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 16, 1946

Seoul, Korea

16 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

I’ve just finished my evening meal and I want to get this letter written and in the box before time for Bible class if at all possible. This has been a banner of a day as far as mail is concerned, for I received four wonderful letters from you Beloved, and they were yours of May 3, 4, 5, and 6. I read them over twice already and they have certainly meant a lot to me as do every one of your letters. I also received your graduation announcement along with your new name card, and Beloved, after looking at the announcement my heart came right up to my throat and it seems I haven’t yet been able to swallow it. Honestly, this evening it was hard for me to eat my supper. I suppose that sounds sissy-like, but if it is it is because I love you so very much that it hurts me beyond description to be separated from you like this. I had always secretly hoped that I would be there to see you receive your degree, but the Lord has had other plans and even though it hurts me, I’m going to do my very best to abide by that which is taking place. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t know that you were praying with me about this whole thing. Darling, words in no way whatsoever can describe what it means to have a blessed Christian wife like you are to me. Thank you, Beloved, for being such a good wife to me.

  And then I received four other letters, they were from the following people:  Diane McClintock, John Mueller, my cousin Beverly Reed and a short note and announcement from Gail Hollensteiner for her graduation. She is supposed to graduate on the 12th of June. That makes me think, Dear, if you can find the time, I think it would be nice if you could find some nice appropriate graduation gift and send it to her from us. She is such a fine girl and the Hollys have been so very good to me and I love them so very much and I know you will too when you meet them. And perhaps that can be after I return to you, we shall leave it in the Lord’s hands for what He wants us to do.

  This has certainly been a rounder of a day to say the least. Really, you get so tired and weary from being interrupted so much that you can hardly stand it. I tried to read another chapter in the book entitled, PRAYER, but every time I tried to do so, I was interrupted. There were only 15 pages and I still have 5 more to go. This business of reading in snatches isn’t so good. It makes it additionally trying when some of them come into the office with such petty little grapes. Honestly, it seems they can never find anything to be thankful for, just complain and cry. This morning I was called in on another psycho case, and that took quite a long time. Immediately following the dinner hour, I had just started to read a little more in the book on prayer when in walked Hodak, he missed the last ship and now has to wait for the next one so he came out here to the hospital. It so happens that I sent Dennis into Seoul with a written message to be delivered to Captain Howard Haynes, after that they were going to drive over to see Hodak, but now he came out here missing them. Jeanette went along with them because she had half a day off. They haven’t returned as yet, I surely hope they didn’t have some trouble.

  I was certainly happy to hear about John Stek calling you, but I was sorry to know you didn’t have an opportunity to talk to him yourself. He is one of the finest young men I have ever met since being in the Army. He was an old friend and faithful member of the old 31st Infantry when I was there. He used to drop out to see me here at the hospital after my assignment out here.

  It warmed up today, but for some reason or other, it is still quite cool in the evenings. In fact in the morning, it is generally very cool. I really love to hear all the birds singing when I arise early in the morning. Some of them have lovely voices.

  Three different chaplains were here calling on patients today and I know all of them so that took quite some time. They were Chaplain Wells, Harris, and Edwards. And they are all Baptists. Naturally, we talked over a number of things which are matters of great concern with all of us. Our overall attitude among the soldiers is not good and we are not fooling the Koreans either. They can distinguish drunkenness and lose living in Americans as well as in Koreans. By the way, Don enclosed a clipping in his letter about the Northern Baptist Convention which I am going to send on to you because I feel that you would be interested in reading it. I don’t know where the article came from but it will be of interest I’m sure. I do so hope that everything works out in a way that will be to the glory and honor of Christ and the strengthening of our work in the denomination. Having been separated from the whole situation this way, I don’t know what to think and it is very hard to draw any definite conclusions.

Reed family reunion 1956. Willis with his father Earl, his children (from left to right) John, Daniel, Martha, Mark and his “Dearest Darling Sweetheart,” Sarah.

I was certainly surprised to hear about the Baers selling their home again. As you said, they are always on the move it seems. I’m glad to know that you received such a very nice letter from Betty Weiskopf. I owe her a letter and must get it off to her as soon as possible. From what you said in your letter, your first meeting of the Vacation Bible School teachers sounded very interesting. I do hope that they have a good school this year. Darling, with the uncertainty of shipping and the forthcoming atomic bomb test, I don’t know whether I’ll be able to arrive back there in time to help with the school, but if I do, you can be sure that I’ll do all in my power to help in any way that I can.

  Darling, it even makes me feel badly even though I’m halfway around the world from Bob to know that he isn’t trying very hard to find himself a job. I don’t like to say anything in a letter because it may be misunderstood and I certainly don’t want you to take something wrong and then feel hurt with me. However, I cannot understand how he can constantly putter around with that car hours on end and then not get out and find a job. I was certainly greatly surprised to find in your letter of May 6th that Margie’s folks don’t know he is out of work and that Bob is afraid they will find out about it. I’m willing to pray for him, but after all, he has to do something about it also. I don’t blame Margie for feeling badly. With the forthcoming addition of responsibility, you would think that he would be doing all he could to make it easier for Margie and give her a sense of security and accomplishment as they look forward to that glad day when they can be crowned with that highest and most revered of privileges, the privilege of parenthood. I so hope that we will be granted that blessed privilege and soon. You will be such a good mother I know and I’ll assure you now that I’ll do all I know to be a good and kind father, and if I need guidance and help I’m sure that I can count on the Lord and you to help me. What I feel about you in my heart Beloved, when it comes to thought in this realm is beyond the possibility of description with the mere words which fall from the lips of me. All I can say is, “thank you,”  for saying yes and being my counterpart forever in Christ. I must close Lover, God bless you in all things.

 Forever yours only because we

 are forever each others in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3