Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 17, 1953
NUMBER 19, PAGE 6,9b

Travels In Holland And England

J. T. Marlin, Sweetwater, Texas

About 2:00 p.m. Saturday, July 11th, our train rolled into the main station in Amsterdam, Holland. Soon we were in our quarters in Hotel Krasnapolski. After reading our mail, we took a sight-seeing boat and traveled up and down the canal of Amsterdam and then out through the harbor, which gave us a general view of the city. Upon returning to our hotel, Brother and Sister Harry Payne and Brother and Sister Bill Richardson came and greeted us and welcomed us to the land where they have done so much for the cause of Christ in the past four years. Both families now live in Haarlem, Netherlands. It had been less than three years since the Harry Paynes had given Brother George W. DeHoff of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and the writer such a royal welcome. It was a pleasure again to visit with the church in Amsterdam. Incidentally, three years ago, Brother DeHoff and I were present for the formal opening of the first building owned by our brethren in Holland. Brother Bakvis, a native of that land, is the energetic and efficient preacher for this congregation. After his sermon, Brother Perry Cotham and I brought messages to our Dutch brethren, which were translated by Brother Bill Richardson. In this service were Chaplain Capt. Weldon H. Barnett and Mrs. Barnett. He is stationed in Austria. Both are Texans. Mrs. Barnett formerly lived at Merkel. Brethren Payne and Richardson suggested that they take their cars and our group for a Sunday afternoon trip to the famous villages of Volandam and Marken. In these quaint villages, men, women, and children still dress in the old-fashioned Dutch costumes. Souvenir stores are abundant. For those who are interested in pictures in color, these places cannot be surpassed. Our movie cameras ground away the film while 35 mm cameras were snapping rapidly. From Volandam we went by boat to the Isle of Marken.

It was indeed heartening to see the accomplishments of our brethren in Holland. They related the story of the recent flood which brought sorrow and suffering as it made the people homeless. They are now reclaiming this land. We saw pictures that were made the week before when these brethren visited there. Let me assure those who have contributed to this disaster, that both money and clothing have been used wisely. Ever grateful for their kindness, we had to say goodbye to all and took a train for the Hook of Holland. Our group in a special compartment hymned songs of praise as we journeyed for nearly an hour and a half. This seemed to amaze the conductor. Upon passing customs, we walked aboard our boat and found our cabins very comfortable. Shortly after midnight, the whistle sounded. Our boat cut loose her moorings and we launched out in to the mist and fog for a crossing of the North Sea. Early in the morning of July 13th, our boat docked at Harwich, England. From this point, we went by train to London. Our hotel there was the Washington. It was a pleasure to be greeted by, and associated with, my good friend Len Channing again. Brother Channing preaches for the church in Aylesbury Bucks, England. There are many things of interest in London. While watching the changing of the queen's guard, we were privileged to see Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. We spent a very enjoyable day visiting Windsor Castle and Hampton Court. Enroute to Windsor, we stopped at Stokes Poges and visited the old country churchyard, where Thomas Gray wrote his "Elegy." Here his mother was buried. It is said that he sat under a yew tree and wrote in three hours this immortal work that he spent six years in polishing. The epitaph on his mother's tombstone declares her to be the mother of five, and only one had the misfortune to survive her. If this one had not, the world would have been robbed of Gray's "Elegy." Thomas Gray's favorite maxim was, "to be employed was to be happy." By boat we journeyed on down the beautiful Thames River, marked with beautiful flowers and locks. At last our eyes were fastened upon Windsor Castle, located 21 miles west of London. It has been called by some "the chief residence of rulers of Great Britain." However, the royal family spends only two or three days during the year here. The site of this castle was chosen by William the Conqueror and it covers 23 acres. It is perhaps best known for the Chapel of St. George. Here in vaults, lie many kings, among them Henry VIII and the late George VI. We were told that Queen Victoria refused to be buried there. Her tomb is located not far from the Castle. Our next stop was at Hampton Court Palace. This palace was erected by Cardinal Wolsey in 1515, after obtaining a 99 year lease. In 1526 he presented this to Henry VIII after the demands of the king. It is said to have become Henry's favorite residence. Back in London, we visited such points as the London Tower, the Parliament Building, Westminster Abbey, and many other interesting and historical spots. Thursday, July 16th, we took flight 521 from the London airport at 415 p.m., which was one hour behind schedule. Our ship was a Lockheed Constellation. It was announced on departure that we would land at Glasgow, Scotland, but later that was changed. We landed at Prestwick, and we were told upon departure that due to weather conditions over the Atlantic that we would land next at Kalenvik, Iceland, instead of our scheduled stop at Gander, Newfoundland. This was an unusual experience we had. I longed some day to see the midnight sun but had not expected to on this trip. It was a real thrill and a beautiful scene to behold the sunset and after midnight, it was likewise a strange sight to behold it coming up again in just a short while. We left Kalenvik with a flight announced for Gander but since the port did not "clear up," we landed at Goose Bay, Labrador. Since Gander was "weathered in," there were Canadian passengers who were destined for Gander, permission was obtained to land at Muncton, New Brunswick, emergency port, so that these passengers could be transferred on to Gander. After we had flown to this point by radio, the plane crew received a message that Gander airport had "opened up," so our plane changed its course and turned eastward for Gander. After breakfast had been served the passengers at the airport, we took off for Boston, Massachusetts, and then New York. After flying around all of this weather, though, our flight was very pleasant. We landed in New York six hours behind schedule. Here we bade goodbye to Brother James Mahan, formerly of Kalamazoo, Mich., now in Flint, and Brother and Sister Roy Eyster of Carlisle, Penn., whom we had learned to love and admire from our six weeks of travel and association. I then obtained passage for Earlene Bennett, Jewell Watson, Perry Cotham, O. C. Horn, and myself on the 6:30 nonstop flight — New York, Dallas and Fort Worth of the American Airlines. In Fort Worth Brother Horn was met by members of his family and departed immediately for Lubbock. Brother Cotham's family met him at the airport and they returned to Paris the day following. We remained in Fort Worth overnight and took an early morning plane on the Pioneer Airlines which landed us safely at Avenger Field in Sweetwater at 8:40 a.m. where our families and a great host of friends were waiting to welcome us home from our journeys in Europe and the Bible lands.

It was a great trip with a great group of Christians. Now as I view the 4,950 feet of colored moving pictures with my family and Christian friends, I am reliving this trip. At our mid-week service here for the next few weeks, I will be showing a part of nearly 1,000 35mm slides made on my two trips through the lands of the Bible in 1950 and 1953. It is my sincere hope and prayer that all who long to make such a trip will one day realize the meaning of their fondest dreams.