts of manifestations...satanic manifestations, because in worshiping idols, they were worshiping.... As the Bible says, you're not worshiping the idol, you're worshiping the devil behind that idol. And so they were...they just played into the hands of demons. I believe many of the people in this country who are in insane asylums are...are demon possessed. I was just reading an interesting letter of my sister's. She was in a hospital in Pennsylvania, and there were two little boys who refused to eat. Now, a young boy doesn't generally refuse to eat, and they would just refuse to eat. I guess this went on for days and days and...and my sister said, "That's demon possession." And she got others to...it was a...a Mennonite place, I believe, and so she got them to pray with her, and the next day the boys ate and the...they...they prayed for the demons to be cast out, and the next day the boys ate and they asked for seconds [laughs]. Now, you may think that's a wild story, but it's true.
ERICKSEN: Is that...how...how exactly were the exorcisms handled in China? You said that groups prayed....
FRAME: [As Ericksen is still speaking] Well, they just...they just prayed for them, yes. Some...sometimes.... I don't know if they'd laid hands on them or...or not. But even prayer...and the Lord really...I think today the Lord is working in China in many places in this respect, that.... In fact, I've read many articles...interesting articles in this "Pray for China" of how the Lord has used things like that to cause the people to turn to the Lord through...through healing. Many...many...it's through healing because they don't have the Bible. They...they hardly know what's in the Bible. They just know to believe in...in Jesus. And the Lord gives the faith through often a woman. She's not as...as conspicuous as a man, and she'll go around, and this one'll call and that one'll call, "Come pray for my loved one," "Come pray for someone who's demon possessed." And the Lord hears the prayer, and another family's added to the church. But they need teaching because [clears throat] the Devil is always [clears throat] right there to try to turn them aside, you know.
ERICKSEN: When you were presenting the gospel to the Chinese, were there any particular Bible passages that seemed to be particularly effective?
FRAME: Well, of course, we generally used these posters that had the cross on them. And, remember, one especially has this...one has the road up to heaven, a narrow road, very steep, up to heaven. And there's others coming down, and the cross is right in the middle there. And they can either go around the cross and...or go...sometimes there's a gate in the cross, and go through and up the way to heaven...or they can come...go...keep going down. They all have burdens on their back, those coming down, and as they go through the cross their burden falls and they are climbing up to heaven. The others just keep going and then they drop down into hell. There's a fire there to represent hell. And these...these posters were very effective. Another one was the human heart. One was the red heart, and one was the black heart. The black heart is crooked and the white [red?] heart is straight. And the...the character comparatives are the characteristics of a Christian on the red heart, and the black heart has all...a lot of the sins...the common sins of an unbeliever. And these...these posters were often very, very effective. And we'd teach them the Bible...the ordinary Bible verses, like John 3:16 and others.
ERICKSEN: Remember what a typical church service was like?
FRAME: Well, often we'd go in early. If it was winter we had our little fire pot with us to keep our feet warm, 'cause no heat and it's real cold weather. Well, it didn't get...it seldom froze there in Honan but there was snow and...and it was cold. And we...we wear padded pants and padded gown over it and heavy padded shoes. And we had these fire pots, charcoal. We'd get it hot before we went to church, put it on these ashes and then we'd put our feet on. Some were brass and had a cover so you...you could just put your feet right on it to keep ourselves warm enough. And...we...in...or summer, the women were there. They'd come bright and early because they really loved to learn. It was a time of learning, not of gossip really, and they'd all be trying to learn and those who knew how to read would help the others, or we'd help them learn the characters. They'd...they'd read a few and then you'd help them with the next one in these hymns. Well, often they'd start the service with singing of hymns. Now they...some had their hymn books, but others didn't and they...they always had a big...a big...a rack full of different hymns and they'd just turn the pages and somebody would point to each character. And that way a lot of them would learn characters, just by coming Sunday by Sunday. They'd recognize the characters or they'd learn...learn the hymn so that they could, in that way, learn the characters, too. And they all...they'd teach a hymn. Maybe...the leader would sing one line and the people would then sing that same and line back and forth. And I think there's a song on Moody, which the leader sings and then the children follow. I think I hear it on Moody radio every now and then. But that's the way they'd learn. And then they'd...it...the service was much like here. And they'd have a sermon, and the...they didn't go in for choirs or solos or much, not where we were. I think they would in Shanghai. They'd have all that but not where we were.
ERICKSEN: In your church service you're thinking of, how many people would have been there?
FRAME: Oh, I think in ours there's maybe a hundred or so, or maybe more. It depends on...it...it was a...quite a good congregation.
ERICKSEN: Was the singing exuberant?
FRAME: Oh, yes. They're very enthusiastic. Not always on...in tune [laughs]. Often they had their own tune but...but younger people could learn more easily.
ERICKSEN: Was there a time during the service when the congregation would pray, too?
FRAME: Oh, yeah. Yes. Sometimes they'd have prayer all together and everybody'd pray out loud. We had that form of prayer sometimes. Or they had different ones...or, I think...I think, they had testimonies at times.
ERICKSEN: And how long would this go on on...on a Sunday?
FRAME: Oh, I guess an hour or two. Or maybe two hours, or maybe most of the morning.
ERICKSEN: [Pauses] The very beginning of the.... When we talked last time, you mentioned binding feet. What's the significance of that?
FRAME: Well, it was a style. A lot of these women who came from the country to our church, they...they walked several miles. They'd just walk on their heels. Because the...when they're about five years old or so, they...they start bending their toes under. And it's most painful and so they just walk on their heel. And after a while, of course, their toes just grow that way. And...and then, because they can't grow out, it just grows up and there's a big...big lump there just below the ankle...just by the ankle, from the toes up.
ERICKSEN: Why did they do that?
FRAME: It was just style. It...it...it was supposed to be beautiful. You...you couldn't get a husband unless you had a small foot. Up in Gansu where my sister was, they...they bound them so small that they had to walk on their knees. They couldn't even use their feet. Lot's of places.
ERICKSEN: And is that something the mission opposed?
FRAME: Well, as I said, Miss Pohnert...you know, I mentioned she...she had the first girls' school in our area, and...and the...they would accept them if they were willing for their girls not to bind their feet. I think they maybe got free education, and it was one of the incentives. And the kids really enjoyed life [laughs] because they could use their feet properly. And then, some years later, if you've ever read The Little Woman, or the...the.... I think the film was shown, the...The House of Seven Bless...Seven Happiness', or something. I can't quite remember the name of the film. It was quite popular, I guess. But it wasn't really accurate.
ERICKSEN: The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.
FRAME: Oh, yes, that was it, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. But that wasn't really an honest film, a lot of it. But this lady, she...she didn't have any support, so the government decided it was more sensible for people to have big feet [laughs]. They could use them. And so they sent soldiers everywhere to make people unbind their children's feet. And so here's Miss Gladys Aylward, she went around with the soldiers' backing her and gave speeches. Her Chinese was very good 'cause she lived just with the Chinese all the time, practically, and gave speeches and told the parents how...how...what a blessing it is to have big feet, and how convenient it is and everything. And she was supported, I guess, for some years that way. So finally they...although in the country the women would hide their children because they didn't want them to have big feet. But after a while it got so they realized it wasn't in style anymore...that little feet weren't in style anymore. So it gradually...they gradually developed their concepts so that they were willing for their children to have big feet.
ERICKSEN: Just a quick question about Martha Pohnert. What mission was she with?
FRAME: She was with my folks.
ERICKSEN: Oh. The Ebenezer Mission?
FRAME: Yeah. She was a really dynamic soul. [Pauses] But I think she left after a while and....
ERICKSEN: What was theological education in China like? Do you recall? Bible schools? Seminaries? [unclear]
FRAME: Not in our area. My...my dad did the teaching. He...he had short term Bible schools and conferences and.... Oh, that reminds me, I have some notes there I'd like to show you of my dad's, when he was teaching. He has some Romanized and some characters and it's quite interesting. I don't know if you'd want them for your...your Center or not.
ERICKSEN: We'll gladly take a look.
FRAME: You want me to get them, or...?
ERICKSEN: We can look later.
FRAME: Later. Alright. Remind me of it, 'cause I...I meant to get them out. Yes, my...my dad was a good Bible student. He had his office...he was in his office much of the time studying between his visits. So we didn't see him too...too much, except at meal time.
ERICKSEN: How did you travel in the local area?
FRAME: In mule carts or wheel barrows or ox carts [laughs]. A...a mule cart lets the...the.... To get to the railroad station, it was three days journey by mule cart. And that was ninety miles, thirty miles a day. Sometimes we'd have wheelbarrows, but [laughs] I generally walked rather than ride in that. There...there were no rubber tires. There was just a hard wheel and rough roads and bump, bump, bump. You'd soon have a headache.
ERICKSEN: Who pushed that?
FRAME: A man. [Pauses] But ox carts were, of course, much slower than the mule carts. They're very slow.
ERICKSEN: Were there any differences between the Chinese from the cities and from the provincial areas inland?
FRAME: Oh, I think so. I mean....
ERICKSEN: How would you compare them?
FRAME: The...the business people were more educated and they were really good business people. Even in inland China we could...we used to...they used to...I remember toward the end they used to order things right...even from England. They...or Japan...they had beautiful tea sets or...or bicycles. We bought our bicycles inland, I think. And...they...they were...they were good business people. I know up at our summer resort, there's a...a grocery store and we used to love to go with Mother to this store and look longingly [laughs] at the candy and things. They had Cadbury chocolates and a lot of imported things. And my folks could order things from Montgomery Wards and they'd send it all the way to us in inland China. They had to think six months ahead if you wanted some Christmas presents for us. My, that was a great day when that order came.
ERICKSEN: [Unclear] Can you remember anything that...any of the things that came?
FRAME: Oh, I remember a little iron stove with a little saucepan and frying pan and everything. Oh, my, I was very fond of that [chuckles]. I remember that well. And they'd...they'd get games for us and, of course, clothing, I guess. Although we...we could get...I mean, they had cloth in China. They had lovely...lovely silks and satins for that matter. But in our area they mostly just wore...wore blue and black and grey. They...unless you were a bride, you just didn't wear those fancy things.
ERICKSEN: Ever any instances when you were a victim of anti-foreign sentiments by the Chinese, where you really felt hated?
FRAME: The Chinese were...were very careful that way. They...they didn't show their feelings too much in front of you. I imagine the communists weren't too fond of us, but we didn't...we...we didn't mix with them too much, you know, in Shanghai 'til.... I know those who came out of inland China during those last years really felt it much more. They...they really...some of them had hatred really showing toward them.
ERICKSEN: What about the Japanese? Back in the late thirties when you were there, did you have much contact with them?
FRAME: Well, when we [pauses].... Let's see, the only contact we really had with them was when we came out in...for furlough. You see, America was not yet fighting with the Japanese. We had to go across the river in Anhwei and go through Japanese territory on the trains to the...to the settlement...the British...British settlement in Shanghai, which was owned by the British, you know, up to that time through treaties. So when we went to the settlement, we were free. But when we went to say goodbye to my folks.... I think I mentioned this, didn't I? Just before furlough, Ray and I cycled down to...to their station which was forty miles away, and just while we were there the Japanese came through and, well, we...we didn't have too much contact. Ray...Ray did more. He had to sort of entertain them in the front guest room, out in front. Our compound was at the back, yes. And they were officers. They tried to be polite, but they gave...said catchy things, you know. Wanting to trip him up and have him say something which wasn't...wasn't right. But he...he was very careful. But there was a Korean boy whose parents...whose mother was a Christian, and he was in this army. I guess he had to be. And he...he was very friendly and he helped our family. He helped Mother go out. Dad wasn't fit to go out, his nerves were bad. And Mother was very brave, and she...she went out with him to the homes of some of these Christians to salvage some food because we had all this crowd living with us these five days, and we all ate from a common...common...what do they call it, the wok? They would call it a Gwa [?], and they made the food all together, and everybody ate. And it was giving out, and so they'd go to these homes, but most of them, I think, the...the food was already taken. The Chi...the Japanese had already taken it. And the...the people's homes were burning all...all around us. We could see from our upstairs window. These...and the...the bamboos when they burn, they...they explode because, you see, they're closed tubes, and they...they explode like a bomb when they're burning. But the Lord provided this Christian.... Well, no, he wasn't a Christian, his mother was, but he knew Chinese and so he was able to...to go out with Mother and try to find some food for...for the...our big family.
ERICKSEN: Wondering abut some of the traditional religious beliefs of the Chinese. Do you recall any superstitions?
FRAME: Well they...they...of course, the Buddhists worship their ancestors. They have...every home has these [clears throat]...it's like a small grave stone. It's just made of wood [clears throat] with their ancestors names on and...and they...I guess, once a year or every...on special occasions they set the food before them and then they eat it themselves, of course, and [clears throat] bow down and worship these ancestral tablets. And New Year they always paste up a...the new...the kitchen god. [Clears throat] Or there's the...another god they put honey on his lips and say, "When you go to heaven, just speak well of us" [laughs]. They say nice things. And I remember going around the city wall, too. There were temples at each gate, and lots of little...little shoes. I was tempted to take them. I love the embroidered little baby shoes of people wanting...wanting a baby. I guess they'd go to pray for...for one to the gods. Certain...they have certain idols for certain things. I'm not too up on these things, really. But there they...they certainly had their paper gods mostly. But in the temples they had many fierce...fierce looking idols, horrible things [laughs]. But I guess they're all done away with now. And then at Chinese New Year they'd paste writings on the doorposts. Red...red words on both sides and across the top. It often reminded us of Exodus, you know, when the...the people of Israel left, they put blood on the doorposts and on the lintels of the door.
ERICKSEN: What about when some of these folks became Christians? How did...?
FRAME: Well, they would tear down their...their idols. Maybe not right away, but...they realized. And I...I guess my folks would go to their home, or the Christian pastor might go to their home while they did tear down their gods.
ERICKSEN: How did the different missions working in China get along together?
FRAME: Well, it was such a wide area. They...they had their fields. They...they sort of mapped out an area, I guess, where their mission would work, and....
ERICKSEN: Sort of like in the Philippines?
FRAME: Yes. And it was such a wide area that there was no...no problem until they might go somewhere else and find out it's a little different. But on the whole there was not much problem that way.
ERICKSEN: Was there any cooperation between different missions?
FRAME: Well, in the summertime, as I said, they...they had...at the summer resort they had the...the common assembly hall. And would...I guess they had a group of deacons and elders, I don't know, who, at least...anyway a committee, who would decide who was to do the preaching, and Dad did the Bible study sometimes. That was before the sermon, I guess. He'd take the Bible class for the whole crowd, quite a big crowd there, some hundreds, I guess.
ERICKSEN: Was there much Pentecostal expressions of Christianity in China? Among the Chinese, among the missionaries?
FRAME: Well, there were some movements, and there...there were some Pentecostal workers. I don't know that their work grew...grew that fast...much faster. And my dad had quite a lot of trouble that way, because these single ladies that came out, they...I don't know if they became Pentecostal on the field or if they were that way, or had leanings that way, before they went, but in the end they...they went and worked another...other stations. And I know my stepmother that's here now, she was praying.... I think she fasted and prayed for ten days. I don't know if she drank or anything. She wanted to...this blessing to speak in tongues, and the Lord just gave her some verse. I can't quite remember what it was, but never did speak in tongues. And she's a very devout soul and...and a real [pauses]...a real saintly saint [laughs], not just a saint [laughs].
ERICKSEN: What did your dad think about that?
FRAME: Well, my dad was...was against, because there were some manifestations which were definitely not of...of the Lord, and that's why, I think, he was against it. Whether...whether there was some reality in it, I don't know. But you...there...there were one or two who had spoken in tongues and they were...they really loved the Lord and were a real example. But others, I think they...I know...I think some just tried to imitate, you know. They don't....
ERICKSEN: Do you recall anything of Watchman Nee's group, the Little Flock?
FRAME: I think my sister Ruth used to go to his church in Shanghai when...when we were there at the language school...with the language school. She used to go to the Little Flock church. I don't know what...if Watchman Nee was there then. We have his...at least, we had his picture there. I don't know where it's been put. Big tall man. I think Ray had contact with him a number of times, but according to his nephew, he..he got a little off the lines toward the end. He wrote a book about it. His nephew taught in our Bible school in the Philippines. But then there was the Jesus Family group that came, and lots of manifestations. I...I don't know. I myself am not clear on...on this issue. I've sort of been prejudiced against it. My sister Esther spoke in tongues, and she...she was trying to persuade us [laughs]. Maybe I shouldn't say this on the tape [laughs].
ERICKSEN: No, quite alright.
FRAME: And...for years and years. She's stopped...stopped it now because I guess she thought we were hopeless. But I think my sister Ruth is as good a Christian [laughs] without speaking in tongues [laughs]. I...I think there's the real, and I think there's the false, really. I've...I've met some very fine people who...who are Pentecostal and really...really filled with the Spirit. But others, I don't think it's...it's very real. I think it's just influence, you know.
ERICKSEN: Well, I think we have a quite a bit of your work in China. When you...when you got to Hong Kong...you said earlier that most folks were being sent straight home but that you went to the Philippines.
FRAME: Yes, we went direct to the Philippines for a...for a year and a half. You see, in China our term was seven years...our term of service was seven years at a time because travel was so difficult in those days. And...and we weren't...for the most part, we weren't in tropical climates, you know. And it was such an expense, too, in those days. Well, I guess it's an expense now, but it's so much easier, plane and everything. And so our seven years wasn't really up. And since Ray went on this survey trip with Mr. [S.D.?] Knights, he...he felt led to answer the call and go and help in this school...Christian high school. And so that's how we...we decided to...to go right over to.... Oh, it's raining [pauses]. So he decided that the Lord would have us go to...to the Philippines right away, rather than go home.
ERICKSEN: This Christian high school, was that in Manila?
FRAME: Yes. It's a big high school. They have about five or six thousand students now. It's...it's been moved, but then...in those days it had just been going a year and a half. And Mrs. Thyme [?] and the Sparrs [?], who sort of sponsored it...started it, they started down in [unclear], but since then it's been moved up to Quezon City, and they have a big plant there, and it grows and grows. They could have more students if...if they would take more.
ERICKSEN: What's the name of this school?
FRAME: Grace Christian High School. It starts from kindergarten right through high school. Now...now, at over seventy, she is working toward starting a college...a Christian college. She's really got to push. But she...she loves the Lord, and she's a good soul. And she...she sees...sees things through if she can.
ERICKSEN: How did you feel about going to the Philippines after having been in China for twenty years?
FRAME: Well, seeing we were with the Chinese...working with the Chinese, it wasn't that...that much of a break. But, of course, I missed China because I grew up there and.... Filipinos are very friendly people, and they were starting a school thinking they'd have Filipinos and Chinese, but it didn't work out because there was a lot of friction...lots of friction.
ERICKSEN: What kind of friction?
FRAME: Well, the kids...I don't know if it's because the Chinese are better off by far, and.... Although in Grace Christian High School, they had to wear uniforms so you couldn't tell whether they came from rich homes or poor homes. And I don't know. They'd get into fights, you know. It's...it's that way everywhere with different nationalities living in close proximity, like in America, I guess.
ERICKSEN: Remember any of the prejudices that the Chinese might have had against the Filipinos. You mentioned the Chinese maybe being better off?
FRAME: Well, they're just good business heads. They're...they're...several generations removed, took the risk of sailing in houseboats and going to these islands, you know, and starting business. They say that eighty-five percent of the business is Chinese there [laughs]. And even the Filipinos, they say, prefer going to a Chinese store. They'll...they'll...they make a big turnover with just a little profit. The Filipinos, they want a big profit, and...and so they have a very little turnover. So, they're just good...good business heads.
ERICKSEN: So do the Chinese and the Filipinos tend to move in different circles for the most part in the Philippines?
FRAME: Oh, I...I think so. I think so. In...in college, of course, the Chinese had to go to these Filipino colleges, and that...that has had some influence on...on.... Like one lady was saying, her boy, he...he doesn't care about the Chinese anymore. They...they become sort of "Philippinized." It's just like in this country. The overseas Chinese come here, and they just can't hit it with...they can't hit it with the...the...Chinese from overseas. There...there's...there's...there's just a different viewpoint because of the training and the background.
ERICKSEN: Remember anything about the beginnings of O.M.F.'s work in the Philippines? How the decisions were made where to work and what to do, and how it grew?
FRAME: Well, we went there, and then Ray was supposed to sort of represent the mission. but he...he was too busy, so they sent Mr. [Albert James?] Broomhall...Dr. Broomhall, one of our missionaries. Actually, Dr. Broomhall has written three volumes on...on China recently. We have them at the O.M.F. Very fascinating and minute details. He's...he's related to the Taylors...the Hudson Taylors. His grandmother, I think, was his sister [unclear]...I think was his sister...Hudson Taylor. I can't quite remember. Anyway, he's...he is a terrific writer and he was a doctor but he never...I think he never cared about it...being a medical man. He never practiced. And so he was sent there and others. And then there was another one or two single ladies who felt led to go to the Philippines. You see, those who did these surveys in the different countries, Taiwan and Thailand, and...and Philippines, and down in Malaysia, they...they wrote long surveys about the country they visited. And these were all handed out to the missionaries from China, and...and they were to decide, if the Lord wanted them to come back, what country they...they felt the Lord wanted them to go to after reading all these surveys. And that's how the missionaries were distributed again after they had a time at home. Some never did go back, others did. Some felt led to stay home with their children. Maybe they were a bit older, and others felt led to go back. Ruth Elliott taught our two children for a while in Manilla when we first were there. There was no Faith Academy and there was no...no boarding school anywhere. Although our children did go to the...this Grace Christian High School. It was...half of it was English. These children had to go to English all morning, and Chinese all afternoon, and study all evening, so they really had to work. And our children just went to the English part of the school. And they were just there a year and a half and then we came home, and we left them at Wheaton. I'm afraid Raymond was rather young, but at the time we thought we didn't want to separate the children, although it might have been better if we had taken Raymond back with us. He was quite young. I think he...he missed...missed home more than Kathy did. Kathy's very outgoing, and Raymond was...was more quiet.
ERICKSEN: As long as you've mentioned your children, what's it like, raising children on the mission field?
FRAME: Well, we didn't...we had our children at home, and then we were in language school, and it was hard because we never had our own home there at language school. We were with a group, you know, and...for several years. And, you know, it's hard to discipline them around other people. And...but...there...there are problems. Raymond had a...a nurse, a girl who looked after him, but I think it was...maybe because he was very difficult, [but] after a while he just.... I had to look after him rather than the girl because he just didn't like it.
ERICKSEN: This was in China?
FRAME: Uh-huh. But I think it's maybe because he was...was very difficult.
ERICKSEN: When you had difficult times, did you...did you ever feel like it might be easier being back in Canada and [unclear]...?
FRAME: Well, sometimes I...I wondered if it were better if we stayed home, but I always did what my husband wanted to do. And he never...he preferred being on the field. [Laughs.] So, we just did what he felt led to do.
ERICKSEN: You went on your furlough in 1953.
FRAME: 1951. Oh. Oh, yes, 1953. That's right.
ERICKSEN: Then you came back, I suppose, [in] '54?
FRAME: We were there four years and were back, '58 maybe.
FRAME: Then, in sixty...'62, I had to come back alone for a year to make a home for Ray [Jr] in Wheaton, and Ray came home on furlough. Kathy was married by then. She married very early.
ERICKSEN: When did the Bible Institute [of the Philippines] start?
FRAME: Well, after we were there a term, and Ray was pastor of this Chinese church, and a Chinese was pastor of the English congregation [laughs], when we went back, he...we moved away from the school, and he, together with Chinese friends, they prayed for a whole year. They had prayer meetings for a whole year, even while we were still at Grace, and finally decided to start a Bible school. I think they only had...we thought there'd be more, but I think there were only one, two, or three students the first...first year. There were very few. And Miss [Harriet?] Brittan, who was head of a big Bible school down near Shanghai, she came out. She was quite old, but she came out for a year or two to be principal. And then she recommended there a good Chinese friend of hers who had been in the Bible school, and he came from Malaysia and was principal for seven or eight years. Ray wasn't...and then.... No, after that I think Ray sort of was principal for two or three years because he didn't seem to have...have any Chinese leader who would be principal. But then the...the school has been changed to a seminary now, and they have...they...they have to be college graduates now, I think. Then, they were only high school graduates. And so it's growing, and more boys are attending. They've been praying for more boys who can later be pastors, because otherwise they have to bring in them in and visa problems are getting more and more difficult. First they had the A.T.S. there, Asian Theological Seminary, and that is training a lot of Filipinos. A few Chinese boys go to that. And even some of our students, after finishing our Bible school, some went there for better training. But now they're trying to raise the standards of the Chinese Bible School. One missionary, Mr. Esther, very fine missionary from southwest China...south...no, in the coast somewhere, he...he didn't...didn't want us to start a Chinese Bible school, thinking it made...made a division. But originally the idea was that they would train and maybe get back to China, but it's pretty impossible. [Tape recorder turned off]
FRAME: [Tape recorder turned on] Whoa, it's twenty after eleven already.
ERICKSEN: Well, we were talking about the Bible Institute. Were the...Helen and Ian Anderson at the Institute?
FRAME: Yes. They were...they were teaching there. They...they lived right in.... Of course, we...we lived out, but they were living right in.... Where did you see them or hear them?
ERICKSEN: We have some of their papers out at the....
FRAME: Oh, I see. Oh, yeah.
ERICKSEN: And I was wondering if you remembered anything about them?
FRAME: Oh, yes. He has passed away, you know. And he was very musical and so he did quite a lot with the music with the students, but he taught, too. He's from Eng...Eng...no, Scotland [pauses]. I think he's from Scotland [pauses], but Helen's from...from...New Jersey. Her home was New Jersey.
ERICKSEN: Did both of them teach in the school?
FRAME: Yes, they both taught. Helen was musical, too. They...they taught. I don't remember what subjects different ones taught. I only taught English. I...I'm not exactly a born teacher [laughs].
ERICKSEN: Since you were working with the Chinese, did you need to learn Tagalog in the Philippines?
FRAME: I'm afraid we didn't. It would have been nice to know Tagalog, to mix with the Filipinos, but we...we didn't learn Tagalog.
ERICKSEN: So that sort of cut your contact with the Filipinos, I suppose, too?
FRAME: Well, most of them know English in...in...Manila after a fashion. And the accent was terrific [laughs] when we first went, but now it's...it's improved tremendously. I think Wycliffe [Bible] Translators have been there and taught in a university. S.I.L., they call it there.
ERICKSEN: What kind of condition were the Philippines in when you got there. They'd...it was five years after the....
FRAME: Well, there...there were...[Ericksen says something unclear]...there...there were a few communist problems, I guess, with guerrillas [clears throat]. Of course, now there...there are problems, too, in certain areas, especially down in Mindanao, near the [unclear] there are problems. And...and on the Island of Mindoro, I think, there...there are problems from some of the other islands, they infiltrate [unclear]. But I...I'm not up on politics, and I don't like to say too much [laughs].
ERICKSEN: Do you remember anything about pre-martial law days?
FRAME: Oh, it was mostly...I mean, a lot of it was pre-martial law.
FRAME: The Chinese were having a hard time. You know, the soldiers would go in and demand money and things. It was really hard.
ERICKSEN: Right in Manila?
FRAME: Oh, yeah, right in Manila. And...but after martial law, it was much better for a while. The Chinese businessmen were very happy about it. I don't know about now, what...what things are like [clears throat], especially since this [Benigno S.] Aquino was assassinated [August 21, 1983]. I don't know what that will do for the country.
ERICKSEN: How involved are the Chinese in the Filipino politics? At all?
FRAME: Not unless...not unless they are...are...have Philippine citizenship, they aren't involved.
ERICKSEN: And most of them don't?
FRAME: Oh, a lot of them don't. They try to get it and can't even get it. Some get it by paying big sums of money, and then they can...their children can practice...practice different pro...professions and trades and things. But there is very little that a Chinese can do there, so you can't blame them for wanting to come to America because [if] they want to be an engineer, they can't. They...the one profession they can mostly be is a doctor of medicine. And so it's...it's really very difficult for them.
ERICKSEN: So the Chinese are fleeing the Philippines, too?
FRAME: They what?
ERICKSEN: The Chinese are....
FRAME: Oh, yeah, there are quite a lot have left.
ERICKSEN: When you were...you weren't living at the...the Institute, did you have a maid?
FRAME: Oh, yes. We had....
ERICKSEN: Filipino, or....?
FRAME: Yeah. To make...make the food and have meals ready for us.
ERICKSEN: Find it helpful having....?
FRAME: [As Ericksen is still speaking] Well, sometimes it's a blessing, sometimes it isn't [laughs].
ERICKSEN: Have any bad experiences with...[unclear as Frame begins to speak].
FRAME: I don't think they're always honest about purchasing groceries and things, you know, when you send them to the market [laughs]. I don't know. But we...we had some good...good maids who.... One girl still...still writes me, and she...she was Catholic and she came to really know the Lord. But so often the girls are ambitious and they'll get a husband that's [laughs] useless, and have to sort of support the family [unclear].
ERICKSEN: How similar were...or different were Filipino Chinese, and Chinese from China...in China? Was there much difference?
FRAME: Well, we felt that they weren't as...they were more casual in...in the Philippines than they were in China. In China, they're...of course, in China they put on a lot of, oh, fronts and...but you don't always know if what they feel is what they show [laughs]. But the Chinese are very gracious people, they're a very gracious people, and very generous. Yesterday one of our Chinese friends came in with two big pears and a bunch of grapes and a cantaloupe. They...they always bring something when they come. They're so generous. It's just their custom.
ERICKSEN: With the Chinese that were at he Institute, did most of them come from Christian families or were they kind of that religious [unclear as Frame begins to speak].
FRAME: Well, some did, some didn't....some didn't. Some of our students come from...some would attend the Youth Gospel Center downtown that was run by Christians, and they'd hear the gospel that way and believe, and be led to...go to church. And then they would hear of the Bible school, and because they were keen, you know.... I think those who come from non-Christian homes are keener because they've got that fight all the time to stand for what they know is right. And they...they get called to go to the Bible school and their parents won't support them, but the Lord...the Lord supplies their needs and they get right through Bible school. And there's no way there to earn your way, hardly. Not like in this [unclear phrase].
ERICKSEN: Did you do any evangelistic work in the Philippines?
FRAME: No, not really. We...we attended some evangelistic meetings. There was a Mr. Wu Yung [?] from Taiwan, a very fine evangelist, and he...he got a big crowd at...they used to hold the meetings at the Y.M.C.A., because one of the Christians was one of the board members, I guess, of this Y.M.C.A., and she was very active and so they had meetings there. And many turned to the Lord [clears throat]. Billy Graham was there once for just...just for one evening, and it was Chinese New Year's evening, so the men had no excuse to be at business. They...they were all free. A lot of them, the wives are Christians, but the men aren't, and so a lot of them were able to attend this Billy Graham meeting.
ERICKSEN: Do you remember the impact of that meeting?
FRAME: I...I don't know. I really don't know. And then he had another meeting for just Christian leaders the next day, I think it was. And we were at that.
ERICKSEN: Did you meet him?
FRAME: Yes, we met him. Ray took tape recordings, I think, but I don't know if we have them anymore.
ERICKSEN: Any particular impressions of him?
FRAME: Well, just what we see and hear of him here. Same.... He spoke with real...real power and the people listened well, and...and they...they were surprised that there were so many Christians, you know, 'cause it being a Catholic country, it...it isn't easy getting Christians...such a big crowd of...of Protestants together. So the people were very much impressed at seeing so many, and some...some went just because they were told not to go [chuckles], I guess. The Catholic priests would tell them, "Don't you go to those Protestant meetings." So they...they, just...out of curiosity you know, and I guess they found it was [phone rings]...it was different from what they thought. [Tape recorder turned off]
ERICKSEN: [Tape recorder turned on] Something else I'm wondering about is your prayer letters. How...who's written the prayer letters in the family?
FRAME: Well, Ray was a very good writer really, and he...he often...he wrote big, long letters. Now he can't write a letter. He doesn't write anything because his...his mind is tired and he just can't write. But he...he was a very good writer.
ERICKSEN: Were they...did you make them...did you have it like on a regular calendar, every month, every couple months?
FRAME: No, I'm afraid we weren't as regular as we might have been [laughs]. I'm afraid we were very erratic. Some we had printed up in Three Hills [Alberta, Canada] there. There was a...a man who printed...and there was a O.M.F group who...who we sent letters to because, in the early days.... I think when we were on our first furlough, there was a Mr. Sartel [?] who had a broadcast in Edmonton [Alberta, Canada], and Ray spoke over that broadcast and this man would get farmers and people who didn't have much money to help support...fifty people to support one missionary, or...or help with quite a sum. Not...not complete maybe. And so, we had two fifty clubs helping us and....
ERICKSEN: Meaning there were fifty people in....
FRAME: Yes. They'd just send a dollar a week or something like that. I think that was the idea, because the farmers who couldn't send much, they'd have them...and maybe didn't go to a church that sent money to missions or anything, you know, just a little country church. And so he got lot of support that way, through...through these people, and this went on for a long time. And so Ray, being Canadian, he...I guess he felt more at home. And he'd often write the circular and...and tell them what we were doing. And on furloughs we'd go and.... The last furlough or so, we...we went just to visit these people, rather than just take meetings. Often Ray would be asked to come to the States and travel all around. This time we decided, well, we're just gonna visit some of these people who've given support to us all these years and never seen us, and they couldn't get to where we were. And so we...we just traveled all over, mostly Alberta, and really enjoyed the fellowship, and some still...still write us, and some still send toward our support.
ERICKSEN: When did you do that?
FRAME: That was on our last furlough or the furlough before. And we felt it was really worthwhile when one family said, "You're the first missionaries we've seen." And one place we went to, they...they said they...they live in Labare or something (I can't quite remember the name.) It was way up at the end of nowhere in...in Alberta, and so we decided we'd go and see them. Some of them didn't do much writing, so we didn't know just quite what their circumstances were. And so this day we went, and we got to this little town and...and found their phone number and called. And here they were about twelve...twelve miles away from the town, although that was their...their postal address. And so because of that we stopped and ha...had a meal in the restaurant. And Ray got the instructions of how to go twelve...one mile north, and two miles west, and another mile north, and another mile south. Anyway, it was [laughs] quite a...quite a...instructions...quite definite instructions, and no road signs anywhere. You just...you know, the farms there are just cut straight through, and you just go straight, and then turn a corner and go straight again. And we got there. We found the place, and here the wife had sclerosis and was bed-ridden for years. And, oh, she was so thrilled, said, "To think that I've seen our missionaries." She was so thrilled, and we were so impressed because here they had faithfully sent in just this bit of support, but they prayed for us, and it was a real blessing to us to...to see these people who helped support us. It's a blessing both ways and we were so glad to...to see them and others.
ERICKSEN: You had quite a number of furloughs in a few years. Do you remember any impressions....
FRAME: Not as many as they have nowadays. They seem to be being on furlough every...seems like they're here before they're gone. But I guess it doesn't seem that way to them, but.... You see, our...our first furlough..... Well, we didn't have to stay out that long. We were almost nine years in China. And then the next one, you see, we went to China and then to the Philippines, that was seven years, too. And then once we got to the Philippines.... Of course, it's tropical climate, and it really wears you down, that heat all the time, and so they have every four years furlough. And we've had three or four from the Philippines.
ERICKSEN: Do you recall any of your impressions as you came back to North America from...from Asia? Perhaps things that you saw change?
FRAME: Well, we...we see a decline in...in spiritual life, I think, and...and if you go to a beach, you certainly see what you [laughs] want to see. We'd...we'd keep away from the beaches [laughs]. But it sort of shocks you the way people don't dress in the summertime. And...and there's...but there...there are many fine young people that you meet, too. Now, last night we were at our O.M.F. prayer meeting, and there's some very fine young people going to seminary, you know, and...who are interested in missions. And we praise the Lord for them.
ERICKSEN: Have you noticed any differences in the churches since you first went out to the field?
FRAME: I think so. We're in quite a good sized church here, the Northwest Baptist Church. A very fine pastor we have, a very...he trained at Bethel Seminary in Minneapolis, and a lovely wife. But it seems like such a shifting congregation. You know, these young people, they come and then they go. 'Course, a lot of them miss because of their business, or because they're schooling, and everything. But the...the charter members are all sort of either moving to retirement homes, or dying off, or.... It doesn't seem like there's so many old folks. But they do have a lot of nice young people and...and lots of babies [laughs]. And they have...they try to have good activities, and...but it's.... They seem to stress activities quite a bit, you know, trying to keep people busy and special speakers and all that. The prayer meeting is very small, like most churches, I guess. I don't know what it's like in Wheaton. Of course, [in] Wheaton, you have a large Christian population.
ERICKSEN: Something I've...I've sort of been saving to end at. And I'm...I'm wondering what changes you saw in missions work from the time you first went out to the field in 1931 to when you formally retired in 1977?
FRAME: Oh. One thing is it seems like young people want to try out a mission field before they go. They...there doesn't seem to be that dedication, thinking of being a missionary as a career missionary, as they call it now days. Just going where the Lord sends you and expecting to stay there as long as the Lord keeps you there. And I'm sure it's just the trend today. They...they feel.... Now, we just had a couple going out from our church. I won't give their names. Very fine couple. He's a Moody graduate and so is she, and they've gone to Taiwan. They felt...well, I'm sure the Lord led them to go to Taiwan. They wanted to see if they could adjust. Well, to me that's a strange way to look at things. And it's not whether you think you can adjust. How do you know? I mean, it's whether the Lord really calls you to that. I...I suppose they feel called that way but, in our day, if you went, you went for life. There was none of this spot worker [short term missionary], as we call it in our mission, or going out for two or three months. Of course, many are called when...as they see the need, they are called to the mission field. But seems to me it's more, "What are your impressions?" than, "Is the Lord calling you to that work for...for your life?" "Is that your life's work?" I don't know why, you have to just try it and see. I suppose it's just the trend now. And...and I know medical missionaries, they...they very much appreciate spot workers because it means that some doctors can get free and go on furlough for...for a year, whereas if they didn't have a substitute, they just wouldn't feel...wouldn't feel that they could leave because of the great need. So there...I guess there are two sides to the question.
ERICKSEN: Have you seen anything else change?
FRAME: Well, in some missions they...they have more than a Bible and toothbrush [laughs] for sure [laughs]. And then when they...they don't stay on the field and all that money and expenditure on...on their outfit and everything and taken.... I...I don't think, unless there's a real definite call, missionaries.... I don't think they have to, for the most part, sacrifice the way they used to because living conditions are...have improved a lot in many of these countries. In Taiwan, my Chinese girl friend who lives there and has gone back said, "You can get anything in Taiwan." When my sister went in, after leaving China in '50, they...they didn't have fridges, they didn't have...they didn't have any modern conveniences. They used to be able to get ice, I guess, from some places on occasion, but li...living was very simple. But now they...they all have their T.V.'s, they all have their ice boxes, they...they live very well in Taiwan now, they say. It's no...no hardship. So this missionary [laughs] couple went out there, and I'm sure they didn't have too much, in that respect. That was hardship. 'Course the countries aren't all the same. There are certainly plenty of backwoods places that you can go still.
ERICKSEN: What about education of missionaries' children. You've had even more exposure to that, having grown up as a child on the mission field. How has that changed?
FRAME: Well, some missionaries don't believe in separating from their kids. But...now, like in the Philippines, they have this huge Faith Academy. It's really developed and...and so the missionaries have that place to send their children, but they...they're even having problems there. The kids get...make friends with some nationals, I guess, and, I don't know, maybe when they're home or...I don't know...but, even at school they...they have problems. I guess my boy would've been a problem [laughs] had he been there. But the Lord works in them, and the parents are praying for them. And I think most children don't feel it as much as some people think. Depends upon how sensitive the child is. Some...some can't wait to get back to school again, and they enjoy it at boarding school. The British, of course, always.... They really had it hard in China, because their children had to be in the schools in...in Britain at an early age, or they wouldn't take them in. And to them it's...it's no great problem because they...even when they were in England, they would send their children away to school. And there were some very fine schools that the missionaries' children were able to go to. But...but even folks from other countries put their children in Faith Academy now because of the deterioration in their own country. There are some, they feel it's better to have their children near them. And then if they don't accept the credits, some have to...like in South Africa, they have to go an extra year or two to school because they don't accept the credits of Faith Academy quite the same way. But they're trying to introduce more British system for British children, and a lot of [unclear]. They have a German school in Singapore for the parents...for the children of German missionaries. And it's...it's quite a problem. And then some have to leave the field because of their children. They just don't adjust.
ERICKSEN: The kids don't adjust.
FRAME: Yes. And they feel they have to leave. And it's...it's hard. It's...it's a difficult question. I...I think sometimes I would have been tempted to leave the field because of the children, but we didn't. My husband never felt the same way, so I stayed by my husband [laughs]. Quite a decision. I did have to leave him for one year, and he came home the following year. That was after Raymond...when Raymond graduated from high school.
ERICKSEN: So, have the procedures for educating missionary children, has that changed quite a bit, or...?
FRAME: Well, in early days in China the travel was so poor that missionaries in West China could only see their children once in three years. And they went up to Chefoo where...where Hudson Taylor established a school...arranged to have a school, and it was very difficult. But now with flying, some kids...the mission is much more generous. I mean, it's just the arrangement now. The...the children, they see their parents every two years, or the children.... I mean, even when they're...up 'til the time they're...well, I don't know how old. Anyway, I know quite a few children fly home. Some fly home every summer to the field with their parents, or...or the parents fly home to them. And the mission pays for...for it. Our children went...some friends paid for our children to go out once when...when they were in the middle of their schooling here in Wheaton, but, because of it, we had to delay our furlough a year [laughs]. And so the policy has really changed. But now they try to get the parents and children together oftener, and because of quick travel it makes it much easier.
ERICKSEN: Well, to finish up, I'd like to just ask you if you can recall, perhaps, a situation where you sensed God's special kindness.
FRAME: Yes. When I was to come home because of Raymond, we didn't have any savings or anything, and the mission only supports a person half support...half support for three years if you leave before your furlough is due. And that's enough to get along on, but not to rent and all the rest of it. And I have no special skills, and I...I just didn't know what I would do when I came home. How I would support us. And the day before...the day before I sailed.... And they don't pay our...our transportation either. The mission didn't pay our transportation, and so the...the money came in.... The Chinese are very generous. And Ray said he'd sell his scooter. I said, "Don't sell it. Let's just trust the Lord." And he did. He sent in enough money. But I didn't have enough money to come from California to Wheaton. I had no ticket, and I didn't have the money. I thought, "Well, maybe I can work in California for a bit. Get a job for the time being, but I didn't know where I'd get a job, or how, or.... We did have a headquarters there. And...and I didn't know where I'd live when I got to Wheaton. Well, the day before I sailed, there was a letter from one of our directors in this country to say there was a house available in Wheaton. And this was the Herman [?] house. And he...they used to be in our mission, but they were here in Wheaton for many years, just.... I forget what.... Taylor was the.... No, they go to College Church, [unclear] the husband.... Anyway, she was a Herman, the wife. But the parents lived in this house and they...they couldn't manage it anymore. And so they...they had taken them to their home, and asked the mission if they needed this cottage, and, just the day before I left, I...we had word that that cottage was available for Raymond and me. Well, when I got to the coast, all the way across the ocean, about three weeks by boat...two or three weeks, I was wondering and praying and I wasn't really terribly worried. I was just trusting the Lord to provide, and when...when our boat docked in Los Angeles, I guess it was...no, at San Diego, they were going to take off my luggage and...and the ocean liners were not supposed to carry their passengers up the coast. It would take away from the...the boats that carried passengers up and down the coast, take away from their trade. But they allowed me to stay on from San Diego up through California. And I was wondering in San Diego, "How am I going to manage all this luggage. I don't have any friends or anybody here. What am I going to do?" And then they decided to let me go to...to Los Angeles. And when I got there, my sister and her friend got on the boat, and they brought a letter. And in it was a ticket, a little...one of these little cubicles on the train...private cubicles for...with a ticket for me, all the way to Chicago. And when I got to Chicago, Mr....somebody from the Wheaton home was there...Mr. Calvert was there to meet me and help me get...get back to Wheaton. And I could go right in to this cabin, and...and when he [Raymond Jr.] graduated a few days later, he moved over to be with me. And that was just such a wonderful provision. And I couldn't get a job all summer, for three months. And then when school started, I got a job at the Stupe just waiting tables. So I did that all year, and that was enough to keep us. At one time they were going to have...have me move out to another place because they thought they would need the...need the...the place again because the parents didn't adjust too well where they were. But it turned out that I didn't have to move out, and so I was there that...that year.
ERICKSEN: Now what year was that?
FRAME: I think it was '62. I think it was '62. My daughter was already married, so she...she didn't need to be with us.
ERICKSEN: Do you notice any difference on the Wheaton campus between the time when you worked in the Stupe and when you'd been there as a student?
FRAME: Oh, yes. It was very different. We were only four hundred some students when we were there. And they seem to live much better [laughs] now than...than we did. More sophisticated, I think, and...but they had.... I used to enjoy the chapels at Wheaton. I remember hearing one of these tremendous singers, and he gave his testimony. Italian man, sang "Down From His Glory." That's an Italian...written by an Italian. It...it's an Italian tune, anyway, isn't it? And he gave his testimony. They...they had many very fine speakers, and they always had morning...sort of a morning break at the Stupe. The...just when chapel was on we...we'd have a little break...coffee break...and we'd listen to the messages. I really enjoyed that.
ERICKSEN: Just by way of postscript, could you tell me how you got the rubbing of the Nestorian tablets? What's the story behind that?
FRAME: You know, that's the strangest thing, but Ray and I just don't remember. I think it was...he...he thought it was given in China, but I don't think so. I think...I rather think it was given to...to him either in Hong Kong or in the Philippines by some Chinese who'd been up there. But, you know, it's the strangest thing, we just can't remember. Anyway, we've had them lying in our closet all these years. And then when this Mary Pearl Rinehart Kahley (she's in the Wheaton directory), she...she was here, then Ray suddenly had the...the inspiration to have them sent to Taiwan and...and made into scrolls. You can see it's just rice paper, and very difficult.... There are...there are a few flaws on the thing, but.... So Mary Pearl took it out and then she came home. She visited China and she had a return ticket, and she...she couldn't get a refund on it, so she decided to come back to America and she brought them all the way. She...she carried them herself all the way across the ocean. But it was only.... She thought U.P.S. was pretty trustworthy, so she sent them that way and it isn't too bad. Ray...Ray tried to fix the top bar so that when it hangs it doesn't hang.... The first time they hung it here it was crooked because it's cracked and even the bottom thing is...is bent and broken. But you can't get in because it's all bound up with the cloth, the backing.
ERICKSEN: Where is the stone that it was taken from [unclear]?
FRAME: It's up in Sian [now Xi'an], in North China...Shensi [now Shaanxi]. And they say the communists have it on display now [laughs] in a special place even though it's...it gets the gospel. They don't...they're a bit inconsistent that way [laughs]. I guess they can get money out of people to go and see it.
ERICKSEN: Well, we've covered a lot of territory. Thank you again very much.
FRAME: I'm afraid it's a very poor [laughs] presentation.
ERICKSEN: Well, you've done well through these hours of interviewing, so thank you.
FRAME: Oh, you're welcome. I'm glad to do it. I hope I don't get in trouble with what I said [laughs].
END OF TAPE