September 25, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

25 September 1945

Sarah, My Darling:

  Beloved, another day and no mail from you, but I still have your other letters and they only grow sweeter with each reading. It is such a reassuring and fortifying feeling to know that we are each other’s forever no matter what happens in the future. I never shall cease thanking our Lord for the wonderful little girl He gave me for a wife and companion in this life and throughout the whole of Eternity. Since November 1st, 1940 I have been privileged to have a constant foretaste of Glory Divine as a result of your love which inspires nothing less than my very best for Christ. Dear, I’m so unreservedly grateful to God for your love and I only hope I can be a husband partially worthy of such a love as yours. Darling, I have been privileged to see and become acquainted with many fine women and young people over the last 10 years, but I have yet to see one who could compare with you in any respect. Remember, that is not because we are each others, but your wonderful love for Christ and your encouragement and trust are the things which help you to outshine all others. I know we both still fall short, but before us is a goal in Christ Jesus and that constant urge to press on will only intensify our love and prepare it for the glad day when our love shall transcend far beyond that which we can imagine now, because this mortality shall be swallowed up in immortality and this corruptible in incorruption. Do you wonder why I love you Dear? Well, try as I may, I always seem to fall far short in expressing to you what I feel deep within my heart. Were all the wealth of this world mine, I would not give it in exchange for you for your love. Money, fame, honor and earthly riches are here today and gone tomorrow, but a love as pure and unaffected as yours is an everlasting thing, and how thankful I am that we shall be able to share the love which is ours and still growing for all the ages of the ages.

Seoul, Korea 1945.

  Darling, this has been another very full day with all kinds of unexpected work to do. Early this morning I wrote a letter to the mother of a young man in our outfit. She wrote me a letter sometime ago to tell me what her son thought of our services. Darling, it is such a precious letter and I know she must be one of those very rare mothers which God so often gives to a world lost in sin. The first time I read that precious letter I could not keep back the tears, for I know in the evening years of your life Dear you will be just that kind of mother. I’ll show you that precious letter someday. While I was in the midst of writing the letter, a soldier came in to see me, he had drunk some sakie and during his drunken stupor he cursed an officer, assaulted a guard, and worst of all, sought to molest a young girl. He is the father of five children and almost ready to go home, but with a court martial coming up he may be very seriously judged and confined. The one charge is most serious. He was in tears and told me very bitterly that he didn’t know what his wife would do now with those children. Darling, how my heart aches for those children and mother. I know this soldier felt very badly and normally would not have thought of doing such a thing, but under the influence of that poison men pour into their systems, he sank below the level of a beast and could not control his passion and lust. Naturally, there is nothing I can do with such a serious charge against him. However, do pray for his wife and children, Dear. I talked to him a long time about accepting Christ as personal savior and Lord of his life and his need of setting an example for the children which God has trusted to his keeping. It will be necessary for him to suffer the consequences of that which he has done, but I shall keep in touch with him and see to lead him into full consecration to Christ.

  Darling, again I want to warn you to be very very careful when it comes to being out late at night. If you are ever out late, be sure to try to be with someone. Many soldiers have learned the detestable habit of drink, (and to think our wonderful Army taught them such by letting it flow freely), and when they are able to get it so freely when they return to the States there is no telling what they might do under the influence of drink. Many men are very lustful when it comes to sex because they are always engulfing their minds with such low and degrading thoughts, and reading matter that a whim might easily cause them to seize any girl who might in any way be attractive and cause that smoldering cesspool of smut which they have been harboring in their mind to flare into a blazing inferno. Darling, please please be careful for I don’t want you to be molested in any way. Since our arrival up here that liquid hell and sin has made a lot of trouble among the officers, as well as the enlisted men. I believe the friendly cocktail and highball are one of the greatest curses in America today, and it has wide approval because in high places it is recognized as part of the hospitality necessary to good feelings and entertainment. I believe there ought to be a crusade against that hated enemy which is really the devil in disguise. I mean an intelligent crusade which does not cram something down the people’s throat, but will appeal to their finer instincts through intelligent pros and cons which will unmask this horrible monster hovering over the United States from the White House, Washington, those of high estate in this world to the slums and underprivileged in every city and hamlet across the expanse of our fair land which God has so abundantly blessed in His great goodness. Sobriety is always honored in Our Father’s sight. It is about time America wakes up to the fact that the beer and liquor barons grow richer while the moral, spiritual, and chastity which ought to be ours is thrown to the four winds. More is paid to support the crime which it engenders than all they spend to advertise, make or pay in profits to the support of the nation at large. Well, that’s off my mind but that’s the way I feel. I have seen so many in the Army make beasts of themselves through the drinking of the stuff and bring much suffering and sorrow to those loved ones left behind. It works both ways for there are many who indulge back there and many get the I don’t care attitude here. Which is so indicative of the  necessity of man having a stay and lifting force which will lift him above the mere things of this world which men so madly fight to possess and then see it turn to ashes and dust in the twilight years of their lives. What a Mighty challenge is ours. Christ’s ringing declaration is still good in the 20th century and will be for the ages of the ages, “And if I be lifted up I will DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME;”  what a stirring challenge that is, Dear. Let us pray for less of self and more of Christ and thus be able to lift Him up. I so want to be purified and cleansed of all self to be a representer of Christ, and being that I believe I can to you be a husband of whom you can be thankful to the Lord.

  After dinner we left here for another company to have services for them, it was a long way and it was the first time I’ve been able to go through the main part of the city. I got to see so many unusual sights. Downtown the buildings are very modern and look like any modern city in the United States. The streets were filled with pedestrians, in all kinds of gay colors, some women had nice long dresses which came down to their ankles and others in the famous kimonas (I’m almost sure that is spelled incorrectly, but for the life of me I cannot think of how it ought to be spelled) which are so well known in the Orient. With a large red, blue or purple sash band around their abdomen and riding on their backs the sweetest little babes in perfect contentment, some sound asleep and others gazing about to view the sights. Some women wore the traditional dress of the Koreans; large wool trouser affairs with very full waist tied with a drawstring, and the legs small and tied at the ankles. And then there were those very poor with little of life’s provisions, barely clad, in some cases their breasts showing through the thin and tattered clothing on their backs. Hair all disheveled and in all manners wrecks of humanity because their hopes and ideals for the years have faded and left them the ashes of life. I felt all the new what it means when it says, “and Christ had compassion on the multitude.”  The men were dressed in all kinds of clothing from the American looking businessman to the very poorest Korean with only threadbare pair of trousers and shirts. Everywhere were little shops, larger stores and in the by streets people with a few apples, potatoes, turnips, pears, eggs, rice, clothes, shoes and whatnots to sell to any buyer who may come along. Sprinkled here and there were Shinto and Buddhist priests slowly moving down the streets in their quaint little hats, their weird looking shoes and general dress. On the street where a few nice street cars, other old wrecks that Chicago or any modern American city would declare dangerous and beyond use. Ricochets, hand carts, bicycles, regular beef type bulls pulling two and four wheeled wagons. The four wheeled wagons have very large rear wheels and very small front wheels. The old bulls move along slowly with their eyes half-closed, sometimes the way they move I do think they are asleep and only move to keep from losing their balance and falling over. There are pretty horses, fat ones, thin ones, large ones, little ones, shaggy haired ones, tired looking ones or what have you. And that’s not all, US Army trucks honking their horns to get through, Jeeps weaving in and out, nice American made cars as late as 1941 models driven by the more fortunate people of Korea, and overhead the mighty drone and reverberating power of the mighty engine which power our superforts, transport planes, fighters and medium bombers wheeling hither and yon in God’s blue heaven. Lover, Korea and Kyongsong lends a most unusual atmosphere of extremes. That is just a little description which might help some; I’ll try to give you a few from time to time. Today the company I had services for is guarding the grounds and buildings of the Imperial University of Kyongsong and Korea. Such magnificent buildings many universities in the States cannot boast. All facilities to supply the finest in any chosen course of study. I took a look at the library and it was complete in every sense. Books as late as 1941 from the USA. Whole sections of the library in at least a dozen languages. The religious section was most complete in every sense of the word. Books in German and Latin, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic dealing with histories of all religions and several I have never heard of before. The rise of the Christian Church, papal power, the Reformation, Kagawa, E. Stanley Jones, many of the evangelist’s books. Dr. Stianson, Mantey, and Fouts could have had a field day with such a fine library. This wonderful school with all this facilities has been closed for quite some time, but they are hoping to open soon. Well, so much for that. I used the same sermon I had Sunday morning, 19 men were there which was very good considering how the men are scattered and drawing so much tiresome guard duty. It was rather late by the time we reached our headquarters again, but I wrote four more follow-up letters and had Don type them up for the mailing.  I also got a letter out for another young man. And then the sad and difficult task of writing to a father about the death of his young son of only 19 years. His father was one of the officials of the Alaska Steamship Company.

  I hurried over to the place where I generally eat and to my very pleasant surprise there was real fried potatoes and eggs. The Koreans have given us some, wasn’t that kind of them? When you consider how very little they have for themselves. Darling, I want you to forgive me for complaining about the food in some of my last letters. I am sorry, for God has given me enough, even though tiresome at times. When I see some of the want, poverty and hungry people I feel ashamed for ever having complained. I do praise the Lord for what food I’ve had. I shall not any longer worry about what the rear eschelon men have, I must learn to be patient and yielded enough to be able to say and fully live Paul’s challenging declaration, “I learned in whatever state I am therewith to be content.”  I want to be just that, but I’m praying that the Lord will see fit not to keep us apart too much longer. However, above all, His will be done.

  Immediately following supper I went over to have our Bible class, and much to my surprise there were 22 in attendance. I could hardly believe it with so many men on guard all the time and our men scattered over so much territory. We finished the first chapter of John and really we had a blessed time. I really felt His presence with us in that little room tonight.

  I came right over here and read the letters over Don typed for me, signed them, and enclosed the copies of, “Why Young Men Die,”  and prepared them for mailing in the morning. Just before I started this letter to you I wrote a letter to Grandma Norman as you suggested. Darling, that was so very thoughtful and kind of you to suggest that to me. I love her so very much and I do hope she enjoys the letter. When you see her be sure to give her a big hug and kiss and tell her that is direct from me through my best half.

  My Sweet, I would like to go right on talking to you for I love you so very much and I’m so lonesome for you, but it is already morning and daylight will be here far too soon. God bless you my Dearest in all things and be sure to give the folks my love. I do hope we get mail soon, I am so lonesome to hear from you. Thank you for being such a good sweetheart wife.

 Yours alone in Christ’s love,

 our bond security for

 all the ages of the ages,


 Ruth 1:16-17

 Colossians 3:3

One thought on “September 25, 1945

  • John T Reed
    September 25, 2019, 3:25 am

    Willis’s descriptions of Korea are eloquent, indeed!

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