LETTER FROM SWATOW, KWANGTUNG PROVINCE
Dear Brother Luk:
(Parts omitted.)1 The meetings here have been deeply blessed by the Lord. The table meeting is on the Lord’s Day morning at 8:30. There are more than thirty brothers and sisters. In the afternoon we have a gospel meeting at 3:30. There are two hundred people listening to the message. This building is too small. It is very crowded every week. The brothers and sisters have decided to rent a larger place after our four month rental is up. They plan to prepare four hundred seats. If the Lord is willing, it will happen.
After nineteen people were baptized on May 8, seven more sisters obeyed the Lord and were baptized in August. I really thank the Lord; He is the One doing a good work in Swatow. Brother Luk, I am really in fear and trembling and do not know how to go on. I do not know many truths about the church. I cannot answer many questions about the church. We really need some teaching from you brothers!
Brother Nee sent a letter to me during my turn, teaching and exhorting me. It gave me much light. This type of teaching is very precious to me, a little brother from the mountains. Many brothers here know nothing about the truth concerning the church. Although Brother Nee has passed some teachings on to us, they were general and not detailed, so I beg you, brother, for the Lord’s sake to take time out of your busy schedule to give me a letter with detailed teachings, so that we do not fall and shame the Lord’s name. Brother Nee also wanted me to attend the next conference in Shanghai on the truth of the church. I am very honored that for the Lord’s sake the brothers have not rejected one as low as me but are willing to teach and correct me!
Truly, Brother Luk, the situation of the world being as it is, what have I to be reluctant about in giving it up? The Lord is coming soon. May we faithfully serve Him in one accord according to the gift He has given us. May the Lord bless you all. Amen.
October 4, 1933
THE BEGINNING OF THE MEETINGS
IN CH’ANG-CH’UN, KIRIN PROVINCE, MANCHURIA
I received your letter. The matter of my future has already been resolved. In the latter part of August, the environment in the company did not allow me to continue working there. At the same time, I was clear in prayer that it was God’s will that I should quit my job and serve the Lord "full-time." So on August 25, I gave my resignation to the manager who came to Chefoo from Shanghai. The manager wanted me to wait until the end of September before leaving, so I agreed.
Thank God, the matter of my responsibilities toward my family has also been resolved. From now on, I do not have to bear any responsibility toward my extended family, and my extended family will not bear any responsibility for me, my wife, and my children.
The day after I gave my resignation, August 26, I received a letter from Sister Yu Su-chen. She urgently invited me to go work in Ch’ang-ch’un in Manchuria. Since I was clear about God’s will, I finished settling the affairs of my company in order to free myself for Ch’ang-ch’un. Some affairs could not be settled immediately. I promised the company I would return to Chefoo at the end of September to take care of them. I left Chefoo on September 5 and arrived in Ch’ang-ch’un on the seventh. I stayed there for eighteen days. The Lord really blessed the work there. As a result, nine brothers and sixteen sisters obeyed the Lord and were baptized. Many had been sprinkled previously in the Ch’ang-ch’un Presbyterian Church. Among these nine brothers, two were elders of the Ch’ang-ch’un Presbyterian Church; one is Mr. T’ien P’in Fang, the manager of Ch’ang-ch’un Ch’ien Yi East Company. He is already more than fifty years old. He held four positions as a board member and one as a director of the board in the Presbyterian Church. Furthermore, he was their treasurer. Now he has resigned from all of these positions! He has also turned over his responsibility as the treasurer! The other one is Mr. An K’o Pai, the elder brother of Sister An. He is in the pharmaceutical business. He has also resigned from his position as elder. Among the obeying sisters, two were female preachers in the Presbyterian Church. There were also a few brothers and sisters who were newly saved and baptized. Before I went to Ch’ang-ch’un, Sister Yu had already done some work among the sisters. At the same time, God prepared these brothers and sisters through the environment. At that time, what they (especially the brothers) needed was the light of the truth. Once they saw the light, they obeyed. The second Lord’s Day I was there, we had the table meeting in the Lord’s name. We broke bread together with them twice.
When I was in Ch’ang-ch’un, I received a letter sent from my manager in Shanghai. In the letter, he asked me to continue working until the end of the year. He also promised to come to Chefoo to make new arrangements so that the situation of the company could allow me to continue working. But I am clear that if I go back to work, it will be unbelief and unfaithfulness. Therefore, I have decided to write a letter of refusal when I get back to Chefoo.
I left Ch’ang-ch’un on September 25 and returned to Chefoo on the twenty-seventh. When I arrived home, your letter was there. After reading it, I deeply sensed God’s will in what you said in the last part. He wanted to confirm my personal subjective view with your objective view, so I boldly wrote a letter to my manager refusing his offer.
After my return to Chefoo, I returned to the company on September 28 to finish the work of transfer to my successor. Now I have made arrangements for almost everything. I can finish the matter in another three or four days.
Brother Huang Tzu Hou of Nan Su Chou sent me a letter (he is in Tientsin at the present) inviting me to Tientsin to stay for a few days. The Lord willing, I may go there to visit our brother.
The Gospel Paper has not been published yet! May the Lord bless this matter so that the paper can finally appear and enlighten some people in darkness. The trip I took to Manchuria showed me all the more the desperate need for the gospel! Where are you now? How is your health? Will there be a conference in Shanghai this year or not? Hoping this finds you at peace!
Your respectful brother,
October 10, 1933
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 25: Collection of Newsletters (1), Chapter 2, by Watchman Nee)