Harry Holt's 'Dear Friends' letter, 1955

Source: Mrs. Harry Holt as told to David Wisner (Los Angeles: Oxford Press, 1956), 93.

Harry Holt in Korea, pictured with Mrs. Raetz, the wife of the Overseas Director of World Vision, and the children he would bring home to the United States as his own. The child cradled in Harry’s left arm did not pass the physical exam.

Creswell, Oregon

Dear Friends,

. . . In some ways we are working in the dark. We have so many applications for children of white fathers and only the Lord knows how many there are. Many of the children have died there this winter. We surely thank God for everyone who has sponsored an orphan through World Vision. Only God knows how many little lives have been saved this way. One little girl that I prayed over last summer has just died and one of the little boys is in the hospital very ill. If this is true of the few that I knew personally over there, I can only wonder how many there are throughout the country.

Many of you have asked what the age limit is on prospective parents. We do not know the attitude of the Korean Government about this. I suppose they will give the preference to the younger couples. We still need many homes for the half-negro babies; also there are thousands of pure Korean children.

The plane fare is $259 to Portland and, I believe, $255 to Los Angeles. This can be paid in payments. Enclosed is a brief explanation of the difference between proxy and welfare adoptions.

I suppose most of you know that World Vision’s own Dr. Bob Pierce and Billy Graham are over in the Orient now. We ask your prayers for them as they are very greatly in need of our prayer support.

I only wish the Lord would give me the ability to help you understand what the little ones are going through over in Korea. The little boy or girl that may be, by the grace of God, in your home by this time next year is right now lying on the floor in the cold Korean winter, huddled under whatever covers they happen to have. They are always cold and there is never enough to eat. Most of them are weak with malnutrition and sick with colds and dysentary, and many others with the beginnings of tuberculosis. We should thank God for the Christian Koreans that are sharing what little they have and doing the best they can to take care of them. We would ask all of you who are Christians to pray to God that He will give us the wisdom and the strength and the power to deliver His little children from the cold and misery and darkness of Korea into the warmth and love of your homes.

Many people have asked how our own children are getting along. Except for some runny noses they are all in good health. Bobby has grown two and one-half inches and all of them have grown at least one inch. They all gained weight and are all happy. They did not begin to speak much English until they had been here about six weeks, this was probably because there were so many of them they could continue to jabber between themselves. But after that time, they began to talk and now they are learning words rapidly. They are a God-sent blessing to our family and we realize that we were not complete without them.

Yours in His service,

Harry Holt. . .


Source: International Social Service, American Branch Papers, Box 10, Folder: “Children—Independent Adoption Schemes, Holt, Harry, vol. I, 1955-1957,” Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota.

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