A LETTER FROM CH’I HSIEN CH’IAO, P’U TUNG,
EAST OF SHANTUNG
In 1930 a believer in the Lord from the area of P’u Tung was hired as a preacher in a denomination in Shanghai. In the spring of that year, he received enlightenment from the Lord’s truth and felt that denominations were of man’s will. He also felt that the Bible was against denominations and that most of the beliefs and systems in the denominations were against biblical principles. Therefore, he felt he must leave the denominations. At the same time, the Lord showed him a vision of the sufferings of the souls of the sinners in his hometown area. The Lord called him to be responsible for the souls of these people. Therefore, he told this situation to the leaders of his denomination and resigned. He wanted to trust in the Lord to do some business and to preach the Word at the same time. However, he did not tell the denomination the details concerning his resignation, so they tried to keep him and promised to help him rent a place and start a mission in Ch’i Hsien Ch’iao in P’u Tung. That place had never had anyone preach the true Word of the gospel before, so there were no churches there. The Lord blessed the work and performed miracles and gave gifts of healing and casting out demons. Many repented and turned to the Lord. Not long afterwards, a "semi-denominational" church was raised up.
In 1931, the Lord prepared an Overcomer Conference in Shanghai and led the brother who was working in Ch’i Hsien Ch’iao, P’u Tung to go to it. He received the light of the spiritual truth. In January of this year, there was the Third Overcomer Conference in Shanghai, and the Lord led him to the meeting again. During the conference, the leaders of the denomination found out about this. With the speed of lightning, they isolated the brother by political ploys while he was still in the conference. They went down to the brothers in the country to tell them that the brother had received evil teachings in Shanghai. They told them that the brother would preach heresy when he returned. They also told them that if they listened to the brother after he returned from Shanghai, their souls and spirits would perish for eternity. The denomination set up two other meetings near where most of the brothers in that county lived. They also sent gifts of candy to each brother’s house and held a feast and invited the brothers to come. They hoped and planned to bring the brothers to meet under their name. However, the brothers who had discernment and were faithful to the Lord did not go to their meetings.
The number of people in our meeting was originally more than one hundred. More than eighty of these were regenerated by the Holy Spirit. There are now about seventy people who have left the denomination, and they are only meeting in the Lord’s name. There are about forty people every Lord’s Day for the table meeting.
The first Lord’s Day, after the leaders of the denominations moved the chairs for the meeting out of the hall, the brothers who had left the denomination brought their own chairs from home to the meeting. Now the brothers have already given the money themselves and have had new chairs made especially for the meetings.
It has been four years since the church in Ch’i Hsien Ch’iao first rented a hall and began preaching the Word. Nine out of ten of the brothers are poor farmers who do not even know how to read the simplest Chinese character. This really fulfills the Lord’s word that the good news is preached to the poor. The Lord has truly chosen the foolish and poor of the world that they might gain spiritual wisdom and the riches of faith in Him.
Going west from P’u Tung is the Whampoa River, and going east is the sea. In this region there are the four counties of Feng Hsien, Nan Huai, Chuan Sha, and Pao Shan. Their population is over ten million. Ch’i Hsien Town is in the middle between P’u Tung and P’u Nan. There is a rich harvest all around and few workers. I asked the brothers in the Lord from all the localities to pray much for us. May the Lord raise up faithful workers to come to all the places in P’u Tung to reap His harvest. I respectfully greet all brothers who meet in the Lord’s name with peace and joy in the Lord!
Chu En Sheng
March 13, 1934
(The brother spoken of in this letter is Brother Chu En Sheng—Editor.)
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 25: Collection of Newsletters (1), Chapter 6, by Watchman Nee)