AN INCAPABLE COLT
The Journey t o Jiangsu & Zhejiang Provinces
Transportation in the 1940＊s was very primitive. Itinerating in the Fujian Province from the coast to the mountains and from cities to villages, I had to rely on my own 2 legs and other poor means of transportation. Those journeys wore me out and I was stricken with heart disease.
In the spring of 1946 the Lord led me to Shanghai. Out of love and concern, Ruth Bi, the director of Chinese Evangelical Seminary, kept me at my alma mater for a year to help me recuperate. The school was situated in the bay area with fresh air and a quiet environment. My health was quickly restored.
Towards the end of my recovery, the enrollment in the seminary doubled. At times when the teachers were too busy with their teaching to lead outside meetings, I substituted on their behalf. One time, the Northgate Presbyterian Church in Jiaxing invited teacher Weizhen Jiao of my alma mater to lead a revival conference for a week. Since Miss Jiao could not avail herself of this opportunity because of schoolwork, she asked me to go on her behalf. When an American pastor of the church saw that I was young, he asked quite annoyingly, ※Why didn＊t Miss Jiao come?§ Uneasily, I replied, ※Miss Jiao is tied down with teaching.§ Very pointedly, this American quoted a Chinese idiom, ※The bones of a chick are tasteless.§ The Lord, however, comforted me with these words, ※Let no one despise your youth§ (I Timothy 4:12) and ※If anyone cleanses himself from iniquity, he will be a vessel of honor§ (II Timothy 2:21). God＊s words strengthened me. In disdain, this American pastor did not even set foot inside the church. On the fourth day the Lord brought him in. When he noticed that the Lord was doing His work, he was deeply touched and listened humbly from beginning to end. When I returned to my lodging after the meeting, he was already waiting at the entrance to greet me and courteously invited me to his garden. He introduced me to the various plants, and right there in the garden, we fellowshipped in the Lord. When I left Jiaxing, he earnestly said, ※Hope you＊ll come again next year!§ Silently, I thanked the Lord and asked for His help to make me a worker need not be ashamed. May the Lord make me His faithful servant. A teacher of the Qixiu Middle School also dedicated himself during the conference and later went with me to the Shanghai Chinese Evangelical Seminary for training.
In the summer of l947 I was invited to lead a summer retreat in the Xinguang Middle School in Shuzhou. Principal Yin founded the school primarily with the students＊ salvation in mind and hired only zealous Christians as teachers. Most students came from Christian families and had good foundations of the Truth. As a result of the work of the Holy Spirit, this meeting was extremely effective. During recess, students, individually or in small groups, would come to my bedroom. Some requested prayers while others indicated that they wanted to become preachers. These youngsters, compelled by the love of the Lord, knew that they should ※remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come§ (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
The following year the school invited Pastor Daoliang (Timothy) Lin and me to lead the summer retreat again. There I met a British pastor, Gordon Harman, of the Inland Mission. This encounter became the prelude of our co-working in Chengdu later. Nothing in this world takes place by coincidence; everything was arranged by God before the creation of the world.
In the summer of 1947 the Jiangsu Methodist Church Young Women Evangelical Group held a conference at the Jinhai Teachers Training College. I was invited to lead the conference and was scheduled to preach twice daily. I felt heavily burdened in my spirit and looked up earnestly to the Lord. During the train ride from Shanghai to Shuzhou, I communed with the Lord and was nurtured by the Holy Spirit. At this conference I felt like a by-stander observing the Lord carrying out His own work. I could feel the presence of the Lord as I was delivering the sermons; for what I spoke was not what I had prepared but rather what the Lord had led me to say. On the last night of the conference, in addition to those young women who were saved, 5 others dedicated themselves to enroll at the Chinese Evangelical Seminary.
After the meeting in Shuzhou I was invited by Guishen Zhu, senior pastor of Shanghai Rongyao Church (later Zion Church), to lead a devotional conference for a week. I preached twice daily and the evening services were always full. By the grace of the Lord, a monk came forward, repented and accepted the Lord. Pastor Zhu had 9 daughters. His sixth daughter, Leen Zhu, had dedicated herself at the Shuzhou conference to serve God and to enroll at the Chinese Evangelical Seminary. His fourth, fifth, seventh and nineth daughters were saved at this meeting. In particular, His fifth daughter, Peien Zhu, the director of the Shanghai YWCA (Young Women Christian Association) had been worldly and carnal for a long while. She was present at the conference. The day after the sermons, I gave the invitation, ※Will those who want to receive Jesus Christ please come forward.§ Immediately many responded. As some still appeared hesitant, I added, ※You＊ll have 3 more minutes to do so.§ It was during these 3 minutes that she was compelled by the Holy Spirit to come forward to repent and turn to God. Praise the Lord! ※＃Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end (John 13:1)§ Peien Zhu was safeguarded by the Lord all along. She is now in Brazil, has renovated a Chinese church there and has been serving the Lord faithfully. The Lord received the glory that He deserved.
For China, the 20 th Century had been a time of tremendous turmoil and tribulation; yet, it was also an era of great blessings. The Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the century had resulted in the burning of churches and the massacre of Christians, confining the domain of evangelism to just the coastal regions. It was not until the fall of the Qing Dynasty that the gospel began to be widely spread. Later the Northern Warlords and the Materialists initiated an anti-Christian movement (1912-1927). After Shikai Yuan had failed in his attempt to resume the monarchy, the gospel was again widely spread. In 1928, as a result of the Kuomin Party-Communist Co-operation, the anti-Christian movement again re-emerged. Church organizations were attacked, Christian schools were not allowed to teach the scriptures and social ※Christian§ groups became active, exploiting religion for political purposes. Afterwards, God raised an array of revivalists, evangelists and theologians who uplifted the banner of the Cross and walked the path of the Cross. Soon after, with the Japanese invasion on China and the uprising of various evil powers, the churches in areas under their control were attacked. After the World War II, the gospel was again widely spread.
Through my evangelizing experience, I observed the abundant fruitfulness of the Holy Spirit at work. For this reason, even though I was physically sick, my heart was filled with joy. I am grateful to the Great Shepherd who chose this feeble colt. He fed and cared for me with green pastures and still waters, and led me in the paths of righteousness. Even though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death and encountered enemies, He was gracious to me and He comforted me. He caused my cup of blessings to overflow. I shall follow the Lord and bravely march on. I will yet dwell in His temple, forever and ever