Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands
12 August 1945
Sarah, My Dearest Darling:
Just before my evening service I came here to the Chaplain tent and found your grand letter of August 2nd awaiting me. I read it hurriedly and then proceeded with the evening service. It was such a good letter and helped me a lot with the service. It has always meant a lot to me to see you in the congregation. I do hope that it won’t be too long until I’ll be able to see you down there in the congregation.
This was really a hot day and it is still rather warm. It was such a beautiful sunrise this morning and the ocean has really been very calm all day. I attended Paul’s service which was fairly well attended and he preached on, ”Wanted: A Faith.” For the next hour I came back here to the Chaplain tent and went over my message again while the Catholic chaplain had mass for his men. And then at 11 o’clock we had my service. We really had a fine crowd in attendance, all the seats were taken and a quite a few men were standing or sitting on the ground outside of the chapel. I spoke on Galatians 5:13-26. And used as the theme of my message this thought, “Winning Peace.” I introduced the theme by saying that almost all those I’ve talked to are saying, I hope they accept the surrender offer of Japan. We hope that on the basis of the cessation of hostilities, but at that moment we face an even greater choice or decision, are we going to accept the terms of self surrender to God’s word which means the hope of the kind of peace we have been fighting for. Then I further developed the message on these three points; called the three C’s. Condition,(World); Causes (of world condition) and last Cure (and how we can and will have peace). In the passages of Scripture used, we have vivid descriptions of the fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit. And then I concluded with the idea that Christianity is more than some beautiful story of the past; nor is it a way of escape. It is intensely practical and the only way of life now for men and nations. A lot of men said some encouraging things about it, and several said they thought I ought to have it written and published. Very gracious and kind of them to say the least. I only pray and hope that it will challenge men to accept the way of life as we have it in Christ.
After the service was over I hurried to have my dinner so I could get a way to hold a service for one of our isolated units here on the island. Was I ever surprised, do you know that we had fried chicken for dinner, I could hardly believe my eyes. That was the first chicken I had had since last February. I had a wing and a small thigh. I could have eaten some more but I was very thankful for that much.
As soon as dinner was over, Don, the Jeep driver and I left in order to have a service for the isolated unit mentioned above. There were only 29 men in attendance but that was good considering the fact that they had a quite a few out on patrol seeking to round up some more enemy soldiers, and then of course there were others on the guard post. I use the same message that I did in the morning service. We arrived back here after 4 o’clock, so I decided to go up and stretch out on my cot until time to eat. I rested for about an hour, then having had supper I came down here and found your grand letter. As soon as I read the letter we had our evening service. This evening I spoke on Luke 23:1-12. Using as the theme of my message, “No Room for Christ.” I introduced it on a basis of how people or nations fix up their homes or rooms when a dignitary comes to visit their home or nation, but Christ was born in a stable. I showed how it was the religious leaders who brought Christ to be tried by the public officials; just so do we bring Christ to be tried by the world when we live carelessly in our lives and habit. And then my second main point was Herod as an example of sensuality. His life represented everything which the pleasure seekers are after and he mocked the life and power of Christ because of the shallow lives of the religious leaders who left Christ in the stable rather than in throne rooms of their lives and hearts. The world judges Christ greatly upon what power or effect they see Him having over the lives of those who profess to follow Him. And my last point was how Christ the stable effects the political world, as represented in the person of Pilate and Rome. Because we have given Christ the stable in our own individual lives, nations accept the same principle and give him the stable also, but then here I brought in the challenge for men as individuals to give Christ the place which will bring salvation, joy, peace and the more abundant life which we have been fighting for.
The air seems to pulsate with anxiety wondering what the next few hours may bring, will it be the cessation of hostilities or will it be more war and bloodshed. All everybody talks about around here is that one thing. I’m sure the same it must be true back in the USA as well as all over the world. The Christian people of the world and our nation must work harder than ever before, but we are going to have a wonderful opportunity, for I am fully convinced that it is the only hope or answer. I certainly wish you and I could talk this over as we did other things before. It is so hard to write things in a letter so they can be satisfactorily understood, and after all, the presence of the other means so much when you discuss such matters.
I’m glad you had such a nice visit with Marjorie Wells, Paul is expecting to hear anytime that the baby has arrived. You certainly had a long visit. Yes, Paul sent home a pair of Japanese binoculars, but I have a pair of that is even better than his, but now we are not allowed to send such things home, so all I can do is keep them and hope that I can take them home with me when I come home. I got them under about the worst conditions you can imagine so I would hate to lose them now.
I was surprised to hear about Willard Justice meeting Helen Anderson’s husband. I knew him quite well, he graduated a year after I left Northern. Is he with the Army or with the Navy?
It would have been nice if I could see Bill Doten, that is if he is on this island. I haven’t seen Bill now for several years.
Well, Lover, it is rather late and I’m tired so I think I will close for tonight. God bless my dear one in all things is my prayer. Also give the folks my love and best wishes.
I love you more than ever Dear
Because we are always one in Christ,