We are pleased to report that work has begun on a project to scan all the old issues of Beacon Lights and make them available for research and spiritual edification. Currently each scanned issue will be available in two different formats. One will be in an electronic word document format (rich text) that looks much like the original but can be searched and treated like a rich text document. The other will be a .tiff file that will look exactly like the original which can be used for printing, viewing the issue exactly as the original, etc. We would like to make the files available on a web page as soon as they are finished so that you can begin to use and enjoy them. Our goal is to be finished within two years.
At this time we have an incomplete set of unbound Beacon Lights to scan. We do not yet have an exact count of which issues we are missing, but the majority of them are the earliest issues. We do have a complete bound set, but it is more difficult to scan. If any of our readers have old, unbound copies for use in scanning, please contact the editor at (920) 326-6186.
In the course of scanning, we have found many interesting articles. The following come from a rubric entitled “Letters From Our Boys.” I have also included the editorial from the same issue.
October 31, 1943
Another Sunday is nearly by. It is a day when one thinks of home, friends, and his own church. I didn’t have a chance to go to church today, because of being on barracks guard. However, I received my copy of the Beacon Lights, Standard Bearer, and Sovereign Grace Houryesterday. Therefore, I had plenty with which to enjoy myself.
The church papers help one to come in much closer communion to God than do the sermons in the chapel. These sermons all have a good thought in them; but every one seems to end up with that well meant offer of salvation; namely the invitation. We believe that the Lord is almighty and nothing can upset His eternal counsel. We are elect from before the foundation of the earth; therefore, it is a calling rather than an invitation.
We have very little time to ourselves here during the week. Being under classmen, we surely are kept busy from reveille till taps. Everyone looks forward to the time when he can return the compliments to some other under classman.
The Beacon Lights are surely a comfort for both my friends and me. Please continue to send them.
a/c Dick Dykstra, Ellington Field, Texas.
October 16, 1943
I received my first Beacon Lights yesterday of this season and I was surely glad to get it again.
I thought today would be a good chance to do my duty, and what has been in my mind ever since I left home and our church last December. I have been in the army a little over ten months and as yet I am still in Louisiana.
Well, I have been getting all our church papers, and O, how much these church papers mean to me nowadays, because good Christian reading material is very hard to get. I enjoy the articles in Beacon Lights and the Standard Bearer and Our Church News, and what a blessed comfort that our covenant God has given us our church papers.
When I was in camp I was able to attend some sort of chapel service every Sunday, but as you may know that it was not Protestant Reformed at all. We sure miss the services of our own church.
But we are indeed grateful to our covenant God for all these things, and how thankful I must be to our Lord that I am still in the States.
Well, keep up the good work of Beacon Lights, and may God bless and keep you all.
I remain, your brother in Christ.
Pvt. Ben Weessier, Shreveport, LA
September 30, 1943
It has been some time ago since I promised to do justice in some degree to the Beacon Lights by writing more often. Since I am about to move again I had better write as I may not have the occasion to write later, we never know what comes up next so there is no time to put off till the tomorrow. I have been in New York the past summer and had the privilege of going to church every week, and have the same over here in Flint, Michigan where I am now. I will be leaving Flint again on the 9th of October when I have to report to my district office for further instructions. I am in the best of health and wish the same to everyone.
Lately I received a booklet “Meditations” put out by Classis East of our churches and I wish to thank all those who contributed to this cause. I certainly appreciate mine. I don’t think there is any need of saying anything about life in the service, that is an established fact. Till we meet again, for as God’s children we shall certainly meet again, if not here then in the hereafter.
Your friend in Christ,
September 25, 1943
Having been persuaded by the last issue of Beacon Lights to write once again, I am doing so now. Thanks to all responsible for the summer issues as they are enjoyed immensely. I am feeling fine although received slight injury this morning, but also giving me time to write this letter. The weather during the day is very hot, but evenings are cool. We work six hours per day and have two shifts. I received a raise in rating last week, to electrician’s mate 2nd class, (staff sergeant in army) and am in charge of a 20 man detail. We are not near actually fighting, but do feel the sting of war from overhead, and even that is well under control. We have meetings every evening in charge of an Orthodox Presbyterian chaplain, so we do not lack spiritual food and teachings very much. This surely is a good sign of God’s mighty Word, being out here in heathen places. He surely cares for all our needs everywhere. Thanks to Him alone for all things.
In His name and love, a brother always.