This portion of my space-film evangelism covers most of the occupied portions of the globe. I include this map to help you follow my travels.
The Baptists have a new and growing work in Europe, where their missionaries serve as evangelists and church planters for the tiny Baptist Church in seven countries. I was scheduled to speak in many of these churches and public places arranged by them in each of these countries, and had purchased a 3-month Eurail pass to get around. Mary Charlotte and I had been to all of these countries in our 1955 and 1965 trips. The only new country for me was East Germany, which we visited from West Germany, as I will soon relate. Of course, they had been expecting Astronaut Jim Irwin, and I was a poor substitute, but apparently they thought a poor substitute was better than no one at all, and I was given a cordial welcome everywhere I went.
My host and companion in Germany was Isam Ballenger, who lived in Offenbach-am-Main. Leaving Washington by Greyhound Bus, I went to New York for my Icelandic Air Lines flights to Reykyavik and Luxembourg, got my Eurail pass activated there and rode the trains to Offenbach, arriving at Isam’s home that evening. We left there in the morning in his car for the 6-hour drive across East Germany to West Berlin, where we spent the next four days. The first day (Saturday) we walked through Check Point Charlie into East Berlin, for a day of tourism: Unter dem Linden, Brandenburg Gate, Karl Marx Allee, and several museums. We had lunch in a cafeteria of coarse but very inexpensive food. Returning to West Berlin, we had more sightseeing, with a church meeting at night. I was invited to speak at the morning service of the Templehof Baptist Church, and Pastor Szobries took us to dinner out in the country, an hour’s drive away on the Autobahn. As soon as we entered the highway, he put the accelerator on the floor and kept it there for a solid hour. Nevertheless, cars were passing us as though we were standing still, since his little car could only make 150 kph (90mph). An evening meeting at the church and a school the following day completed our work there, and we left on a different route through East Germany to Hamburg. Our route passed many Russian soldier barracks and then past gates through the double lines of barbed wire and machine-gun equipped towers spaced every 200 feet or so that separated the two Germanys. We had only one evening church meeting there and continued to Offenbach. The remaining four days were occupied in travel to nearby cities and towns for talks in Baptist and Brethren churches. Then I took the trains across Switzerland and France to Barcelona.
Rev. Jesse Bryan met me at the railroad station, to take me to his home for three nights. The very first night provided speaking opportunities at a high school and a Campus Crusade for Christ supper for the elite of Barcelona. CCC had just entered the city and used this means to present their program to the leading people of the city. I was asked to give my testimony. One of the attendees was the manager of the government radio station, who asked Rev. Bryan to bring me to his studios the next night. He kept me there from 7pm to 11pm, having me interviewed on three different programs, the third of which lasted 30 minutes. On the final night we had a meeting at the First Baptist Church of Barcelona. Then on to Madrid for one night before proceeding to Albacete, a small town in the center of the country. Here a big meeting had been planned by the head of the local luggage company, Senor Francesco Alarcon, who was also the leader of the Baptist Church there. His company had won the award for the most outstanding company in Spain the preceding year, the first time a Protestant had ever received national recognition in modern times. The meeting at the Government Center was so important that I was interviewed by an Associated Press reporter there (of course they were expecting an astronaut!). After speaking at the Sunday service at the local church, I entrained for Granada, the home of the famous Alhambra. Mr. Robert Worley was my host and Pastor Bustamente translated for me at the local church meeting that evening and at the meeting at the University of Granada the following night. Then to Valencia for two night meetings at the Baptist church, before returning to Barcelona for three meetings that Sunday, two at Rev. Bryan’s church and one at another church. I stopped in Valencia on Monday for a meeting, on my way by train to Paris.
Having a Eurail pass made it possible to go back and forth without extra expense. I stayed only one day in Paris, for a meeting at a university, then headed for Lisbon. The Paris-Madrid train was over two hours late reaching the Portuguese border (at 2am). Fearing I had missed my train to Lisbon, I went on to Madrid, where I had to try four hotels before getting a room for the rest of the night. I slept most of the time waiting for the Lisbon train, and arrived there right on time, but one day late. My contact man, Norman Harrell, was not at home, but I met him the following morning (Sunday), and had a meeting in his church. Then my route took me up the Atlantic Coast through San Sebastian (where I had to spend the night) to Tours, France.
After a meeting in the city hall in Tours, I took the train to Nantes, to be interviewed on TV and newsmen for forthcoming meetings there a week hence. Then on to Paris for six days, but only three small meetings. I did have plenty of time for sightseeing and even took a train ride to Le Havre, where the trans-Atlantic ocean liners used to dock. I left Paris on Wednesday for a night meeting in the Potiers Culture Center, where we had a good crowd whose questions kept us until nearly midnight. Thursday was the big day at Nantes, with a radio interview at 11am and a newspaper interview at 3pm for the night meeting at a restaurant, which had a capacity crowd of 125, with good discussion after the meeting. A Friday night meeting at a hall in Niort completed my work in France, and I went through Paris to Brussels the next day.
In Brussels, Baptist missionary Charles Long had set up meetings for me in the International Baptist Church, the Belgium Bible Institute, and the chapel at SHAPE, the NATO headquarters, with a final night meeting at the Belgian Protestant Church. Back on the trains again I traveled through France and Switzerland to Austria, passing through the famous St. Gotthard tunnel on the way to Milan, where I stopped over to see the La Scala Opera House and a cathedral. Then I went back to Zurich for a train to Salzburg. This round-about routing enabled me to traverse all three of the famous train tunnels through the Alps (the two 12-mile Simplon tunnels and the 9-mile Gotthard tunnel).
John Hopper had me speak to his student group and at both the Austrian and English Sunday services at the Austrian Baptist Church, with a talk to the church young people in the evening. During the 3-day stay I had time for a tour of Hitler’s Berchtesgarten retreat and to listen to a concert of the Fort Worth Student Symphony Orchestra. Then once more I boarded the trains for a long trip to Naples via Munich and Rome.
The 10-day stay in Italy was quite leisurely. Fred Anderton had me accompany him on a number of errands around Naples, until time to entrain for Turino, not far from Milan. Here I was supposed to speak at a local Baptist church. When I arrived, I was met by a Baptist lady missionary (Virginia Wingo) who told me there was no church meeting! It seems that the local Italian pastors do not like having the American missionaries tell them what to do, and Pastor Spanu had not formally accepted Fred’s offer of my services. He and his family had gone off on holiday and the church was dark. I had an interesting visit with Miss Wingo, who showed me their small seminary in nearby Rivoli. I felt I had done my part in coming, and therefore did not get upset. This surprised the pastor when he heard about it, and I got another chance with him the following week. After the all-day train ride back to Naples, I had several church-related meetings over a 4-day period, which included a day at the ruins of Pompeii. Then back to Turino for a very pleasant stay with Pastor Spanu and a good meeting in his church, after which I boarded trains for Milan, Switzerland and Frankfurt.
The criss-crossing of Europe was not quite over,
as the one-night stand in Giessen (near Frankfurt) to speak at the
Windsor Boys School the next afternoon, was followed by a return to
Interlaken, Switzerland, to attend the annual meeting of the European
Baptist Convention, at which I was one of the speakers. Then back
again into Germany to Darmstadt where I had an evening meeting at a
Brethren church. The leader of this church (and my host), Dr.
Stephan, headed the firm that built the retro-reflector for NASA that
was one of the experiments carried to the moon by Apollo 11 (See Moon
Landing). I asked him how come he got that contract, rather than
a large German or US firm. His answer was that the specifications
were so difficult that no US firm would bid, and in fact neither had
any of the large German optical firms placed bids. This was my last
meeting, and returned to Luxembourg via Easel to get my lcelandic Air
Lines flight to New York and bus to Washington.
When I first got to Germany I converted $100 into German marks, but spent very little while there. When it came time to leave Germany for the last lime I still had most of my marks, and they brought me more than $200, so badly had the dollar slipped in those two months! If I had converted all my money on arrival I could have taken home more dollars than I brought!
This trip was so different from the one just preceding it in Mexico! The time was a little shorter, but the number of and attendance at meetings was quite small in comparison to Mexico. I couldn’t help asking myself if it had been a worthwhile expenditure of my scarce funds. However much or little good I had been to the Baptist missionary effort in Europe, the trip certainly brought home to me the spiritual poverty in Western Europe. The fact that the space films didn’t bring the large crowds they attracted in Mexico was easily explainable by considering the sophistication of the European media coverage of the Apollo moon landings compared to the exposure of the average Mexican. But the spiritual side of the comparison also must be taken into account, and here the Mexican level of interest must be recognized as far above the European level of interest in spiritual things. The box score for this trip was 55 meetings attended by just under 8,000 persons, nearly half of whom were in Germany in 13 meetings.
After ten days at Hyattsville, getting the truck
and trailer back into operation and visiting friends and relatives in
the area, we left for Nashville, stopping in Richmond on the way.
There I had a conference with Dr. Grubb, reporting on my European
trip and firming up a tour of the Far East that Fall, following
essentially the same itinerary that Astronaut James Irwin had
followed the previous year. Dr. Grubb also discussed the possibility
of a return to Europe in 1974, with an extension to West Africa. We
arrived at Nashville on Friday, July 20th, for a week’s visit
with Will’s family. Then we visited Mary Francis and Bill in
Springfield (MA), and Mary Jo and Clyde in Toledo (OH). After another
week at Will’s, when we also visited some of Mary Charlotte’s
kin in the area, we left for California.
Although we had tried to sell the trailer in the Washington area before I went to Europe, we had no real interest, so decided to sell both vehicles in California. Mary Charlotte had decided that she would get a little apartment in which to live while I was away on my missionary work, and she finally found one to her liking at 4233 Troost Avenue in North Hollywood. We had a chance to renew acquaintances with our many LA area friends, as well as to get to know Osamu Okumura and his new wife Masako. Osamu had been attending Fuller Seminary for several years, and we had given him our old Mercury three years earlier. He took a total of six years to qualify himself theologically for his church ministry in Japan. After nearly a month with no takers for the truck or trailer, we finally got buyers for both in the last several days before my departure to Japan on September 13th.
Korean Air Lines Flight #001 brought me to Tokyo right on time, where I was met by Marion Moorhead, the coordinator for my Japan ministry. He gave me my planned itinerary, which included internal flights in Japan to Hokkaido and Kyushu, at my expense. I told him that I could not pay him then but would be able to do so from my October pension money. My trip itinerary was impressive: two weeks in Korea, five in Japan, and seven weeks spread over Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. It was a thrill to know that I was to speak at many of the same venues as did Jim Irwin the year before, and be interpreted by many of the same people that interpreted for him. Of course, I would not have the opportunity to meet heads of state as he did, but it was a challenge nevertheless. Chuck Corwin was to have part of my Japan time, and we had a chance to discuss it at lunch the next day, just before I left for Korea. I had bought my international air ticket, but had offered to pay my expenses in each country visited. In most of them, the mission covered my food and lodging and local ground transportation, so my out-of-pocket was relatively little. It was a good thing it was! I had brought less than $500 with me, and that wouldn’t go far if I had to live in hotels and pay taxis for three months! As it was I spent only a part of that money, and that largely for purely personal needs. The Lord provided for my local air trips in Korea and Japan, as later related.
The 15 days in Korea were busy ones indeed, but there was still time to visit with our missionary friends Sam Moffett and Otto DeCamp from our 1960 family tour of Korea. The tenth world conference of Pentecostals was being held in Seoul, and I got a chance once again for fellowship with David du Plessis (called by some Mr. Pentecostal), even to have him in my church audience the first Sunday. There were usually two meetings per day and sometimes three, with schools, universities and military groups in the daytime, and church meetings at night. Korea is by far the most Christianized nation in the Orient, and also perhaps the most dedicated. All meetings were to full houses, and this even included the Korean Military Academy, where the entire faculty and student body attended my lecture. I have many plaques as souvenirs of these meetings, as the Koreans are great for giving their guests such mementos. The final week involved an overnight train trip to Daejon and Pusan, with an air side trip to a small island called Jejudo, near Seoul (paid for by the only honorarium I received in Korea). This heavily populated island apparently doesn’t get to see Korea’s visitors very often, as they gave me a royal welcome indeed, with the entire faculty and student body of a large public school turning out for separate meetings. In all, my diary shows 28 meetings with an estimated 7,750 attending.
My first 2-1/2 weeks in Japan were sponsored by the Southern Baptists, starting in Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido. Dan O’Reagan arranged for a TV interview for me, and several church and university meetings. One afternoon was spent in preparing six 1-minute radio spots. Two days later I flew to the eastern shore of the island, where Blake Western had set up church meetings and a talk to the US Navy Loran Station crew. Arriving back in Tokyo Friday I had a day of rest after a talk at the Baptist Student Center, and the privilege of bringing the message at the Tokyo Baptist Church (Japanese congregation) in the morning and the English congregation in the evening. After a laboratory meeting and a talk at the Christian Academy, I left for Fukuoka (in the southern island of Kyushu) by plane, spending the rest of the week at several cities in the area. The Southern Baptists have a number of schools in the area, from elementary through college, as well as extensive outreach into civic and professional organizations. Although the Baptist churches normally do not give honorariums to their visiting speakers, Dr. Garrott, the seminary president, called me into his office and made me a gift of nearly $500 which, when added to the honorarium a computer group had given me, exactly met the cost of my intra-Japan air fares! Thus does the Lord provide for His servants! That period was the highlight of the whole time in Japan. Returning to the Osaka-Kobe area by train, the pattern of daytime school and evening church meetings continued through Friday, in Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya and Otsu, completing my Japanese work with the Baptists.
On Saturday I returned to Nagoya to meet Chuck
Corwin, and spent the rest of my time in Japan under his leadership.
Chuck had an old car in which we went to the many church and school
groups he had arranged for me. Often we would get lost, and several
times were seriously late for a meeting. I once lost patience with
him and complained. His answer was, “I do not know the
place-name characters on the map in this area, as I do those in the
Tokyo area.” When I realized that this man was probably better
versed in Japanese characters (Kanji) than any white person I have
heard of, I was duly chastened. Even the Japanese find a lifetime too
short to learn all their characters! One church visit really stands
out in my mind. This church had a beautiful fellowship hall patterned
after a huge lodge building in Norway or Sweden that the former
pastor had visited. Japanese pastors are often dictators, forcing
their views on their congregations, and this man had insisted that
the church go deep in debt to build this building. Hardly had the
building been finished when he suffered a heart attack, and called a
younger pastor to assist him, but died before he could give the
younger pastor his reasons for the building. The younger man, now the
only pastor, had to rent the building as a retreat center for
business groups, using the church people as “hotel”
staff, just to meet the bank payments, or face loss of everything.
And this had to go on for twenty years until the mortgage was paid
For the 2-1/2 weeks we operated in this area of Japan, we made our “home” at the compound of the Japan Mission, the ministry of Neil Verwey I had first visited in our family tour of Japan in 1960. Since then Neil had been in our home in California when in the US on support-raising visits, and we had come to love him as a brother. Speaking with him on one occasion about his native country, South Africa, I asked him if he thought my space-film evangelism would be accepted there, as the Baptists were proposing to send me to Africa in the fall of 1974. He assured me that they would, and said that he would be home on furlough later that year and would prepare the groundwork for me to go there. Little did I realize then what the Lord’s plans were for both Mary Charlotte and me in South Africa.
Chuck had to return to Tokyo before all my meetings had been held, so I returned by train on my own. I had purchased an Eiki 16mm projector at wholesale from a plant manager who attended a Bible study to learn English, and it was delivered to me at my hotel on my final night in Osaka. The next day I had to wrestle that heavy machine and all my personal baggage from the hotel to the subway, from there to the Bullet train, and from downtown Tokyo by subway and bus to Chuck’s suburban center, from which he took me to the airport for my flight to Taiwan. This was by far my longest visit to Japan — 39 days — and it was a busy time. My diary lists 54 meetings, attended by an estimated 8,000 people. This was only slightly more than had attended half as many meetings in Korea in a third of the time, illustrating the vast difference in receptivity of the two peoples.
This short visit of five days was split between Taichung and Taipei, where in both cities the pattern of church and school meetings was repeated. Most audiences were small, 150 or less, but very much interested and receptive to our witness. Several decisions for Christ were recorded. One incident stands out in my memory. It seemed that the sponsoring missionary had to put up a deposit at the airport customs for the duty on the film I brought in, which I was supposed to recoup upon departure. I laid the receipt on the desk while the custom man checked my passport and tickets, but when I asked for the refund, the receipt had disappeared. The amount was substantial, so I went back to get the missionary, as I couldn’t speak to the customs man, and he brought a senior customs official, who found the receipt in the customs man’s drawer! Another incident disturbed me greatly. I received a phone call from Japan at the home of the missionary with whom I was staying, from the Far East Supervisor for SBC. He talked with me for nearly an hour about my request to stay with Rick and Jean Willans, who now were ministering to drug addicts in Hong Kong, and had invited me to stay with them while there. Jean Willans was the charismatic leader we had gotten to know when we lived in North Hollywood in the early 60’s and Rick was her husband. When I first suggested this arrangement to Dr. Grubb, the Hong Kong Baptists weren’t aware of Jean’s charismatic associations, and had no objections to my suggestion. Now that they had learned of it, they didn’t even want me to come to Hong Kong, so bitter was their opposition to the charismatic group in Hong Kong. I assured the gentleman that I would cheerfully cancel the invitation and have no contact with the charismatic group until after finishing with the Baptists, and I thought that took care of the matter. When I arrived in Hong Kong I found out differently. I was unaware until then of the solid opposition the Southern Baptists have to the Charismatic Movement. When I reported to Dr. Grubb on this trip, he quizzed me for nearly an hour about my position on it and seemed to have no interest in anything else. I assured him that I did not consider myself an apostle of the movement and never spoke of it publicly, but that I did believe it was a movement of the Holy Spirit.
the airport to meet me was Rick Willans (see left), but no
Baptists. I persuaded Rick to wait an hour or so, and explained to
him the problem. When no one showed up even then, I asked Rick to
take me to the Baptist headquarters, which he did. There I met the
man with whom I was supposed to work, and he expressed surprise at
seeing me, showing me a wire from Viet Nam canceling me out. I was
dumbfounded. The Viet Nam situation concerned the East Germany visa
stamp in my passport, and had nothing to do with Hong Kong. Although
the wire had come only the previous day, Muerner Harvey had canceled
all my appointments! When I assured him that I would stay with him
and have no contact with the charismatics until finished with him, he
reluctantly said he would try to reinstate the meetings, and took me
to his home. We did have most of the originally planned meetings, but
they did not have the life in them that had been evident in Korea and
Japan. Apparently the Baptist mission in Hong Kong was seriously
overstaffed with people who had been driven out of Old China, and
they had lost the keen edge of their missionary zeal. Muerner was on
the staff of one of the universities as a chemistry professor, and
one of his specialties was carbon dating. I learned a lot about this
method from him, and enjoyed my time with him. We had a number of
good meetings with university students at several secular and
missionary colleges, and I had the privilege of bringing the Sunday
morning message at the Kowloon City Baptist Church. When asked to
speak at the chapel service of a girl’s school, the woman in
charge was admonishing me not to go overtime all the way from the
office to the chapel. I was so beat down, that I spoke for only ten
of the twenty minutes allowed. She was stunned, and said, “Is
that all you have to say?” These girls were the most
unappreciative of any audience I ever had. I’m sure they were
glad I was so brief.
Rick Willans picked me up at the Harvey home on my final day with the Baptists, and I had a very pleasant three days with Jean and Rick (see left, where they are shown with two prelates of their denomination) in their large apartment in Kowloon. They were operating three “halfway houses” at the time and had about 20 Chinese men drug addicts going through the “charismatic” cure. Although no medicines were used, the men were to speak in tongues whenever seized with a drug pain. They claimed that the pain immediately went away when they did so! Jean said their success rate was over 75%, compared to less than 10% for any secular method known. While there I had John Yue make me two suits, but they cost $220, more than three times the price I had paid him in 1960. He apologized for the high price, but said his costs had risen so rapidly that he had to charge such prices to make a living. On Friday, November 23d, I left for Bangkok.
The five days in the Bangkok area were busy ones with five university meetings, and four meetings with Christian groups, including bringing the message at the evening service of the Calvary Baptist Church in Bangkok. During one afternoon missionary Jack Martin took me to the prison to talk to American inmates (for drug offenses). They receive none of the luxuries of American prisons in Thailand, only poor food — no clothing, no blankets, no medicine! At several of the university meetings, a group of former Thai Campus Crusade workers sponsored my talks and interpreted. They had taken some of my speaking material which I had provided to the Baptists, and translated it into Thai for giveaways at these meetings. They were "former” because they had gotten involved with the charismatic movement during their training in the US and been dropped as CCC workers.
On the way to Singapore, the Baptists had arranged for me to have short stops in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, for meetings at churches, one university, the American School, a TV interview, and several other meetings. I arrived in Singapore in time to bring the message at the Sunday service of the Calvary Baptist Church, with three other church-related meetings that day! Monday brought a packed-out meeting at the American School and a smaller meeting at a university, with an evening rap session with Christian young people.
Arriving at Jakarta at noon, I had lunch with my Indonesia coordinator and then took a train for Bandung. Here I had seven meetings in three days at schools, universities, and a Baptist student center, before taking an overnight train to Yogyakarta. The two days there provided three talks at the Baptist student center, after which I took a plane back to Jakarta, for a night meeting at the missionary’s home. A minor traffic accident delayed me enough to miss my flight to Singapore the next morning, and the next flight arrived too late for my connection to Manila, so I had to sit over 30 hours in Singapore before the next available flight finally left, two hours late.
Howard Olive, my host in Manila, had called
Jakarta and Singapore several times concerning my whereabouts when I
failed to show up at the appointed lime in Manila, and he was most
unhappy at the loss of so many opportunities he had arranged for me.
Nevertheless he crowded four meetings into the next day, and a fifth
one before plane time for Davao City on Thursday. The two big events
there were a joint luncheon meeting of three Rotary clubs at which I
was the featured speaker, and a night meeting at the University of
Mindanao attended by 1,500 students. I also made four 15-minute tapes
for later radio broadcasting, and spoke to several school and church
groups before returning to Manila, after speaking at the Sunday
morning service at the Immanuel Baptist Church. I reached Manila in
time to speak at the evening service of the International Baptist
Church there. Monday morning I was privileged to have an interview
with the president of the University of the Philippines and had time
for a meeting arranged by IVCF (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship) of
200 before taking my afternoon flight for Los Angeles.
This trip was by far the most grueling and yet the most rewarding of all my ministry trips thus far. A large part of the interest shown in my meetings was no doubt generated by Astronaut James Irwin in his circuit of most of the same venues the previous year. Nevertheless, I felt the Lord had used me to an unusual degree in these 160 meetings attended by over 27,000 people, for which I am profoundly grateful to Him. How many of these people were influenced by these talks in making a decision to become Christians, only the Lord knows, but at the very few invitations given there were always some who indicated such a desire.
Although we had sold our Chevrolet Suburban truck and given away our Olds, Mary Charlotte had bought an old but quite serviceable Chevrolet from an estate Bob Watson administered. We used that to drive back East for visits with family and friends during the holiday season, after a quick round of farewells to our LA friends. We spent ten days at Mother’s home in Hyattsville and used the time to catch up on our family’s and friends’ lives. Then we had eight days with Will and family in Nashville, during which I had the privilege of bringing the Sunday morning message at the First Christian Church of Nashville, Will and Judy’s church at the time. Picking up a high quality tape recorder I had purchased at Pastor Reyes’ request, we left for Los Angeles on Monday, the 14th of January, 1974.
Ten days later I boarded a bus in downtown Los
Angeles for Tia Juana, where I got a Mexican bus for a 44-hour trip
to Mexico City. Bus fare was less than one-third the air fare, and
time and comfort were not considerations. I was apprehensive about
customs duty on the tape recorder, but the customs man made no
demands when he went over my stuff at 2:30am south of Nogales.
From Mexico City it was more buses and taxis to reach Pastor Reyes’ home after 2-1/2 days of travel. Mr. Reyes and I left in his VW after two days of meetings in his church to spend two weeks of ministry in Tuxtla Gutierrez, capital of Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state. For most of the time I stayed with the Blevin’s, Pentecostal missionaries from Missouri, while Pastor Reyes stayed with the local Pentecostal pastor. Most of our days were spent in seeing the magnificent scenery in this part of the country, while the nights were usually occupied with church meetings, going to neighboring towns and all Protestant denomination churches — very ecumenical! We did have meetings in the schools, technical colleges and a university, and always had capacity crowds. In an old cathedral in a mountain town, I saw a huge picture of Mary carrying the cross!
Returning to Cuernavaca, I had a week of few meetings (mostly at Templo Evangelico’s regular meetings), and spent the time revising the English text of the Spanish book of mine that had been published the previous year, as Mr. Reyes thought an English version would have great appeal. This one I had to finance at $2500 for 10,000 copies, but the Lord has used that book far more than I could ever have imagined — all over Latin America, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Scandinavia, and even Francophone West Africa, having been translated into five languages. One never knows when working on some apparently inconsequential thing how the Lord may make a big thing out of it! I also taped three radio programs to be used on Mr. Reyes’ daily 15-minute broadcast, two on Genesis chapter I and one on Darwinism versus Biblical creation. On Monday and Tuesday nights (February 25-26) Mr. Reyes drove us to Mexico City for meetings at a big church there where we had packed audiences, and many responded to the invitation. The second night I went to Pachuca with Pastor Ramirez for a week of ministry in his church and nearby school, reaching nearly 5,000 people.
Returning again to Cuernavaca, Pastor Reyes and I set out for the Gulf state of Vera Cruz, and several cities there (Ursula Galvan, Cuatzacaulcos, Minatitlan, Jaltipan and Allende). Mr. Reyes left me after several days to return to his church responsibilities, leaving me to travel by bus. The local pastors had set up meetings for me in nearby schools and public buildings, and of course had meetings in their churches nearly every night. The school meetings had attendances in the hundreds, but the tiny churches were usually less than 100. The biggest problem was to find suitable interpreters, as the pastors usually didn’t feel capable. After a disastrous bus ride back to Mexico City (my diary says the worst bus ride ever), Pastor Reyes met me at midnight, and we went to his home in Cuernavaca for what was left of the night.
My next assignment was Ixmiquilpan, where Wycliffe had a big center. Due to a misunderstanding, Mr. Reyes took me to Mexico City to be picked up, but the man who was to have picked me up came to Cuernavaca for me. I finally got a ride through two young men in the Mexico City church, who grilled me in Spanish for the two-hour ride, until my poor head was aching. We arrived just as the meeting was over! Since many of the Indians had come from quite a distance, the Wycliffe people didn’t want to keep them overtime. That meeting was not made up, but I had a good meeting the following night (for another group), as well as with the Wycliffe people themselves. I was then taken once more to Pachuca and Pastor Ramirez, who had lined up some additional venues for me. Most of the churches gave me "love” offerings, and I would leave the church with a big grocery bag of small Mexican coins. In Pachuca they were unusually generous and the offerings amounted to nearly $100. Saturday morning, I prepared these coins and bills for exchange for larger bills at the local bank, and had each coin denomination in a little bag, with the amount written on it. I had also prepared a summary slip, in which I included the bills by denomination. At the last minute I decided not to take the bills to the bank. The male teller was quite busy, and after finding several of my bags tallied correctly, he took the summary slip total and gave me large bills. At the Ramirez’ home, I found that I was about $25 over what I should have, and realized that the bank teller had given me money for the bills I had left out. Not wanting to cause ill feelings against the Christian community for gypping the bank, I hurried back, arriving just before it closed. When I passed the bills to the teller saying ‘Demasiado” (too much), he had the most exquisite expression on his face! He was torn between the shame of giving out too much money — to a Gringo — and relief that he would not be short. Apparently, he had not yet discovered the shortage. This unexpected income allowed me to accept an invitation from a Salvation Army man who had attended one of my meetings in Pachuca to come to his compound in Mexico City for a Monday night meeting. This would mean I would have to fly to Torreon, as I was expected there Tuesday, a cost I could not have borne without that extra money!
The Torreon visit was short but very sweet! Robert Clingan, an independent missionary there and my host, had made acquaintance with a man who was inaugurating a new TV station, and he offered us a free hour-long broadcast that afternoon. I had three hours to prepare an hour-long TV program! We had meetings in several schools and the local jail, where the jerry-rigged wiring blew out two projector lamps. After two days there I left by bus for El Paso, where I took the Greyhound bus back to Los Angeles. On this trip the Lord had given me 65 speaking opportunities to a total of 18,660 people, with a counted 445 of them making “decisions” at 19 of the meetings. It was another occasion for the Lord to show His power to bring people to Himself.
Since the next opportunity with the SBC Foreign Mission Board was nearly six months away, Mary Charlotte and I decided to go places we both wanted to visit, in the US and abroad. On our last trip to the Dominican Republic, most of our time had been with the Baptists. Larry Dawson, of the Unevangelized Fields Mission, had invited us to return to visit his mission’s work there, and this seemed an ideal time for it. Also, since Mary Charlotte had missed out on my European trip with the Baptists a year earlier, I invited her to go with me to meet most of my Baptist hosts, and add some places we had always wanted to see but hadn’t. In between we could visit friends and relatives once more. But first we had to give up Mary Charlotte’s apartment in North Hollywood, move her furniture either to Mary Francis’ home, now in Denver (piano and a few other things) or to Mary Jo’s home in Toledo, where we had stored our belongings on giving up our Landover Hills home. So we hitched a big U-Haul trailer to the Chevrolet, loaded it up and took off for Denver. Even though April had begun, we encountered a snowstorm near Vail in the Colorado Rockies, that required me to buy chains before I could get the heavy trailer over the continental divide. We stayed two days with Mary Francis and Bill before heading for Nashville, where we had six days of family fellowship. Then we headed for Hyattsville via Toledo (to leave the rest of our belongings with Mary Jo) for a brief visit with Mother and others there. Returning to Nashville, we had a serious problem with the Chevrolet on the Interstate about 50 miles short of Nashville — the motor overheated, and help on the Interstate was almost non-existent. We managed to creep seven miles to the next off-ramp and find a garage there. We called Will, who came and got us, leaving the Chevrolet for the garage man to fix. The next morning a phone call indicated trouble beyond his ability to fix, so Will and I went back and towed the car to his home, where it was picked up by a Nashville repair shop to rebuild the motor.
Instead of driving to Miami to get our flight to
Santa Domingo, we had to take the overnight Greyhound bus, not the
most pleasant way to travel, but it got us to the airport and our
Dominican Air Lines plane. Although we took off nearly on time, the
pilot turned back after a few minutes with a mechanical problem that
took seven hours to fix, while we sat around the airport with nothing
to do. Finally we arrived in Santo Domingo to be met by the
Woodrings, UFM (Unevangelized Fields Mission) missionaries who had
waited for us over six hours. They took us to their home in Santiago,
which we reached at 2:30am.
The following three weeks were filled with home fellowship with four of the UFM missionaries, meetings in schools and churches, and travel for these meetings to several of the Dominican Republic’s cities: Santiago, San Francisco, La Romana, San Juan, Azua, San Jose de Ocoa and Santo Domingo. It was hard to get used to the un-civility of the average DR audience. The people were continually going and coming, chattering among themselves and giving seemingly scant attention to the speaker. These difficulties were compounded by the poor acoustics and lighting in most venues, and the always uncertain electric power for film showing. I remember speaking for nearly an hour in a pitch black church during a power outage before we could show the Apollo film. For all these shortcomings, the Lord provided us with 39 meetings and 5,000 people to hear the Gospel of His grace.
we were busily engaged in wowing the people in the Caribbean, Randy
Balch was preparing to graduate from an Ohio college. We have this
photograph of him and his future wife Cyn Kraft, obviously taken at
After another overnight bus trip, we reached Nashville on May 13th, for a brief visit with Will and family and to retrieve our car, now fully repaired. We drove to Hyattsville to leave the car, and took the Greyhound to New York, picked up our Eurail and Britrail passes, and proceeded to the airport via subway and bus. Icelandic Air Lines landed us in Luxembourg on the 21st, where we spent a day and night in rest and sightseeing. Our first major country of visitation was Spain, and we had expected to take the TEE (Trans-European Express) from Geneva to Barcelona. Arriving in Geneva, we were horrified to find the train completely full (Pentecost was a European holiday) and had to take ordinary trains across France at a much slower pace, arriving in Barcelona at 12:30am. After much trouble with taxis and inability to contact Jesse Bryan, who had met the TEE train to welcome us, we were finally able to get a room in a flea-bag hotel at 2:30am, contacting Jesse the following morning and moving into his home. He recommended we visit Valencia, which we did, returning in time for me to speak at the Sunday evening service in Rev. Bryan’s church. We then returned across France for Italy, arriving in Naples the second day. Here we visited Pompeii and the Isle of Capri, but failed to see the Blue Grotto due to a general strike of all labor in Italy. We were hopeful of visiting Francis Schaeffer at L'Abri, Switzerland, and were actually able to attend the Sunday service in the international church where he is the pastor. I had been urged to offer him my space-film talk, but he declined, saying it didn’t fit his style, but he did invite us to dinner that afternoon, and we were two of 14 guests he had for that meal. One of these was a missionary from Japan, Donald Hoke, with whom I had worked the preceding fall, who was in Lausanne to prepare for the famous Lausanne Conference of 1974. He came to our church in Cape Coral many years later to be our Missions Conference speaker, and stayed in our home.
Our Eurail passes permitted us to take the bus tour of the "Romantische Strasse” in southern Germany, through several towns that have kept their medieval dress and buildings especially for tourists. We also visited Isam Ballinger in Offenbach, and rode up and down the Rhine on a river boat. Mary Charlotte had heard of the Sisters of Mary at Kaanen (Darmstadt), so we stopped there on our way to Salzburg, Austria, where we had a brief visit with John Hopper. Once again we traversed Germany on the trains to Copenhagen (Denmark), and then on to Stockholm (Sweden) for our first visit there. An overnight train brought us to Kiruna, above the Arctic Circle, where the Swedes had a huge iron mine, and another (Swedish) train took us to Narvik (Norway), so I could see the midnight sun. I wasn’t able to stay awake until midnight, but Mary Charlotte did and gave me a confirming report that the sun was indeed shining well above the horizon at midnight. I was surprised to see the development of roads, bridges and accommodations so far north. We took two different buses for the six-hour trip to the northern railhead of the Norwegian Railway at Tromsk. We had an overnight sleeper accommodation to Trondheim for only $8 — amazing — then on through Oslo and Hamburg to Brussels. After two days with the Charles Long’s, primarily for me to get set up at the military APO there so I could ship my projector via the military (at no cost) in the fall. Leaving Brussels, we went by train and ferry to Ostend, Dover and London, and then to the Emery home in Coulsdon.
We had made use of every day of our 30-day Eurail passes and planned to do the same with our 8-day Britrail passes. Our principal points of interest were Inverness, Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye (all in Scotland), and Leeds and London in England. Our Sunday visit with Mike Emery and family in Leeds allowed us to attend a change-bell practice session at the Leeds Cathedral, a very interesting experience. I actually got up in the bell tower while they were pealing — what noise! After two days of sightseeing in London and overnights with the Emerys, they took us to the Heathrow Airport for our flight via British Airways to Reykjavik and Icelandic AL to New York, Greyhound to Washington, local bus to Hyattsville, shanks mare to Mother’s house.
It was still two months before I was supposed to begin work with the Southern Baptists, and we split this time nearly equally between Nashville with Will and family and Hyattsville with Mother. Mr. Reyes wanted some more Apollo films in Spanish, and I had ordered them from my source in Washington. They finally arrived at Will’s house, and I took them personally to Cuernavaca, as we didn’t dare trust them to the Mexican postal system. While in Hyattsville I made numerous visits to the embassies of the African countries I was to visit to get visas, which was a real headache, as many of these people were anything but on the ball. Mary Charlotte had decided she wanted to live in Wilmington (NC) while I was in Europe and Africa, so we went there via Nashville and located a suitable rental for her, Su-Su and her car (through Edna Appleberry). I then returned to Hyattsville via Greyhound and local buses. After picking up my final visa in Washington, I took the Greyhound to New York, bought my third Eurail pass, and proceeded to the Kennedy Airport for my Icelandic AL flight to Luxembourg.
Belgium—France—Italy. The missionaries in Spain were
sensing a relaxation of the strict Government control of Protestant
Christianity, as the first non-Catholic Christian radio station was
licensed, and the Government began to issue permits for the
construction of Protestant churches. The evident appeal of space-film
evangelism led Tony Anaya, who grew up speaking Spanish in New
Mexico, to ask me to give him four weeks to do an in-depth coverage
of the Spanish Baptist churches, with the objective of making known
their existence and program to their respective communities through
the appeal of the Apollo moon flights. Dr. Grubb thought I should
return to several of the other European countries as well, and to
make a swing through the West African countries where the Baptists
have extensive work. My itinerary was impressive: Belgium, France,
Italy, Spain, the Canary Islands, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin (then
Dahomey), Ivory Coast and Senegal. I had shipped the Eiki 16mm
projector to Brussels via the Air Force, so my first stop had to be
there. Arriving in Brussels from Luxembourg by train, I first got off
at the wrong city station. When I got off at the right station,
Charles Long was not there. After 2-1/2 hours I decided to walk to
the International Baptist Church, leap frogging my baggage, and
waited there for someone to come. Charles eventually appeared, and
put the bee on me for the snafu, as I had neglected to inform him of
my change in arrival date, much to my chagrin. He had met the plane I
had told him by mail that I would be on, and had no idea what had
gone wrong. The next three days were divided between getting the
projector and buying a transformer for it (no easy task), and giving
talks at the church and the nearby Bible School. One of the men in
the Bible School audience asked me if I could come to Amsterdam for a
TV broadcast, but my schedule wouldn’t permit it until I got to
Italy. I told him I would be glad to come from Italy if I could get
away for the necessary three days (this worked out).
In Paris I had to make my own way to the hotel, which was difficult with all my baggage and projector, even though I had shipped one bag by train to Barcelona. Hal Lee, who didn’t have a car, picked me up at the hotel that night for a meeting at the French Baptist church, and again the following night for a meeting at the English Baptist church. I finally got all my stuff to the train station the third night for my 19-hour journey to Rome.
Bob Holifield met my train and took me to his house for a pleasant four-day visit, with the only meetings at the Sunday School class of the Rome Baptist Church and at the Wednesday night Bible study at the home of a US Navy captain. After clearing with Fred Anderton in Naples, I called and told the man n Holland who wanted me for the TV broadcast that I could come, and left Rome that night for the 24-hour train ride to Utrecht. Mr. Hans Glashouwer met me at the station and took me to a nice hotel, picking me up the following morning for a 5-hour session at the studio of the Evangelized Radio & Television Company of Holland to make an hour-long program involving my NASA Mars film and an interview (in English). They were quite professional, hut it was a grueling day. At lunch before taking my train back to Rome and Naples, my host told me how their company worked. It seems that any group ihat can get 100,000 signatures to a petition for a suitable TV program will be given 2 hours a week on the government station, studio facilities and even a budget to pay performers. At the end of a year, they must submit 250,000 signatures of viewers to be allowed to continue, and if so their time is increased to six hours a week. Not only did my host pay all my hotel and meal expenses, but he gave me an honorarium of more than $150 in US notes! He assured me that most of Holland’s TV viewers would see the program.
The train returning to Rome was very crowded with Turkish workers going home on holiday, and I got very little sleep. When I finally reached the suburban station in Naples late Saturday afternoon where Fred Anderton was to pick me up, I tried in vain to call his house for 2-1/2 hours. Finally, the nearby bartender asked me what number I was dialing, and pointed out that I had a transposition in the exchange number. Then I got Fred right away. Sunday I had a morning message at the US Naval Chapel Church and an evening meeting at the Naples Baptist Church. I spent all Monday morning at the elementary school for English speaking kids from kindergarten to third grade. They were real sharp, and asked more and sometimes better questions than many of my adult audiences! When Fred tried to set me up at the American School, the principal got real huffy and wouldn’t let me speak, even after classes. The next morning I left early, to pick up my projector in Rome, which I had left with Bob Holifield, and then proceeded back across France to Barcelona. The French customs man started to give me a hard time about my projector until he learned I was going through to Spain.
I had quite a hassle at the Spanish border about
my protector. The customs people spoke very little English, and my
Spanish was even poorer. I had to leave my train, and wait for over
an hour until they found a custom man that could speak English, and
then I learned that I would have to deposit $350 or else leave the
projector in bond. I didn’t have that much cash on me, so had
to leave the projector and take a later train. A worried Tony Anaya
met me at the station, and became even more worried when he learned
about the projector. He said he had no way of getting another
projector, and that we would have to drive back to the border and pry
mine loose from customs. He managed to do this, but it set us back
over a half day. We then started our tour of Mediterranean coastal
cities (Lerida, Zaragoza, Manresa, Castellon, Lorca), where we were
to have one-night stands at the local Baptist churches. We stayed in
hotels, and the Holland honorarium came in very handy, as I had not
anticipated this expense. How the Lord provides! Each church was
packed, and there was good reception. I had had Mr. Reyes send 500
copies of the Spanish edition of my book to the Baptist book store in
Barcelona and we took most of these along with us. We sold all we had
before reaching Madrid! At Granada I presented a program on the
exploration of the planets to the Astronomy class of the University
of Granada, for which I received a honorarium. The one-nighters
continued at Malaga, Sevilla and Cordoba. Reaching Madrid, we stayed
from Wednesday through Sunday, speaking, among other venues, at the
US Air Base high school to the entire student body in two sessions. I
got a private tour of the Madrid Apollo tracking dish on Saturday by
the NASA representative in Madrid (Henry Schultz), and had some
dental work done at the Air Base clinic. On Sunday I brought the
morning message at the Immanuel Baptist Church (English) and the
evening message at the Royal Oaks Housing Area Chapel. The next week
involved a drive to the northern city of Vitoria and a train trip to
the Atlantic coastal city of Vigo. Again the pattern was schools in
the daytime and churches at night. This about completed my four weeks
in Spain, and I left on Monday, October 28, for the Canary
The Canary Islands are an integral part of Spain, but quite different in many ways, being a favorite way station for freighters plying the African routes, as well as a leading tourist resort. The Baptists are strongly entrenched, and active in outreach not only to the local population, but also to the English-speaking and Russian-speaking expatriates. Dan White, on the school board of the American School, set up two meetings for me with the junior highs and high schoolers. I also had opportunities to speak at the Baptist church, a university, and a NASA tracking station. It was a busy two days.
Dakar is the air gateway to West Africa, and my routing provided a 2-day stop-over with the Baptist Mission. It was a time of rest and briefing for my return in December for participation with the Mission in the first African international industrial fair. I got acquainted with my hosts Everett and Dorothy Burnett and with the Mission head Dr. Runyan.
I was met at the Accra airport by Jim Annis, my host and director for my stay in this country, and he put me to work immediately speaking at a local university that night. I flew the next day (Saturday) to Kumasi for a whirlwind of meetings at the Kumasi Academy and the University of Science and Technology, with luncheon and evening tea groups sandwiched in. I had laryngitis so bad I could hardly talk above a whisper in conversation, but my voice returned for the period of speaking and then went away again! Sunday I brought the message at the Grace Baptist Church at Kumasi in the morning, flew to Accra in the afternoon, and spoke at the evening service of the Calvary Baptist Church there. Monday and Tuesday were filled with radio and TV interviews (six in all), and with a meeting at the military academy Monday evening. It was quite a novelty to be speaking in English without an interpreter after two months with one.
Nigeria is not only Africa’s most populous
nation (three times that of South Africa), but also the wealthiest
after South Africa. The Baptists had been here over 100 years, and
had an outreach in education and medicine that has greatly influenced
the whole population. My two weeks here was concentrated on the
universities and churches in many cities (Benin, Eku, Ede, Ibadan,
Ife, Kano, Zaria, Kaduna and Lagos), with a meeting at a university
or church nearly every night, with one to three meetings per day at
schools, hospitals, or other institutions. In all I spoke at seven
university campuses, including two of the Muslim Ahmedu Bello
University in Kano and Zaria. The meeting in Kano was held in the
university cafeteria and was packed out. The students were highly
attentive. When I started to give the Christian testimony of the
astronauts, six students got up and walked out, but the other 220
stayed through my testimony as well. In Zaria we met in a typical
English lecture auditorium, jam packed with 600 students, with six
bald-headed Polish (Communist) professors in the middle. No one could
leave! When my talk was finished, I invited any interested in talking
further to come down front, and I was besieged by a hundred or more.
One young man asked quite seriously, “Can a Muslim receive
Kano is the gateway for West Africa for the Muslim pilgrims to Mecca, and several plane loads a day pass through the Kano airport. The whole of northern Nigeria is populated by the heavily Muslim Hausa tribe, whom the British left in charge of the country when they gave it independence. The Biafra War was largely a war between the Christian Ibos and the Muslim Hausas over the oil fields of Biafra. The third major tribe, the Yurabas, are the merchants, teachers, and civil servants of the country, and are highly Christianized. The Biafran War was hardly over when I visited Nigeria, and I was not allowed in that region.
Flying on the Nigerian Air Line is an experience. One must appear an hour or more before flight time to buy a ticket, and a Nigerian has precedence over an expatriate, particularly if he is white. Driving the Nigerian highways is also an experience, because the government leaves wrecks in which people died right on the road where they crashed. I saw many burned out trucks and semis which had collided head-on, and we had to leave the road to get around them.
There was an air of sadness among the Baptist missionaries, as they were being steadily pushed out of their educational and medical work by the Muslim government authorities. Shortly after I left the government decreed a 100% salary increase for all teachers and hospital workers, retroactive one year! It was impossible for the mission to meet this demand, so the government simply took over all the Baptist schools and hospitals.
After the hectic pace in Ghana and Nigeria, the four days in Cotonou were slow indeed. Neville Claxon was the mission leader and my host, and he did his best to get me speaking opportunities. However, I had only one university meeting, which was poorly attended, and three meetings at the Claxon home. I had the crown of a tooth come loose while there and had to have a local dentist replace it, and that was an experience. The dentist was an Egyptian Communist (judging by the literature in the waiting room), and he charged me twice what he charged the local people.
The three days in Abidjan were more like those in Ghana, with much exposure to newspaper, radio and TV, but the one meeting at the University of Abidjan was attended by only 50 people, as the university had failed to publicize the meeting. The newspaper interview the first afternoon resulted in a full-page spread in the next day’s paper. I also had a live interview over TV and a taped interview for ELWA, the Christian radio station in Liberia that serves all West Africa. The remaining meetings were at the Baptist Church, at which I brought the Sunday morning message, and a small seminary run by the Baptist mission. A major problem arose in that my OK reservation for my flight to Dakar was refused by East African Air Lines, as they were booked up with African businessmen going to the Fair in Dakar. I tried to call Dr. Runyan in Dakar, but none of the missionaries had his number, and all I had was a P0 box number. Pan American gave me a seat on their late night flight, which arrived in Dakar at 2:30am, but I knew that no one would be meeting that flight!
I was sorely tempted to continue on the Pan Am flight to New York,
but checked my bags only to Dakar. By the time I got them at the
Dakar airport the flight had gone, and I was stuck. A taxi driver
finally picked me up after an hour’s wait, and said he thought
he could get me a hotel room in town (15 miles away). The clerk,
however, said he was filled up, but suggested we call a hotel at the
airport. This clerk first said he had no rooms, but then said he had
one with no key I could have. So back to the airport we went, and I
finally checked in at 4:30am. But how to contact the Burnetts or
Runyans? Only a few people spoke English in this formerly French
colony, and there was no listing in the phone book. (Throughout
Africa and much of Europe, the backlog for new phone service is so
great that no one applies for a phone but takes over the former
owner’s phone. Telephone directories are consequently utterly
useless!) I decided that the only way I could contact them would be
to go to the Fair and hunt their booth. After four hours sleep, I
left my bags in the hotel lobby and started out on foot to the nearby
Fairgrounds. After an hour’s search of the huge Fair, I finally
found their booth, and were they glad to see me! They had built their
whole approach around my presence, having leased the 100-seat theater
once a day for the showing of the Apollo 15 film (in French) with me
to give a 15-minute interpreted talk after the film. They had prepare
mimeographed copies of part of my book (translated into French) for
giveaway. If I had gone on to New York their whole 10-days and large
investment would have been shot. Even so, we were delayed three days
first by the unreadiness of the auditorium and second by the delay in
acquiring a projector. But by Monday the program was in full swing,
and we had no lack of attention the rest of the week. I brought the
message at the Sunday morning services at the Baptist Center, and
there were numerous opportunities during the day at schools and
government groups. The Baptists had been trying to establish a
foothold in this largely Muslim country, and were greatly heartened
by the exposure that the Fair booth and film showings brought them.
When I visited Abidjan in 1989, I had occasion to visit the Baptist
publishing house there, and found that they had used the mimeographed
material prepared for that Fair 15 years earlier as the text of a
little book, which they told me was a best seller. Thus does our God
work! Finally, on December 9th the Fair closed. I flew back to New
York and went by bus first to Hyattsville and then to Wilmington, and
brought Mary Charlotte to Hyattsville.
The box score for the European portion was 45 meetings with 5,000 attendees and that for the African segment 52 meetings with 10,500 attending. These figure do not tell the whole story. In Spain and most of the African countries, Protestant Christians are a tiny minority, and the opportunity to reach this many people in those countries with the Gospel is rare indeed. Praise the Lord for opening these doors so wide. This trip was the last one Dr. Grubb (director for lay ministries for the SBC Foreign Mission Board) arranged for me as he was taken off that assignment even before I returned from this trip. Although I continued to work with Baptist missionaries in Africa and South America with his blessing, I had to make my own arrangements with them.
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