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Henry and Sara Beltman bound for China
Stella Girard VeenschotenAmoy Hill's Photos  Stella Girard VeenschotenAmoy Mission in 1877

Henry and Sara Beltman
Amoy Mission, 1920-1928    (Click thumbs for larger photos)

In 1984, Robert Schuller Ministires published "90 Years with Uncle Henry,¡± because Henry Beltman was Schuller's uncle!  When Dr. Schuller visited China in October and early November, 2006, he visited Xiamen, spoke at Xiamen University, and sought out the church Uncle Henry started.  (BTW, Xiamen's 45th church was finished in May, 2008; neighboring Quanzhou has almost 200).   Chinese versions of Schuller's books have been published in China.  You can buy them in Xiamen at Jehovah Nissi Bookstore.
Related Links:
Robert Schuller in China XiamenDr. Schuller's China Tour.     Robert Schuller Hour of Power in BeijingHour of Power in Beijing
Robert Schuller in China Xiamen
A Schuller Sermon mentioning Uncle Henry as "father" of Crystal Cathedral.

Henry and Sara Beltman's Son in Amoy"90 Years" is hard to find; the Hills gave me their copy.  Now that Schuller Ministries has a renewed interest in China, perhaps they'll reprint it?  In the meantime, below are Amoy-related excerpts from "Uncle Henry."  Enjoy!  
                                   Blessings, Dr. Bill

Excerpts from "90 Years with Uncle Henry"
Copyright 1984 by Robert Schuller Ministries, Garden Grove California

Chapter 16 ¡°First Impressions of Amoy Language Boys¡¯School

pp.66, 67¡°It was an interesting experience to see the Chinese coolies competing with each other to take our luggage and help us in our last journey to the island of Kulangsu. The Poppens lived in a large house on the shore. A long granite slab jetty extended into the harbor. The water was at ebb tide. The Amoy harbor has a tide of over 20 feet. It was a short trip from steamer to jetty on a small sampan loaded with luggage and three persons. I was a bit concerned about the heavy load in so small a boat on a treacherous deep-water harbor. Amoy harbor is one of the large deep-water harbors of the world. I was given my first lesson in traveling on a small boat with an extra heavy load. I was not supposed to be alarmed. I was merely to sit still and watch.Henry and Sara Beltman in a group photo, Amoy, 1920s

¡°It was Sunday morning when we landed. We had a hearty breakfast with the Poppens. Mrs. Poppen and Sara Helene were sisters....¡±

"...The language study was most interesting yet not easy. It was not like a Latin language. It had no grammar. It demanded practice of tones and memorizing words and phrases. It did not have an alphabet. It was a pictorial language of thousands of characters¡­.¡±

pp.67, 68 ¡°Four weeks after arrival, Mr. Poppen asked me to accompany him on one of his evangelistic tours into the country to visit the churches and mission stations in the district assigned to his supervision. Sincere there were no roads on which we could use vehicles, it was a journey on foot. It was a journey of some twenty days, traveling some 300 miles, and living on Chinese food, and spending the nights in rooms provided by the church or mission stations. We carried a small amount of food in one of our luggage baskets, and our required clothing in another basket. Each of us had two baskets weighing not over sixty pounds. These burdens were to be carried by Chinese coolies, called burden-bearers. These men traveled with us from village to village. At times we traveled as much as twenty miles per day, over hills and down into the valleys and up again to the hills. The roads were mostly two or three feet wide paths. The climing of the hills was made easier by having granite steps placed firmly on the paths. These steps were adjusted in height and distance to the size of the Chinese. They were mostly 5 feet 2 inches or 5 feet 3 inches; we were both six feet tall. This made hill climbing and going down not too easy for us.

Amoy Mission group on July 4th, 1921¡°Another thing I learned on this first trip was that my strong American walking shoes were no match for the Chinese grass sandals. My shoes were new when we began our trip. When we ended, the shoes were not worth repairing. My next trips were to be made in grass sandals. I had to have some extra large ones made. The price per pair of sandals was about 30 Chinese pennies. A pair of sandals would give me a minimum of 600 miles. When walking in sandals, it was easy to stop by a stream and cool one¡¯s feet and feel refreshed. I never traveled there again wearing shoes.¡±

p.69 BRITISH missionaries. ¡°All the missionaries who entered India, or any of the near-east countries, or the Arab lands had to promise not to speak against Great Britian [sic]. Britian rule the world in a strange sort of manner. The missionaries to these lands entered by the grace of His Majesty or Her Majesty, the King or Queen of Great Britian.¡±National Day October 10th on Kulangsoo 1921

SCHOOL -THRIVE UNDER LOCALS  [See "Pioneering Education]
p.69 ¡°My first assignment during our second year of language study was a boys¡¯ school. It was an elementary school, directly across the narrow walk in front of our house. I had charge of this school for the next five years. The school thrived during these five years, due to giving the control of the school to the local Chinese. The principal and all the teachers were Christians, and I felt they were well qualified to take control of the school. I kept long-distance control. When the student body increased, I asked local Chinese to help build a larger dormitory and a larger dining room for which the local Chinese paid. My error was that I did not ask permission for this move from our local missionary personnel and was severely reprimanded. This was not the last such reprimand because of the need for progress. I felt that the Book of Acts taught us that churches and their schools should become self-governing, self-propagating and self-sustaining. This idea was not all acceptable by missionaries and their boards from 1920-1926. But I enjoyed the boys¡¯ school.¡±

Chapter 17   Talmage College  (pp. 70,71)
¡°I had had no experience in architectural work nor building, but during my third through my sixth years in China, I was the leading real-estate buyer, architect and builder.

¡°The mission had a small college on the island of Kulangsu on an acre campus. It was necessary to move this college. Of course opposition arose. To live in Kulangsu was to live in a thriving, rich, wealthy community, and in touch with the whole world. Kulangsu was an island in the middle of the large Amoy harbor. It had a walk around the island which measured five miles. Many rich people lived there. They had acquired their riches in the Philippines, Dutch East Indies and Rangoon. It was estimated that four million Amoy-speaking Chinese lived in those sections of the Far East. They were successful business people. Having become wealthy, they returned to live on Kulangsu Island, protected by international treaties. Amoy was one of the larger harbors that was controlled by the British. Life was safe on this island, but our school was being crowded out of its campus.

¡°It was decided to move Talmage College to Changchow, where the mission had determined we were to live during our first term of service¡ªsix or seven years."

Note: Please send me Beltman-related text or photos to add to the site.  And I have old photos of the Beltmans I will upload when I have time.

Further Reading: Beltman, Henry, "Emancipation of Chinese Womanhood," Christian Intelligencer, September 1, 1926, p. 561

Help the "The Amoy Mission Project!"Cartoon of Amoy Missionary with Bible in one hand and piano in the other Please share any relevant biographical material and photos for the website and upcoming book.  All text and photos will remain your property, and photos will be imprinted to prevent unauthorized use. 


Dr. Bill   Xiamen University MBA Center
Snail Mail: Dr. William Brown 
Box 1288  Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian  PRC   361005

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The Reformed Church of China (Amoy Mission, started by the Reformed Church of America (Dutch)  in Amoy Hea-mun (aka Ameouy )A.M. Main Menu
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Reformed Church of China's Amoy Mission 1877 Report by DuryeaAmoyMission-1877
Fifty Years in Amoy Story of Amoy Mission by Philip Wilson Pitcher Reformed Church of ChinaAmoyMission-1893
David Abeel Father of the Amoy Mission, and China's first education for girls and women
Abeel, David
Henry and Sarah Beltman, Amoy Mission  1902-1928?Beltman
Boot Family of the Amoy Mission,South Fujian ChinaBoot Family
Ruth Broekema Amoy Mission 1921 1951Broekema, Ruth
Henry and Sarah Beltman, Amoy Mission  1902-1928?Bruce, Elizabeth
William Burns, Scottish Missionary to China, visited Amoy Burns, Wm.
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Henry and Kate Depree Amoy Mission  1907 to 1948DePree
Dr. John Otte and Hope Hospital Develder, Wally
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Elihu Doty RCA Missionary to Amoy ChinaDoty, Elihu
Rev William Rankin Duryea, D.D. The Amoy Mission 1877Duryea, Wm. Rankin
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. Stella Girard Veenschoten
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Dr. John Otte and Hope Hospital Homeschool
Richard and Johanna Hofstra of the Amoy MIssion ChinaHofstras
Tena Holkeboer Amoy Mission, Hope HospitalHolkeboer, Tena
Dr. Clarence Holleman and his wife Ruth Eleanor Vanden Berg Holleman were RCA missionaries on AmoyHolleman, M.D.
Hope Hospital Amoy  on Gulangyu (Kulangsu, Koolongsoo, etc.)Hope Hospital
Stella Girard Veenschoten
Johnston Bio
Rev. and Mrs. Joralman of the Amoy MissionJoralmans
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Karsen, W&R
Edwin and Elizabeth Koeppe Family, Amoy Mission ChinaKoeppes, Edwin&Eliz.
Dr. Clarence Holleman and his wife Ruth Eleanor Vanden Berg Holleman were RCA missionaries on AmoyKip, Leonard W.
William Vander Meer  Talmage College Fukien Christian UniversityMeer Wm. Vander
Margaret Morrison, Amoy Mission  1892-1931Morrison, Margaret
John Muilenberg Amoy MissionMuilenbergs
Jean Neinhuis, Amoy Mission Hope Hospital Gulangyu or Ku-long-sooNeinhuis, Jean
Theodore Oltman M.D. Amoy Missionary DoctorOltman, M.D.
Reverend Alvin Ostrum, of the Amoy Mission, Fujian ChinaOstrum, Alvin
Dr. John Otte and Hope Hospital Otte,M.D.Stella Girard VeenschotenLast Days
Henry and Mary Voskuil Amoy MissionPlatz, Jessie
Reverend W. J. Pohlman, Amoy MIssion, Fujian ChinaPohlman, W. J.
Henry and Dorothy Poppen, RCA Missionaries to Amoy China Amoy Mission Project 1841-1951Poppen, H.& D.
Reverend Daniel Rapalje, Amoy Mission, Fujian ChinaRapalje, Daniel
Herman and Bessie Renskers Amoy Mission  1910-1933Renskers
Dr. John Otte and Hope Hospital Talmage, J.V.N.

Lyman and Rose Talman Amoy Mission  1916 to 1931Talman, Dr.
Stella Girard VeenschotenVeenschotens
. Nelson VeenschotenHenry V.Stella Girard VeenschotenStella V.
. Dr. John Otte and Hope Hospital Girard V.
Jeanette Veldman, Amoy Mission ChinaVeldman, J.
Henry and Mary Voskuil Amoy MissionVoskuil, H & M
Jean Walvoord Amoy Mission  1931-1951Walvoord
A. Livingston WarnshuisWarnshuis, A.L.
Nellie Zwemer Amoy Mission  1891-1930Zwemer, Nellie
"The MIssion Cemetery of Fuh-Chau" / Foochow by Rev.J.W. Wiley , M.D. (also mispelled Wylie )Fuh-chau Cemetery
Dr. John Otte and Hope Hospital City of Springs
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