I have just come from a press conference attended by reporters who are representatives of all newspapers, television and radio stations. After the main conference, which lasted over two hours, I did a television interview and then, by tape, a radio interview. This is Friday, and we hope we catch all Sunday papers. The television interview was also taped and will be on the one and only television station here in this city of one and one-half million people at 8 o'clock tonight.
This is my first visit to South Africa.
I left Pasadena a week ago Tuesday, right after the first morning session of the Ministerial Conference. Ministers were there from all over the world; many with their wives. It was a very inspiring sight to me to see the main floor of our beautiful new Auditorium almost completely filled with ministers and wives. My son, Garner Ted, and I sat at desks on the platform. At this first session Ted acted as Master of Ceremonies. I spoke for more than an hour, and, following me, Stanley Rader, who had to leave with me on this present trip.
We made stops at Oman and Kuwait, two of the oil-rich Arab countries of the Middle East. Conferences were set up at Oman for a stopover on our return from South Africa. At Kuwait I had a very fine meeting with the Head of State, Sheikh Aaba as Salim as-Sabah. He is an absolute ruler, since the form of government is an absolute monarchy. Kuwait City has grown to be a city of about a half million people and, since the virtual destruction of Beirut by civil war, Kuwait is probably due now to be the financial capital of the entire Arab Middle East. Our conference there was very successful and will bear much fruit.
The Ministerial Conference in Pasadena was a great success. God's ministry is completely, solidly together, and the Worldwide Church and Work is in the most solid and sound condition it has ever been. The Work is now going forward as never before. Income is rising this year, though not as much as the present big growth in the actual Work really needs.
This is the time when we must all put our shoulders to the wheel—make any and every financial sacrifice possible to move ahead with ever-increasing momentum.
Here in South Africa I have a very heavy schedule. I will be speaking constantly before such business men's groups as Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, etc.—before our local churches and with public campaigns in Capetown, Durban and here in Johannesburg.
Hopefully we shall now be going back into Reader's Digest with double-page ads in the South African edition.
As I wrote you two months ago, we need to make sacrifices to increase the income for the Work now as never before, on the home stretch to finish the Work for this time. Your generous response so far—these past two months—is a great inspiration for me and Garner Ted—Thank you! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! But we need your diligent, earnest and prevailing prayers now as never before.