Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Sunday, Jan. 15th, 1899

Cavite, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo.

Slow falling rain last night, cloudy all day with stiff breeze, sloppy streets & occasional light falls of rain.

Up early, cooked breakfast and hurried away to the ferry landing without stopping to wash dishes. Private Clayton Scott met me down near the wharf. Together we went to Cavite on the 8.30a.m. boat. Scott paid the expenses of travel & dinner. Upon arrival in Cavite we proceeded to a room in the long one-story building adjoining the Roman Catholic chapel, which connects San Felipe with San Domingo church. Here a Christian Endeavor Society are at work. Have a reading & writing room in which services are also held. Gloomy weather. Including myself only four persons attended, viz., Scott, & Privates Charles Lorentz, Andrew J. Smiths and Graham. Each testified. Had prayer. I read a bible lesson & exhausted the comrades to increased faithfulness to Christ’s cause.

The soldiers of the various commands were kept so close to quarters that they could not come. War is expected to commence anytime. Brothers Lorentz has charge of a detail & is fixing a building for an improvised military hospital. The improvisement of temporary hospitals is a significant sign. The seats we used in our meeting formerly belonged to same Roman Catholic order, for they had the seal of Saint Peter carved on the same.

After dinner we went outside the wall facing San Roque and took long observations of San Roque & the Insurrectos so far or circumstances would permit.

Home again on the 2.p.m. ferryboat.

Spoke to several persons personally about Christ and salvation.

Visitors 4 at No. 2.

From Comrades made up an audience for me in No. 2 for the evening meeting: Scott, Hines, Berry & Lloyd. I led a meeting. God was present. Troops in Manila are kept in their quarters.

Sixteen years ago tonight, in the Eddy street chapel (advent) San Francisco I gave in my name to Sergeant Henry Eden to become a private in the Salvation Army. I consider that to have been one of the most momentous steps of my life. Tremblingly I took the step in obedience to what I regarded as the will of God. The Lord has been my guide and protector from that day to this. He has kept & used me. Praise His dear name, otherwise I should have failed long ago. What long vista of change, of diversified experience, of usefulness stretch back over these 16 years! What a panorama of events unfold before memory’s eye! What a procession of persons (many of them now dead) march past me in solemn review! Oh, what a tremendously important thing is the life of a preacher of Christ and Him crucified! The Lord used me by voice & pen to preach the gospel to many thousands of immortal souls during these 16 blessed years. Without a doubt they have been the happiest of my life. Sixteen years of service in the Salvation Army means much – very much!