MAKE HASTE WHILE THE SUN SHINES
Brother Guoxian Wang had resounded the ※Macedonian Call,§ and Sister Yanxia Louis＊ letter from Guangzhou had verified the need there. Submitting to the Lord＊s lead, I left Wuhan for Guangzhou in the spring of 1954.
During the one-week youth revival conference held in the church in Damazhan, I preached daily. The young Christians in Guangzhou loved the Lord fervently and studied the Word diligently. Their understanding of matters relating to the direction of the Church was both in accordance with the Truth and unshakable. Several of them willingly took up the cross to serve the Lord and left for further development in the Shanghai Minister Training Institute.
After the conference, several local churches invited me to lead other conferences. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I accepted an invitation to lead a revival meeting for a week. I delivered the sermon in Mandarin that was translated into Cantonese by sister Lifang Yang. At each of these evening conferences, not only were the pews all filled, but even the pulpit, the windowsills and the pastor＊s residence were fully packed with listeners. It was said that this meeting had the largest attendance since the Liberation, an indication of people＊s hunger and thirst for righteousness. As written in the Bible: ※not a famine of bread, not a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord§ (Amos 8:11); yet ※blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled§ (Mat t hew 5:6).
On the first Sunday of the revival meeting, I preached at the church in Damazhan. The message given by the Lord was in the Book of Malachi where Jesus said, ※Was not Esau Jacob＊s brother? Yet, Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated§ (Malachi 1:2, 3). I preached that Esau was very talented: he was a psychologist and knew what his father liked and how to please him; he was an athlete and a good runner in the wilderness, hunting for beasts; he was a gourmet chef who cooked good food; he was an ethicist who, not recounting the wrong his brother did to him by cheating him of his blessings, personally led a team of 400 people to greet the long-separated brother, embracing him and kissing him. From human perspective, Esau was more lovable than Jacob. Yet, he despised God＊s blessings and gave up his first-born right in exchange for a bowl of red-bean soup. On the contrary, Jacob loved dwelling in the tent, holding on to God＊s grace and blessings. Therefore, God loved the younger brother Jacob and hated the older brother Esau.
Unexpectedly, this sermon was misinterpreted by some and was considered as ※anti-Soviet Union Speech.§ I was said to have ※used it for another purpose, like pointing at a mulberry tree to curse a legume tree; and that, in belittling Esau, I was actually belittling Big Soviet Brother.§ At a time when there was much emphasis on the country＊s sweeping reform and the learning of Soviet experiences, this was no light accusation! Yet, the Lord knew my heart; I had spoken exactly what He had instructed me, and I could not care less about politics.
Soon afterwards, the Guangzhou government＊s Bureau of Religion wanted to identify me on the basis that they did not know me well because I was foreign. During this definitive period, I was not allowed to participate in any activity in Guangzhou. Thus, the door for my evangelizing in the churches was closed. But then, ※woe is me if I do not preach the gospel§ (I Corinthians 9:16). Since then, I preached in my own residence, in the homes of Christians, in the cemetery of the 72 heroes at Yellow Flowers Knoll and other places. It proved that the Lord had ※set before you an open door, and no one can shut it§ (Revelations 3:8).