It's mighty seldom that I am taken ill, but just now I'm making the second attempt this afternoon to get out of bed long enough to write you this letter.
It simply must be written and mailed to the Headquarters office in Pasadena yet this afternoon. The office reports to me that receipt of tithes and offerings for the support of this great work of God has been dropping off the past two weeks.
The WORK OF GOD is far more important than I. When God's WORK is getting sick, then, my brethren and fellow workers, you and I can no longer consider whether we are sick — we have to spring to action FAST, and get the precious work back on its feet!
I'm having a touch of this flu epidemic, resulting from over- exertion in preaching at a meeting over here in Texas combined with damp, chill, humid Texas weather I am not used to. But, tho I still have some temperature, I've been anointed by three of our ministers, and God will heal me and raise me up out of this in His due time as He has promised. I think I have mentioned before that in our family we have not had a single penny of doctor or hospital bill for sickness in over 30 years — since we learned of God's promises to heal, because Jesus Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses by being beaten with stripes before He was crucified.
This is the second time in many years that I have even been put to bed by any illness. The other time, three and a half years ago, I was kept in bed, fasting as I always do at even the approach of any sickness, for several days. For some days I could not understand why God did not heal me immediately. Then I learned He had a purpose. My two sons, Richard D., and Garner Ted (they are DicK and Ted to us), were forced at that time to step into my shoes and preach for me, carrying the entire responsibility of a large meeting. It was that experience which brought out the dormant preaching ability in them. By the time I was out of bed, they were both preaching like experienced veterans.
This time, I was badly in NEED of another period of fasting. I would not have felt I could spare the time. Yet I was not actually in fit physical shape for the big fall and winter radio campaign on all these new and additional stations we are now on. So God has FORCED me to stay in bed and rest. Ted can carry the broadcast until I return. I am grateful to God that He forced this on me. Now I shall rise up out of this present enforced fasting period in much better shape, and YOU will, I feel sure, hear much better broadcasts than I could otherwise have done.
Co-WORKERS! I have written you how we have added greatly to the POWER of this work. The better time on WLS (at higher cost), the addition of super-power WLAC Nashville, at 7:00 every week-day evening; the additional stations in Australia, and additional broadcast in South Africa; and full page Gospel Messages being published in every issue of Prairie Farmer, twice a month — all this adds GREATLY to the POWER of the work. But IT ALSO ADDS GREATLY TO THE COST OF THE WORK!
The big full-page Messages published in Prairie Farmer are bringing in more letters requesting literature than any one radio station! And WLAC is bringing in MORE letters from NEW listeners requesting literature than any United States radio station — more than any, except XEG, although WLS, on the new time, is almost equal to it.
These additions to the power of this work are going to mean HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of additional lives SAVED in the glorious KINGDOM OF GOD for all eternity! How much is just ONE such precious life worth?
Also, in another year, those hundreds of thousands of additional listeners and readers will result in a substantial addition of Co-Workers to HELP US finance this great work. But, until they become Co-Workers voluntarily, of their own free will, without being asked, WE CANNOT AND WILL NOT ASK A SINGLE ONE OF THEM FOR A SINGLE PENNY! Meantime, you and I have got to tighten our belts a little tighter, try to give a little more each month, and carry this added expense until these additional Co-Workers do join us.
GOD'S work keeps GROWING — it can NEVER STOP!
GOD'S work is threatened with SICKNESS — financial sickness! I've gotten out of my sick-bed this afternoon to call on YOU to PRAY about this very seriously — take it with me direct to the Throne of Grace, and implore God earnestly to lay this burden SO HEAVILY on so many Co-Workers, that there will be a sudden FLOOD of tithes and offerings pouring on the office. The first time I got out of bed to write this, earlier this afternoon, I felt I couldn't make it, and went back to bed. But I couldn't rest. This letter HAS to go. This time God has given me the strength and purpose to stay with it. Now I shall go back and PRAY — will you pray very seriously about it, too? God bless you. What a PRIVILEGE God gives us to be used in His work!