A LETTER FROM SOOCHOW, KIANGSU PROVINCE
To the brothers and sisters
who are dispersed in all the localities,
may you have peace and may you receive much grace and mercy in the great love of the Lord:
Thank our Lord that He purchased us with His priceless blood so we could pass from death to life and be one in Him. Although we are not together and there are some whom we have never met or seen, we are all members together in His Body. Our relationship is very close, and no one can separate us. Because we are members one of another, we have the boldness to report something to the brothers and sisters of the condition of the meeting in the Lord’s name in Soochow. At the same time, we ask you to remember us in prayer.
The beginning of the meeting in Soochow was completely the Lord’s work. Originally there were brothers and sisters in Soochow, but they did not know each other. The brothers felt that the Lord’s grace was boundless, so every Lord’s Day morning they met to break bread and remember the Lord. At that time the meeting was temporary and could not be considered the Lord’s table. It was never in a set place. Sometimes it was in Hui Han Elementary School. Sometimes it was in the home of T’ang Hsing. The sisters did not know that the brothers were having such meetings, so they could only go to Shanghai one Lord’s Day a month to break bread and fulfill their desire to remember the Lord. Thank the Lord’s grace. He did not want to let us continue in this way. Last summer he sent Brother Chou Hsin Yi to Soochow. Through his introduction and explanation, the brothers met three sisters, Tso Fu Ju, Ku Yung Hua, Shao Hsueh Cheng, who work in the Gospel Hospital. It is hard to describe the joy that the brothers and sisters felt. On the one hand, we thanked the Lord for His grace that we could meet brothers and sisters in the Lord, and on the other hand, we asked the Lord Himself to enable us to have His own table in Soochow. Praise and thank the Lord, He answered our requests. Not long after this, a meeting of both the brothers and the sisters to break bread and remember the Lord began in Sister Ku’s house on Shih T’ang Ch’iao Alley, Hsi Pei Street. At first we could only break bread once every two weeks because of limitations of time. Later, the desperateness of the brothers and sisters to remember the Lord overcame the limitations of time. So on the first day of every week, we meet to break bread. The Lord used His own love—the length, breadth, height, and depth of which cannot be —to draw many brothers and sisters who loved Him to come one by one to meet with us and break bread. Two elderly brothers, Yin Jen Sheng and Ch’in Yao Ch’ing, have come. There is also Brother Sung Chih Jen. Three sisters who teach at Ying Hua Girls’ School have come. They are P’an Lu Chen, Yu Ch’i Sheng, Shang Chih Ch’uan. There are also Mrs. Ying, Mrs. Ch’in, and Mrs. Liang and many sisters from the Gospel Hospital.
Once God’s work started, the frustrations and attacks of the enemy followed. The enemy caused the responsible brother to become unusually weak physically. He also caused all the denominations in Soochow to frustrate us in many ways. At first the denominations thought they could use us to do a building work for them, so they even invited the brothers among us to preach messages to them. Later, they realized that the way we were taking could never be compromised with theirs. This made them feel uneasy; therefore, they preached that we were those who destroy the church. They also said we were communists and heretics. They started a so-called pastoral alliance and suggested that (1) they should fire all those who work among them and also come to our meeting to break bread, (2) they should blockade us and not invite us to give messages to them anymore, and (3) they should begin a unified revival meeting to revive their members. Thank our Lord, He is the authority. If He is for us, who can be against us? Although the hospital has wanted to fire our sisters a few times, the Lord still has not allowed it, and it has not come to pass. On the contrary, the Lord has blessed the work in the hospital, so that those who do not believe receive the Lord and those who believe the Lord obey Him. Although the revival meeting that started out of jealousy was actually carried out, we have been blessed by the Lord and have not felt any negative effects. For this we thank the Lord’s tender love in making us worthy to suffer shame for Him, and we also ask Him to forgive the ignorant ones and to open their hearts. The preceding story relates to Satan’s persecution through the denominations. He still has other means to frustrate the Lord’s work. But the Lord’s grace is always sufficient. He has already brought us through them one by one.
The number of people attending the meetings gradually increased, and we felt our original meeting place was not big enough. The brothers and sisters prayed to the Lord in one accord, asking Him to give us a suitable house. Praise the Lord! At the appropriate time He gave us a suitable place. At the end of June we moved from Hsi Pei Street to 2 Kao Shih Alley. T’ang Hsing’s home is also there. May the Lord be exalted and glorified there.
Dear brothers and sisters, please remember our weakness and immaturity. Do not forget to pray for the following matters in your prayers. (1) Ask the Lord to send His own workers to Soochow. (2) Ask Him to raise up local brothers who can bear the responsibility. (3) Ask the Lord to open the door for the gospel in Tung Wu University. (4) Ask the Lord to destroy the enemy’s work in Soochow. (5) Ask the Lord to revive all of Soochow. The brothers and sisters in Soochow greet you and thank you for all your prayers and care. We want to thank Brother Chou Hsin Yi, Brother Witness Lee, Brother Watchman Nee, and Brother Ch’ien Neng Sheng. We would also like to thank Sister Miao Yun Ch’un, Sister Ruth Lee, and Sister Peace Wang. They all came at different times from distant places to visit us and gave us much help.
May our Lord come quickly. At that time, we will meet happily forever with all the saints and will never again be limited by time and space.
Chang Hsien, Yu Hsien Liang, Stephen Kaung,
T’ang Hsing (T’ang Shou Ling)
Mailing Address: 2 Kao Shih Alley, Soochow
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 25: Collection of Newsletters (1), Chapter 10, by Watchman Nee)