Here we are, at the end of the biggest, most fruitful year in the modern history of GOD'S GREAT WORK!
And here we are, also, in the very midst of the wildest Christmas-spending spree of all history — the MOST TRYING MONTH in keeping alive the MISSION OF CHRIST!
Right now most people are so intent on lavish present- buying — to exchange presents with friends, relatives, and business customers — that they are FORGETTING ANY GIFT FOR CHRIST, whose birthday they suppose they are celebrating! This brings the work of CHRIST to an EMERGENCY! What a shame, after the greatest year of spiritual harvest in history!
WHAT a year this has been!
Do you know, dear Co-Workers, that God has used YOUR sacrifice and financial help to CHANGE many hundreds of precious lives this year — lives no longer conformed to this world, but now transformed by the renewing of their minds thru the power of God's HOLY SPIRIT! Yes, hundreds, repentant, conquered by God, coming to CHRIST as personal Saviour, baptized by our ministers and advanced students, are now on their way into the Kingdom of God!
That one fact alone ought to THRILL you, and bring words of grateful PRAISES OF GOD to your lips, and give you thrilled JOY above everything that has happened in your life this year!
This year Christ's true GOSPEL has gone much farther than ever before around the world. In March we went on Chiang Kai- Shek's super-power "Voice of Free China." — beamed across the BAMBOO CURTAIN! In April, the national Network in AUSTRALIA! In June, the "WORLD TOMORROW" went nightly on super-power WABC, New York — headquarters station of the ABC Network!
Rating agencies now reveal that The WORLD TOMORROW is the most listened-to program on super-power WWVA in the east; — that we have more listeners in South Africa than the combined government Network stations there; — the largest listening audience on the Australian Network! The manager of WABC, New York, told me our listener-rating on that station is higher than the baseball programs that preceded us on the same time.
This year every-night EVANGELISTIC CAMPAIGNS were started! I held a campaign in London, England, last summer, assisted by my sons. This resulted in A NEW CHURCH in London, pastored by our own ministers! My elder son, Richard D. (Dick) Armstrong teamed with Roderick C. Meredith in early fall, in a nightly five weeks campaign in Fresno, California. The third campaign is NOW IN PROGRESS. Our evangelists Raymond C. Cole and Gerald Waterhouse are preaching nightly in downtown Dallas.
Ambassador College has grown this year from 81 to 107 full-time undergraduate students. Ambassador started in 1947 with only 4 students. Now the college is turning out increasing numbers of called, consecrated, trained ministers every year. But Ambassador College has entirely outgrown its past limited facilities! When this NEED came, GOD ACTED! This past summer two more fabulous adjoining estates came to us. Now we are hard at work making necessary alterations to convert these fine properties over to college use.
The PLAIN TRUTH has been greatly enlarged and improved this year — have you noticed? It has grown from 16 to 24 pages per month. It has a new cover. It is now profusely illustrated. The type is easier to read!
OPPORTUNITY came this year to REACH SPAIN over Radio Tangier. Also a large Network of Spanish-speaking stations in South America and Central America. BUT WE HAVE NOT HAD SUFFICIENT FUNDS. Ted Armstrong is now ready to start broadcasting over these stations in the Spanish language. He speaks it fluently, without "foreign" accent. Many of our booklets are now translated and many printed, in the Spanish language. Co-Workers, we MUST get started on these Spanish-speaking stations, reaching additional MILLIONS, this year!
We now look forward to a still BIGGER YEAR in 1957!
And yet — the TRAGEDY OF IT! — most people, right now, are saying to CHRIST: "Christ, you've blessed us beyond measure this year, but right now, you get out of the way for awhile — let us celebrate your birthday at a season when you were not born, by ignoring and snubbing YOU, while we go on a spree of trading presents — many of them useless — back and forth among ourselves — and then, after our spree is over, maybe we'll get back to a gift to keep YOUR work alive — IF we have any left — and IF your work is still alive!" Can people do that with a clean conscience?
NOW is the season when "SANTY" takes the place of Christ. Right NOW "Santy" beckons: "Suffer little children to come unto ME — 'Santy.'" After waiting hours in line, little children are able to sit on "Santy's" lap, and pour out to him their prayerful petitions. Thereafter parents must keep up the pretense, taking the place of dear old "Santy," the "giver of all good gifts." And so we have thousands of "Santies," and others purporting to be GOD — teaching little children to come to THEM! Do you not call this idolatry — having other gods before the ONE TRUE GOD, who is the ONLY giver of all good and perfect gifts — the one who answers the petitions of HIS obedient children?
It was reported the other day that in New York City 40% of the entire year's retail sales are in the month between Thanks- giving and Christmas! THINK OF THAT! Don't you think that folks who give Christmas presents ought to PUT CHRIST AT THE VERY HEAD OF THEIR GIFT-LIST — to say the least? Ought not CHRIST'S gift, for His work, to be the LARGEST OF ALL?
Hundreds have read our booklet on the PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTMAS, and have stopped trading presents back and forth. But whether you do, or don't — CHRIST and His precious work NEEDS the BIGGEST GIFT you can give, right now! And it will continue to need gifts in January — and all next year!
CO-WORKERS! We now face a difficult, DESPERATE period! IF EVER we needed a cloudburst of widows' mites, it is NOW! If ever we needed large contributions — even up to a thousand or several thousand dollars — IT IS NOW! And REMEMBER — it is all DEDUCTIBLE on your income-tax return — up to 30% of your entire income! You do not have to pay income-tax on what you put into GOD'S WORK.
The need right now is GREAT! Right now, GIVE to God's work as never before! And REMEMBER — that week between Christmas and New Year's USUALLY DROPS DOWN TO THE LOWEST OF THE YEAR! Keep tithes and offerings coming that last week — and ALL NEXT MONTH — and all next year! Send it AIR-MAIL while the mails are slowed down with Christmas mail! KEEP PRAYING! Thanks, from the bottom of my heart! GOD BLESS YOU!