I am returning from one of the most successful trips so far in this exciting NEW DIMENSION in God's Work. We are making a stopover for a few days in New York.
On arrival at the Teterboro (New Jersey) Airport — just across the Hudson River from New York City — we were met by cars to bring us to our hotel in the city.
I was surprised when the driver of my car introduced himself as Benjamin Hodges of Brooklyn, a member of the Worldwide Church of God. He was bubbling all over with enthusiasm.
"I've been just jumping up and down with joy since I heard of the new AMBASSADOR INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL FOUNDATION," he said. "And this new magazine, HUMAN POTENTIAL," he added, "I can hardly wait to see a copy."
I didn't keep him waiting long. As soon as I checked in at the hotel, and could open my luggage, I took out a copy and gave it to him.
His enthusiasm over the way the Work is leaping ahead gave me renewed encouragement and inspiration. For more than 42 years I have felt it part of my duty and responsibility to try to encourage and give inspiration to all our co-workers and brethren. But on this trip around the world I have come to realize more than ever that this giving of encouragement, enthusiasm and inspiration is a "two-way street." You brethren and co-workers are constantly boosting up MY morale, giving me encouragement, INSPIRING ME to greater effort constantly. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!
In the latest big campaign in Nairobi, Kenya, I had such an inspired and enthusiastic audience in that big auditorium that I had to tell them that THEIR eager listening and enthusiastic response inspired me — and by the final third night of the campaign they had me so inspired that I think my message was one of the most inspired and powerful I have ever delivered.
The Nairobi campaign resulted in the start of a GREAT WORK throughout Black Africa. I will tell you more about that, but first, while I'm talking about YOU people encouraging ME, let me quote for you excerpts from some of the thousands of letters that have been pouring in at Pasadena the past few days. It was necessary for two of our Headquarters executives to fly into New York to meet us here, and they brought along a handful of these letters for me to read.
"How wonderful it was to hear the announcement of the new Foundation! As a member of the church for nearly five years, and a reader of the PLAIN TRUTH for eighteen years, I feel that this is one of the most exciting things that has happened so far in this era of the Work!"
"This is a tremendous way to get the Gospel preached and the Work done without 'turning people off' as the modern phrase puts it. I am just elated."
"My first reaction to the Foundation was, 'Well, we're trying to hide the Gospel behind AICF!'
"Well, I have come to realize that its purpose intertwines with that of preaching the Gospel. After all, is not God's Work to give man a better understanding of man's knowledge of himself, his physical and spiritual needs, his environment, his past, present and future? Indeed, I agree!!"
Province of Quebec
"We're very enthusiastic about the new magazine, HUMAN POTENTIAL. Remember that the vast majority of us are behind you 100 percent, even if we don't always tell you so."
Mr. and Mrs. John Rutis
"I usually don't get excited to the point of jumping up and down over anything, but today I'm jumping!"
Arch Bradley, Minister
"CONGRATULATIONS! And thanks to God for what to me is the boldest stroke He has inspired the Work in this age to take yet!"
Charles Scott, Minister
"I couldn't be happier about the formation of the Foundation! May God help it to GROW and GROW!"
"This is a GIANT STEP forward, and we're privileged to have a part in it. I give you my wholehearted support."
Francis J. Murray
"We are very thankful to God that He continues to open doors where once we as mere humans could see no possible way of reaching the great areas of humanity. We are of such limited vision until God reveals to us His plan and then how very simple and natural it appears to us."
Joan A. Maher
"It's a miracle how God is opening doors and then giving you the strength and courage to walk through those doors. I know that this contribution is one of the best investments that I have ever made."
Eric and Minnie Jauch
"I explained AICF and the goals of HUMAN POTENTIAL. The congregations' enthusiasm exploded in spontaneous applause at the conclusion of the report. I was somewhat stunned, as this area is quite conservative. However, I was also very encouraged and thought you would be as well."
George Panteleeff, Minister
Those letters are a real encouragement to me.
Now for some highlights of this latest trip, although I think Mr. Rader has managed to get reports to you as we went along.
First, at The Hague, Holland, we had a most important luncheon and evening dinner, all sponsored by Judge Nagendra Singh, India's representative to the World Court of International Justice. At the luncheon were several justices of the World Court and their wives. The evening reception and dinner were attended by about 200 of the most distinguished people in Holland. I think that I have never seen a more distinguished-appearing group at any one time in my life. It was a most significant honor to be able to address an audience of such important men and women, and they received the message with real interest.
Then we flew on to Nairobi, on the east coast of Africa, about half way down the continent from Egypt. I won't repeat details, since I'm sure many of you have read Mr. Rader's reports before now. But I do want to mention the two important meetings with President Kenyatta, one of the world's outstanding leaders and rulers. He is just my age (calendar age) — although we both appear much younger, still full of energy, vitality and vigor. He has been a very close personal friend of Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, now deposed from his throne and held in custody by the military government which overthrew the Emperor's kingdom about a year ago. President Kenyatta and I generated a warm friendship immediately. We found that we had much in common in general philosophies and grasp of human conditions, right principles and concepts.
Our first visit, almost an hour, was at his office in the State House. He does not live there, however, and the second visit was at his home, some 35 or 40 miles outside Nairobi. I met his wife and family. We were met at the airport on our arrival by his niece (whom he calls his daughter), and to a considerable extent we were guided and escorted by her during our two weeks in Nairobi. She and the President's wife are going to visit us a little later in Pasadena, and they want me to try personally to induce President Kenyatta to visit Ambassador College at Pasadena. He never flies, but they feel that perhaps I may be able to induce him to make the flight.
I still marvel at the favor God gives me in the eyes of the world Leaders — a favor really needed to accomplish Christ's Great Commission.
Incidentally, I wonder how you picture a place like Nairobi? They still do have many tribes in rural parts, who may still live like their ancestors in the wilds of Africa. And you can drive a car out not half an hour's drive from the city and see wild animals still roaming free and wild. But Nairobi is a really metropolitan modern city of more than half a million population. And it may become a very important city to us, in terms of getting God's Work done in Africa.
Mr. Art Ferdig, Managing Editor of the PLAIN TRUTH, just came into my room. He has to catch a plane to fly back to Pasadena, and I want him to take this letter along for printing and mailing from Pasadena, so I will break off here.
God's Work is truly LEAPING AHEAD all over the world! Reports from Pasadena show that the income is beginning to pick up somewhat — and it simply MUST pick up, if these new phases of this great Work are to continue on the increase.
Again, thank you — THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!, dear brethren and co-workers with Christ!