(This is the record from after a table meeting.)
Psalm 133:1: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is/For brothers to dwell in unity!"
Today I see many brothers and sisters here and I feel very joyful. I have been away from you for seven months, but in these seven months, I have never once found a meeting like the one here in Shanghai, so I often have thought how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. Whenever I was alone in Ch’ang-sha (Hunan province) a thousand miles away and could not be together with you, my heart was grieved. So I often asked the Lord to raise up some brothers and sisters there, so we can meet together. Thank the Lord; He heard my prayer, and the work has begun there. Therefore, I want to tell the brothers and sisters a little bit about how it happened in a general way.
I have been in Hunan for seven months. I came back this time because I have a month of vacation. When I went to Ch’ang-sha, the brothers put me on a boat, and before they left, we prayed for a short while. One sentence of Brother Chang’s prayer helped me the most; I have not forgotten it even now. The sentence was, "God, please go before him and begin the work." This one sentence really moved my heart. Afterward, I also prayed with this sentence, saying, "God, I am a useless person; I can do nothing. You must begin the work there before I can work. O God, if You want me to do something, please begin the work."
Let me begin by saying something in regard to the work. In the beginning, the assistant director of our hospital, Doctor Ku, was very happy to see me come; he invited me to eat with him many times. One time he invited the members of the Siang Ya Medical School YMCA (among whom there are some Christians). He also invited me to go with him, and we talked about the meetings there. Originally, they had a prayer meeting every Friday, but for some unknown reason it had stopped. At that time, we decided to resume the prayer meeting but changed the time to every Wednesday. The Che Ya YMCA invited me and two other people, Dr. Ke and Dr. Liu, to help with this meeting. They came the first time, but later, perhaps because they were busy or had other frustrations, they did not come often. But among the students there was a great number who wanted the meeting and who had a heart to get some help. So I asked the Lord to begin the work there, and I also preached the gospel to them through this prayer meeting because many of them had not been saved. Because they were unsaved, their prayers were like incantations. I told them that the prayer meeting was on Wednesday, and that we should use more time to pray. But because many were not saved, we could only preach the gospel more before working on prayer. In this way, I preached the gospel first, and in the fourth week some got saved. Later, I felt we should have a counseling meeting, so they would have more opportunity to understand the Lord’s Word. So I decided to have two times on the Lord’s Day morning, one at 9:00 a.m. and one at 10:00 a.m. for such talks. (They could not all come at the same time.) Although many had questions, the questions were not too difficult. There were just a few, and once they were answered, it was over. Later, I used this time to preach the gospel also.
At this time two sisters got saved. It happened in this way: After my speaking once, everyone else left, but these two remained. At first I did not know what they were doing. I noticed they were crying and knew they were repenting for their past because they were very zealous before and later they had become cold. I told them that the blood of the Lord Jesus was shed for their sins and that they could be at peace. As long as they believed that the Lord Jesus was their Savior, their sins would be forgiven. Then I comforted them with a few words. After this, they came to the meetings often and were more eager than the others. I met the elder brother of one of these sisters. He was my fellow student at Ya Li University. He said, "My sister is very zealous. She even eats early because your meeting is at seven o’clock." (There is a Bible study on Tuesdays and Thursdays.) I realized that they were very zealous. Sometimes they skipped their meal in order to come to the meetings. At the same time, I saw that their personal lives had changed. From their own mouths, I found out that they were pursuing righteousness. They were dealing with many matters of sin.
One other person was saved in a very marvelous way. A nursing school invited me to preach the Word. When I went, I met a person on the way, and he asked me where I was going. I said, "I am going to preach the Word. Do you want to go with me?" He said yes and followed me. That day I spoke of salvation by faith. Most marvelously, he was saved at that time. Afterward, he came to speak with me often, and he became very seeking. Furthermore, he has already read The Spiritual Man up to the second volume. When I was meeting in the hospital, he came often, but after the meeting moved to the campus, he did not come. He said it was because it seemed inconvenient to him. But no matter what, he is a saved person. He is a pharmacist in the pharmacy at our hospital.
There is one other matter which delighted me very much. There was a female student who was about eighteen years old who came to the meeting. She was probably invited by a fellow student. After the meeting she still would not leave. She just stood there as if she wanted to speak with me. Then she told me she wanted to be saved. So I asked her whether or not she had believed. She said that she had believed. I said that if she had believed, she was saved. The next time I ran into her, I asked her whether she was saved. She told me joyfully that she was. Later, she kept coming to the meetings and always brought other students with her to the meetings.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 25: Collection of Newsletters (1), Chapter 6, by Watchman Nee)