December 31, 1947
Box 111, Pasadena, California
Dear Co-worker for God:
I have just returned to Pasadena from a five-day's trip back to Eugene, Oregon, and my heart has sunk as near the depths of despair as is possible for one of FAITH, at what I have found on returning.
It seems that due to the biggest Christmas-shopping spree in history, most of our co-workers and listeners have FORGOTTEN both gifts and obligations to CHRIST! And the financial condition of God's precious work has taken a nose-dive straight down toward a CRASH that will mean the END OF IT in five days' time unless by faith in God and enough of our faithful co-workers coming to the rescue immediately, the crash can be averted and the most important work on this earth SAVED.
I had been forced, in order to keep the work alive, to assume heavy obligations for the next five months -- heavy ADDED obligations. The first of these three heavy installments comes due January 1st, -- TOMORROW. We MUST meet obligations of $7,000, or WE MAY BE THROWN OFF THE AIR, AND THE COLLEGE CLOSED UP!
It is precisely that serious! As I wrote in the last BULLETIN, during the crisis of the reconstruction work on the main college building, we were forced to get considerably behind with our two larger radio stations. On them -- one the MOST POWERFUL station in all North America, we have the very BEST, most- listened-to, and costly time at 8 o'clock (Central time) every night, and 5:30 every morning. This is the MOST VALUABLE TIME that could possibly be purchased by any religious broadcast. It reaches ALL AMERICA, and much of Canada. It reaches MILLIONS of precious souls -- 12 times every week! It is the MOST IMPORTANT, MOST VALUABLE radio opportunity that has ever come to ANY ONE for broad- casting the Gospel, and is it any wonder that the Almighty God has given that most precious time to HIS OWN WORK? It is very costly time -- it costs thousands of dollars a month. BUT IT REACHES SO MANY PEOPLE ALL OVER THREE NATIONS, THAT IT ENABLES US TO CARRY THE TRUE GOSPEL MESSAGE AND GOD'S LAST SOLEMN WARNING WITH GREAT POWER TO TWO THOUSAND PRECIOUS SOULS FOR EVERY DOLLAR OF COST! In terms of what it accomplishes, it is the most economical, the cheapest possible way to thunder God's Message!
When we got behind by force of circumstances out of my control, the management of these stations "cracked down". To save the broadcast, I was forced to sign notes obligating us to five very heavy monthly payments of several thousand dollars each month, IN ADDITION, of course, to keeping current broadcasts paid up. Professors' salaries, the payment on the college property -- all come due at the first of the month.
I didn't worry about it, because even a normal return from the recent BULLETIN would have taken care of it. When I left for Oregon, six days ago, the return had not begun to come in from the BULLETIN, and already was several days overdue, but we thought this was due to heavy Christmas mails, which delayed the mail. But I arrived back last night to find that, while a very heavy mail has been received -- the most mail we ever have received, I believe -- it is nearly all from new listeners now hearing the broadcast for the first time. This is MOST encouraging, for it shows we are now reaching more people from Coast to Coast than ever before -- BUT THERE HAS BEEN VERY LITTLE FROM OUR CO-WORKERS, and hundreds of them are sending one or two dollars where they usually send from five to fifty, and apparently most of those who usually send in the "widows' mites" sent in nothing. Many letters explaining they can't send more -- or any -- at this time, because of spending it for "Xmas presents" show the real cause of this desperate condition into which it has plunged the work of God. As usual this trading of gifts back and forth -- a practice of pagan origin -- holds so many people in the deceptive clutch of "babylon" and CAUSES THE WORK OF GOD TO SUFFER!
Whereas normally after mailing out a BULLETIN we should have been receiving around an average of $1,000 a day for at least two weeks, only from $150 to $500 has been coming in. Now the congestion of Christmas mails is over, and we know that is not the cause. We know now that most of our vast family of listeners, and godly family of co-workers, have FORSAKEN God's work for this month, and spent their money trading presents.
I know now that the money needed for this great emergency tomorrow will not come, EXCEPT BY MIRACLE FROM GOD, OR VERY SPECIAL EMERGENCY EFFORT ON THE PART OF A FEW OF OUR MOST FAITHFUL CO-WORKERS.
I confess that when we returned last night, and contacted our office and learned of this situation, it literally "floored" me. It seemed God had deserted us. It took the breath out of me. But my secretary explained it was simply because of this Christmas season we have been thru -- that God has always delivered us, and He will now -- and reassured me by saying that she, and the office staff would join me in asking God for a miracle, and to save us.
Yes, I believe God will save us! A couple days ago, while I was gone, a telegram came from the management of the radio stations saying that unless this note were met on the day due, they would throw us off the air and start suit. And now some of the contractors who are doing the reconstruction work threaten to file a lien against the property and close the college and our offices and stop our work unless a large sum is paid at once. Brethren, and co-workers, I have these things to bear -- to be put in position of reproach, and to take insults, because some of our co-workers -- say, MANY of them -- have been careless in their obligations to God, lax in making their calling and election sure. Yes, it's hard to bear, but I bear it willingly and suffer these things for the sake of Christ.
If only we can hold out, and keep going, in due time we shall be relieved of this terrible financial plight. One co-worker has written me three letters, and talked to me long distance, about putting into this work between $50,000 and $100,000, but has been delayed in getting other work wound up so that this can be negotiated and transacted, and apparently will be delayed another two or three months at least. Another writes of a plan to place upward of $25,000 into the work, but this, too, will take a little time to work out. We may be able to negotiate a $50,000 loan on the college property thru an insurance company, but this, too, will take more time. Another co-worker travelled clear across the United States to inspect the college and see what we have, and investigate us and become better acquainted and before leaving to return said he and his family will be in position, within two or three years, to give some very large sums for this work, but cannot help us now. A man here in Pasadena who has important connections and acquaintance with many wealthy people has a definite plan to induce several of them to place large sums in Ambassador College, but this, too, will take more time. God is moving wonderfully to open unbelievable opportunities, and I know that in due time large sums will come to this work that it may grow in scope and in power, IF WE CAN TIDE OVER THIS PRESENT EMERGENCY.
The one thing that may give us time to save the situation is the fact that tomorrow, January 1st, is New Year's day, and a holiday, which automatically gives us, this month, until Friday the 2nd. My only recourse, therefore, is to RUSH THIS EXPLANATION THIS MORNING BY AIR-MAIL TO JUST A SMALL NUMBER OF YOU WHO ARE AMONG OUR MOST REGULAR AND FAITHFUL CO-WORKERS, TO ASK YOU TO GO TO A PRIVATE ROOM IMMEDIATELY, CLOSE THE DOOR AND JOIN US IN FERVENT, HEART- RENDING, BELIEVING PRAYER FOR A MIRACLE -- AND THEN ASK YOU TO SEND IMMEDIATELY ANOTHER OFFERING IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, EVEN THO YOU MAY HAVE JUST SENT ONE.
Always it is the FEW loyal and faithful who have to carry most of the load. You are one of those few who are back of the most precious, the most important work on earth. This work of God CAN'T stop! It must go on to ALL THE WORLD, into EVERY NATION. Here at Ambassador College plans are being made, students taught and trained, and feverish effort expended, to that end. Yet, now, inside of five or six days, this work could be STOPPED DEAD---in fact, WILL BE, unless by some desperate effort, and a miracle from God, I can raise $7,000. I hate, more than I can say, to have to ask YOU who have already helped so much to stretch a little farther, but I find YOU are the only ones to be depended on in such an emergency, and I know of no other way, now to turn. If OTHERS have been lax and neglectful, I guess you and I have to put forth double effort to make up for it. Surely, among the small group of regular and faithful co-workers who will get this special emergency letter, there is ONE of you -- could it be YOU? -- who could at least LOAN us the $7,000 we need. If so, telegraph or call me long distance IMMEDIATELY, if you need additional information before sending it. Our office is SYCAMORE 6-6123, and our residence telephone, where you could reach me even at night-time, is SYCAMORE 2-8142.
Or, if you can loan us, or GIVE to the work, any part of that $7,000, please send it, AIR-MAIL at least, and if possible, WIRE IT, by WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH. You can telegraph money at reasonable charge and the emergency is so great there may not be time enough to get it to us by letter.
SOMEHOW, I know not how, and can't see the way, but SOMEHOW, I know God will save us -- He always has, and has promised He will never leave us or forsake us. God bless you for your sacrifice and faithfulness. I know you won't fail your God, or me, now.
In FAITH, and in JESUS' NAME,
Herbert W. Armstrong