Another Successful Trip
Greetings from our home in the sky, 7 1/2 miles above the Mediterranean Sea, homeward-bound after a strenuous and extraordinarily successful trip.
On Thursday, Oct. 23, we had a luncheon in London with the ministers from the London area. Sabbath, the 25th, I preached to the brethren of the London area. Unfortunately they did not receive the televised live transmission of the Last Great Day at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, and the ministers had requested I bring them that message. More than a thousand brethren were present, including a delegation from the Continent.
The following Monday night, Oct. 27, I spoke for some 40 minutes to a large banquet in Cairo of some 300 leading people of Egypt. I felt that I was "right on target" that night, and they heard the Gospel of the Kingdom — and the world rule in PEACE - living the way of God's spiritual law, outflowing LOVE instead of hostile competition. Two men there from New York had read my ads in The Wall Street Journal. They were in the investment business, and in affluent financial condition. They liked The Wall Street Journal ads - but disagreed with my speech — especially what I said about outflowing LOVE doing away with hostile competition. The "GET" way of life had profited them, and they disagreed that this world is full of evils. It's a pretty good world, they told Mr. [Stanley] Rader. They love this world as it is. I'm afraid that all the rest of us on earth are out of step, except just those two SATISFIED men!
We flew to Jerusalem from Cairo. Ours was the first flight from Cairo airport to Jerusalem airport since the six-day war — a definite FIRST. Other planes now can fly from Cairo to Tel Aviv, Israel but not to Jerusalem.
On Sabbath night, Oct. 25, by the way, I talked from London to the A.M. Sabbath service at Pasadena. It is my understanding that though I spoke to them live, it was recorded at Pasadena and replayed at the afternoon services.
Then on Saturday night, Nov. 1, I spoke from Jerusalem live again to the Pasadena Auditorium congregations.
On Thursday, Oct. 30, I spoke at a banquet hosted by the mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, and on Sunday, Nov. 2, we had a performance at the Arab, or Old City side of Jerusalem, of the ICCY [International Cultural Center for Youth] youths, staged by both Arab and Israeli youths and children. A little 9 year-old Arab girl did a very cute belly dance. I renewed acquaintance with many of our friends in Jerusalem.
On Monday, Nov. 3, I had a very warm and profitable meeting with Prime Minister Menachem Begin in his office in Jerusalem. Accompanying me was Mr. Rader, Mayor Kollek and former Los Angeles (Calif.) Consul General Michael Ravid. Mr. Begin left a meeting with a group of officials in Tel Aviv, taking the hour drive to Jerusalem for the meeting with me, and then drove back to Tel Aviv, keeping the officials there waiting a solid 2 1/2 hours during their interrupted meeting. When it was mentioned that he had made this special drive, interrupting an important group meeting, he said, "Mr. Armstrong, I would get out of bed at 2 in the morning to see you." He was pleased that I plan to put his picture on the front cover of both The Plain Truth , and Quest 81 with President [Anwar el-] Sadat of Egypt, and a leading cover story about them and their peace effort in each magazine. Our meeting ended in a real affectionate bear hug.
On Thursday of the same week, Mr. Rader and I had luncheon with King Leopold III of Belgium and his wife in their chateau home near Waterloo.
Sabbath, last week, the 8th, we had a Bible study in our hotel suite, going through Daniel 2, 7, and Revelation 13 and 17. The Sabbath before, in Jerusalem, we had a Bible study on John, 18th and 19th chapters, about the trial, crucifixion and burial of Christ, because our party had been in Jerusalem and had visited the garden tomb where Jesus was buried — also seeing the exact spot where He was crucified.
On Sabbath evening in Paris, where we were waiting while seeing King Leopold and before returning to Cairo to see President Sadat, I spoke live again — this time to the New York church at their Sabbath afternoon service. That too was recorded and possibly may be heard from tape at Pasadena and elsewhere.
This Sunday we returned to Cairo for the visit with President Anwar el-Sadat. Originally our meeting had been scheduled for our first visit there, but due to the visit of the president of Israel, and the fact President Sadat wanted a full visit with me because of the forthcoming articles in The Plain Truth and Quest 81, we rescheduled our meeting for yesterday, Tuesday the 11th.
It was possibly the best meeting I have had with a head of state — unless it was the meeting with Prime Minister Begin.
Our TV crew was with us for these visits, and these meetings will be shown on US television, as well as in our churches.
We are now descending for a one night stopover in Paris - because it is simply too long and fatiguing a flight from Cairo to the U.S. West Coast. Continue tomorrow...
I am now at home in Tucson. We had a brief overnight rest in Paris, leaving yesterday, Thursday, at about 11:40 a.m., arriving Tucson about 3:30 a.m. this morning, Paris time, which was 6:30 p.m. last night here.
My meeting with President Sadat was Tuesday, Nov. 11, the 62nd anniversary of the end of World War I — and how well I remember that day of jubilant, almost riotous celebrations.
The president was giving a speech on national television from a large auditorium on the ground floor of a large 12-story office building. We arrived at this building — Mr. Rader and I — about 11:45 a.m. We were taken to a lounge adjoining an executive office on a top floor. We waited about 30 minutes. Then we were ushered into the office, where the TV set was on. President Sadat was ending his speech to the nation in the auditorium below. Then came a graduation ceremony. The occasion was an annual meeting of the teachers' union. Apparently Mr. Sadat's speech had been the speech at a graduation exercise. Then came presentation of diplomas or degrees; each hand-shaking with the President!
Then we proceeded down to the parking lot in front of the building and entered an official car behind a Cadillac ambulance, which apparently follows the president's car wherever he goes by car. After about 40 minutes Dr. [Mohammed Abdel Kader] Hatem, the president's close personal adviser, came out and joined us in our car. Soon the president's cavalcade started. Crowds on the sidewalks were gathered to wave at the president. We were part of the president's cavalcade. We were driven to Guza Palace.
The president had proceeded us into the palace. The first lady, Mrs. Sadat, met us on the portico outside the entrance and escorted me in, and into a special reception room. There our own TV crew, as well as official government TV camera crews, had set all TV lights and cameras focused on the seats where the president and I were to sit.
We had to wait about 20 minutes or so. Already in the palace was a group of U.S. congress men waiting to see the president.
The first lady entertained us while we were waiting and she and I were photographed together. She is a very attractive, cultured, intelligent woman with good personality — a gracious host.
When the president was ready to enter, she left the reception room. The cameras clicked as Mr. Rader, Mr. [Osamu] Gotoh, Dr. Hatem and I met the president. Then he and I sat in corner chairs very close together for the TV cameras.
President Sadat is building at the base of Mr. Sinai a PEACE CENTER, to cost $70 million. It will be emblematic of peace between nations and religions. He showed us a photograph of the architect's rendering, picturing the center. It is a beautiful walled complex and inside are three main buildings — a mosque, a synagogue and a church — symbolizing cooperation and peace between the three religions.
All three regard Moses as a prophet, and all look to the same God, though the Islam religion calls Him by the name Allah.
A very short walk from this complex will be erected a modern tourist hotel.
I caught the vision immediately and will write feature articles — cover stories — for both Quest 81 and The Plain Truth, showing pictures of both Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat on the front covers.
It was atop this mountain nearly 3,000 years ago that God gave HIS LAW — the WAY to PEACE — on the stone tablets to Moses.
The Ambassador foundation has pledged, through myself and Mr. Rader, a gift of $1 million in 10 annual installments toward this center for WORLD PEACE. I signed the check for $100,000 as the first installment and handed it to President Sadat. This matches, or partly matches, what we have done in Israel this past two years.
This will give us a great deal of valuable publicity over the world as working for WORLD PEACE, and open more doors for proclaiming the WAY to peace — the WAY of God's law and the coming Kingdom of God.
Things like this open a door NOT OPEN to the religions of this world or their leaders.
I know that our meeting with Mr. Sadat, just like that with Mr. Begin, was altogether DIFFERENT than any meetings - IF they ever granted one — with other religious leaders — or, for that matter, different than their meetings with press representatives or men of official standing from other nations. Our meetings are WARM, and even the Spirit of God is felt there.
Mr. Rader asked questions as to a statement Mr. Sadat would like to make to the American people, what he thought of the new changeover in the U.S. presidency, etc., and I talked further about God's Law, as the WAY to world peace — and the difference between the ways of life of "GIVE" and "GET." As Mr. Gotoh said in the car as we were leaving, "You certainly preached to him the true Gospel!"
Our meeting ended in a semi-bear hug, with deep-felt affection. I said I'd like a photograph with him on one side and Mr. Begin on the other, and Mr. Sadat said he would too, and perhaps we may be able to. Mr. Begin asked me to give his warmest greetings to President Sadat, which I did.
Both these Middle East leaders know I am planning to feature a cover story on both of them, and both are exceedingly pleased.
All in all, it somehow seems that God has blessed this trip by making it the most successful so far.