May 17, 1946

Seoul, Korea

17 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, here it is twenty minutes to eight and I must hurry and write this letter and mail it off before 9 o’clock, forgoing any interruptions I should be able to do it with ease. Dennis, Dwight, Paul Pearson, Huckins and Jeanette decided to go into a Youth for Christ social hour they were having this evening.  So I told them we would skip the Bible class this evening and I would use the time to study and write a letter to Don McClintock. I finished his letter just before I started this one to you, Dear. And as I had thought, there wasn’t any mail today. I hardly expected any today because of the late mail which we received yesterday and considering the very poor whether we had today I’m inclined to believe that we probably won’t receive any tomorrow either. I miss your precious letters so very much, Dear.

Willis, Dennis and Dwight. 1946.

I was unable to accomplish very much this morning because of a number of things which came up to throw everything out of gear. More complaints came in to me concerning Chaplain Martin. He is certainly a troublemaker if I ever saw one. I don’t for the life of me know how he could ever have been ordained. He is one of those subtle egotists which cannot be trusted further than you can throw a grand piano with one hand. In one short month here at the hospital he has done nothing but cause trouble. As an example of his attitude concerning himself, he has only attended a few of the Bible classes and you know what he told Dwight as a reason for not attending regularly? “ I’ve studied all that before and that is only elementary and I only like to drop in to visit now and then to hear your discussions.”  I realize of course that there is much to be desired when it comes to my teaching, but if his sermons are an example of his superior knowledge, I don’t want a bit of it. There is this one bit which may throw a little bit of light on the subject of his failure to attend. He can always be found in the movie when not in attendance at a Bible class. In fact, several have asked me why he doesn’t attend the classes. Frankly, we always have a better class when he doesn’t come and when he is there, invariably because he will bring up some experience he has had or some quotation which is not at all related to our trend of discussion or study. Please forgive me if this appears critical, but I’ve seen so many sad sack chaplains who are nothing but stumbling blocks that I cannot help but be hurt. I certainly pray that these experiences I’ve had with some will teach me a lesson which I’ll never forget. Lover, I always want you to show me and tell me wherein I’m weak because I do want to be a husband and servant of the Lord whom you can justly be proud in Christ’s name.

  About eleven o’clock Chaplain North called me from Seoul and told me that he would be out here around noon so I invited him to have dinner with me. Thank the Lord for chaplains who have something on the ball. He is doing a good job in a very hard place. As per usual, he is being pushed around and given a raw break. We visited until about 1 o’clock and then he left to call on his men. Chaplain Godfrey also came by this afternoon. He talked to me for about half an hour. 

After Chaplain Godfrey left, I worked on my sermon for tomorrow evening at the Youth for Christ meeting. I rewrote the sermon three times before I was satisfied. I now have the outline down like I want it. My text is Acts 16:1-12, key verse 10 and the title and theme of my message is, “What’s Your Answer?”  Note in the American translation it says after the vision, WE MADE EFFORTS, in other words, to serve Christ we have to go beyond just vision to EFFORT.

  By the way Darling, this morning I happened to be looking through one of the issues of the New Yorker magazine and found a cartoon which really gave me a good laugh. I cut it out and am sending it to you, for I think you will receive a laugh out of it as I did. I remember how some of the women used to do when I worked in the A&P store where I worked shortly after coming to Chicago in 1934.

Alrik called me this afternoon around 4 o’clock and we talked for a few minutes and we are both pretty blue about the prospects for our departure from Korea. It looks like the atomic bomb testing is going to throw everything out of gear as far as getting out of Korea is concerned. It just seems like I can never receive a break in this man’s Army. It will certainly be a privilege to get out of it I know that.

  Be sure to let me know how things turn out at the Northern Baptist Convention, Dear. I would so like to be there this year but it seems everything I’ve hoped for this year has been not granted. Darling, this being separated from you is about getting me. So many times my heart feels just like it has been wrung. You have always been such a tonic for me. Without you, life is in no sense of the word is complete. If I could only mean half that much to you, I would be happy.

  Darling, I’m glad that you like your new suit and in the pictures which I received yesterday, I can see that it fits you very well. Remember, whenever you need things be sure to purchase them for as long as I possibly can I want to see that every one of your needs are supplied.

Well, Beloved, I must close for tonight. Be sure to give the folks my love and best wishes. God bless you, my dear.

 I love just you and I’m Yours

 for always in Christ’s love,


 Colossians 3:3

One thought on “May 17, 1946

  • John T Reed
    May 17, 2020, 3:28 am

    “forgoing any interruptions I should be able to do it with ease.”
    “He is one of those subtle egotists which cannot be trusted further than you can throw a grand piano with one hand.”

    Wow–very colorful writing from Willis in this letter! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *