The splendid loyalty of our conference laborers and church members through these past few years of unusual difficulty has been the strong factor which, under God, has enabled us to carry on the world work in the face of so very many situations that have seemed absolutely impossible. We are quite unable to express the deep respect for our workers and people and the sincere gratitude to them that has developed in our hearts. We are keenly conscious of the fact that many, very many, have suffered and still suffer intensely because of conditions that obtain. Yet this has not discouraged their faith in God's work nor their desire to help it forward. Nothing else ever has occurred in my own personal experience to establish my confidence so strongly in God's people. Their devoted efforts in behalf of foreign missions have greatly cheered our hearts throughout the struggles of these hard years.
At the present time, however, pressure on the General Conference from our mission fields is tremendous. Our missionaries have made every sacrifice demanded of them, and have cheerfully entered into every effort to adjust the expenses of the work and to economize so that the work can be held intact in every place. God has blessed richly what they have tried to do, and thus far there has been no break in the great work in which we are all engaged.
But we now have reached a time when, having almost won through, it is most important that we hold right on. It does not seem at all possible to cut appropriations any more, and still keep our foreign mission forces intact. Until now only a comparative few of our missionaries have been returned to the home base because of the inability of the foreign divisions to continue to employ them. It would bring great loss to our work were we now to permit conditions to develop that would require the return of any large number of our missionaries. Thus far we have been able to maintain full work by meeting from reserve funds the amount lacking. We have been thankful indeed that reserves were available for this purpose. But they have been drawn upon so heavily that now they are just about at the vanishing point, and we can no longer look in that direction for help. It therefore is most important that in every way possible we seek to make our leadership of the churches strong and effective in supporting the work of God at this critical juncture.
Washington, D. C.