Words cannot express the gratitude, and the sense of encouragement and inspiration I have experienced at the response of God's people to my letter of March 30th.
God surely does have a people for His name, whose hearts are in His Work — who are willing when necessary to make real personal sacrifice for the Work.
It was a very painful duty to have to call on you for this emergency financial sacrifice. But nothing could have been more reassuring and encouraging than your generous response.
We had, before writing the letter, trimmed down on expenditures for the Work sufficient to bring outgo within normal income. But many of the cuts we made on the budget cannot take effect for 30, 60, and 90 days. Meanwhile, cash reserves were not enough to bridge the gap. From the first few days' returns it appears the response will save the Work — provided those who have not YET responded (and are able to) are heard from in the next week or so.
Every year approximately 45% of the year's income is received the first six months, and 55% the last six. But expenditures have to be met approximately 55% the first half of the year, and 45% the last. But the general financial recession and tight money situation in the United States and Canada over the past year and a half had reduced income until we did not have the cash reserves we previously had to tide us over the first six months of this year.
It is still going to be a very tight squeeze to get through this year successfully. But if we all remain faithful, and put the Work of God FIRST, ahead of personal pleasures, wants and desires, we will make it, and be ready for the final BIG HOME STRETCH DRIVE of the entire Work during 1971.
Brethren, we MUST realize world conditions are WORSENING, fast. Crime, violence, immorality, drug addiction, breakup of home and family life — all these EVILS are increasing at a most frightening accelerated pace. The final GREAT TRIBULATION is now just around the corner. I am SOBERED, as we approach the Passover, to realize we MAY be allowed to have just ONE MORE Passover after this one until we are taken to some place of safety from the coming Great Tribulation. This is a time to keep closer to our God through prayer and Bible study than ever before. It is the time to put God's Work FIRST ahead of everything. Remember, we cannot set dates for the temporary end of this Work (it will continue all through the millennium, from the time of Christ's return). It is POSSIBLE we have only about a year and a half remaining — but DO NOT think that is certain, and do not at this time make rash moves of selling all you have, as the Millerites did in 1843 and 1844. We MAY have another five years or more remaining. We at Headquarters are PLANNING for the Work TEN YEARS more ahead, IN CASE we might have that much more time. But this we KNOW — the end of this present world is NEAR and getting daily nearer.