I have just received great news from Manila. Once again I am writing from my "office" in my plane, in the air, far above the ground. We have just taken off from Amman, Jordan, where I had a most eventful and busy six days — the opening visit toward another mass-audience campaign.
In Amman I received word from Manila that already more than a thousand who attended the big three-night public appearance campaign have signed up to attend regular weekly Bible studies. The main purpose — the announcement of the true GOSPEL as a witness to that nation — was accomplished overwhelmingly by those three giant meetings at the Coliseum, attended by many leaders and top people of the nation. God is not now calling many to conversion. And Christ said none can come to Him except the Father draw him. But when more than a thousand are responding, desiring to know more of the truth, undoubtedly leading to the conversion of many of them, that is an overwhelming success. God is showing us that by reaching first the very top officials of the nations — the presidents, kings, emperors, prime ministers, then cabinet members, lawmakers, educators, and on down, He is now opening the only doors that can carry out His great Commission of getting the Gospel before these nations, which cannot be reached any other way.
This overwhelming Manila response is by far the largest harvest of any personal appearance campaigns to date. Although all have been successful, and produced fine results, no campaign in the United States or Canada has enjoyed such huge crowds, nor such an overwhelming after-response. This PROVES that our great God, at last, has opened the one door that will get His last Message to all the world, as a witness to all nations!
This was my first visit to Jordan in this new program leading to giant public appearances in world capitals. I think it may have been the most successful first visit to a head of state and a capital of a nation so far. I had a simply wonderful visit with King Hussein. I think the picture of his opening greeting (to appear later in The PLAIN TRUTH), as we first met, tells the story of how warmly and enthusiastically I was received.
Back in 1967, meetings were set up between King Hussein and me twice, but it was then shortly after the six-day war, and each time some war event prevented our meeting. I told him I had read his autobiography, and so I felt I knew him almost as if we were old friends. I mentioned that I am now in the process of finishing the last four chapters of VOLUME II of my autobiography, covering events from the end of 1959 to the present. Immediately he asked if I would do him the favor of presenting him with the first copy, specially autographed, as soon as VOLUME II is off the press — which I hope will be within two or three months. I suggested that he do as I'm doing, and get out a revised edition, bringing his own autobiography up to the present. It was published prior to 1967, and covered none of the most hectic experiences of his life, from the 1967 war to the present.
At first glance, I noticed His Majesty has aged somewhat from his pictures of or prior to 1967. His smile was so enthusiastically REAL and sincere, I almost put my arms around him on that first greeting — and perhaps next time I will. And I'm sure he'll do likewise. Kings never, or almost never, address any common citizen with the title of respect, "Sir." Yet, His Majesty continually addressed me as "Sir," — a truly unusual honor according me respect — partly because of age, party because he knows well that I am not only President of three colleges, but human leader of the Worldwide Church of God.
King Hussein had sent the Jordanian Ambassador to the United States from Washington to Pasadena, to represent Jordan at the opening concert of the Ambassador Auditorium last April, 7, 8, and 9. The Ambassador flew from Washington to Amman, so that he might be there to welcome me on my arrival in Jordan. He was there waiting to greet me as I stepped down from our plane.
In Jordan I had personal visits also with the Crown Prince, King Hussein's younger brother, with the Prince and Princess, his other brother and wife, with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Information, the President of the University, and numerous other officials high in the Government.
On my arrival, one of King Hussein's personal cars and driver were placed at my disposal full-time while I was in Amman. There was a large reception held in my honor one night, and a large banquet another night sponsored by the Minister of Information in my honor. They had me on television and radio news picturing and reporting nearly all of the meetings with various officials. President Nixon had just visited Amman the week before, and my visit was treated by the press almost in the same light. This was the warm, enthusiastic, beginning which I'm sure will lead to an important testimonial dinner on the next visit, to be attended by some 50 or 60 of the nation's leaders, and then on the next visit, a full public appearance campaign like the one in Manila, to be attended by thousands of the nation's leading people, hearing the True Gospel, with the approval of the Government.
Co-Workers, I know it is hard for our Co-Workers in the United States and Canada to realize that these other countries are not at all like the United States and Canada. I think I may have given you some comparative figures on illiteracy and per capita income in my letter a month ago. But now I want to repeat some of these figures with some additional facts which will help you to grasp HOW DIFFERENT is our problem of getting the Gospel into other nations around the world, than to the United States, Canada, and Australia.
One factor that might be deceiving: Many countries where the majority of the population are illiterate — that is, virtually no education at all — are now introducing compulsory education in the primary grades. But we must remember that this has been going on only a very few years, and the UNeducated adults are still in the big majority of the population. Many of these countries are now having compulsory primary education even for illiterate adults, but such programs have not yet made these adults reachable by the Gospel. It does mean that we shall be able to reach much higher percentages of the people in such countries in another ten or fifteen years — if this present world lasts that long.
But whereas the United States has almost NO illiteracy, and the percentage of people of secondary education age-level is listed as 100 percent and those of college age actually attending college, university or institutional training, is rated as 49.23 percent (Source: The Statistical Yearbook of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).
But compare that to Thailand, with only 12 percent even now receiving secondary education, and less than 2 percent higher education. In South Vietnam 22 percent are now receiving secondary education. In Indonesia, with 70 percent illiterate, and a per capita income of only 53 dollars per person per year, 12 percent are now in secondary education, and 2.21 percent in higher education. In India, with a giant population of 584 million, 65 percent illiterate with an income to live on of only 73 dollars per person per year, 15 percent of those of high school age are now in secondary education, and 7.41 percent pursuing higher education (college, university, etc.). In Ethiopia, where I shall hold the next public appearance campaign, with 89 percent illiterate, and an income of only 63 dollars per person per year, only 2 percent of those of high school age are receiving secondary education, and only about one-tenth of 1 percent are in higher education. Still, as the guest of Emperor Haile Selassie I attended the University graduation last year, where the Emperor himself passed out degrees to some 5,000 graduates.
But this kind of education has been going on in most of such countries only in comparatively recent years, and the overwhelming majority of the people in such nations are simply yet UNREACHABLE with Christ's Gospel message. They are doubly unreachable because, 1) communications are government controlled, and we cannot buy time on radio or TV, and 2) because they are not sufficiently educated to understand it if they heard it.
So what it all means is, that to get the Gospel into those nations means getting it to those at the top. Such nations have a small upper-class (in education and financial income), almost no middle class, and a huge but either illiterate or little-educated lower class. Totally different from the United States, we don't REACH such a nation unless we reach those at the TOP.
What a miraculous, providential thing it is that God is opening these very doors. Another new one was opened this past week in Jordan. And God is giving me such UNUSUAL warm, friendly, even affectionate favor in the eyes of the chief rulers and most influential persons in these nations.
Brethren and Co-Workers, our Commission is getting the Gospel to THE WHOLE WORLD. It has taken YEARS to develop ourselves and the organization to be ABLE to do it, even if GOD had opened these massive doors to the heads of governments ten years ago, we could not have carried the Work right on in there — WE DID NOT KNOW HOW THEN! Now God has given me the know-how, provided the facilities, and this new dimension of the Work is proceeding forward FASTER AND FASTER. Yes, it's a MIRACLE!
I repeat — this is not the time God is trying to save the world. He calls only an infinitesimal FEW. But we are called FOR A PURPOSE — to GET THIS MESSAGE TO THE WORLD — TO ALL NATIONS AS A WITNESS. That's why God called ME — and why He called YOU now! Otherwise He would not have called us until after Christ comes and Satan is put away.
Let me close by quoting a telex just received from Pasadena Headquarters: "Ministry and Church galvanized together behind Mr. Armstrong and the Great Commission now more than ever......This much is sure, that God's Work is more united, more enthusiastic, and more supremely confident that God is leading Mr. Armstrong than ever. Garner Ted was absolutely elated, as were we all, to hear the report from Mr. Adair in the Philippines that over 1,000, repeat, over one thousand follow-up cards have been received (assuring attendance at weekly Bible studies) in response to Mr. Armstrong's monumental and precedent-shattering campaign bringing Christ's True Gospel in power and authority, perhaps for the very first time in all history, to the multiple millions of Asian people who are spiritually starving far more than they are physically starving."
Besides these big campaigns in world capitals, the Work is going out with increasing power by radio, by television, by The PLAIN TRUTH, by other personal appearances, by booklets and the Gospel in print. But one thing is a BIG TEST OF FAITH! We are going to HAVE TO HAVE a much further INCREASE IN INCOME, if this new SUPER-CHARGED WORLDWIDE CAMPAIGN into the nations of the whole world is to be stepped up as it must. It is going to take MORE SACRIFICE from all of us. We're going to have to TIGHTEN OUR BELTS, as it were, that THIS GREAT COMMISSION may be COMPLETED. Our financial income is increasing year by year, BUT INFLATION is increasing faster, and WE MUST MAKE UP FOR THAT BY extra sacrifice on the part of every one of us, perhaps as never before. I must now rush this letter to Pasadena by wire, so it may be printed for mailing yet today. Step up your PRAYERS for the Work, ALSO.