March 5, 1945

5 March 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling:

Well Darling, another day has rolled into eternity and I am really tired. From early this morning I have been on the go and it seems very little has been accomplished. The highlight of the day it was the arrival of your wonderful letter for February 27th. For some reason or other your letter for the 26th didn’t show up. Darling, you are such a good wife and every day I find many more reasons why I can praise and thank the Lord for such a wonderful Christian wife as you are.

As I said above, the day as a whole was very much routine, and nothing of interest really happened. I did seek to help two different soldiers with problems they had. There was another soldier who has a marital problem but I was unable to see him because of existing conditions. I wanted to write several letters this evening but a soldier came into visit and stayed for quite a while. As a result, I didn’t get to write all the letters I had hoped to write. I did manage to get a letter off to my grandmother and aunt. And another to Captain Merrow, a former officer with our old outfit down below.

By the way, Chaplain Wells and I had dinner together this evening.  Of course we had a good visit. It is always good to have fellowship with those who really love Christ. I forgot to mention above that I got a very nice letter from Paul. As soon as I answer the letter I will send it on to you to read for I know you will enjoy it.

I will make a few comments on your letter for February 25th. First of all, thank John and Sherry for sending the card along with a note, I think it was most thoughtful of them. And tell them that I am very much aware of what a wonderful darling wife and sweetheart you are. Also assure them of my prayer for John in the future. I shall be praying that the Lord have His way in the matter before them. Dear, you seem to be having trouble about setting the alarm and not getting up. If I have to use an alarm I always found it the best policy to get up as soon as it rings and not try to catch another few winks. For if you do, what was the real purpose in setting it for that time anyhow? They call me the alarm clock around here because I get up so early without anything to wake me. Various ones will ask me to wake them at certain times because they say I’ll be awake. It was interesting to hear about the invitation which Dr. Wilson gave after his last Sunday’s service. Such things disappoint me very much. After all, a man by his coming is not accepting the church but he should be accepting Christ. Every invitation I give here in the Army I make it clear that men are not to come because they might please me, or their folks or loved ones,  but that they only come under the main and only reason, “a deep sense of their own personal sin and their utter inability to do anything about it apart from Christ and what we know to be God’s will.” Darling, your Sunday school seems to be coming along very well. Keep up the good work. I know the day will come when you can look back with satisfaction knowing you have done your very best.

Sad Sack. 1945.

Things seem to be coming along better for you in the Intermediate BYF now. Thank them for praying for our work out here and assure them that I think of them often. Dear, I am very much disappointed in the type of evening services they have been holding in NSBC here lately. Is that Dr. Wilson’s idea of an evening service to attract people? Or just whose idea is it anyhow? Knowing Maurice and Edith as you do, perhaps they will be able to give you a little light on the picture. Honestly, I feel very badly about the whole thing. More and more I can see NSBC will need a soul searching revival before the church as a whole will go ahead.

By the way, tell Mom thank you for sending the article about the officer whose insurance was not taken care of after coming overseas. Before I sign my pay voucher each month I always check everything to be sure that everything is correct. As a result, I can assure you that they have been taking $6.90 out of my pay ever since I have been in the Army. That is the amount I’m supposed to pay each month on $10,000. It pays to check things, especially in the Army.

My Dear, it is very late and I am tired and I still have to pack my bag before leaving early in the morning. By the way, I am enclosing a Sad Sack cartoon which I thought you might enjoy. God bless you Beloved in all things. Be sure to pass my love on to the folks.

Yours alone for all the ages of

Ages, in the love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

March 4, 1945

4 March 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, another Lord’s Day is about past and I am really tired and weary. I know you have been very busy also. I have thought of you many times today, and Dear, I love you more than ever I have before. I will surely be glad when we can be together on this day. It was always a great inspiration and joy for me to see you in the congregation. Everything about you inspires me to be my best for Christ. Thank you for being such a good wife, Dear.

Willis preparing a sermon in Hawaii. March 1945.

This morning’s service was really trying. The wind and dirt blowing all day really made it difficult to have any kind of worship, let alone have a communion service as we did. There were 67 in attendance. You will note from the program that I had the men help with the serving of the communion service.

This afternoon I did some extra work. By the way, Paul Wells invited several of us officers over to his officer’s mess for dinner. We had a very good time together. This evening I had a long talk with the other chaplain. I only hope it will work out alright.

Tonight we had 52 in attendance at our evening service. Paul led the singing which was very very good. He also sang a solo. Which was very good. I preached on Deuteronomy 6: 1-15. The title of my sermon as you will note in the bulletin was, “Now Here it is.” One man came forward this evening to make his profession of faith in Christ. It always helps to see men come forward and take their stand for Christ.

There are so many things I would like to talk to you about, but it is impossible to write about them in a letter. Well Dear, I find every day with Christ and you as my dear wife is sweeter than the day before. I’m going to enclose with this letter a snapshot of our Battalion commander, Major Elliott. He is certainly a fine man and one of the finest men I have met since being in the Army. He is quiet and really knows his business. This picture was taken while out on some of our problems. I thought you might like to see what he looks like.

Dear, this will not be such a good letter, but I am so tired I can hardly see straight so I think I will close for tonight. Remember though, I love you more than ever I have before. I will try to write you a better letter tomorrow evening. God bless you Beloved in all things is my earnest prayer. Give the folks at my deepest love.

Yours forever in the love of

Christ Jesus our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

March 3, 1945

3 March 1945

My Dearest Darling:

The wind has continued to blow today and the dust and dirt have been something fierce. The place where we are located is rather miserable at this time of the year. The rest of the island is beautiful as most pictures reveal. Darling, the highlight of this day was the arrival of your beautiful letters for February 24th and 25th. Your letters are always so good. I read them over twice right away. Really, I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t hear from you, Dear. You are such a good wife and such an inspiration to me.

Most of the morning I spent calling on men in various places. I also called Alrik and had a good talk with him. He probably won’t be here too much longer. I do hope I will be able to see him before he leaves. He has a new assignment which is about as good as you can expect in the Army. Especially out this way.

Newspaper from May 3, 1945.

After dinner, a good share of my time was taken up trying to help a couple of soldiers with problems they have. I will certainly be glad to get out of this Army. Some of the things that happen are enough to tear your heart out. As I have said before it is hard to believe that man could sink so low. We are certainly in need of a revival. By the way, I also cashed my check for this month. My check amounted to $130.80. I still have to pay my laundry bill, orderly and mess bill. I went down to the Post Office and sent two small bottles of perfume from us to my aunt and grandmother. I sent it Air Mail, they ought to receive them soon. That which I sent them from us was just small bottles without the nice wood containers like I got for you and Mom. While down there I bought a money order for $40 which I am going to send to you in this letter. The reason I am not sending you more is because beginning next Tuesday (March 6th), I’m to have five days detached service to the Island of Hawaii. I was entitled to that much last year but didn’t get it. Detached service does not count against furlough time. Captain Wilson and Major Ender and I are going to fly over there together. After returning, if I have more than I need I will send you more home to you. The reason I want a little extra along is because I may want to buy something over there for you, that is, if they have anything that looks good. I’m taking this opportunity to go over there now because in the future I’m afraid it will be impossible to do so.

Later this afternoon I studied on my messages for tomorrow and I also planned the services for next Sunday. If we leave Tuesday early we will not be back before late Saturday or early Sunday morning. While over there I hope to see the famous volcano, as well as other things of interest. Before starting this letter to you I wrote to the College BYF of the First Church Long Beach. And I also wrote a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Cable, Joan and Carl. Joan is president of the College BYF, the Cables are very good friends of the Hollys, and very fine Christians. You will remember I told you to pray for her sometime ago. She had her breasts removed because they were cancerous. She is doing very well now and is able to get around very well considering the seriousness of the operation.

Well Darling, I will make a few comments on your letter of February 24th. It was good to know that you prayed for three on the 18th. I assure your prayers are helping our work very much. The book you mentioned,”How to Help People” sounded interesting. I will be glad to have it. From what you said in your letters from time to time I’m sure that you learned some worthwhile things under Dr. Richardson’s leadership. I’ve never had the privilege of becoming acquainted with him personally, but I do remember Dr. Smith saying many good things about him. Dr. Smith took some special work under him in working for his doctor’s degree. By the way, whenever you talk to Teacher or Dr. Hepburn again, be sure to give them my love and best wishes. Assure them that their prayer is certainly appreciated.

Dear, I was really glad to know that you were able to see Mr. Paul and that you and Mrs. Paul were able to have such a good visit. I’m glad to know that they have been drawn so much closer to Christ. Dear, I am so thankful that you and I have the privilege of being their friends. Isn’t it wonderful to know them? I have always thought so much of them. Be sure to pass my love and best wishes on to them. I am certainly glad to know that you have been able to get some records for us. I know they will help us with our work out here.

I know just how you feel about the letter you received from Vi Scherenberg.  I would say just forget it all together. I was glad to know that you finally received the December bond. By the way, I got two letters beside yours, Dear. One from Dolores and the other from my father. The letter from my father was written on February 18th. As I said above, you will find enclosed in this letter a money order for $40. I am also enclosing a Sad Sack cartoon. It is supposed to be funny, but there is nothing funny about it as far as I’m concerned. You should see some of these things I have seen, that is the after effects. I’m also enclosing another article which will be of interest to you I am sure. I wrote on the side of the sheet.

Well, Dear, Captain Mason gave me a snapshot he took when we were out in the jungle. The picture is out of focus but I thought you might like to have it. I was studying at the time when the picture was snapped. I used the organ for a table. You will note my two Bibles and song book. You can just see the top of my field pack at the foot of my organ, we carry those on our back. You will note I am in fatigues. The only time I wear C.K.C’s is when I’m around headquarters. My pup tent is at the extreme right of the picture.

Darling, it is getting late and I am tired so I will close because I want to have a good nights rest before tomorrow and its responsibilities. God bless you Dear in all things. I love you more than words can tell. Be sure to give the folks my love.

Always and forever just yours

In the love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. I am enclosing the letters from Mrs. Cable and Joan.

March 2, 1945

2 March 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

This has certainly been a miserable day as far as the weather is concerned. It has been windy and raining. It isn’t so bad on the other side of the island but where we are quartered the wind and dirt are very bad. Honestly, at times it seems the tent will be swept away with some of the gusts of wind that sweeps over this area. I was awakened several times during the night last night because of the wind. There is some mail today, but none of it was from you. I had a letter from Connie, church bulletins from NSBC and the First Church Long Beach. The last one of the bulletins from NSBC was postmarked the 13th and I note it has also been sent to my former APO.

Wagon Wheel Restaurant. Hawaii, 1945.

A greater part of the day was spent on calling on men at the various hospitals. As I have said before, that takes a lot of time because they are scattered so many miles apart. During the noon hour I took my driver and assistant to a good steak dinner in Honolulu. They are both fine fellows and I thought it would be good for us to have something else for a change. By the way, while we were calling on some of the men in one hospital, we passed by the post exchange and I happened to notice two small bottles of perfume which came in one box, so I bought them and will send them to my Grandmother and Connie from us. If I can find enough time, I think I will send it to them tomorrow. They cost me $4.50.

After eating supper this evening, I went over to my quarters and did some reading before starting this letter to you. Darling, sometimes I become so very lonesome just to talk with you. I shall never forget the good talks and times of prayer we have had together. Sometimes my heart becomes so heavy and lonesome, especially is that true when you have to put up with some people who think nothing of knifing you in the back and then fall all over themselves to your face.

While going through one of one of the hospitals today I ran into a man that used be down at my old assignment. He was very seriously burned in an explosion and was flown up here for better medical attention. He said he was certainly glad to see me. He is just now beginning to remember things. He was so severely burned that for about two weeks he didn’t know anything. From his knees to the top of his head he is a mass of bandages and scar tissue. He has a dear wife and baby daughter pack Indiana. Someday I will tell you more about the case. I would certainly like to be a hospital chaplain.

I also got to see Chaplain Lee again today, he is about the same and doesn’t know what will happen for sure. I have a feeling that he will be returned to the States in the near future. Well Dear, that is about all the news so I’m going to make some comments on the letters beginning with the 22nd. First of all, remember I love you more tonight than ever I have before. And by the time this letter reaches you I will love you even more. Dear, we do not have the book “Paul’s Joy in Christ” by Robertson and I would suggest you buy a copy if you can find it.

Darling, I hardly know how to advise you about Greek, but this is just a thought. If Dr. Mantey thinks you can take Greek by correspondence from Southwestern this summer and then take Greek Gospels this fall, I think that would be a good idea. Mainly because I hope to be home before you are able to complete another whole year of seminary. And if you take just first-year Greek, you’ll be missing the best part of Greek, for I like the second and third years of Greek the best. Of course, I know it wouldn’t be too easy, but knowing you as I do, I feel confident that you would learn it very well. And after all, if you got stuck once in a while Dr. Mantey is there in Chicago and he could help you. At any rate, you can talk it over with Dr. Mantey.  I’m sure he will advise you as to what is the best thing to do. Personally, I don’t think Greek is too difficult, it was hard for me because I never seemed to have enough time to study it thoroughly. Of course, I’m not aware of how much you have done toward your thesis and when you expect to do it. But as I said above, I think Dr. Mantey will advise you correctly and wisely.

I was surely glad to hear about the three girls who came out for full-time Christian service in Stan and Lee’s church. I feel definitely that their church will go ahead and accomplish many worthwhile things for the Lord. As you said, the three young men from the Missionary Society must have had a very fine program.

I’m glad to hear that Dr. Stiansen told you his life story.  He is a most unusual Christian and one which God can use. I think you will a little better understand why I always thought so much of him. He is the kind of a teacher and preacher I would like to be. Praise God for such men. I also think a lot of Dr. Mantey. He is entirely different but there is something about his love and spirit you will never forget. It was with a heavy heart I read that Mrs. Gleason is so ill. I’m sorry to know they will never be able to have children of their own. I do hope we will be able to have our own children, Dear. You will be such a wonderful mother. God bless you, my Dear. John Mueller has written me some very long letters about the way Brushwyler carried on in the church at Muscatine. If it is true, I cannot help but wonder about this new mission board set up. John got his information from individuals in the church. As you know, they used to be members of that church. That whole mission board controversy is a problem to me, and being as little informed as I am, I find myself utterly at sea what to think. Undoubtedly, it is going to be a question that you and I will have to face when I come back and when we take a church of our own again. It will be interesting to see where Mac and Eleanor go.

It was interesting to hear what the woman said from the Pacific Garden Mission. What she said about women of the street is absolutely true. Over here five-year-olds will lead you to such places. Darling, some things almost seem beyond the realm of understanding. We certainly need a redeemed humanity. Someday we will have an opportunity to talk about some of the things I have run into since coming into the service. I marvel more and more at the patience of the Lord.

Dear, all the records you were able to get sound very good and I will be glad to have them for I am sure it will help us with our work out here. Be sure to thank Emma and all those who helped make them possible for us out here. I will be looking forward to their arrival.

One of the officers snapped a picture of me by my pup tent during our training, if it turns out alright I will try and get a copy and mail it to you, for I’m sure you would like to have one. Yes, Dear the tent is long enough so my feet don’t stick out, I have arranged that, you will be able to see if I can get that picture.

I was surprised to hear Bob say that he thought he would be out of England soon, does he mean he thinks they will move his bomber group onto the Continent? If Germany fights all the way, it will still last for quite a while over there. That is, I mean it can last until into the summer months. And it is no telling when this thing over here will be over.

Well Darling, it is getting late and I am tired so I think I will close for tonight. God bless you Dear in all things. I love you so very very much. Be sure to give the folks my love. As soon as I can find a little time I will drop the folks a line.

Forever and ever yours in

The love of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Yours alone,

 Willis

Colossians 3:3

March 1, 1945

 1 March 1945

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

This has really been a day of a little bit of everything, and I am very very tired for some reason or other. Early this morning I talked with some of the men and then later I came back here to my tent to work on my sermons for this weekend. I also arranged the order of services and later Don cut the stencil. I wanted to get those things out of the way because tomorrow I plan on spending the whole day calling on men in the various hospitals.

After dinner I did some more studying and then spent the rest of the afternoon around with the men. After supper I came over to my quarters, but in the meantime a certain officer wanted to see me about something. I talked to him a long time about some trouble he is having back home. Darling, thank you for being such a wonderful Christian wife. If I had to be concerned about you I don’t know what I would ever do.

I had to hurry to get down to the chapel in time for Bible class. The weather has been most disagreeable since about mid afternoon. In spite of that fact and the fact that a lot are away we did have a fairly good attendance. There were 12 there and the discussion was very good. I think you would enjoy the classes, Dear.

On the back: Me coming up the back stairs, carrying coconuts.

Well Dear, now I will try to answer some of your questions and will make comments on your letter of February 20th. First of all, I wanted to tell you that it is really encouraging to know that Mr. Paul is better, as you say, I know it must’ve been very hard on Mrs. Paul. I was glad to hear that you were able to visit with Eleanor and Mac for a while. From what you said, their little boy must be growing a lot. Knowing them as I do, I will be most surprised if they go to our old church at East Moline, Illinois. Dear, I have never heard of the Christian Service Brigade before but from what you told me in the letter it sounds very good. I’m glad you took notes on his report, perhaps we will be able to do something with it in our next church.

I was certainly surprised to find out that Bob and Ralph rented an apartment without furniture. When you told me they rented a place before, I thought it was furnished. Buying all the things you mentioned must have taken a lot of money,  and I’m wondering what they will do with the things if it doesn’t work out so well. It is a sure thing they will lose money on those things. By the way Darling, I placed the pictures in my album this afternoon, that is, I mean the ones you just sent. I love them very much, they do help more than you will ever know. Be sure to keep them coming this way. Yes, Dear, I remember Mr. Stephen Habuch. He gave the same message one time when I was in the seminary. Well Dear, I was surprised to hear the other new story about a Cat’s Eye, but I think at least I know where those came from that I sent to you because I got them with my own hands and I saw them with my own eyes and it is a sure thing they were not from a fish, if it was a fish I’m mistaken about my fish.

I looked over your outline Dear and I think it is very good and shows some fine thinking and preparation. Keep up the good work. One of these Sundays I will use it. When I do, I will let you know.

My Dear, I had hoped to write you a much longer letter tonight, but I am tired and it is time for lights out so I will have to close. By the way, I was glancing through the latest Time Magazine and ran onto the following articles entitled, “Women.” I’m sending it on to you because I feel it is valuable and is indicative of what I am constantly running into everyday. Today and yesterday I had two cases come to my attention in the same category as a couple mentioned in the article I am enclosing.

Well, Beloved, God bless you in all things and remember I am more grateful for your wonderful love and life then you will ever know. Again, thank you for being such a good wife.

Forever yours and the love of 

Christ Jesus our Lord.

Willis

Colossians 3:3

Ruth 1:16, 17

February 28, 1945

 28 February 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

This has indeed been a trying day in many ways but I have found that the Lord is able to help if we but trust and obey Him as we ought. Your wonderful letters helped more than you will ever know, I got three from you today, they were for February 19th, 20th and 23rd. Your last letter really came through in record time. I will not be expecting any letters from you now for at least two or three days. Darling, your letters are really wonderful and I cannot tell you how much they help me. If it wasn’t for some of your letters I don’t know how I could ever get over some of the rough spots out here. The letter from Mom was very sweet and I love her more than I can ever tell. I also love the Chief very much. It is my earnest desire to be a son-in-law worthy of their love.

There were several problem cases to take care of this morning and that took most of the morning. I called at our hospital here on the post. After dinner, I checked up on a couple more cases, and then later I studied my devotional material and tried to work on the services for this weekend. Immediately following supper I came over to my quarters and started to do some things when a soldier dropped in to see me about something.

I went down to the chapel a little early and visited with Paul Wells for a while. It certainly means a lot to have a man like him around, it is a sure thing you cannot have fellowship with a man like this other chaplain in this outfit. I led song service and Paul preached the sermon. He really had a fine message. Thank God for men who really preach and are not afraid to stand by the word of God. The longer I am away from Northern and the more I see, the more I realize just what a wonderful school it is. If you could see some of the things I do you would really understand what I mean. You’ll be interested to know that we had 24 in attendance. Of course, that isn’t outstanding as far as numbers go, but such meetings are a blessing to my heart and life.

Tropical Kiss perfume from the 40s.

Well, it is a treat not to have the wind blowing so hard. It is really a beautiful night. I only wish we could enjoy it together. Darling, there are so many things I would like to talk over with you, things that cannot be discussed apart from each other’s presents. Well now, I’m going to make some comments on your letter for the 19th. I was certainly relieved to know that the box finally arrived with the gifts that I sent about a month ago. Really, I had been quite concerned about them for several reasons. I’m glad to know that the blouses fit alright and that you liked them. Darling, I particularly noted that your bottle of perfume was “Tropic Kiss.” I am also glad you liked the leaf. I thought it was very pretty, so that is the reason I thought you might like to have it. As I said before, the centerpiece is made of Milo wood and I also meant to tell you that the leaf of that tree is shaped that way only much smaller. It is good to know that Mom was satisfied with all of her things. And if I can, I am going to find something for the Chief. Sometime perhaps I will be able to pick up some mats. I hope Gen and Paul will like theirs. I’m sorry I was able to to unable to do the package up nicely, but under conditions like these that isn’t so easy to do. Anyhow, they arrived and the presents were the main things anyhow. Thank you my Dear for being such a good wife.

You really wrote a long term paper Dear, I will be looking forward to reading it someday. I’m sure it will meet with Dr. Stiansen’s approval.

Darling, the pictures in the letters were so good and I love everyone of them. They are every one good. Please send all you possibly can. Remember, as far as I’m concerned you will never be able to send too many pictures. Keep the pictures coming this way. It helps take just a wee bit of the sting out of our separation. Remember my Dear, any place in this world without you will be a lonesome place. I love you with my heart and life for the ages of the ages.

Of course I was surprised to hear that John and Claudia are living in New York. It must be hard on them to move around so much. I would certainly like to see them again some day. I was also interested to hear that Helen Mueller wrote you a letter concerning Mac and Eleanor. It will be interesting to see if they are called to the church.

It must’ve been a good Youth Council meeting. I’m sure it must be hard for Maurice and Edith. It makes me feel better to know that they feel as they do. I can easily see that it is hard for them. There is no doubt about the church needing a revival.

I am praying for Mr. Paul and it certainly helps to know that he is improving. From what you said in your letter, he must’ve been very serious for a while. I know it must have been a great strain on Mrs. Paul.

Darling, it is very late and I am very weary and tired so I will close for tonight. God bless you in all things.

Always yours and no others for

The ages of the ages and the love of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

Philippians 3:9-10

February 27, 1945

 27 February 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

I have been very busy all day but it seems that I have accomplished very little. I did some work this morning before I left here for our regular chaplain’s meeting. In brief Dear, I can sum the whole thing up by saying it was more of the same. Sometimes I wonder, please forgive me, I guess I’m too critical. The highlight of the day was when I returned to my tent I found that two letters had arrived from you, they were for February 21st and 22nd. The 19th and 20th are still missing, it must be that those letters just happened to catch a plane that was coming straight through. I also got another letter from the stepmother of a man who rededicated his life sometime ago in one of our services. As soon as I can find enough time to answer the letter, I will; and then mail it on to you to read, for I think you might be happy to read it.

On Reverse: 2/15 Alice Kelly (Ruth Bell’s sister) and your sweetheart.
From Willis Reed’s scrapbook.

I spent about two hours working on a couple of problems which a couple of soldiers are facing. This work is certainly trying at times but I am most grateful and thankful unto the Lord for His blessing and leading through all that I am called upon to do. After that, I spent the rest of the afternoon studying and preparing for Bible class tonight. I also started to prepare for the services this coming Sunday. Everything went along very well for us in Bible class tonight. We had 17, it would have been more I’m sure, but many were unable to come because of night training. I led them in the study of the woman at the well. Our discussion lasted for over an hour and half. All of those present took part some time or other. I always get a great blessing out of those services.

Before starting the letter to you, I wrote a letter to Paul and Gen. They are so wonderful and I love them so very much. I’m going to enclose their letter so you can read it. Please save it and file it with the rest of their letters. I will make a few comments on your letters of the 21st. By the way, if you have the outline of the sermon Dr. Mantey gave you, please send it, for I think I may be able to use it sometime. “Great goals make great souls.”

I was certainly pleasantly surprised with the gift that Emma Laymon gave for the records. She is so very good and I love her so much, be sure to tell her that for me. And also thank her and tell her that it is a privilege to have her help me win souls for Christ. That was very nice of her to tell you what Dr. Koller said and it makes me more humble than ever and makes me feel more than ever that I need Christ. I was glad to hear about the whereabouts of Hugh. He is a very fine young man. I know they will be happy with the arrival of their baby this next month. God be thanked for such a wonderful Christian friends.

Your studies with Dr. Richardson sounded very interesting, and I’m sure you are learning some very worthwhile things. I, as you, feel they are cutting them off just when they ought to be deciding upon a method of procedure in doing something about it at NSBC. Well, tomorrow night will be your last night and I do hope they decide to really come to grips with the problems at NSBC. So much could be done there, if they would remember II Chronicles 7:14.

I was glad to hear that Lourie is interested in finding out some things. I have a lot to do but I think I have an idea which I can develop and will help him with what he has in mind. At least I will try. I will tell you more about it later.

I am so glad to hear that Mr. Paul is better. I know it must be a real strain for Mrs. Paul and I’m so glad you were able to help and encourage her during this time of trouble. Dear, I was just thinking it would be nice if you could buy some very cheap cotton material and send to me and then I will send it on to Mofete as our thank you for all the good things he did for us. The brighter the colors the better they like it. As I told you before, they will use the material for loin clothes. I have tried to buy the material for them here, but haven’t had much luck. I think it would be nice to buy 10 or 12 dollars worth, if you can get it, send it as soon as possible and I will send it on to them through Captain Wilkinson. Remember, don’t buy expensive material, the lighter the better. Don’t you think that would be nice, Dear?

Well Darling, it is late and I am tired so I will close for tonight. God bless you in all things and remember I love you more than I ever did before. You are so very very sweet.

Yours alone forever in the love

Of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Your very own, 

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. What Paul told me about sword almost knocked me flat.

February 26, 1945

 26 February 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling:

The highlight of the day was the arrival of your letter for February 17th. Sweetheart, you always write such lovely letters and I love you more than words can ever tell. I was really tired and weary this evening and it was really refreshing to have your letter. Besides your letter, I got a very nice letter from Paul. It is always so good to hear from them and I love them so very much. I also got a nice letter from Captain Wilkinson. As soon as I answer those letters I will send them on to you to read.

Life Magazine, February 26, 1945.

Early this morning I took care of several things around here, then I was able to get ahold of transportation and left here to call on more of our men in various hospitals. As I have said before, these hospitals are so far apart that it takes a good long time to cover the ground, let alone see the men personally. You will remember Chaplain Lee who I told you about sometime ago. Well, he had a heart attack about two weeks ago and is in the hospital for observation. I think he will be sent back to the States on a limited service status. That is, if he isn’t discharged altogether. The need for chaplains is rather great and they are using all they possibly can. I also saw another chaplain I have become acquainted with since coming overseas. He is a very fine fellow and a graduate of Eastern Theological Seminary. He knows Wayne Soliday very well, in fact, they graduated the same class. He just arrived over here in the early part of December and has had trouble with headaches and catches in his back.

You also be interested to know that later this afternoon after calling at the hospitals, we drove by the University of Hawaii. I failed to find Mrs. Bergstrom in, you’ll remember she is the very good friend the Hollys. I also looked up and found Bob Lindner. He is in the experimental station. We visited for about 10 minutes before I left to come back here to our camp area. He seemed very surprised to see me. Mary or the children have not yet come over and he says he hopes they’ll be able to come over within the next month. She was unable to get a priority right away and besides they have a place for them to live before they would cramp the priority. He seemed alright and asked me to have dinner with him sometime. As soon as Mary and the children arrive he said he would like me to come to their home for a visit. But you cannot plan too far ahead in business like this. He said he was pretty lonesome for Mary being separated about six weeks, I reminded him that we have been separated almost 14 months now. I also mentioned some other things to him.

It was certainly a surprise to hear that Mrs. Scheu was in Chicago and that all of you had such a good time over at the Vogels. I was glad to know that Mrs. Scheu gave you some ideas about Rev. Colas resigning. All I can say is this, he was tactless in the way in which he did it. I do hope the church will get a good man. I’m afraid it is going to be rather hard for them to say the least. It was a surprise to learn that the Collisons are going to move to Iowa. I do hope that Beverly continues with the desire that is in her heart.

I’m sorry to know that Helen Miller hasn’t been feeling so well. It must be a real strain on Mr. Neihaus with his wife in such a condition. Our old place in East Moline will be rather small for the Scheu’s tis true, but if they can get it, it will be a good place for them. And they could have no better renters.

Thank you for sending along Bill Doten’s address, when I have an opportunity I will try to locate him if I can. When you see Lois Sloan be sure to greet her for me. She is a mighty fine girl and I have always thought a lot of her. I’m glad to find out what was the matter with Mr. Paul. I do hope it isn’t too serious. Dear, you will probably also be interested to know that I have been to Washington, Fanning and Canton Islands. A couple of them I have been to twice and one of them three times. You can see in a way how come I have covered so many thousands miles by air. Those trips are exclusive of the trips I made up to the Hawaiian Islands. As I told you before, I believe I have flown on two large C-54 hospital ships. On one of those trips I sat in the copilot’s seat from Canton to Oahu, a flight which took us 10 hours and five minutes. Someday I will tell you all about it, Dear.

I, as you, were touched of heart when I heard that the young people still pray for us at East Moline. By the way, four of the pocket Bible handbooks arrived from the Galilean Class tonight. Say, by the way, I forgot to tell you that I had the privilege of seeing Raymond Cox, my old assistant. He is really a very fine man and I think a lot of him. He has a good job now. He told me that he misses me very much, and he said some other very fine things about how much I had helped him and his wife in finding Christ. Be that as it may, to Christ belongs the glory.

My Lover, it is late and I am tired so I’m going to retire for the night. God bless you Dear and remember I love you more than ever. Be sure to give my love to the folks

Yours always and forever in the

Love of Christ Jesus our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

February 25, 1945

 25 February 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, one more Lord’s Day is past that we will not have to be a part. I will be so very happy when we can be serving together on that day and every day. Darling, just to be by your side again will be about the most wonderful thing I can think of this side of eternity. Of course, the greatest joy of all will be when we will be together as one forever in the love of Christ over there. You know Dear, as far as we are concerned we are already in eternity, but we are in the physical now, but then it will be in a new spiritual body. I am more grateful than you’ll ever know to be one with you in spirit for the ages of ages. Thank you Dear for being such a very good wife.

This has been a very full day and I have been on the go since early this morning. In that Chaplain Kern was away, I took care of his 9 o’clock service. There were 47 in attendance. The wind and dirt were so very very bad that I cut the service short. As you know, we have to have our services in the open because the facilities here for worship services are most inadequate. However, for the next service I arranged with the company commander of one of the companies to use a canvas wind break that has been being used to keep the dirt and dust out of the men’s food as they eat. There were 87 in attendance at the second service. I know you cannot imagine how bad the dirt and dust was blowing. Men were just covered with dirt as they stood behind the canvas. But they were patient and we did have a good time in spite of all that wasn’t pleasant. Maybe some of the folks back there would appreciate their churches and sanctuaries more if they had to worship and hold services under some of the conditions I have had since being in the Army.

Pictures Captain Mason gave Willis of his family. From Sarah’s scrapbook.

Most of the afternoon I spent studying for the message which I gave this evening. However, Captain Mason and I visited for quite sometime. Later Chaplain Wells came by my tent and we talked for about 10 minutes before he left. After eating supper I came back here to my tent and cleaned up a bit before taking care of the service which Chaplain Kern normally has at 6 o’clock. There were nine in attendance. I spoke on, “Shadows or Substance”, using as my text Luke 6:1-11. After that service was over I left immediately for the Post Chapel. Chaplain Wells was already there, and while he prepared the song service I went over my message again. I preached on Romans the sixth chapter. I titled this message,  “Victory Over Sin.” You’ll be interested to know that we had 64 in attendance this evening. Chaplain Wells lead a mighty fine song service and I did my very best. I don’t know just how the message was, for I felt a little disappointed myself. However, some interesting things were said and Chaplain Wells was very gracious in his remarks. Anyhow, I hope it helped someone. Captain Wilson was there also and he closed the service with prayer.

Captain Wilson and I walked back here together and I stopped by his quarters for a few minutes to visit. But as it was, it turned out to be quite a little bit. I am so thankful unto the Lord for such a wonderful Christian friend. You would like him very much I know. We talked about things very near our hearts. He has a most wonderful Christian wife and a real worker in the church; I know from what he tells me about her and the things he has showed me which she did. Perhaps sometime you and her will be able to get together. We are both so thankful to the Lord for the wonderful Christian wives you are to us.

Darling, I had hoped we might receive some mail today, but no such luck. I cannot complain though because the mail has been unusually good. The only thing is this; letters from my Sweetheart can never come too often. Dear, it is late and I am tired, but I will make some comments on your letter of the 18th. Your Sunday school class seems to be coming along very well and I am certainly proud of the good work you are doing with them. Keep it up, Dear. I agree with what you said about Christian confessing their sins before there will be a genuine revival. You can certainly count on my prayer for North Shore.

It must have been very good to see Mrs. Patterson again after not seeing her since last summer. From what you told me in your letter, I can see that she is a very fine Christian woman. I am glad that her husband has a new assignment and I am glad he likes this new assignment.

Darling, thank you for writing such a nice letter to my father with the check for $200, I wish it were possible for me to let you know just how much it means to me to have such a wonderful dear wife as you are to me, Dear. Again, thank you for being such a good wife. I know Mrs. Winter will probably be happy with the gift you sent for missions. The program you had about Burma sounded very interesting. I think it was clever of you to have the program arranged with a meal like they would eat in Burma.

As I have said to you in a former letter, I agree with you about applause in the church, especially during a worship service. I was sorry to hear that Mrs. Wilson is so sick with some skin disease. Dear, you said that Mr. Paul had been given a blood transfusion, evidently you told me in your letter on the 17th about him being ill, but I don’t have that letter as yet. What seems to be the trouble? Be assured of my prayer on his behalf.

Well my Dear, it is so late and I am tired so I will close for tonight and may God richly bless you in all things. Remember, I love you more than words can ever tell. Be sure to give my love to the folks.

Yours alone for the ages of the ages

In the love of Christ Jesus,

Your own,

 Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Enclosed you will find a bulletin of this morning’s service. The services I had at nine and 10 o’clock were just the same. Lover, you are so very sweet.

February 24, 1945

 24 February 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Willis Reed in Jungle Training – Hawaii, 1945.

The wind has been blowing hard almost all day and the dust is terrible. All and all this has been a hectic day to say the least, the first thing this morning I had to move from my old tent because of a change that was made in officer personnel. That took about an hour and half and immediately following that I left for the Division Hospital, I called on the men from our outfit. While down that way, I stopped in to see the head chaplain of the division for a while. On the way back, I stopped by to see Paul Wells for a few minutes. Last evening in the mail he received word that his wife had fallen and hurt herself. I do hope that it isn’t too serious. While there, he gave me two negatives for the pictures which he took. The pictures I sent you last night are just alike, but as you will note from the negatives there is just a little bit of difference in the pictures. After you get the number printed you want, you can give them to Margaret. He is rather anxious for you to meet his wife for he thinks it will cheer her to know we are together over here.

Just before dinner I spent some more time on my sermon for tomorrow morning. Immediately following the dinner hour I had to give another sex morality lecture. After I finished with that, I got a jeep and called on the patients in another hospital. It was past 4:30 by the time I called on all of them. We returned just in time for our evening meal. The only mail I received today was from Elsie Pierce and Dolores. I had hoped that your letter of the 17th might show up, but it didn’t.

After eating this evening I talked to a soldier to see if I could help him with a problem he has. As soon as that was over I came over here to my tent and went over my sermon again. I have both services in the morning. I am preaching the same message both times, but I do want to be fully prepared.

Dear, this letter won’t be so long tonight because I am tired and want to be fully ready for tomorrow. However, I’m going to make a few comments on your letter of the 16th. Dear, the article what you wrote on the church library sounds very interesting. Be sure to keep it for our files and future use. The books which you bought down at Judson Press sound very interesting. Whenever you see something good, don’t hesitate to get it if you think it will be helpful to us in our future work together. You were wondering what language the natives speak, they all spoke Ellice Island with the exception of three who spoke Gilbertese. The differences in the languages is not too great. In fact, they sound a lot alike.

Well, Darling it is rather late and I think I will close for now. Remember I love you more than you will ever know. God bless you, Dear. Give my love to the folks.

Yours ever I am in the love of 

Christ Jesus our blessed Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. By the way, a year ago today we sailed and I saw the last of the mountains along the coast at about 4:20 in the afternoon. It was a sight I’ll never forget. All were snowcapped. I love you, Sweetheart.