November 3, 1945

Seoul, Korea

3 November 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

This has been one very full day and it is quite late now and I still want to do some studying on my message for tomorrow morning so I want to write this letter to you now. Just before Bible class the mailman brought in two more of your letters. They were yours of October 23rd and 24th. That is the best mail service we have had since coming up here. It will certainly be wonderful if our mail keeps up like that, it almost seems too good to be true so I’m not going to hope for too much in that respect. As soon as Bible class was over I came right over here to the office and read your precious letters. Darling, this may sound strange but it even makes me feel better to see the envelope of your precious letters. The letters were so good Darling and I can assure you that I am all refueled now. I got three other letters besides yours, they were from the following people:  Hollys, Raymond Cox, and a letter from the mother of a young man lost in the battle of Okinawa.

Willis conducting baptisms on Okinawa. 1945

Well, this morning we finally had the joy of seeing a large number of our high point men pull out for the States. You never saw so much joy in your life. And I can fully imagine how they must have felt for I know how I would have felt if I had been in their place. If all goes well, they ought to be in the States sometime at the end of this month. There were several from Illinois. Jack Lilja attended Moody for a while and said he would call you when he gets into Chicago sometime. Steve Stipanuk is from Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is one of the man I baptized while down on Okinawa. Jack and Steve are pretty close friends. I told them that if they were ever in Chicago to call you and drop out to the house if they could. I’m sure you would like to know them. Jack has an impediment of speech but gets along okay. I sought to help him in that respect and I think we gained a little ground. By the way, Jack’s folks live in Nebraska so that helped to make our contact a little more interesting. However, we didn’t know that we were both born in Nebraska for quite a long while. I will certainly miss some of those men in our services, but I’m very happy to see them on their way, for the sooner they get out the sooner we will have a chance to get out.

  I had just bid a lot of my friends goodbye and had come in here to prepare the order of services for tomorrow when the Division Chaplain (Catholic) called up and said they had a soldier there who was ready for burial and there wasn’t any Chaplain to take the service. The man was from some other outfit and they had waited for over an hour then, I took care of the situation. Naturally, that took quite some time and by the time I got back I only had about an hour before dinner. I got the program ready and Don cut the stencil while I did some studying.

  After dinner I came back to the office hoping to do some studying and having my devotions, but low and behold who should come in but Dr. Yong, (the man’s wife who made you the present).  He had two friends with him who wanted to see me. I talked with him for about an hour, and in the meantime, another Korean minister came in to see me. Upon becoming acquainted with him I found out he was from a graduate of McCormick Seminary and had his membership in Buena and knows Dr. Hepburn very well. I showed him the latest pictures of you and also the pictures I have of Dr. Hepburn. He was so happy that he is well and still carrying on at Buena. He also remembers Teacher. And several others that I mentioned. Showing him a program of Buena and Dr. Hepburn’s picture brought back many happy memories. He asked me to especially remember him to Dr. Hepburn, he said he is sure Dr. Hepburn will remember him. His name is Rev. Kyu Yong Lee and he served a church at Genzan, Korea. His home address while in Chicago was Wonsan, Korea.  If you will note a map, you will see that Genzan is north of the 38th parallel and as a result in the Russian area. Darling, some of the things he told me about the Russians made my blood run cold. And to think we call such a bunch of thieves and robbers our allies. I realize there is stealing going on among our people and soldier personnel, but up there it is sanctioned and in fact they are shipping what they steal from the Koreans back to Russia. They even went so far as to take the cross off of their church. Reverend Lee had his pocket watch, fountain and best suit of clothes taken by them, and his dear wife had all her fine hand work and blankets taken by them, and they are only one of many hundreds and thousands more. About two weeks ago he and his unmarried daughter made their way from Genzan (Sea of Japan side of Korea) to Seoul by foot and rail. They had molested other young girls and for her sake, and everything in general, he thought it best to get out. His married daughter and her husband arrived this last weekend with what little belongings they could carry. Reverend Lee is planning on going back there in about 2 weeks and get his dear wife and another child and carry out what things he can with them. Just imagine walking about 170 miles in cold November weather over rough mountainous country with what little belongings you can carry. He has a little work here in Seoul now as an interpreter. Darling, I could tell you enough about the rottenness of Russia to make your heart sick, but I must be careful or I’ll be considered an enemy of peace and a fire brand. It’s about time we quit making all kinds of concessions to her and set our foot down. You wait and see, we will find out that Russia will cause us more trouble in keeping peace than any other one nation. During the war years there were far too many secret agreements which remain unbeknownst to us, and now we are going to reap the whirlwind. Darling, it is hard to say what I really think knowing all I do from actual contact, but please ask people to pray for a revival in the United States, beginning with each one of us as individuals. This business of talking about peace among men and nations when men have not made peace with God is utter idle speech. How can God grant peace when men and nations are living like a bunch of bandits and do not trust one another out of each other’s sight? We have all kinds of intelligence and counterintelligence in secret services without number. By the way, Reverend Lee wrote his Master’s degree of Christian Education under Dr. Norman Richardson. He also knew Dr. Harms who used to teach Christian Education at Northern before Dr. Smith took over. Be sure to contact Dr. Hepburn right away by phone, for I’m sure he will be interested to know about our meeting. And he asks the same question, how soon do Presbyterians plan to send money and help in the form of missionaries and teachers to Korea? I agree with him fully that Korea is white unto the harvest. He told me he is desirous of seeing 3 million Koreans turn to Christ in the next 5 years.

  By the way, Dr. Yong and his friends brought Don and I about 100 eggs and two quarts of honey. I cannot get over such great kindness. Eggs are very rare and very expensive in Korea. That many eggs would cost you between $18 and $20 downtown. And I have no idea how much the honey would cost. I cannot get over such kindness on his behalf. Again today he said please tell the people in the United States to send the missionaries soon. By the way Darling, I sent the present which his wife made for you this morning. I sent it by Air Mail so you ought to get it in pretty good time. I think you will like it very much, especially knowing that she made it especially for you, Sweetheart.

  Darling, I had a few minutes after Rev. Lee left before supper so I decided to make a little box and send the field glasses home to you. I’ve had clearance on them for some time now but just haven’t had the time to mail them to you. The case they are in did not come with the glasses. I got the glasses from a Japanese Captain killed on our drive to Fern Hill in the battle of Okinawa. I got the case up here in Korea along with a strap which we can fix to carry them with. I have a copy of the clearance slip here with me and I attached one to the glasses on the outside of the field glass case so I think and HOPE it comes through all right. I sent it first class hoping that it would have a better chance. Be sure to let me know as soon as you receive them. I do hope that you have received the gifts which I sent you and Mom about three weeks ago. I sent that first class also. I will tell you more about the circumstances surrounding the glasses when I get home. I think I can explain it better then.

  Lover, there were 11 in attendance at our Bible class this evening and we had a good time. We went about 20 minutes overtime and were able to finish the 10th chapter. Dear, I would like to make a few comments on some of your last letters but it is so late and I’m quite tired so I think I will close for tonight. God bless you and remember I love you more than ever all the time. Be sure to give the folks my love.

 Always and forever just yours

 in Christ’s Love because we are always one in Him,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

Seoul, Korea 

3 November 1945

Dearest Darling:

Enclosed find the Korean dress which Dr. Yong’s wife made for you and which he gave to me for you, “in Jesus name.”

  The Korean women tie the skirt just below their breasts and over that they wear a little jacket over a slip which looks more like a slip over nightgown.

  I really think this is beautiful and I’m sure you will like it, especially since it was made for you by Dr. Yong’s wife.  By the way, the straps on the jacket are used to make a bow.

 I love you more than ever, Darling.

 Yours forever in Christ’s wonderful love,

Your “Willie”

 Colossians 3:3

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