June 14, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

14 June 1945

Sarah, My Dearest One:-

This noon I received another letter from you, it was yours of June 2nd. It always helps me so much have your fine letters. They are a real blessing to me in every way. I also got a Lexington Unit Journal and three copies of the Baptist Leader. I spent almost the entire morning taking care of letters of inquiry concerning loved ones. Just before noon I took enough time to write a v-mail letter to my father, Sgt. Visconti, Scheus, Mr. and Mrs. Mason and Lieut. Erb. The only air mail I have left I’m saving it to write to you, Darling. As soon as I get the money from you I’ll be able to buy more air mail envelopes. In writing to my father, I used one air mail and enclosed a set of pictures.(Just like I sent to you.)

After dinner I spent more time visiting the men and getting some necessary supplies for the men. Later, or just before supper, I read my Bible for a while and planned the message for this evening. My scripture text was Romans 14:7-12. Using the theme, giving account to God. None shall escape. There were approximately 125 in attendance. They really sang well this evening. We had another good day, I only hope this weather lasts for it will mean it will be over sooner. I must close because of darkness, more in the morning.

Early June 15, 1945

Good morning Sweetheart:

I want to get some more off to you this morning. I wish I had more time in the evening to finish the letters to you but as it is it is getting quite late by the time the service is over. And then if some men talk to me for a while that takes more time. Anyhow, I try my best. Perhaps when this campaign is over I’ll be able to write to you better letters.

I’m starting with your letter of May 14th. I’m certainly behind in making comments and answering questions but I hope to catch up as soon as possible. Chicago weather has certainly been unpredictable this year. I do hope they don’t have a long dry summer after so much rain. According to my father’s letter they have had almost the same kind of spring in Nebraska. However, he said the winter wheat and spring grain are looking good.

Playing ball with the youth before the war. Willis is on the far right.

Dear, I definitely feel we should have training classes in our next church for old and young alike. A class on missions, Bible study, teaching methods, and things of that nature. Another one I have also had in mind is a class on reading the Bible. The reason I’ve thought that would be a good class is because I found so many who have no idea whatsoever as to reading the Bible, they run sentences together, do not observe punctuation, and as a result, lose the meaning altogether. My idea of this class would be hints on reading, then assign different passages and ask them to read publicly and then have the groups as a whole make criticisms. What do you think about it, Dear?

I was surprised to hear what Mom told about Bible reading in the Women’s Organization, and the reading of the Secret Place. I certainly think that is most unfortunate. Whether they realize it or not, they are the losers. And then what she said about planning what they are going to eat at the next meeting. You would think they would be also concerned about their spiritual food and appetite. The church under Dr. Wilson’s leadership perhaps has grown in attendance and giving on the basis of more in number. But spiritually, NSBC has never been the same since about a year before Dr. Virgin left. I do know that in my first four years there they had a spirituality which was challenging and we used to have such very fine B.Y.s. The loss of such folks as Mr. and Mrs. Hough, Deacon Clater, Mr. Melville, Mr. Starrett, Mr. and Mr. Obenland and Miss Cook – and Ruth Reid’s father  have left a gap which has never been fully filled, mainly because the youth have not been reached. NSBC has meant a lot to me and there are so many great possibilities, and that is why I am so concerned about her future. There ought to be an average of three hundred and fifty or four hundred young people out to BY every Sunday evening. I would like to see somebody like Maurice and Edith takeover. And I mean it humbly when I say I wish you and I could have such an opportunity. I don’t believe we could do it in our own strength but by lives fully yielded to Christ we have unlimited power. Remember the Lord’s dynamite? Unless there is a definite change in NSBC’s leadership she will continue more and more to try and lift herself by her own bootstraps as is indicated in the weekly paper on so many occasions. Personally, I feel unless he changes, he will not be able to hold the church much longer. He may stay for sometime yet but unless there is an inward change it will be a hindrance to North Shore. Dr. Wilson will certainly miss Maurice and Edith.

Darling, don’t you ever worry about being a good pastor’s wife. Bless you Dear, you are the ideal pastor’s wife. You have always been an inspiration to me and you always will be. I only hope I can be a better husband to you and an inspiration and challenge to you.

I was certainly surprised to hear about the test Dr. Mason gave. That almost sounds like some of Dr. Whitesell’s tests. I’m sorry he gave such a test. I’m only sorry you didn’t have the privilege of having Dr. Ernest Smith for Christian Education. He was the best. I don’t know whether I told you or not, but he took work under Dr. Richardson at the Presbyterian Seminary.

I know Margaret and Forrest Schaw must be happy with looking forward to another addition to their family. If you should hear where Mack and Eleanor go be sure to let me know. I knew Al Beaudain in school and I do hope he is able to help the church in E.M. Their main field at that church is building up a strong young peoples work and I hope that is what he will do.  We must remember the church in our prayers. I’m glad to know Mrs. Lloyd is doing so well with the children. Such news is good news. I would certainly like to see them again.

Sweetheart, I show close for now. God bless you and the folks in all things.

I’m yours for always because

We are one in Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

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