Military Mail Bag

“Beacon Lights” received the following letter from one of our servicemen readers.


Wednesday, Jan. 22, 1955

Dear Friends:

Well, just a few lines to tell you all hello and to tell you how I’m getting along.

I left the States on the 25th of August. By ship it took 12 days to get to Tokyo. Flew from up there to down where I am now by a c-119 and a c-46. Getting here on the 9th of September.

Upon getting here, I was put to work in the tower and that’s where I’ve been working. Here on this base, we have a great lot of traffic. Having as many as 240 landings and/or takeoffs during a six-hour period during the day.

Also, upon getting here I found a very nice group of Christian fellows. One of them in a Christian Reformed fellow from home. We spent many happy hours talking together before he left for home.

Since getting here I’ve seen quite a bit of Japan. About a month after I got here, five of us took a three-day pass. Went down to Unzen National Park and Nagasaki. Unzen means cloudy mountain and actually is part of a mountain. At the town of Unzen there are hot mineral springs and the park is very beautiful too. Nagasaki is a place where one of the two atomic bombs were dropped. It was very interesting to see the few ruins that were left. It is very surprising to see how little you can tell that an atom bomb was dropped there. The city is completely rebuilt with only a few ruins left (on purpose). We all had a very nice time. Since getting back, I’ve visited a couple parks in town, and also did some looking around in the shops in town. Have gone bike riding in the country also. There’s many interesting things to see here; such as strange ways of dressing, motorcycle trucks, Japanese ways of farming, Japanese buildings, religious shrines, and so on. There is quite a contrast between the old and the new.

I manage to keep pretty busy since I’ve been here. It has helped to make the time go fairly fast. Have been going to school about twice a week since getting here. Have already finished a course called Harvard Speed Reading and I’m now taking typing. Typing classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 – 8:30.

I would like to say that the Lord has certainly been with me. I found, upon getting here, a very fine group of Christian fellows whose life here centers around the Chapel. Some of the activities we have are: daily devotions every day at noon from 12:00 – 12:15; Bible study Wednesday night; Gospel hour on Thursday night; and services Sunday morning and evening. There’s about 25 fellows that spend all their extra time over here, even when there isn’t something special doing.

The Lord’s will is certainly to our good. I can see many ways that my being here is working for my good. One of these is: Since I’ve gotten here, I’ve been getting a lot of religious reading material, so much in fact that I haven’t been able to keep up reading it. So I’ve learned to carry some of the leaflets and booklets along with me. Using every waste moment I can find. We all have quite a few of them. (While in the service, you have a lot of waste time, at least I have.) I’ve already got a great blessing from doing so and want to continue using my waste time even after I get caught up on my reading. Carrying a real small booklet on me at all times that has a chapter of the Bible in it. Reading a verse in those waste moments, and meditating on it in between, if possible.

It’s something I think we all should do as much as possible. For thereby we will be doing what the Lord wants us to, as told us in Ephesians 6:10-18.

Basil J. Hafer