This is Thursday night. I have just finished the second of three strenuous days on the TV set, "shooting" the films for the next nine television programs.
It's late — I'm very tired and need every minute of sleep and rest, for strength tomorrow — but I'm having to take the time out of my sleep to write this letter, for it's desperately URGENT!
Up until the 20th of June our Co-Workers responded loyally. Actually the money being received at the office was constantly less than our enlarged need, now that we are having to add DOUBLE expense until we go off the ABC Radio Network July 17, and start on TV July 24th. Nevertheless, we were able to continue laying aside the daily requirement for TV production, so we could be ready to film these 9 programs this week, and to stay on radio.
But now, for two and a half weeks, it seems a large portion of our Co-Workers have forgotten the vital all-important WORK OF GOD. Five days straight last week we were unable to pay but part of radio expenses, and were unable to set aside a cent of the daily quota toward this week's TV shooting.
The filming is being done Wednesday, Thursday (today) and Friday of this week. Last Tuesday the producers called for the money. We were short about one fourth of the amount. We paid them that, and I decided to go ahead, feeling sure the money would come in during this week. You see, ordinarily tithes and offerings received for the work begin coming in a lot better about the 4th of the month. Normally this holds up fairly well until the 15th or 20th, with the last half of the month dropping much lower. There- fore we expected an upsurge in money received beginning last Tuesday or Wednesday, the 5th or 6th.
But here it is, the night of the 7th, and still receipts for God's work are WAY below normal quota, even without this added TV expense. Hundreds of you wrote me such encouraging letters after my very trying and disappointing first experience before the TV lights and cameras. You have written that your hearts and prayers would certainly be with me, this time! I know SOME of you have, as you wrote you would, been really PRAYING for me on the TV set these past two days — for I have managed to keep almost on schedule, and have completed most of SIX programs in these two days!
I'm getting used to it, beginning to feel just like I always have felt before a live audience. Everyone says these six programs are much better than the first two. Among the 14 crew members (camera men, sound men, technicians, electricians, etc.) and five or six others required to photograph and record these programs, are Catholics, Jews, Protestants, and those of no religion. But they are all getting tremendously INTERESTED! A Jew and a Catholic held me a few moments after we were thru tonight, wanting to ask questions. The Jew wanted to know more about Jesus. WHY, he asked, didn't his rabbi tell him about Jesus? And WHY did the rabbi preach in Hebrew, a dead language, when the Jews today all speak Yiddish? The Catholic wanted to know why the priests speak in Latin, so the congregation can't understand. They said they could UNDERSTAND my preaching on these TV programs, and it MAKES SENSE — and they're becoming tremendously INTERESTED. A Jew took home a copy of "United States in Prophecy" last night, and this morning happily told me he knew now that WE are not gentiles, but actually brothers of his!
The first two programs "shot" on our first try have now been completed, and shown at the college on our movie screen. I have been greatly encouraged by the reception. I've never seen such unbounded emotional enthusiasm from any radio program. They all said that if they had seen these programs instead of the first radio programs they ever heard of "The World Tomorrow" they would have surrendered to God thru Christ a lot sooner.
One TV station had been skeptical about approving and accepting a religious program for their station. Our advertising agent flew to this city with the first two films. When the station officials auditioned them, their skepticism turned to enthusiasm. The top officials of the CBS Television Network in Hollywood have auditioned the first two TV programs, and our director's report to me that they were enthusiastic, and said this is by far the best program so far in its field.
Co-Workers, I'm putting my whole heart and soul into TRYING to do my very best — and at the same time RELYING SOLELY ON GOD for strength, guidance, and results, merely as His instrument. But it does take my utmost effort. It is a terrific ordeal.
Are we going to have to quit, and give it up, after all? We can't start on these TV stations, Coast to Coast, two weeks from next Sunday, unless ALL of you Co-Workers yield YOURselves into God's hands, as I'm doing, and let God use YOU to your very utmost of sacrifice, to provide the funds to make it all possible.
I can't do it all. I can only do my own part — and when money doesn't come in, it seems MY part is so very small and insignificant, compared to YOURS! It certainly is discouraging, and makes my ordeal much more difficult this week. I know many of you are back of me to your very limit — doing all you can do — GOD BLESS YOU! But too many others are neglecting God's work in this hour of crisis when we are at the very CROSSROADS. This is the TURNING POINT! Either TV builds up the work of God in MULTIPLIED POWER beyond anything so far, or else the work now goes backward, and down and out.
THIS IS THE SUPREME TEST! And if YOU neglect God's work are you not at the same time NEGLECTING your very own SO GREAT SALVATION? God has given us this work to do for our development — for OUR GOOD! WE need the development in character more and more LIKE HIM that comes from putting our whole zeal — our whole hearts and lives — into the WORK He has called us to do! Yes, YOU need this BLESSING! It's a glorious PRIVILEGE — not a burden or real hardship!
Co-Workers, I MUST close and get what sleep I can. Tomorrow is the most strenuous day of all. THIS is the situation. WILL YOU TAKE IT BOLDLY TO THE THRONE OF GRACE, AND PRAY FOR THE WORK WITH ALL YOUR HEART? You who are faithful and zealous, PRAY for those who are neglectful. PRAY for them SO HARD — SO EARNESTLY — they will be stirred to action that will make THEM, and all of us joyful! God bless you! That's all I can say! If God now let's you let Him, and me, and His work down, nothing I could say would help.