It has happened before — I suppose we may have to face it again — it is disheartening, and unpleasant for me to write — but THIS HAS TO BE AN URGENT EMERGENCY LETTER!
The very work of God — the most important activity on earth — needs immediate HELP from YOU! I have just now been absolutely stunned to learn that, here at the world-headquarters of GOD'S WORK on earth, the business office was unable to write out the week's salary checks last Friday for our hundreds of workers!
I have written you of how wonderfully God has blessed and advanced His work. This is my first letter to you in this new year of 1961. In the year just closed, 30% more people HEARD the powerful TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ than any year before. 30% more were converted and baptized. 30% more requested, and now receive every month, the PLAIN TRUTH. The new college was started in England. Three sustained evangelistic campaigns were held in England — in Bristol, in Birmingham, and in Manchester — with scores of conversions. NEW editions of the PLAIN TRUTH began overseas — the British and European edition, now printed in London; and the Australian edition printed in Melbourne. The PLAIN TRUTH circulation is now around 285,000 copies — climbing rapidly toward 300,000. This past year we began sending the Gospel Message powerfully in print, in TWO PAGES per issue, in the British, Australian, and New Zealand editions of READER'S DIGEST, and now, at last, God has opened a door before us for this year, of using two pages every issue in the UNITED STATES editions of Reader's Digest. This is the largest circulating magazine on earth. One- fifth of all adult people in Britain read it. Probable more than a fifth of all adults in the United States read it. But we have not had a trained staff large enough to open, read, channel, and answer the overwhelming flood of letters that will come in from the United States edition. But now, at last, it is possible to purchase the two pages of space in Reader's Digest for ONE SECTION of the United States at a time — either the Pacific Coast edition, or the Middle-West edition, the Texas edition, the South-East edition, or the North Atlantic edition. By adding these one at a time, the way at last is open. THIS HAS BEEN A GOAL OF MINE FOR YEARS! Yet I am not the head of this work — JESUS CHRIST is, and we can move forward only as CHRIST opens the doors.
I do not know of any activity on earth that is GROWING, and MULTIPLYING in power and scope, year after year, like this work of GOD. World conditions are tightening, worsening, moving faster and faster! God's Work must move at the same faster pace!
This year started out normally — with the usual 30% increase in funds received, over the same month a year ago — up until just after the middle of the month. But now, SUDDENLY, tithes and offerings have DROPPED OFF ALARMINGLY!
Of course, we always suffer a slowing down of receipts of tithes and offerings the last half of the month — only right now the drop-off is abnormal and alarming! When the business office simply does not have the money in the bank to pay salaries, it is high time to be alarmed!
I have asked you, month after month, to PRAY for this work, and its finances. Right now I have to ask you to DROP EVERYTHING, and go to a private place of prayer, close the door, drop to your knees, and pour out your heart in real intercessory prayer to God for the work. Somehow, dear Co-Workers, we have to begin to take the work of God more seriously!
GOD'S GREAT WORK MUST GO ON! God's Work NEEDS YOUR HELP! PLEASE PRAY, and put your heart earnestly into your petition to God! Get under this burden with me! Send the largest amount you can — from the widows' mites up to multiple thousands of dollars — BY RETURN AIR MAIL. IT IS DESPERATELY URGENT!
Thank you — God IS blessing you!