Here we are at the end of the SHORTEST MONTH of the year! I must rush this emergency letter to you, for in one more day this month will be gone.
First, the new magazine for all our Co-Workers is coming along. We now hope to send you Volume I Number I by or before April 1st. We are not yet completely certain as to the NAME we shall choose for it — but we are thinking seriously of calling it "TOMORROW'S WORLD." The word "WORLD" has been used by many newspapers and publications, and also the word "Tomorrow" has been used in names of publications, but research by our attorneys has not discovered any magazine that has ever been called "TOMORROW'S WORLD."
We have two reasons for liking that name. It ties in directly with our radio and television program, "The WORLD TOMORROW," and Christ's Gospel — the ONLY Gospel taught by Jesus, by Peter and the original Apostles, and by Paul and those with him sent to the Gentiles, was the Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD — and the Kingdom of God is the WORLD-RULING GOVERNMENT that will rule all nations for a thousand years, starting in just a very few years. So, the true Gospel is ABOUT tomorrow's world. That, of course, is the reason we named the broadcast The WORLD TOMORROW.
We thought of calling it "The WORLD TOMORROW MAGAZINE" — but that would seem to make it merely the journal of the broadcast, carrying the name of the broadcast, but without a name of its own. By turning it around to "TOMORROW'S WORLD," it has its own distinctive name. To call it "Our Co-Worker's Journal" would limit its circulation to those who are Co-Workers. We want to make it available also to as many radio and TV listeners and viewers, and as many PLAIN TRUTH readers as have an appetite for the deeper spiritual food — going still farther into expounding the Bible than we can in The PLAIN TRUTH.
In all events, I'm personally ENTHUSIASTIC about this new magazine. All our staff here at Headquarters are equally enthusiastic about it. I hope you are too — and I feel sure you will be when you receive your first copy.
I wanted to tell you the good news first. But now I have to tell you that God's Work faces the most critical financial problem of the 35-year history of this Work.
This CRISIS we face has been precipitated by TWO factors:
1) The overwhelming and unexpected SUCCESS of our new advertising program. In the 35 year history of this Work, I have learned that when the HEAD of this Work, the living Jesus Christ, opens a door, the Work undergoes a SET-BACK unless I walk right through that door in FAITH.
When I have hesitated, lacking faith, waiting until the money to pay for it had already been received, the door was slammed shut and the Work suffered. But when I TRUSTED God to supply the need, and walked right through the doors Christ opened, the money always came.
True, God does not rain the money down supernaturally from heaven, like manna. Always He has used HIS CO-WORKERS (of which YOU are now one) to supply it. But, as I wrote you last month, the difficulty has not been caused by the cost of the advertising space. Of course, with a readership of 150 MILLION PEOPLE in these world's largest mass-circulation publications, the cost of the advertising space has been perhaps much larger than you would think — yet our budget provided for that.
But it has forced us to open new offices in different parts of the world, made necessary an expansion in number of employees in all offices, renting additional office space, increasing the payroll. It is increasing PAPER COSTS by perhaps a half million dollars a year. It means heavier postage expense — multiple thousands of dollars. It means the purchase of additional giant web-fed presses to print all the additional copies of The PLAIN TRUTH.
That is ONE factor!
2) The second one I also wrote you about last month. It is the large amount of loans from Co-Workers that have accumulated on our books. It is absolutely VITAL to the future of the Work, if our financial integrity is to remain high and unquestioned, that we either make a reduction in these, by more and more Co-Workers following my personal example in cancelling the loan, and turning it into an outright donation, or, changing the status of the loan from a demand basis to, say, a 5-year loan, so that we are not legally bound to repay more than 20% in any one year.
My personal loan was a fairly large one — all that my wife and I had managed to save during our lifetime. I gave it all. Now I own nothing — I have nothing but a moderate checking account in the bank. If any emergency should arise, I have no money or property ahead as a reserve to meet it — but what I DO have is AN ALMIGHTY GOD TO TRUST — who has PROMISED me that "My God shall supply all your need according to HIS riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19.) I can rely on that!
As I wrote last month, if your loan is changed to a 5-year loan, so that the Work is not legally bound to repay more than 20% in any one calendar year (or fiscal year from a stated date), IF an unexpected emergency causes you to NEED more than 20% in any year — then IF you will write to us, explaining the circumstances, we will do the best we can to help you. But if it can be set up on our books as a long-term loan instead of a demand loan, it will make a great difference in our financial statement.
Let me restate: Even I, myself, had somehow ASSUMED that to let this money be USED in the Work — but AS A LOAN — would help the Work just as much as to make it an outright donation or freewill offering. BUT THAT IS NOT TRUE! As a loan, it must show on our books as a LIABILITY, not as an asset. And I also repeat: Our experience had shown that out of hundreds of such loans over many years, about 80% of our Co-Workers were able, later, to turn the loans into out-right freewill offerings. Only about 20% found It necessary to ask for their money back. But of course we could not show that fact on our books. The books had to show the ENTIRE number of loans as LIABILITIES. Thus, this has been damaging our financial statements. For the entire amount had to be shown as DEMAND loans, due instantly on demand.
To protect our Co-Workers who had made loans, we have been keeping a special cash reserve fund in the bank equal to 20% of the total amount of loans. We have been, therefore, able to put only 80% of such loans TO WORK in the Gospel.
Since my last letter, there has been a sharp decrease in the number of loans sent to the Work. And nearly all of those have been, as I requested, on the repayment basis of not more than 20% in any one year. Also, we believe, many who would otherwise have sent the larger sums as a loan sent them as an offering. I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR THIS.
I have called for a special top level meeting at my office within the next few days to make final decision on what steps we must take, in this supreme emergency. My son, Garner Ted, is now at the Texas campus, along with our traveling television crew. They expected to be at Cape Kennedy tomorrow morning for the launching of this Apollo shot. It has now been postponed until Monday morning. So my son and crew will fly to Pasadena immediately after the launching. Hopefully they will be here in time for the meeting sometime this next week. I have appointed Mr. John Butterfield of England as overall Director of Printing — over all four of our large printing plants — in England, Texas, Pasadena, and Sydney, Australia. I am having him fly from England for this meeting.
Mr. Butterfield had informed me that his budget for printing — for this present year — would have to be greatly increased, due to the heavy additional printing requirements resulting from the overwhelming response from the big advertising campaign. WE SIMPLY DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO GIVE HIS DEPARTMENT THIS INCREASE. Apparently the only way around it is to forthwith CANCEL most of this advertising, all around the world. I now have in mind the NECESSITY of cancelling at least 50 or more radio stations, all the Canadian television stations, and nearly all the magazine advertising.
Brethren and Co-Workers, I would almost rather lose my left arm! I know that our Lord and LEADER Jesus Christ OPENED THESE DOORS, after they had been closed seven years.
But if we are to avoid GOING BACKWARD temporarily, TWO THINGS have to happen in the very next few days: 1) There must be a HEAVY increase, far and away beyond normal income, in the tithes and offerings received — actually BY RETURN MAIL; and, 2) we must have cancellations of at least 50% of the loans on our books — by being turned into outright donations — and letters from the other half converting their DEMAND loans into at least 5-year loans on a basis of not being legally bound to repay more than 20% in any one year. Hopefully you would not have to ask for ANY of it back — and we'll join you in prayer that God will so bless you that you will not need to require it.
IF you are able to greatly INCREASE the amount of offerings, beside tithes, by return mail — or through this coming month — it might prevent the necessity of cancelling out so much of the forward progress our living CHRIST has given us.
IF you are UNABLE to give it outright, but have a large sum you could loan, please send it — as a long-term 5-year loan (not to exceed 20% in any one year) IF POSSIBLE. And if not, even a large loan on a demand basis will HELP. It just won't help AS MUCH as the long-term loan or the outright freewill offering.
I know only too well that MANY of you — perhaps most — are not able to help that much. But YOUR REAL EARNEST BELIEVING PRAYERS for this emergency in the Work might help EVEN MORE. And I know EVERY ONE of our Co-Workers can help VERY GREATLY with your PRAYERS! And REMEMBER, I showed you in a letter a few months ago just HOW MUCH — how VERY MUCH even the widow's mites do accomplish in this Work! This is, truly, a very big Work — because there are now so many helping. Don't think for one moment that smaller offerings don't help — THEY ARE URGENTLY NEEDED ALSO!
But for those of more ability, THIS is the time — IF EVER — to make sacrifices financially for GOD'S WORK. Time is becoming shorter and shorter! We are now coming in on the HOME STRETCH of the Work. It is now POSSIBLE (I'm not setting dates) there may well be less than three more years for our part of the Work to be completed! Every month counts big, from now on!
What I find I HAVE TO DO, I shall do, still relying on our living Great Leader Jesus Christ. IF I do have to make all these cancellations, I know it will be only temporary — like cocking a gun, so it shoots the Work forward faster than ever after a brief interval.
This is THE WORK OF GOD. It cannot — shall not fall! But I have to leave it, now, in the hands of the HEAD of the Work, Jesus Christ, and YOU as Co-Workers with Him. Please pray that God will give me wisdom and sound judgment to make RIGHT decisions, as HE wills!