Early Years



y father, Clinton Robert Wallace Galloway (1877-1971), was a farmer in Ohio, U.S. During the American Revolutionary War four brothers came to America from Scotland. My father's family settled in Illinois.


My mother was Clara Bell Larrabee (1882–1960). Her family goes back a long way to the dispersion of the Huguenots from France. They settled in Massachusetts and anglicized L'Arbie to Larrabee. John Larrabee, as a lad of fifteen, fought from the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Afterwards he settled in Virginia and one of his descendents, my grandfather, moved to Indiana.


My parents were married in 1904 and lived on a farm in Illinois. Five of us were born there. They were Lester (1905-2005), Ruby (1906-1989), me Pearl (1908-2011), Sam (1909-1992) and Katie (1911- 2001). My other three siblings were born in Ohio, Bill (19014-1984), Ed (1918-1996) and Tom (1926-  ).


The farmhouse was a converted schoolhouse. Is that why I have enjoyed the “school-house” so much?


When I was three years old Dad rented a large farm in Indiana and it was there happy childhood memories began. Grandpa and grandma Larrabee came to visit bringing treats of bananas, and rolls of nickels and dimes in exchange for gathering hickory nuts, etc.


There was a big white board fence around the garden with a large tree just inside from which Dad hung a rope swing. There was a tense moment when, with the swing over one arm, I gingerly climbed the fence, slipped the seat of the swing over my head and, joy of joys, away I went. “Up in the air and over the wall”. How meaningful Robert Louis Stevenson's “The Swing” became later.


After three years in Indiana, where we had our first car, Dad and Uncle Curt decided to move to Ohio. While looking around there Dad was struck with appendicitis and before he could get to the hospital in LaFayette, Indiana, it had burst. Doctors operated and said if he could lie perfectly still through the night, he might live. His self-discipline and strong constitution brought him through. Another man failed to make it. Five little children, aged three to nine, with their mother visited him there. How well I remember it. The neighbours came and harvested his crops. Those were neighbourly days.


I was six when we moved to Ohio. It was then that I started to school with my older brother, Lester, and sister Ruby. All of us began to go to Sunday School at a beautiful red brick church with stained glass windows. It was right across the road from the cemetery where Mother and Dad are buried. The church still stands on the hill, intact on the outside, but now owned by a farmer and used as a storage barn! Christians have long since driven to large centres. It was there that I sang my first solo dressed as a missionary singing to several little “heathens”.


School was just a one-room affair one and a half miles away by road. By crossing a stream and following it to a wooded area, where we crunched through leaves in autumn, it was much shorter. Later, after Lester got tetanus from a rusted nail, Dad bought us a pony and we drove to school. Lester was a celebrity for he was the first known person to recover from tetanus. A dedicated and knowledgeable doctor brought him through.


Five memorable years were spent there on the county line farm where we paddled up and down the creek, which ran through the farm, and made up games to play through the long summer months. At first we went places in a two-seated surrey driven by a team of horses. That became too slow for Dad so he bought the first of a number of Model-T Fords.


After five years Dad and Uncle Curt were struck by wanderlust again and decided to move to Canada. Dad sold his farm and rented one in Ontario. Before the move could materialize a farm in Van Wert County, a more prosperous area, became available and Dad bought it. There we remained through school and high-school days. My parents eventually retired to a nearby village called Elgin.


The village school had two rooms and Mr. Jones was the schoolmaster for a number of years, taking me through grades five to eight. He was a good teacher and our school won all the township contests in spelling and mathematics. Lester and I won the Ciphering Contest in an adjoining township. (He really won the day – I was too nervous!) Later I came second in the county spelling match. It was here at this school that I started my teaching career! When Mr. Jones needed to be away I took the four lower grades, Miss Morris moved up to take the higher ones. I continued to relieve teachers even through high school.


After we moved to Van Wert County we children went to a United Brethren Church, Fortunately for us, there was little else to do in the evenings though sometimes we weren't a very contributing influence in the church.


It was there one Sunday evening in February, 1924, my life was changed. Since I had been thirteen I had been seeking for an inner heart satisfaction. We would go to parties or join others in the bigger towns on Saturday nights. My reaction was always “perhaps tomorrow night I will find an answer to my inner restlessness”. There in that little church I made a complete surrender to Jesus and found peace. As I stepped into our little pony buggy that night I felt the big burden of guilt roll off and I felt light enough to go straight into heaven.


The following year at a special Sunday afternoon meeting, in company with an older couple who helped me much in those days, I felt a strong call to surrender my life to God. This I resisted for sometime. When I finally yielded I knew I could no longer make decisions for myself, but God would direct my paths.


This yielding meant changes. I no longer determined to be first in my Senior High School class but I did my best work and trusted Jesus for the result. What a rest! I was valedictorian after all. Then I felt I should study to be a teacher to help me later in Christian work. When I was ready to enter college the Great Depression had begun. I spent the next year as a companion to a wealthy lady who offered me a loan to pay for my tuition. After I had looked at a number of colleges and rejected them, she sent for a representative from Wittenberg College. (She was a Lutheran). I felt this was the right place so she arranged all the details with the representative. He found a home with a widow where I cared for the young daughter after school hours. He also helped through the opening days. How minutely the Lord guided through these people. Later I felt the reason for choosing Wittenberg College was a Child Psychology professor who loved children and taught us to respect them. This changed my ideas of discipline in a classroom. What a tremendous blessing that was in the years to come.


Wittenberg College was only 100 miles from my home which enabled me to return occasionally. On the weekend of November 8th, 1927, friends gave me a new Bible and a plan to read it through in one year. When I returned to college I made a firm decision to do it. This meant getting up at 5:00AM before a busy day, but I have never ceased to be grateful for such an early introduction to the Word of Life.


I began teaching in a one-room country schoolhouse. The following summer I went to Miami University at Oxford (Ohio) to upgrade my credits. During the second year of teaching I knew I must go to the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois the following summer. I had paid all my school debts, bought a family car and saved enough for the summer at Moody. I had signed a contract to teach a third year hoping to save enough to complete the two-year course at M.B.I.. Toward the end of the summer course, that small guiding inner voice that I had come to recognize so clearly, said “this is the way, walk ye in it”. After weeks of struggle to make really sure, I yielded and cancelled my contract to teach. I had no money and no job, only the inner assurance this was where God wanted me to be.


I soon got a job, with another girl, opening and sorting mail in a big office from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. I liked the work and the hours but it didn't pay all expenses, yet in miraculous ways I finished in two years owing only $35.00. A request to take charge of the music in special meetings netted me $35.00 so I paid my debt! I didn't get another paying job until I went to China two years later. I had a place to work for my room and board through again looking after a small girl in Van Wert, Ohio, where I organized a group of girls into a musical and Bible study group. We took lots of meetings, but the depression was deep. I don't remember receiving money for our services. And I must add also that if I had taught that third year as I had planned, it would have been to no avail. The bank where I had been keeping money failed as so many did in those very difficult years.


My first day at Moody I met a small group at a picnic who were candidates for mission work in China (my course was Bible and music). Again this was God's leading for there were a thousand students at M.B.I. He led me to the China group! Those two and a half years at Moody were among the richest of my life: in Bible classes that lifted one into spiritual realities; in music classes that were so enriching; in friendships so meaningful – a few which remain to this day. The Bible was our chief textbook and has remained the most important book in my life. It has been through reading it that God has spoken and directed my life so often.





owever, my call to China came through a retired missionary during my last term at M.B.I. I applied to the China Inland Mission but it was two years before I passed the doctor's test. Then I needed a clear word from the Lord. It came through reading Exodus 23:20 KJV “Behold, I send an angel before you to keep you in the way.” Thus I had confidence to re-apply to the Mission. The depression was still on in 1934 but when I needed money to travel to Toronto for the candidate course, there was plenty. After six weeks in the mission home in Toronto, I was accepted along with 14 other young women and men to go to China.


The journey to China was somewhat different from what it is today! Family and friends gathered in Van Wert to see me off on a train travelling overland to Portland, Oregon where I was to meet three other girls from the west and mission officials. However, by choosing the southern route, which stopped in Minneapolis, one of the girls, Pearl Strot boarded the same train and the same car. Thus I had company. How wonderfully God guides even in small details. We travelled from Vancouver on a Japanese steamer. What a send-off! Streamers were thrown to friends on the dock who held on until the ribbons broke. The custom then was for friends and relatives to send letters to the boat, called “steamer letters”; I had enough to keep me from being home sick. But, when we reached the ocean swell I could read nothing! I was so sick. But I was able to “squint” and memorized Psalm 91: which was God's Word to me, especially for those years in China. How glad I was to reach Japan twelve days later.


There we found that the boat which was to take us to China was in dry dock for repairs. We spent the next week in Japan. There was an evening in Tokyo, a day trip to Mt. Fuji on a beautiful sunny day, two days in a western hotel in Kobe where we attended a unique flower show (animal shapes which were covered with flowers), a night trip on a Japanese train with bunks so short and narrow we couldn't sleep, three days in Nagasaki in a native hotel, which completed our stay in Japan. It was long enough to give us an insight into the atmosphere of Japan.


Those six years in China, 1934 –1940! The day before I left Van Wert, the Chicago newspaper headlined the capture of two China Inland Mission families by the Communists. The wives and children were released. My first night in the Mission home I sat next to the wife of one couple. Only a few weeks later, while sitting at dinner in the Women's Language School at Yangchow, news came of the martyrdom of two of my best friends at Moody, John and Betty Stam, by the Communists.


Five months later I was posted to the same province, Anhwei, where they were martyred, but north of the Yangtze River instead of south. Language study and adjustment to life in the city of Shucheng, Anhwei, 90 miles north of the Yangtze River, had scarcely begun when the Communists invaded our area. Gates of the Walled City were closed and men from each household were posted on the wall. At daybreak a gun was fired. I jumped from my bed desperately frightened. Almost before my feet touched the floor I heard an almost audible voice say “Fear not, for I am with thee”. The whole of Psalm 41:10, a verse I had memorized while walking to and from classes at Wittenberg College, flooded my mind in power. The fear subsided and for the next five years in other dangerous situations it never returned. That morning, so long ago now, the Chinese amah came as usual bringing hot water. She looked at me and said “Ni puh pah, ma?” (Are you not afraid?) She could tell by looking at my face I wasn't.


When the emergency subsided, rich people left and we three lady missionaries were advised to leave. Ruth went north to be with a sister and Miss Todd and I took rickshaws the 90 miles to Anking on the river. We passed through small villages and saw men sleeping on benches. It was rumoured they were Communists at night, but we were kept in peace and arrived safely. Miss Todd went on to Kulung, a summer resort, and I spent the summer with Eva from the United States and Doris from England. I had an excellent Chinese teacher and made real progress in the study of Chinese. But oh, it was hot! And humid! An upstairs accommodation with screened windows and doors was at least a protection from the mosquitoes and flies that had plagued me at Shucheng.


At the end of the summer I returned with Doris and Eva to their station. Another Communist threat there sent me back to Shucheng alone. A mile walk into the city brought me to the compound where the gatekeeper and his wife looked after me until Miss Todd returned. Alone there, unable to speak much Chinese, I had such a wonderful experience of the love and presence of God – so real and so unforgettable. The following months were spent in intensive language study preparing for the second section exam in the spring.


One interruption was a trip with Miss Todd to the Presbyterian Hospital at Hopeh, north of us. My eyes were giving me trouble but the doctor said it was anaemia, a teen-age problem which had recurred. His medicine, plus an enforced rest due to being snowbound, enabled me to write the exam successfully.


However, the political unrest, plus the long months of study, with some participation in the work of the station had taken its toll. The Mission Superintendent of our province advised me to go to the hospital in Shanghai. So it was another trip by bus to the river and a boat to Shanghai. It was deeply disappointing to leave Shucheng. But it was only a few years later the big church and the large home built for provincial conferences were destroyed by fire set by the invading Japanese.


After weeks of rest, and eating liver every night! Mr. Warren, Acting Director of the Mission, decided to send me to Chefoo instead of to the United States. I assured him I had no leading to return home.


The next four years, 1936–1940, were spent at the school for missionary children, helping look after the preppies ages 6-10. December and January were the holiday months and staff members were advised to take a holiday every other year. In 1936-1937 I went with a party to Tientsin and Peking and from there to Shensi province to visit Pearl Strot with whom I had travelled to China. We had a lovely Christmas with her Norwegian fellow workers. Later we took a trip by train to another missionary centre, farther into the province, to a city which had been besieged by bandits just a few months before. Returning from there I joined another staff member from Chefoo at a station in Hopeh province. With others we climbed a mountain to visit a monastery at the very top. Walking down steps carved on stone caused more aching muscles than the climb up the back way!


The next day Eva and I went on to Peking, and in spite of aching muscles, we spent four memorable days sightseeing by rickshaw. We visited the Summer Palace with its artificial lake and marble boat, all built by the famous Dowager Empress with funds allocated to the Navy! Within the city there were many memorable sights, the Altar of Heaven being the most interesting. In the olden days the Emperor went through a ritual each year which ended with a list of national sins being burned and offered up to the God of Heaven in the centre of the Altar of Heaven. Where did this ceremony come from? So many features were similar to Old Testament teachings and ceremonies. How did these get to China? When?


Another interesting trip two years later, 1939-1940, was to Manchuria with Pearl Young from Canada and Doris Weller from England. All of North China was under Japanese control by this time. They had launched their attack from Peking just weeks after our first trip there. Our experiences the second trip took us through Tientsin, Peking, and across the Great Wall of China into Manchuria, which had been under Japanese control since 1931. We travelled with Japanese officers in the same train, in the same car, but arrived safely at a Brethren Mission station where we spent a few weeks. Just before Christmas we travelled on by train again to visit a young Canadian Missionary and his Dutch bride, a daughter of the British Consul in Peking. He was the only one in the province to have a radio which enabled us to hear King George's Christmas message.


After two months in Manchuria we returned to Tientsin to join other staff members and the children. The trip from Tientsin back to Chefoo made us realize we were in enemy territory. Because of the sand bar at the mouth of the Tientsin River we had to take a launch and cross over the bar at high tide to reach our anchored ship. We went by train in the evening to catch the morning tide, but the Japanese refused to allow us to take it. They held us until the evening tide which made it difficult to find the ship in the dark. But God was protecting us. Another passenger, more familiar with the area than the master of the tugboat, directed us – just as the barge fuel was getting low. It was some experience to walk a gangplank from a boat to the ship in pitch darkness. How grateful we were for the hot food the ship's crew hastily prepared for us.


But back to Chefoo in 1937. Soon after returning from my first trip to Peking the Japanese launched their all out offensive against China, having had concealed headquarters in Peking. By February they entered Chefoo by sea after only a few shots over our compound. Thus we began life under an enemy regime. We could purchase supplies only by permission. Often major necessities became very low. We prayed, and permission was granted in time. Guards with rifles and barbed wire “horses” remained at our front gate.


Then another major event happened in 1938. Twenty-two men, calling themselves “Sons of the Prophet”, came to Chefoo from several different countries to study the Chinese language. Their regular city, Anking, Anhwei, 400 miles up the Yangtze River, (a familiar place to me) had been closed by the enemy. Among the group was a special one, Bill Dobson. I was unaware of his interest until friends invited me to dinner and he was the only other guest.


I sought the Lord about the engagement for it was not possible for us to spend much time alone to get to know each other. This was due to Chinese customs. The Lord brought me a message on the 1939 calendar three times, the last one given to me by Norah Getgood, a special friend. She felt specially led to give it to me. This gave me assurance from the Lord that this was His will.


Bill soon showed himself to be exceptionally gifted in the language and also one of the leaders in a deeper spiritual movement in the mission at Chefoo. After language study he, with others, was sent to work in North China. He and his co-worker got dysentery while travelling in Hupeh province. Eventually, he returned to Chefoo to recuperate in hospital. I was able to visit him there and one memorable day we read the book of Romans through together, each reading two chapters in turn. I'll never forget the blessing of that special hour. He had already read Romans through eleven times.


Later Bill was sent to my old province Anhwei. Gradually he began to differ with mission authorities and eventually he and a friend, David Bentley-Taylor, decided to leave the mission. We were married in Tsingtoo, Shantung September 17th, 1940. David remained with us and we were on our own. Bill and David decided they needed further study in Chinese so we made the hazardous trip by train across Shantung to Peking. While enroute a Japanese, possibly a spy, forced himself into our seats and informed us Italy had just joined Germany in the war in Europe.


Back to the USA



e were not long in Peking because of the political situation. In Tientsin the American Consul finally located me after four attempts to do so. He said a ship would be calling in Tientsin in two days and would be my last chance to leave China. Immediately, I had an inner assurance I must go. Both Bill and David felt the same way. I had been in China six years and they felt my safety due to the war situation was at stake. Thus I found myself on a ship (Mariposa Belle) sailing for Jensen, Korea. There we were held by the Japanese for days, incognito, because an officer making an intensive investigation of the ship had missed his sword while at dinner. It was later found in a garbage tin according to rumour.


A stop in Japan for United States citizens was expensive, $5,000.00 for a berth, but only fifteen persons came aboard. The Japanese had persuaded the Americans they would never fight the United States. One year later Pearl Harbour occurred!


Fortunately, I was given a private cabin on the beautiful cruise ship which had been diverted from Hawaii and made into a one-class ship so that as many as possible could be taken on from the Far East. The United States authorities were not themselves deceived regarding Japanese intentions. I was then able to endure my grief at the sudden turn of events in my life without disturbing anyone. Arriving in San Francisco the apprehensive cloud that had covered the ship was lifted and we were safe, rather than being the incident that triggered war with Japan. Our enforced stay in Korea had not given us any assurance.


After a long train trip across the States, I was met by Dad at Fort Wayne, 35 miles from home. The whole family had gathered at Van Wert but Dad had travelled to meet me first. When I left Van Wert in 1934 and waved from the train, Dad had thought that would be the last time he would see that hand! I spent the following year trying to adjust to life in the U.S. again with family and friends.


In the meantime Bill and David had left Tientsin. David returned to Chefoo where he married Jessie Moore, and Bill to Watch Men Nee, an outstanding Chinese Christian leader. On a mission for Mr. Nee Bill stopped at Singapore to visit Doug Carter, his brother-in-law, a Lieutenant in the British Army. British Headquarters there were in need of a man who knew the Chinese language and customs and they offered Bill a commission as a lieutenant. This he accepted and remained there after returning from completing Mr. Nee's mission. Years later he told me he felt he had to make a decision between helping the church in Singapore, which was connected with Mr. Nee's work, or attending the officer's club. No doubt his family's background in the Army influenced him to choose the officer's club. That was the end of any personal association with Christianity and the church until the closing days of his life.


Established in Singapore, Bill sought to arrange for me to join him there. I had written a letter to the British Consul in Chicago on December 6th, 1941, asking for permission to travel to Singapore. Of course the answer was “No” in face of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941.


The Japanese had steadily advanced in China, then down the peninsula of Thailand to Singapore by February 1941. Bill's regiment was disbanded and everyone had the choice of staying and being captured or attempting to escape. Bill and a few others, after the boat they left on was bombed, swam to shore in Sumatra. The fall of Singapore brought deep anxiety. While travelling on a bus to visit a friend, I had one of those deep experiences of the Lord when I was assured I would have news soon. The next morning the delivery boy went past the home of my friend. I said “He will be back soon”, and he was, with the welcome message “SAFE. SUMATRA. PRAISE”.


After a short stay in Sumatra, Bill had another hazardous, but safe, journey to India where he spent the rest of the war years. Through his diplomatic work with Guy Wint (Guy's godfather) and his successful journeys to China for the British government, he rose to be Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army.


Through the life lived there and his plans for the future, Bill felt our paths then should separate, but strong leading from the Lord did not permit me to take the initiative which was necessary. Instead, on his birthday in 1944, I reluctantly obeyed the still small voice within and sent him a card. This the Lord used to change his mind. The following year in June we met in London after nearly five years of separation – a time in which we had both changed considerably, he with strong worldly ambition and I to continue seeking God's will for life.


My five years in the United States were busy ones. After the fall of Pearl Harbour all hope of my being able to leave the States ended, as long as the war lasted. After several invitations from a friend, Ethel Foust, Dean of Women at Taylor University, to come to the University and speak at Chapel, I went and received a strong invitation to finish my degree there. This was the spring of 1942.


I also knew a church which wanted a youth worker and I applied because I had no funds for college, and also felt it was a selfish thing to do. Another friend needed help in Kentucky mountain work. These three openings I presented to the Lord and prayed for guidance. The door closed for all but the college so I had assurance about applying. Miss Foust needed an assistant and this she offered me which took care of part of my expenses. Then dear old Dad gave me $100.00 for the calf he had given me as a present when I returned from China!


But I couldn't enter until September. As I looked around I could see so many children not going to Sunday School and not receiving any Bible training at home. This led me to organize my first Daily Vacation Bible School at Elgin, Ohio. Over 50 children came and several really keen Christians joined me. That summer I worked in three churches and carefully saved all the “love gifts” for college expenses! The Lord really blessed in this work, for the next summer five churches asked for schools, each being for two weeks. The next summer there were fifteen, more than I could do.


But Taylor University! Those were very happy and very busy two years. I assisted the Dean; spoke at various churches on China on Sundays, having four M.K.s travelling with me singing in the languages they had learned as children. During the second year, I was also teaching a group of students, men and women, on how to conduct Vacation Bible Schools. I needed a few of them to help me in fifteen churches, so five of the girls came with me. We had three teams of two each working in five churches.


I graduated Cum Laude and was chosen, with four others, to be listed in “Who's Who" in American Universities and Colleges”. When the President of Taylor University learned Miss Foust had accepted a position in another college, he asked me to become Dean of Women. However, Miss Foust strongly advised me to go on to graduate work at Biblical Seminary in New York. I was interested in going to Wheaton College near Chicago and so applied to both. Biblical accepted me first so I went there. This time Dad was firm about me going without sufficient funds, so arranged for me to write checks on his account. This in spite of the fact he had not needed to give me any more money after his first initial gift at Taylor University. The Lord had supplied the extra I needed in remarkable ways.


And it was so at Biblical. The year I entered, the Seminary made a new ruling: any church asking for trained teachers would be expected to pay them. And apart from our practical work which involved work in churches and missions, I was asked to speak on China in various places. That year I had plenty of money!


Post War England



ut it was 1944- 1945 and the war was drawing to a close. Bill had given the British Army an ultimatum: either they bring me to India or send him to Britain. He received a new posting to England. I joined him there in June, having travelled on an unconverted troop ship! The hammocks were quite comfortable!


Bill was not demobbed yet. After a holiday he was sent to Norway in command of a unit to round up German war criminals. I remained in London with his mother and two sisters, Marjorie and Betty. After a holiday with China friends, David and Jessie Bentley-Taylor on the border of Wales, I learned I was pregnant and therefore should be looking for a home. I prayed much about it but had no leading to search in London. Gran (Bill's mother) could not understand this but by Christmas the reason was obvious. Bill came home on leave and let us know he would be going to Oxford for a degree in Chinese when his army service was finished.


When Bill returned to Norway I went to Oxford to the town clerk to inquire about housing. He said he had 5,000 such applications! However, he gave me three possibilities, two of which were totally inadequate. At the third agency, a lady had just come in that morning listing two large rooms with use of a kitchen and bathroom in her home in North Oxford... The agent had had dealings with her before but said he thought I could handle the difficult situation. Marjorie visited me later and asked how I had managed such adequate accommodation. A friend of hers had been searching for weeks but I had been praying for months and God had led me at the right moment to the right place. True, Mrs. Baetz was difficult. A Miss Cleaver, a retired children's worker had rented a small bedroom in the same house. She became a very good friend, looking after me when Guy was born, sharing shopping, cooking, etc. afterwards.


After Norway Bill was posted to the United States and did not see Guy until he was three months old. Then Miss Cleaver moved to a larger place which she had rented and held until Bill came home. How wonderfully God provided.


Guy was a beautiful 6 lb. 5 oz. baby born March 30, 1946. The day after he arrived I was moved to a sunny balcony and learned the Oxford rowing crew had won over Cambridge for the first time in a number of years! Guy gave us very little trouble those first three months. He was a smiling, happy baby.


North Oxford was an ideal location for Bill to attend University but after Mr. Baetz, a lovely man who had been an outstanding Sunday School leader, died, Mrs. Baetz became more and more difficult. Fortunately, those first months at University Bill met the Spaldings, who enjoyed all things Chinese. (They made their fortune making golf balls). When they learned of our need of better housing they offered us an apartment in their 22 room home on Shotover Hill. Being community minded people; they had divided their home into five apartments (flats) to be rented to University students with families. It was a beautiful place to live but very inaccessible. The bus came to Wingfield hospital in Headington, C.S. Lewis's home, but then one had to climb a hill, follow a winding lane to Shotover Cleves driveway, and then climb the final hill. Bill tried a bicycle, then a motor bike to get to classes in Oxford. Cars were scarce and expensive so guests often had to stay overnight. The four other families in the converted home were international too, the men were English but the wives were “foreigners”.


Social life centered in the homes. Doug Carter and Betty (Bill's younger sister) with baby Jackie, a few months younger than Guy, came for a week every Easter. We spent a week in their home in London every Christmas along with Gran and Marjorie.


Doug had not escaped from Singapore as Bill had. He was captured and sent to work on the infamous Burma Road. Betty hadn't heard from him for years. Finally, when the war was over Doug wrote saying he felt that God had miraculously brought him through and he felt called to be an evangelist. I can still see Bill and Betty looking at each other for they both had left the Lord during the war. Betty's ideas prevailed and they never attended church as long as I knew them. Marjorie also followed them so I was left on my own spiritually. Gran was always kind to me but was strongly opposed to Christianity partly because she did not understand and was unwilling to learn.


After I had been in England three years my father had a heart attack. He recovered but wanted to see me so the family sent for Guy and me. Bill had been away on the continent with Peter Swan, Guy's second summer, so I was happy to be going home. It was so good to be at home. Almost immediately I was asked to organize a Vacation Bible School for three churches combined. This led to two more besides many invitations to speak in churches, etc. Dad was quite well by now and looked after Guy much of the time!


We returned to Oxford in time for Bill's graduation in October. He then became a Don at Oxford and continued his intensive study of the Chinese language as well as teaching the language. The next happy event was the arrival of Iain on February 8th, 1950. Bill's telegram to the family in London was “red headed boy bringing Guy” Doug finally deciphered it: the boy was a new baby with red hair and Bill was bringing Guy for Gran and Marjorie to look after! Iain, too, was a happy, healthy baby.


Salaries were low which made the future look bleak for sending two boys to Public Schools. Bill's hope of becoming Head Professor of Chinese was dashed when an American with tenure was appointed. This meant it would be years before another equal opportunity came. Consequently, when the President of Toronto University offered him a Professorship he accepted it and in August 1952 we arrived in Toronto to begin a new life. Guy was six and Iain was two.


Canada 1952



s soon as I knew we were moving to Canada I began to pray for a home near the church of God's choosing. Having been isolated from church and Christian friends for so long I needed to be renewed. We arrived in Toronto on Saturday. We were met by the Dean, Claude Bissell, and that afternoon we were invited to a lovely tea in their home. What a delicious tea we had served by Christine. The next morning I started out with Guy to find a church. We wandered around until nearly 11:00AM when I saw a girl carrying a Bible. I asked if we could go with her. Thus we were led to Knox in August of 1952.


Then it was decided that I should take the boys to Ohio while Bill and Dr. Bissell searched for a home. Housing was scarce. Having been so far from the University in Oxford we decided we wanted to be near the University here, but nothing seemed available. They nearly rented an apartment a long way out but decided to give the inner city one more try. Then they found a vacancy just a short walk from Knox Presbyterian Church and the University. So my prayer was answered. We had a home near the right church, close to the University and, as we discovered later, near good schools for the boys.


Events of those first years were: Guy went to Brown school travelling with neighbours in the morning. Iain, thanks to Dr. Bissell, entered the Institute of Child Study. (Two years later Guy entered the Institute) It was something for me to pick up Iain at 3:00PM and Guy at 4:00PM, Guy soon proved he could come home on his own by two streetcars and a bus.


The first summer 1953, Bill, having received a Carnegie Grant to buy a Chinese Library, went to Hong Kong. The boys and I went to Ohio. Ed and Mildred (my brother and his wife) came for us, Ed driving to Toronto 400 miles one day and back the next! Bill joined us at the end of the summer at Ruby & Joe's in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


In the spring of 1954 Bill began looking for a car and found a second hand Oldsmobile which proved to be in excellent condition. This took us on our first visit to Go Home Bay. Bill had met an Anglican minister, Rev, Barnett, on board ship coming to Canada.


He introduced us to his son Tom, also an Anglican minister. Tom and Mary invited us to spend a month with them at her parent's cottage at Go Home Bay. Thus we were introduced to our second home. The following summer we rented a lovely cottage at Point au Baril where the fishing was good but the boat was small and not too reliable!


By 1955 we were finding the apartment a bit depressing and began looking for a house. When we failed to get one in Wychwood Park, Bill suggested we buy a cottage in Go Home Bay which the Harrison's, Mary's parents, had built just to hold a site up the river. I was so disappointed about the house that Bill brought me a dozen beautiful roses! As I look back I see the cottage and the apartment proved to be the best. God was guiding in all this for that same winter someone suggested I teach at St. Mildred's College, a private school for girls. I didn't know anything about the school but one day, while cleaning the dining room, that still small voice said “call St. Mildred's” I switched off the “Hoover” looked up their phone number and the answer to my inquiry was “I have just one opening and that is for a teacher of History and Latin”. And that began my eleven years with the staff and girls at St. Mildred's. The school was a four-minute walk from the apartment. Also by this time the Institute of Child Study had moved to the same street as the College. Thus Guy and Iain were only a few doors away. Later, both were in the University of Toronto Schools, a short walk from our home.


So with the addition of Pauline, a small German woman unable to speak much English, to help with the housework, a German dachshund named Herman, and all of us in our various schools, the years passed. Our social life centered in the University in Toronto and Go Home Bay but our personal lives were disintegrating.


Guy was unhappy, 1967 was the breaking point. Guy had been a year at Dalhousie University and Iain left UTS and went to Rosseau Lake School which proved to be an excellent school for him and where he did exceptionally well.


Through the distressing summer months of 1967, with Guy's emotional upset and Iain's difficulties at UTS, God gave specific promises for each of them which held me steady. One day in August, while alone at the cottage, I was reading in the book of Isaiah at the dining room table. The words “I will break the yoke because of the anointing” came alive as if God spoke them audibly. I jumped from my chair for I knew what they meant. Fifteen days later Bill asked for a legal separation on the basis that our interests were so widely divergent. Mine were Christian, his weren't. I could only agree on the basis of my experience at the cottage. Humanly speaking the time seemed wrong because of Guy. The next months were agonizing but by Christmas we went our separate ways.


On February 19th, 1968, just days before my 60th birthday, I began to work in the Ontario Bible College managing the bookstore. There I remained for 13 years, moving to North Toronto in 1976 when the college moved to a new location. Guy came to live with me until he returned to Dalhousie in September 1968. When he graduated in 1972 he stayed with me until he moved to Ottawa in 1975 where he continued to work with the Internal Revenue Department in the government. That was a comfort. Iain went on to Trent University, from Rosseau Lake, getting his degree there in 1974.


I really enjoyed the work in the bookstore of the Ontario Bible College as well as having rewarding contacts with the staff and students. Then in 1979, while I was reading one of my devotional books “Streams in the Desert”, God spoke to me again indicating He had something more for me to do after O.B.C. even though I was 71 at the time. It was a year later I learned what it was.


Jackie (my niece) and Bob, who had helped start a Bible College in St. Vincent in the West Indies, came to visit me in August 1980. Bob asked if I would come and teach the Old Testament and English when I retired from the O.B.C. bookstore. I knew immediately I could because God had spoken. A year later, on June 1st 1981, I resigned from OBC and began preparations to leave for St. Vincent in August.


In order to get a resident permit there I had to have police clearance and health insurance for eight months instead of six. I also, needed to find a textbook for the English course and someone to care for my apartment. I finally found “Grammar is Important” which remained the basic text for the English course until it went out of print. Charlotte Church came for the apartment and what a help she was. At the last minute she found a luggage carriage which was absolutely essential because of all the books and a lovely radio and CD player, a gift from my sons. Knox Church promised support, both financially and in prayers, making it possible for me to return home for the summers.


By August I was ready to leave a bit apprehensive about flying to Barbados then taking a smaller plane to St. Vincent. But my seat mate on the plane was a lady returning to St. Vincent after a holiday in Toronto. She proved a wonderful friend during the long wait in Barbados. How minutely the Lord provides.


What a welcome awaited me in St.Vincent. The staff and students were at the airport to meet me. The next day Bob took me to my new home, a two bedroom duplex with iron louvered windows not only to keep burglars out but the welcome sea breeze in, the weather was so hot! The walk to the College was up a steep hill, across a goat pasture to the road leading to the College.


I chose to live alone – I needed the quiet to prepare. But the next year, Bob and Jackie urged me to move in with them. Their home was closer to the College and the many activities, especially at night.


The “Windward Islands School of Evangelism” (W.I.S.E.) was a new two-year college with a curriculum based on the Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO., USA. It was founded to train West Indian young people for Christian work in the Islands. It was good to be in the classroom again.


The students came from Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados and later Haiti. Some were returning to the classroom after years away. So teaching was a challenge. My program: a three hour English course for all the students and a three hour course in the poetry books of the Old Testament for second year students. The second year was a four hour course in the history books of the Old Testament from Genesis to Job.


The church connected with the College was well attended by the community so I soon became adjusted to a new culture, with different weather (so hot!) and different food (RICE!). It was basic as in China.


So with a welcome break at Christmas and a conference in March, with a challenging speaker from Jamaica, a year soon passed.


I was ready to spend the summer at home. The Lord enabled me to continue this program for four more years. However, the summer of 1985 was different. I had booked cataract operations for both eyes but the first one did not clear, although the surgeon assured me it would. Finally, it was urgent that I decide about returning for there was a shortage of teachers for September.


I was reading in Isaiah when the word of the Lord came, “The Lord will guide you always. He will satisfy your needs in a SUN SCORCHED land. He will strengthen your frame” I prepared to leave. By August my eye cleared.


Jackie was also returning. When we reached Barbados we found the plane to St. Vincent was overbooked. There was room for only one. What to do? There was only one afternoon flight. Finally, I was offered a place on a very small plane (8 seats) with no space for baggage. It was flying to St. Vincent via the Grenadines. Jackie then took my luggage as well as hers through customs to wait for the larger plane.


The Grenadines are a string of islands between Grenada and St. Vincent only three having runways large enough for smaller planes. We flew to Curacao, but since there were no passengers for the other two, the pilot by request flew low so we could have a good view of the beautiful islands under the clear blue sky, white clouds, and sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea. It was a beautiful flight. I was ready for another good year at the College.


 September 8th, 1984 was a highlight when Iain married Karen Walsh. It was a beautiful wedding in an Anglican Church near her parent's country home in Quebec.


After five rewarding years at the College in St. Vincent, again the still small voice of the Lord spoke urging me to “pack up” – it was time to leave. By the end of April, 1986, all was done and I came home to be met by Iain holding little seven month old Sarah in the window at the airport. Karen and Guy were also there. Guy had been there each time I left and returned.


Four years later in 1990, I was asked to return and speak to the graduating class. It was good to see all the changes, to meet friends and some former students. It was also a joy to see the School had finally found land on which to build. I watched the first spade of soil turned. Bob had designed a beautiful U-shaped two storey building. He was able to see the new building and campus completed before cancer took him eight years later. (Jackie continued as director of the College.)


But my trip home was certainly not the usual one. I had to leave on the 7AM flight in order to connect with the flight at 1PM in Barbados. I stayed with a dear Barbadian friend with whom I had shared a room when she attended one of our March conferences in St. Vincent. By mid morning a phone call from Iain in Toronto warned me Wardair had gone bankrupt and all flights were cancelled. I immediately tried to book with another airline but it was impossible. There was chaos at the airport. Some vacationers had spent all their money. But when all hope that another plane would be sent for us that day vanished, the Canadian Consul loaned money to those who needed it.


Elsie assured me I could stay with her until help came. I went with her to an early morning baptism, a lovely ending to my time in the West Indies.


Finally, we were assured a plane would be coming. The Canadian government had rented one from Quebec. We boarded the plane at 1:00 PM but were kept waiting an hour with no explanation. Then we flew to Antigua another island where we were kept another hour without explanation. Finally, the plane turned north, rising above the clouds. What a relief! Then we were served a welcome delicious dinner. Home at last!


These past two years have been spent teaching at Knox Church, spending time with family and friends, welcoming little Claire into Iain and Karen's family and making periodic trips to Florida because of Ruby's repeated illness. In November, 1987, Joe had a serious heart attack. Thus I found myself in November, 1987, caring for them both. In February, 1988, a special joy was having Guy, Iain, and two year old Sarah coming to celebrate my 80th birthday.


As I look back over these 80 years I realize how wonderfully faithful God has been. The words of the Lord Jesus “ I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” have proven so wonderfully true. Through all the changes, through all my failures to be all He would have me be, He has continued to guide, to provide, to protect and be to me my one sure Rock in a changing world.

Continued 2005



t has been nearly 17 years since I wrote the above. Now, Iain, my son, is helping continue my story.


I take you back to February, 1988, when after celebrating my 80th birthday in Sarasota, Fla., with Ruby and Joe, Guy and Iain with little Sarah returned to Toronto, and Katy & George to Leesburg in central Florida.


However, in May 1988 George's continued illness made it necessary for him to go into a nursing home. Then Katy was able to help me care for Ruby & Joe. We took turns staying with them until Ruby passed away in December 1989.


Joe, though partially blind, felt he could care for himself with the help from a neighbour and a taxi. However, the next five years he twice became ill and called for help. Katy and I always stayed with him until he was well again. But Katy also needed help. Once when her home was struck by lightning and once when she had major surgery. Each time when help was needed, I was called!


In November 1994 Joe fell and Katy, who had spent much time with Joe and Ruby during her times of difficulty, promised with my help to stay with him so he would not need to go to a nursing home. So again we took turns staying with him.


In Dec 1995 Katy needed a real break wanting to visit our brother Tom in Virginia. I promised to stay for a longer time.


However, I soon began to feel uncomfortable with headaches, fever etc. but not ill enough to go to a doctor. January 1, 1996, I returned from a visit with a friend and discovered a sore on my knee. Soon it spread. The doctor said it was due to the cold weather, but he did not know why treatment failed to help. He sent me to a specialist and he, too, was puzzled. Finally, one of the sores blistered. The doctor's verdict then was, “I fear you have a rare skin disease, we never know what it is until it blisters.” Another wonderful specialist brought healing and continued to treat the inner cause of the disease.


Katy was also having problems. Now I had both of them to care for. She was no longer able to return to her home in Leesburg. Her memory was gradually failing and osteoporosis was making her life difficult. One day in July we returned after a treatment and found Joe had fallen again. Always before he was able to bear the pain and keep going but this time he had a cracked pelvis and the pain was too great. His health had been gradually failing so after a time in hospital he passed away on July 23rd, 1996. He was 93.


Because of his poor eyesight, Joe had always depended on me when he wished to change his will. This he did twice. Now I had the responsibility to settle the estate.


Guy took his two-week break and came. He contacted the lawyer and found a real estate dealer and within a week the house was sold. However, the buyer did not wish to settle and take possession until October, 1996. This was good for it gave me time to deal with the lawyer and the real estate dealer.


It was significant that Joe left most of his wealth to Katy and me for when I was 70 the Lord spoke asking me to cancel the alimony which Bill had so faithfully been sending me. This startled me for I was not receiving a pension from St. Mildreds and would receive none from OBC, which would make retirement difficult. However, I was unaware of this at that time. My one concern was to make sure this was from the Lord. When he made it clear I cancelled assuring Bill God still loved him. During the following years the Lord supplied my needs in amazing ways --- until it was time to fully retire! Thus faith was tested!


Guy also helped deal with the real estate dealer before he had to leave, but the next two months were difficult as I worked through decisions with the lawyer, the real estate dealer, and the buyers. My brother, Tom, decided to return to Florida and care for Katy who was becoming unable to care for herself. This took time for he had to work from his home in Virginia regarding a home in Florida. Before I left he was able to find a house near Katy. He and his wife Ruby faithfully cared for her through her remaining years.


Finally, I was able to return to my apartment in Toronto free from responsibility for family. The Lord Jesus had so wonderfully guided and helped me through those last 10 years.


In the meantime Guy had returned from his post with the government in Ottawa to live in Toronto and Iain also lives close with his family.


It was good to be with family & friends. One significant thing happened. A dear Chinese friend, having battled cancer for six years, left such a vibrant testimony for the Lord. She never complained just trusted Jesus to help her through each difficult phase. I helped her sister–in–law deal with her personal things and one problem was her lovely car. I said I was interested because my car was needed by my son. However, she returned to Hong Kong without making a decision. I thought I had lost it, but I had been so sure of the Lord's leading regarding it. The friend who had cared for the car during my friend's illness was looking for a buyer. After three people expressed interest in it, but decided against it, he decided to call me. He e-mailed his sister–in-law in Hong Kong and told her I was still interested. She reduced the price and told him to give the money to missions. What a joy the car was to me until I was 95. Then the Lord's clear Word came, “the time has come.” In three days the car was sold.


During 1997, I renewed my interest in Christie Gardens as a retirement home and early in 1998 an apartment was available. With the help of family and friends I was able to move in April to a lovely re-modeled apt with a large balcony. Gladys Linthicum came from retirement in Calgary, Alberta and stayed to help me settle into the apartment. The life at Christie has met my needs in every way.


I soon joined the committee for weekly Bible study and for five years was able to speak occasionally. In the beginning I spoke at the Tuesday Bible study and later once a month to the Sunday morning services. It was a blessing to share the precious Word since I had time now to spend many hours in it.


These past two years I have battled the problem of anaemia which I've had since my teens, and recently, high blood pressure which never had been a problem. However, the Lord is good enabling me to care for myself, I am so grateful.


I keep in touch with the College in St. Vincent. It is good to know that many of the graduates are carrying on an effective ministry in the Caribbean.


Four of the graduates, after further degrees in OCC in the USA, are teaching in the College. Another returning to Jamaica, is an outstanding evangelist. Recently, he sent me a detailed 5 year plan which he and his partner had set up, a plan to strengthen the churches as well as the people through crusades and conferences.


How I praise the Lord Jesus for leading me to start reading the Bible early for this was the way He taught me so many basic principles: to never study on Sundays thus giving my mind a rest; to keep the Sunday special for Him; to tithe; to wait for His leading regarding changes and never leave His appointments without further leading. He was always faithful guiding me to the next step. And through these quiet retirement years the Word has become more meaningful and precious.


So the years have passed. The deep abiding peace which Jesus gave me when I was sixteen has never left me. Through all the changing years, through all my failures, He has been my faithful Guide and Friend. He alone has made my life meaningful. What a joy it has been to follow.



O wonderful Saviour, What infinite grace,

In humble thanksgiving the road I retrace.

I fear not the shadows at the close of life's day

For Thou wilt go with me the rest of the way.

Check out Pearl's second book    God's Provision



Pearl celebrating her 100th birthday

Pearl on her 102nd birthday