May 1, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

1 May 1945

Sarah, My Darling:

It is now sprinkling and the patter of the rain seems to speak of God’s peace. It is cool, the green grass and graceful evergreens only added to the setting.  Below us is a pretty valley. Amidst all the peace and quiet of the setting can be heard bark of the mighty artillery pieces sending the hot steel to destroy the fortress of the enemy. Somehow, even amidst the roar of the large guns and the chatter of the machine gun and the planes winging their way to their designated objective, one can realize the truth of the words of the prophet, “The nations rage, but God is ruler yet.” Some things my Dear are almost impossible to describe, but in my heart I have never known a greater peace of heart and soul. Sometimes my heart aches so much for some of the men, and then I leave for some other place and see our men laboring to keep our Army rallying on. My Dear, in spite of all the noise, the rush, the anxiety, the heart rending scenes, I find I must have a moment of prayer and a thought of the greatness and the holiness of our God. I have never known the full beauty of, “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” until now. Or the other, “The Everlasting Arms”, and under the shelter of His wings.

Sarah’s letter of April 5th.

Darling, I received two letters from you today, they were for April 5th and 21st. I only wish you could know the lift your letters give me.

I also got a beautiful letter from Marguerite Davis, I’ll answer it and send it to you right away. I was happy to hear from Harry Janish. He is such a splendid Christian young man. I’m sure he will be a splendid servant of the Lord. There were also letters from my grandmother and Connie. 

I had the privilege of talking and praying with two men today. I only wish there were more opportunities for such privileges, but under the press of battle it is difficult to do all you would like. I spent most of the morning calling on men in the hospital. I would certainly love to be a chaplain of a hospital. But still, as it is, I’m still able to be out in the thick of things and then return to the rear and see the men at the hospital. Chaplain Walt and I had an experience which I’ll tell you about sometime. We both felt very bad and I only wished more men would know the Lord Jesus Christ. I say “would” because I know men could know Him if they tried half as hard as they do for pleasure and things of this world, which must be left behind as we press on to meet the maker face-to-face. It is unfortunate that men consider a spendthrift a man who wastes his money on useless things, and fail to realize that a man can be a spendthrift with his spirit and soul by depositing them in temporal things. As Jesus said, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul.”

This afternoon I spent most of the time with men at the front. That is the aid station and men who are blowing up caves and tunnels of the enemy. They use flamethrowers and armored caterpillars to seal the entrances of the caves.

We had seven in our worship service this evening. Chaplain Walt led it and it was very good. The numbers were few but it is good to have such fellowship.

My Dear, I’m going to start with your letter of April 5th.

Dr. Mason’s lecture on Christian nonresistance sounded very good and logical to say the least. From what you have told me from time to time, he must be a real consecrated Christian.

Sweetheart, I’m so very happy to know of your splendid record for your second quarter’s work. I only wish you could know how much that means to me; it is a constant inspiration and challenge to me. Thank you for being such a good Christian wife. It means everything to be prayer partners, even though separated by thousands of miles we can meet together as God’s throne of grace. Nothing in all the world means so much to me as the privilege of praying for you, my Dear. You are growing spiritually by leaps and bounds and I only hope I can keep pace with you. Having had this time of experience, I’m sure we together shall be prepared for service more than ever. I will be so glad when you and I can be in our own church.

I was glad to hear that Charlie has been promoted to the rank of Captain. Isn’t it grand to have friends like Charlie and Nettie?

It was good to hear about my father through you. I’m sure he will soon regain his strength. I’m afraid he expected to do hard work right away. I certainly hope he will take it easy. He can get along better if he will not try to work so hard.

My Dear, I want to write a couple more v-mail letters before going to bed so I will close for tonight and answer more of your letters tomorrow evening. I love you my Dear more than ever, and when this letter reaches you I’ll be loving you that many more days worth. God bless you and the folks in all things.

Yours ever, and so happy to be, in 

the love of Jesus Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. I also received a nice v-mail letter from Aunt Annie. Enclosed you will find Marguerite’s letter. Dear, I think it would be nice if you sent them a nice picture of Sallman’s Head of Christ as our wedding present. If you don’t have time to pick it up at Judson press, perhaps the Chief can help you.

2 thoughts on “May 1, 1945

  • John T Reed
    May 1, 2019, 3:41 am

    “I would certainly love to be a chaplain of a hospital. But still, as it is, I’m still able to be out in the thick of things and then return to the rear and see the men at the hospital. ” This surely came to pass as Willis became the unofficial “hospital chaplain” in Elgin for decades!

  • Dan Reed
    May 1, 2019, 7:33 am

    “Sometimes my heart aches so much for some of the men, and then I leave for some other place and see our men laboring to keep our Army rallying on. My Dear, in spite of all the noise, the rush, the anxiety, the heart rending scenes, I find I must have a moment of prayer and a thought of the greatness and the holiness of our God.”
    Willis was always able to find time for the truly important things in life. The concerns for the men and the need to take time each day for prayer and seeing God’s hand at work.

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