May 7, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

7 May 1945

My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

Right now it is raining on our little black out tent. It started to rain about 4 o’clock this afternoon. Fortunately, I have a good shelter for the night. This morning I spent some time studying and then wrote a letter to the wife of a soldier. I also took the time to write a v-mail letter to Dolores. I also took care of some official letters. At about 11 o’clock I left for the front to visit one of my outfits. I stayed up there for about two hours, then I came back and visited those who have been injured the last few days. If men have anything more than minor wounds, they are immediately evacuated to the rear areas, some of them are taken right back to the States. As a result, it is hard to be able to see some of the men who are injured because they leave here so soon. There are so many other things to do, that about the best way to see the men at all is to stay in the aid station right behind the front lines.

Some of the rough terrain on Okinawa. From Sarah Reed’s scrapbook. April 1945.

While up there I found a soldier who is very much broken up over something that happened. I talked to him for about 20 minutes and I also had prayer with him in a foxhole. He seemed to feel much relieved and thanked me for helping him. This evening we had our evening vespers service and we had a very fine discussion. Dear, I hardly know how to say it, but the more I study the Bible and the more I lead discussions the more I think I would like to be a teacher. I may not be good enough to be a teacher in a seminary or college, but in our next church I want to have several different kinds of classes that will mean better trained Christians. Personally, I think well planned and taught classes will do much to develop real Christian leaders and will undoubtedly lead to some consecrating their lives to full-time service.

My Dear, there are many things I would like to talk to you about. Every day I feel a greater challenge to the work that is before us together. Letters are so inadequate when it comes to trying to discuss things or tell of the things nearest to our hearts. From all the wonderful experience and training you have had you will be able to help me in many ways. I feel confident that you will be able to teach me many new things. Darling, I only wish you could realize how much you mean to me and how much it means to have a fine Christian wife whose life is wholly yielded to Christ. And the most beautiful and blessed thing to me is the fact that we are one now and forever in Christ Jesus.

Of course you already know there wasn’t any mail today or I would have mentioned it long before this. I had so hoped that there would be some. It is always a brighter day, no matter how stormy or miserable, if I have mail from you, Dear. This evening I’m going to start with your letter of April 18th. Darling, it meant a lot to me to know how many are praying for me. If you could see some of the places I have been you would understand what I mean. I covet their prayer for to be an effective servant of the Lord out here, you need strength and power other than your own.

Dear, I got a kick out of your description of Dr. Stiansen’s haircut. Long shall I remember him, he is so very different and I love everything about him. He is indeed a wonderful Christian. I’m glad to know you have had the privilege of having Rev. Turnbull for your teacher. Knowing him as I do, I know he is a fine Christian gentleman and a real leader.

It is nice to know that your graduating class decided to give the new pulpit for the chapel. I think that is a very lovely gift. That was certainly nice of Antie Skaggs to want to give us some of her antique furniture. Be sure to give her my love and tell her it means everything to know she is praying for our work out here.

Darling, my heart is filled with mixed emotions tonight and my heart really aches. Sometimes in the night I will awaken and think of you, and my Dear there are tears on some occasions. Please don’t worry about me for I am alright. But remember, it is impossible to love someone as deeply and dearly as I love you without having moments of inward pain because of this time of separation. Darling, it is a pain that is very intense at times, but as I’ve said before, it is a pain that I am glad to have for it makes me realize just how dear you are to me. Since November 1, 1940 I have, through you, learned the mighty depths and beauty of true love. My one prayer as far as our love is concerned is this, “Oh! To be worthy of a love such as yours.” Well Dear, I’m tired and weary so I will close for tonight and may Our Heavenly Father richly bless you and the folks in all things.

Yours for the ages of the ages in the Love

Which grows sweeter with the passing of each

Day. Isn’t it good to be one in Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Enclosed is Dolores’ last letter.

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