June 17, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

17 June 1945

Sarah, My Dearest One:

Beloved, this has been a very mixed up day and I am pretty weary. I was only able to have one service and that was this morning at 9 o’clock. I spoke on a theme I used while with the 98th, ”Freedom. What does it mean to you?” The scripture was Galatians 5:13-21. There were about 150 in attendance. I had an another service planned for 11 o’clock but because of our moving it was impossible to have it. We are back up there where things are hot and dangerous. For two weeks the commentators have been saying we are mopping up now. Those fellows don’t know the half of it. They come up for a while to take pictures, make some notes and go to the rear areas. Whereas the old infantry stays up here facing the enemy all the time; from things they release over the radio and newspapers you would think the enemy wasn’t doing much. We have plenty of machine gun, small arms and mortar fire. But it seems now we have knocked out all of their artillery which means a great deal in speeding up the ultimate victory. However, for sometime we will probably have to send out patrols investigating caves and crevices.

Well Dear, I was just interrupted and it was a very good interruption, for just a few minutes ago our mail quarterly gave me three letters from you, they were for June 5th, 6th and 9th. The letters were such a great help to me. I can easily see that you have been very very busy trying to get things organized for Vacation Bible School. Besides your letters, I had a nice letter from Bertha, Pete Smith and Capt. Wilson. Some more young peoples magazines also arrived. The men like them very much.

We had a long march up here and it was really hot and dusty. But I’ll take the heat and dirt rather than the miserable rain. The passing armored vehicles and tanks really threw up great clouds of dust and dirt. Dear, it is getting late so I will close for tonight. God bless you, Lover.

5:15 AM 18 June 1945

My Darling Sweetheart:-

Well, another night has slipped past and a new day is here. I’m always glad for each day’s passing, for it means we will be seeing each other that much sooner if God so wills. In spite of being very tired last night I thought of you a whole lot, for some reason or other I couldn’t get to sleep very well so I thought I ought to devote the time to something which means a lot to me. I naturally thought of those things nearest and dearest to our hearts. Such as a family of our own and years of companionship and working for Jesus Christ.

Dear, you will be interested to know that I can still see a few of the brighter stars scattered here and there in the sky. From all indications we are going to have a beautiful dawn. There are a few light grey clouds racing across the sky toward the rosy tinted eastern sky. Many times as I face the dawn I think, that’s where my sweetheart is and how I long to see her. As the sun is rising here it is late afternoon there. What a glad daybreak it will be when I’m able to start for home and you, my Dear. It is entirely impossible to keep track of how often such thoughts come into my mind and heart. It is certainly a strength and sustaining courage in these long lonesome days to have hidden deep in my heart that one precious thought. “If our Lord so wills I’m going to see the dearest of all sometime.” How long before that glad day I know not, but I’m constantly encouraged and challenged by that thought.

Sallman – head of Christ

This morning I’m going to start with your letter of May 19th. I’m glad you got the picture of Sallman’s Head of Christ for Marguerite. It is my earnest prayer that He may have first place in their home. And it was good to know you had a talk with Mrs. Finn for a few minutes. She is really a go getter for the Lord. I certainly agree with her about North Shore and only having such a short school. They have certainly fallen down in reaching the youth for Christ. I can’t remember when Auntie Skoggs had her VCS. And many of the young people of the church, those in service and in business, are ones she reached back there a few years ago. My Dear, I shall certainly remember you in prayer as you lead the school. I feel confident that Christ, through you, will be able to do an effective work.

You said you bought Ruth Bell and Don Williams a wedding present. I guess you told me about them going together but I never knew or realized until just now that they were.

For all you have been telling me in your letters from time to time, I’m sure “The Shepherdess” must be a very valuable and good book. You must have had a good time at the C.E. party at Buena. I’m glad you are able to get down to Buena every now and then to see old friends.

Talking about pictures Dear, why don’t you try and buy a colored film and a roll of colored pictures. You won’t be able to take any inside, but it would be grand to have some of you and the folks. Be sure that you are in most of them. Several of the men have received colored snapshots from loved ones taken with color film and they are nice. You’ve been asking me from time to time if there is anything I would like, well that is one thing I would very much like to have. Don’t worry about me having things, Dear. Out here it is almost impossible to carry things with you. Sometimes you’re so dirty, tired and weary it’s about all you can do to carry yourself around.

Dear, I agree with you fully about the “Youth for Christ” Movement. We do not necessarily do a lot for Christ when we have the frills, fancy choruses, mottos and ditties. Christ is life and life and living is serious business.

By the way, I have something I’m going to send you which appeared in a magazine, or I should say a leaflet, about the Muscatine church. The whole affair makes me feel very badly. (I’ll send it in another letter).

Well Darling, this will be all for today. God bless you and the folks in all things.

I am yours only and for always in

Christ’s perfect love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

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