May 26, 1946

Seoul, Korea

26 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

Well, Beloved, it was certainly a wonderful day as far as mail was concerned, for I received two more of your wonderful letters. They were yours of May 15th and 16th. I was especially anxious to have your good letter of graduation day because I wanted to know just what happened on that day. Words will never describe to you just how much it hurt me to be separated from you on that day. I had always hoped to be there to see you receive your degree. I do hope that you have another one of the graduation programs for I would like to keep this one over here with me to show some of my good friends. That was certainly grand of Dr. and Mrs. Koller to give you that fine book and I think your idea about giving our other copy to Paul and Gen is all right and I’m sure it will mean a lot to them. And the other gifts you received were very nice and I want you to especially thank Chief and Mom for their fine present to you. Your idea of putting that money aside for a projector is very good and when I arrive home we can even talk it over more then. Before we purchase one, I would like very much to talk it over with you and see one in operation. Do you know where they are sold? Is it in the Chicago area? Do you have to buy the slides also and are they very expensive?

  I was up very early this morning and came over here to the office and spent a lot of time and meditation and prayer prior to the time for our morning worship service. I was rather tired and weary but I know it is because of all the extra strain I have been under because of the situation caused by Chaplain Martin’s actions around here. After that, I called in some of the wards. We really had a better turnout this morning then we have had for the last 3 weeks. There were over 100 in attendance, actually, the exact count was 106. As you will notice on the bulletin which I am enclosing, I preached upon this theme, “I Can’t Help It.”  I really received a blessing from preparing the message and I also felt the presence of the Lord with me when I delivered it to those in attendance. Several told me that they were helped by it so if that be true, I’m thankful for the Lord’s help.

Willis, Dennis and Dwight. 1946.

  By the way, you will be interested to know that Chaplain Martin came up to my office immediately after I finished my letter last evening and we talked for almost an hour. After he came into my office I could tell that he seemed to be rather docile and hurt. And I don’t wonder, and in spite of all that he did to cause trouble, I do feel sorry for him. He told me he realized the fact of his mistakes and that he was sorry and now he could see it. Further, he told me that he felt I wasn’t to blame as he first concluded. And just before leaving he told me that he meant it sincerely when he said,  “that I was one of the best chaplains and preachers he had ever heard in or out of the Army.”  Honestly, I don’t know whether he meant that or not except for the fact that he also told Dwight the same thing. I don’t like to think of it this way, but a number have told me that they felt that he was desperate in trying to do well and was conscious of the kind way people have been to me and in so doing blundered most miserably. I think you understand what I mean, I don’t like to say it like they said it because it would sound like I was conceited and boasting of the blessings which are mine because of you and the Lord Jesus Christ. For, after all, you know as do I there is nothing in me worthy of praise.

  You will be interested to know that we had another tough ballgame today and we won by a score of 4 to 3. We beat another tough team for the second time and they were really peeved for we are the only ones who have defeated them. I pitched and got along all right. I was up to bat three times and managed to get two hits. One of my hits accounting for one of our four runs. I wish you could have been there, but just the same, I played as though you were there because I always want to do my very best for you and our blessed Lord Jesus Christ.

  After our evening meal, I came up here to the office and went over my message a couple of times before time for service this evening. There were only 16 in attendance. As you will note, I preached on this title and theme, “Help My Want of Faith.”  My scripture was Mark 9: 2-26, I used the American translation for my scripture reading. I do hope that it proved helpful for those who did attend.

  Several of the men came up here to my office and visited following the service. And now two of them are writing letters up here. I like to have them come around and it makes me happy to know that they like to come around. Really, there are some fine men around, but again, some of them are so careless in their living habits that it about breaks my heart at times.

  Most all day it looked like it might rain, but so far we only had a few sprinkles now and then. It is almost a solid overcast now, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it start raining almost any time now.

  Well Darling, I only have a few more minutes to have this letter in the box in time so I had better close for this time. God bless you and the folks in all things.

 I’m just yours Beloved, for always in Christ’s love,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 25, 1946

Seoul, Korea

25 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

This has been one rounder of a day and I’m not going to be able to write you a very long letter, but I do want to let you know that I do love you much more than ever I have before. It would have helped me no end if I could have had one of your good letters today, but no mail of any kind came in today. I truly miss your wonderful letters when they don’t come in.

Captain Mason and Soldiers. February 1945.

  Most of the morning was utilized in taking care of the problem which has been bothering us here for some time. Immediately following the dinner hour, I came back here to the office and tried to do some studying and had only started in when lo and behold, a soldier came in with a problem which was bothering him. And the rest of the afternoon was spent going around to some of the wards to visit the men.

  We had an early supper and then we played a return ball game with military government and you will be interested to know that we beat them by a score of 8 to 7. In three times to bat I was able to get two hits, one of the hits which I got accounted for the tying run and then I also scored. I took a shower and came up here to the office and one of the men wanted to see me about something.

  Jeanette, Paul, and Dennis took my Jeep and went into the Youth for Christ meeting this evening. One reason this letter is so very short is the fact that Chaplain Martin wants to talk to me this evening. Undoubtedly, it will not be very pleasant, but I have been praying about the matter and I will depend on the Lord’s leading. Chaplain Martin now knows that he is to leave this hospital for another outfit or eventually be returned to the States. Well Lover, good night. I will hope to be able to write you a better letter tomorrow evening.

 Yours alone forever in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. I am returning the program of the Chicago Baptist Association to you. 

May 24, 1946

Seoul, Korea

24 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart;

It was really good to have your good letter of May 14th today, it did me much good and I have just finished reading it for the second time. I was glad to know that you were able to attend part of the Chicago Baptist Association meeting. From what you said in your letter, it must have been interesting. I was sorry to hear about the trouble they had concerning that one motion before Ruben Nelson was to speak. You mentioned John Lovick as the chief leader of the opposition. I happened to be with him in several classes while at Northern, and honestly, he used to get some of the fellows angry the way he would argue and quibble over little things. I think it is all right to be sure about what is implied, but some fellows can become so very trying in their attitudes and actions.

  Well, Chaplain Lindsay and a friend of his just left here. They were here almost an hour and a half, that means I’m going to have to hurry to finish this letter in time to drop it in the mailbox. It was so good to see Lindsey again. He is certainly a fine Christian man. Really it does your heart good to know chaplains like him. Naturally, he wanted to know the situation here at the hospital, that is, concerning Chaplain Martin. He has sent for his wife, but he is not sure that she will be able to come over here. He thinks that he will have to spend another year over here in Korea, but he has only been overseas about 8 months, so if he does it won’t be near as long as I’ve been overseas.

  I only received one other letter today besides your letter and that was a nice one from Delores Nelson. She is naturally looking forward to her summer vacation. From what she said in her letter, things seem to be going very well at the church.

  This has been a bad day in more ways than one because of several things, but because of the nature of things, I’m not going to take time to tell you in this letter. This Chaplain Martin situation is really a headache and I hope they decide something one way or the other. This uncertainty about everything is trying to say the least. He is supposed to have the Sunday morning service and the way things are now I’m just sitting in between. I’m preparing for the service just in case, but I truly don’t know what to do about preparing a bulletin for this Sunday.

  Lover, I was able to get you something today which I think you will like very much and I do believe that it would be useful to us in our home and years to come. I’m going to keep it as a surprise for you, really I think they are lovely and I do hope that you will like them. As yet, I don’t know whether I’ll bring them back with me or send them to the mail. I’ll let you know which I will do in the near future.

  I’m now on my 28th month overseas, I never ever once thought I would have to spend that much time overseas. Just think, if I would leave within the next week counting my terminal leave which I’ll have coming when I return, that means I will have been in the Army well over three years. So far I know nothing more, but at best I feel it will be a month or six weeks before I’ll be able to go aboard a ship for the good old USA.

  Dwight, Dennis, and Jeanette are attending the social hour which the Youth for Christ group is having in Seoul this evening. I would have enjoyed attending but everything has been in such an upset condition around here and there is so much for me to do that I just had to stay here and try to do a little, besides I wanted this letter to be in the mailbox before 9 o’clock.

  It is good to know that they had such a fine day for the Easter Service and from what you said in your letter they must have all been very well-attended. North Shore certainly has enough property now for their proposed building program. I pray and hope that the church starts to make some spiritual progress also.

  Beloved, I must of necessity close this letter if I expect to get it in the box on time. God bless you and the folks in all things.

 Always just yours in Christ’s perfect love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3 

May 23, 1946

Seoul, Korea

23 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

It is almost time for the mail to be picked up, but I want to try and get a little bit of a letter off to you tonight. First of all, I want to tell you about receiving your good letters of May 12th and 13th. They were so very good I’ve only had the opportunity to read them through once, but as soon as I finish this letter and mail it I’m going to read them through again.

Where Willis worked in Korea.

  This has truly been another one of those days the like of which you cannot imagine and it would take far too long to go into detail about the whole day, so I’m only going to mention a few things. Evidently, Chaplain Jaegar did not notify Chaplain Martin about the fact that he has to be moved from this hospital for all things seem to indicate that fact. It will surely be good when we can get him out of here altogether, everyone is very much disgusted with him.

  The whole morning was interrupted by a number of things and then about 11 o’clock who is to come in but Chaplain North and Chaplain Riley. They stayed for dinner with me and of course, with Alrik being here we really had a lot of fun. Alrik just sat around in the office most of the morning while I went about to the various wards and then talked to another psycho patient we have here in the hospital. This afternoon, I did some more calling in the wards. Chaplain North and Riley left here about 1:30. At about 4:30 Chaplain Rendahl came to see Alrik, they are old schoolmates from seminary days in Minneapolis. They attended Bethel. Alrik had planned on staying all night with me again but behold Rendahl wanted him to stay with him tonight so that is what he decided to do. By the way, after supper this evening we played another ball game and won by a score of 7 to 2. I was pretty lucky at bat again tonight.

  Following the game, I came right up here to the hospital and took a shower, and by that time we had to go to our Bible class. There were only seven in attendance this evening but we did have a good discussion. Alrik and Chaplain Rendahl had to leave before Bible class because he had to be back to some kind of meeting.

  Darling, I enjoyed reading over the bulletin for the services at Second and Ravenswood.  From what you said in your letter, Dr. Moor must have been very good. Don’t you remember that his daughter was the one who gave that very fine devotional at the meeting which we had that time at McNiel’s church in Rock Island, Illinois? I can still remember very well her splendid treatment of the verse in the text when Moses saw the burning bush. “ Take the shoes from off thy feet for the ground on which you stand is Holy Ground.”  By the way, I will return the bulletins in this letter.

  It is time for me to close and mail this letter if I want it to leave here tonight. God bless you Lover and all the folks in all things.

  Always and forever just yours in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 22, 1946

Seoul, Korea

22 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart;

Lover, this has been another one of those days when I have been on the go since very early this morning. There have been so many hectic things taking place that it has been distressing and it now seems very little has been accomplished. Right after breakfast this morning, who should walk in this morning but Alrik, it was surely wonderful to see him again. He came up with their hospital car and some patients. The hospital car is a specialized railroad car. I had to take care of a problem case, in fact he was the one which I told you about in last night’s letter. By the time that was taken care of it was time for me to leave here with Colonel and Lt. Col. to see Chaplain Jaegar about the problem Chaplain Martin has created here at the hospital. We were only in Jaegar’s office about 20 minutes and the two men told him the whole story and asked him to have him transferred out of this hospital as soon as possible. Chaplain Jaegar agreed that it was the best thing and said he would do it as soon as possible. Undoubtedly he will blow sky-high when he finds out but I didn’t do it, I’ve done all I could, but I know he will blame me for what has taken place. He is certainly a misfit if ever any man was.

Chaplain Reed, Blomquist and Robinson. Winter 1946

I didn’t have a lot of time before dinner, but I did take care of one man and by that time Alrik and I went over to have something to eat. On the way back to my office from dinner, another soldier stopped and that took some time. As soon as I got up here to the office Alrik and I had to leave for Seoul. He had a whole lot of confiscated money and other things which he had to deliver to the authorities who are now breaking up a large black market ring down in Fusan.  Unfortunately, a number of his men in the hospital are involved in it. Alrik didn’t know what was in the box either but nevertheless his commanding officer had to ask him to deliver the box to Corps Headquarters. And we had to count every bit of the money and other items and then witness every item. It was almost 5 o’clock by the time we were able to leave there. We arrived back here just in time to have our evening meal.

  I studied for a while on my message for this evening after the evening meal, but I didn’t have all the time I would have liked to have had. I spoke on this theme from the 53rd Psalm, the main theme found in the 5th verse. The title of my message was, “What’s Troubling You?”  There were only fourteen in attendance. We had choir practice.

  It is rather late now and I must close and go to bed. There were two wonderful letters from you today and they were from May 10th and 11th. They were very good and helped me no end. I got two other letters. They were from Connie and my cousin Howard Reed. Good night Lover, and may God bless you in all things.

Yours alone in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 21, 1946

Seoul, Korea

21 May 1946

Sarah, My Wonderful Christian Wife,

As I said last evening, I doubted if we would receive any mail today and sure enough none came in. But I’m hoping that there will be mail for us tomorrow. Your letters are to me what the sunshine is on any form of plant life. Beloved, it is going to be so very good to be able to talk to you in person and discuss things as we used to do. I don’t have much time, but I do want to finish this letter before time for our Bible class this evening. I came right back over here to the office for my evening meal and hoped to write this letter to you immediately, but there was a soldier who wanted to see me about a problem. I could tell that he was terribly troubled and upset, and I tell you, my heart certainly went out to him. He has been overseas since last August and he has just received a letter from his wife informing him that she is pregnant, about three months along. Lover, words cannot ever inform you just how much it does mean to have a wife and sweetheart who is always loyal no matter what may happen. I’ll tell you more when we are together. Since being in the service, I really had some very unusual cases to handle and it has helped me to see and understand a lot of things I never knew before. It is also crystallized a great deal of my thinking into things which I feel are necessary for us as servants of the Lord to strive for as we were together in our next Church.

Willis (second from right) with friends. 1946. Korea.

  After my unusual routine this morning, I tried to do a little more reading in the book entitled PRAYER by Dr. Buttrick. It is really a fine book and I do enjoy reading it very much. I hadn’t finished the chapter I was reading until the hospital executive officer came up to see me about all the trouble Chaplain Martin has caused since his arrival here at the hospital. He asked me to call Chaplain Jaegar for he said we would have to do something about the situation. Finally, I was able to get a hold of Chaplain Jaegar by phone and made arrangements for an appointment with him tomorrow morning. This whole thing just makes me sick, it is too difficult and involved to try and write about in a letter so I will have to wait until I return to the States. Of course, it will be all over before this letter ever reaches you, but just the same I do wish you would remember the whole situation in prayer. It is the worst situation I’ve ever had to handle. Honest, I just cannot figure out such a man. He has done more to tear things to pieces here at the hospital in one month than you can ever imagine. Poor Dwight, his assistant, came over to my office to talk to me about the whole thing. Chaplain Martin has decided to go walking into the mountains so Dwight took the opportunity to come over here and pour his heart out to me. It is about all Dwight can do to stand him and said unless he is removed from the hospital he wants to be transferred out of his office for he can hardly stand him around. Darling, that is about all for now but I’ve been so completely crushed and hurt the last 2 weeks or so that I don’t know what to think. It is a pity that such a man should be allowed to wear crosses which are supposed to be distinctive of a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  This afternoon most of my time was consumed calling in the wards and then I was called in on another psycho case. Some of these poor young fellows condition is enough to make you want to cry. How a man can become so mixed up and so involved is hard to understand at times. But all these experiences only make me more grateful than ever for the great truth and strength we find in His precious word.

  As far as the weather was concerned, this was a gloriously beautiful day. But it would have been much better if we could have been together. Please God, I hope that day isn’t too far away now. Another day has slipped by and I know no more than I have for some time now. If I could find out something it would help I’m sure. I’m praying and hoping that it won’t be too much longer, but our Lord knows best.

  What you said in your letter, that must have been a splendid message Dr. Anderson gave on Good Friday at Fourth Pres.  I have always enjoyed hearing him speak, and I know from the text which he used that he must have given a fine message. I have never heard Dr. Kerr, but I have read several of his articles at various times and I know they must have been good, it is I mean his services at the church during that week preceding Easter.

  Beloved, it is almost time for Bible class so I’ll bring this letter to a close and drop it in the mailbox. God bless you and the folks in all things.

 Yours only and always in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 20, 1946

Seoul, Korea

20 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

Well, one more day of our long separation has slipped by and I am certainly glad for that fact, I wish I knew just when I might be able to get away from here, but I will just have to continue living in expectancy. This uncertainty is indeed trying and it would make it much easier to know when I would be leaving here and then that way we might be able to make some plans. Even though Alrik and I will be eligible as of June 1st, that doesn’t mean that we are going to be able to leave then. The shipping question has been quite uncertain the last six weeks or two months and it looks like it is going to continue to be that way. What Colonel Miller told you was true when he left here, but it certainly isn’t now. Right now it looks like I’ll be very lucky if I arrive home by the 1st of August, so don’t count on me too heavily to help with Bible School. However, remember that I’ll send you a cable as soon as I know when I’ll be leaving for sure. And then after that, you can count on it being about a month before I’ll be able to reach Chicago.

As usual, I was up early and it was certainly a beautiful morning although it was quite cool. There are many different birds and it is so pretty to hear them sing when everything is so quiet at the beginning of a new day. After having my breakfast I came up to the office and did some studying and had my devotions. I wasn’t able to do all the studying I had hoped to do because I was interrupted by a psycho case that they called me in on. That naturally took a long time and before I was through with that case another one came up for me to handle. Just before dinner, Captain Howard Haynes of Towanda, Illinois called up and said that he would be able to come out and have dinner with me this evening.

Willis’ friend – Arnold Hodak.

  Following the dinner hour, I came back up here to the office and did a little more studying and then decided to go out and call in some more of the wards. I also had to see another one of the psycho patients. Just before 3 o’clock I decided to go down to the barbershop and wait for a chance to have my hair cut. It was about 10 after 4 before I was able to have my turn, so you can see there is very little time before the supper hour. I called in a couple of wards and then waited for Howard in the lobby of the hospital. He brought a friend along with him from Chicago, his name was Major Lasker (Jewish) and he surely seemed like a fine man. We visited until almost 7 o’clock and we would probably have visited longer but Howard is expecting to receive his order tomorrow or the next day to return to the States and he had a lot of packing to do and had to get back. Around 3 o’clock this afternoon Hodak came back to visit with Dennis and Dwight and some other friends. So we cancelled the Bible class for this evening and they are going to drive Hodak back to the Korean Disposition Center.

  All in all, this is been a very pretty day, although it hasn’t been very warm for the last 2 weeks. Things are really beautiful in Korea now. I wish you could see how the people here in Korea utilize every bit of available land to produce food of some kind. Their potatoes are really showing up very well now. They also grow something which looks like a Swiss chard in the States. In fact, they grow all kinds of it. It seems to be their main source of greens. Most of the farmers have the rice paddies all ready for planting their rice crop.

  As I had expected, there wasn’t any mail today and I rather doubt if we will have any tomorrow. Even with this better service it takes between 8 and 10 days for your letters to reach me. Not that I complain about that because all things considered, I think that is very good service. But, it is always a brighter and happy day when I hear from you. You are such a wonderful sweetheart and wife in every possible way. You id tow tweet and I wuve you tow vry much so dere and I taid it first and wast.

I was sorry to hear that Mr. Howell has been ill, I do hope that he is much better by the time this letter reaches you. That was certainly nice of them to invite you to the Four Square Banquet. I only wish I could be there with you, Beloved.

  You must have been very glad to see Lloyd’s again and I was surprised to hear that Earl and Helen are expecting, and I am glad for them. I’ll be glad when we can be expecting together for that blessed event in our own home.

  Darling, it was so good to hear about the chorus choir they have now at Northern. From what you said in your letter the selections wish they sang in Chapel must have been very good. I got ta kick out of your description of what Dr. Stiansen said, for it sounded just like him. He is one man I respect and love very dearly in the Lord. 

  I can imagine just how put out you must have been with the way they drug the service along at North Shore. Honestly, I believe a business meeting can be very interesting if people would just put something into the service. I’m sure the program you arranged for them worked out all right and I’m sure it must have been very helpful to all who attended.

  Well, Dear, I have just had three men leave here and they were here talking for over half an hour. There is very little time before the deadline on getting this letter in the box, so I had better close for now. God bless you, Beloved in all things. Be sure to give the folks my deepest love.

 Yours only and always because we are His,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. Enclosed is a clipping about President Hoover. It also appeared in the “Corps Graphic”. On back is a picture of Chaplain Jaegar.

May 19, 1946

Seoul, Korea

19 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart

It was certainly wonderful to have two more of your letters today. They were yours of May 8th and 9th. I’ve just finished reading them the third time and they are better than ever, but Lover, to be with you again is going to be the most wonderful thing I can imagine. There were several other letters also, they were from Harold and Buena Zude, Dolores, Louise Davis, Joe Travers, Audrey, and two other letters concerning men who have been patients in our hospital.

  I was up very early this morning and came over here to the office to meditate and go over my sermon several times. There were many things on my heart and I really wanted to make the sermon count this morning. After having had my breakfast, I called in on some of the wards before time for my service at 10 o’clock. There were around 100 in the service this morning. And Beloved, I really felt the power and the presence of the Lord during the service. Thank you for your prayer and I know it helped to ungird me as I sought to be used as His messenger. A number of individuals have told me how helpful the message was to them. I will not go into detail concerning the message. You will remember the title and theme of the message from the bulletin which I enclosed in last night’s letter to you.

  Following the service, a number of the men came up here to my office for a visit and talk over things concerning the service. By that time, dinner was ready so I hastened over there and had a good time with Lt. Eady and several others who ate at our table. Following the dinner, I came back up here to the office and visited until time for our ballgame at 3 o’clock. We lost this afternoon by a score of 7 to 4. We should have never lost the game, but some of our men made some very costly errors and as a result, the opposing team scored four unearned runs. In three times at bat, I only got one hit. However, during the game, even though we lost I managed to strike out several men. I truly hope that I will soon be leaving, I will miss the team but the sooner I leave here the better I will feel.

Danny Kaye entertaining troops at the USO.

  After the game, I had just enough time to take a shower before supper and while over at the evening meal, Captain Knight and Lt. Eady nailed me and told me in that I wasn’t taking care of the evening service this evening that I should go with them into Seoul and attend the USO show at the XXIV theatre.  I didn’t think I ought to go because Chaplain Martin may get some funny ideas. However, they insisted, and finally, at last, I told them that I honestly I didn’t care to attend his service. I went with them and now I’m really glad I did for it was very good and really worthwhile. First, they had a very good man playing an accordion, they also had a good tap dancer, a very good juggler and acrobat, a ventriloquist, the famous Champion ping pong player from Chicago and the Pacific coast champ and the King Sisters. The thing I like most about the show was the fact that it was kept clean throughout and all of it was very good entertainment. That was the first time I had ever been in the theater since my arrival here in Korea and I landed with the first troops to come ashore. Captain Knight and Lt. Eady informed me that it was about time I took a break and took it little easier. They said I ought to coast the rest of the way out, that is of my service over here in Korea.

  Well, I talked to Dennis about the service which Chaplain Martin had this evening and from what he told me, it was his usual type. No more shall be said for now. By the way Darling, I’m sorry this letter is late for the 9 o’clock pick up but I think you will understand.

  It was really a beautiful day today, you would have enjoyed it very much and it would be very good to have been together. I know it must be nice back in Chicago around this time of year. Perhaps we will be able to have some nice walks together in the not-too-distant future. That will be such a good privilege.

  Darling, the talk with Mr. Kraft gave concerning young children sounded very interesting, and from what you said in your letter, I’m sure it must have been very helpful and inspiring to all those who were there. Well Beloved, it is so late and I’m so tired that I must close for tonight. God bless you richly in all things, Dear.

 Yours forever and always in Christ’s eternal love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 18, 1946

Seoul, Korea

18 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

  Well, Dear, I was very grateful and thankful to receive your good letter of May 7th, nothing helps me like your good letters. I’ve just finished reading your letter again. I also received a letter from Connie and one from Chaplain Hedberg informing me that he had just written to his church ( First Park Baptist of Plainfield, New Jersey) recommending us to the pulpit committee. They have been without a pastor now for about four or five months and undoubtedly they have a man by now, anyhow it was very kind of him to take the time to write to them. From what he told me, it calls for a pastor, an assistant, and director of Religious Education. Frankly, the way I feel now I don’t believe I would care to be an assistant unless the Lord led specifically in that direction. You may receive a letter from them but I rather doubt it. If you do, be sure to open it and read it and see what they have to say.

  This has been an upset day from the very beginning and with the responsibility of speaking this evening at the Youth for Christ meeting, I have the rest of the afternoon and evening ruined, so that is the reason I’m writing this letter to you now. We have to go in rather early because we have a quartet from the hospital who are going to sing two special numbers and they want to be there early enough to practice before the service begins.

A group of army nurses in the South Pacific. 1945.

  A portion of my time was consumed this morning in talking to the chief nurse here at the hospital. Late yesterday afternoon she told me that she would like to talk to me about something as soon as possible. She was quite upset with the way Chaplain Martin has been acting and all the trouble he has caused since his arrival here at the hospital. From what she told me, a number of the nurses have been in to complain to her about Chaplain Martin. I’ve never been on such a spot since I’ve been in the Army, I really don’t know what to do about the situation. A number have told me they feel he ought to be transferred out of here as soon as possible because it is a sure thing he has cooked his goose around here. A good many have informed me outright that as long as he ever has a service they will never attend. Please pray about this trying situation, I certainly need help and wisdom outside of myself for a proper decision.

  Following the dinner hour, I did manage to do a little more reading, but there were several phone calls and then a fellow came in to see me about some trouble he has back home, and naturally, that took quite a while. After that, I went around to the wards to do some visiting, and now as you can see, Lover, I’m writing to you and loving you a whole lot more. Thank you for the pictures which you enclosed in your letter this time. They were very good, but I am longing to see the real thing and be with you always. Chaplain Jaeger was just here to visit the hospital and it is very late so I must close for now. God bless you Darling in all things.

 Always and forever just yours

 because we are one in Him,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. Enclosed find a copy of tomorrow’s order of worship.

May 17, 1946

Seoul, Korea

17 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, here it is twenty minutes to eight and I must hurry and write this letter and mail it off before 9 o’clock, forgoing any interruptions I should be able to do it with ease. Dennis, Dwight, Paul Pearson, Huckins and Jeanette decided to go into a Youth for Christ social hour they were having this evening.  So I told them we would skip the Bible class this evening and I would use the time to study and write a letter to Don McClintock. I finished his letter just before I started this one to you, Dear. And as I had thought, there wasn’t any mail today. I hardly expected any today because of the late mail which we received yesterday and considering the very poor whether we had today I’m inclined to believe that we probably won’t receive any tomorrow either. I miss your precious letters so very much, Dear.

Willis, Dennis and Dwight. 1946.

I was unable to accomplish very much this morning because of a number of things which came up to throw everything out of gear. More complaints came in to me concerning Chaplain Martin. He is certainly a troublemaker if I ever saw one. I don’t for the life of me know how he could ever have been ordained. He is one of those subtle egotists which cannot be trusted further than you can throw a grand piano with one hand. In one short month here at the hospital he has done nothing but cause trouble. As an example of his attitude concerning himself, he has only attended a few of the Bible classes and you know what he told Dwight as a reason for not attending regularly? “ I’ve studied all that before and that is only elementary and I only like to drop in to visit now and then to hear your discussions.”  I realize of course that there is much to be desired when it comes to my teaching, but if his sermons are an example of his superior knowledge, I don’t want a bit of it. There is this one bit which may throw a little bit of light on the subject of his failure to attend. He can always be found in the movie when not in attendance at a Bible class. In fact, several have asked me why he doesn’t attend the classes. Frankly, we always have a better class when he doesn’t come and when he is there, invariably because he will bring up some experience he has had or some quotation which is not at all related to our trend of discussion or study. Please forgive me if this appears critical, but I’ve seen so many sad sack chaplains who are nothing but stumbling blocks that I cannot help but be hurt. I certainly pray that these experiences I’ve had with some will teach me a lesson which I’ll never forget. Lover, I always want you to show me and tell me wherein I’m weak because I do want to be a husband and servant of the Lord whom you can justly be proud in Christ’s name.

  About eleven o’clock Chaplain North called me from Seoul and told me that he would be out here around noon so I invited him to have dinner with me. Thank the Lord for chaplains who have something on the ball. He is doing a good job in a very hard place. As per usual, he is being pushed around and given a raw break. We visited until about 1 o’clock and then he left to call on his men. Chaplain Godfrey also came by this afternoon. He talked to me for about half an hour. 

After Chaplain Godfrey left, I worked on my sermon for tomorrow evening at the Youth for Christ meeting. I rewrote the sermon three times before I was satisfied. I now have the outline down like I want it. My text is Acts 16:1-12, key verse 10 and the title and theme of my message is, “What’s Your Answer?”  Note in the American translation it says after the vision, WE MADE EFFORTS, in other words, to serve Christ we have to go beyond just vision to EFFORT.

  By the way Darling, this morning I happened to be looking through one of the issues of the New Yorker magazine and found a cartoon which really gave me a good laugh. I cut it out and am sending it to you, for I think you will receive a laugh out of it as I did. I remember how some of the women used to do when I worked in the A&P store where I worked shortly after coming to Chicago in 1934.

Alrik called me this afternoon around 4 o’clock and we talked for a few minutes and we are both pretty blue about the prospects for our departure from Korea. It looks like the atomic bomb testing is going to throw everything out of gear as far as getting out of Korea is concerned. It just seems like I can never receive a break in this man’s Army. It will certainly be a privilege to get out of it I know that.

  Be sure to let me know how things turn out at the Northern Baptist Convention, Dear. I would so like to be there this year but it seems everything I’ve hoped for this year has been not granted. Darling, this being separated from you is about getting me. So many times my heart feels just like it has been wrung. You have always been such a tonic for me. Without you, life is in no sense of the word is complete. If I could only mean half that much to you, I would be happy.

  Darling, I’m glad that you like your new suit and in the pictures which I received yesterday, I can see that it fits you very well. Remember, whenever you need things be sure to purchase them for as long as I possibly can I want to see that every one of your needs are supplied.

Well, Beloved, I must close for tonight. Be sure to give the folks my love and best wishes. God bless you, my dear.

 I love just you and I’m Yours

 for always in Christ’s love,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3