RECENT NEWS FROM TSOU COUNTY,
Praise the Lord! We are still standing here because of Him and His grace.
Currently, there are five places where we are working. Two places are in the city; one is the west gate and the other is the prison and guardhouse. There are three places in the country; one is at Tung T’an Tien, the second is at Sha Ho Tou, and the third is at Nan T’un. The brothers and I travel around for our work every week. On Mondays we preach the gospel at the prison and guardhouse. On Fridays we have a Bible study with the believers in prison. On Thursdays we have a prayer meeting at the West Gate. On Tuesdays we meet in Nan T’un and on Wednesdays in Tung T’an Tien. On Saturdays we work in three places in Sha Ho Tou. On the Lord’s Day morning we preach the gospel at the West Gate and have the table in the afternoon. There is only one table meeting in Tsou County at present, and the numbers are not great.
In the Tsou County prison there are already about twenty-five people who have confessed the Lord Jesus as their Savior and have definitely believed in the Lord. We still do not have the assurance that these ones are reliable, but there are a few among them who are quite good. There is a Mr. Wang Ch’uan Ch’in, who was suspected of robbery. He was sentenced to five years in prison. He was interrogated by both the military and civil courts, but he never confessed to the crime. One day he heard the gospel and was the first to stand up and confess that he was a sinner and that the Lord Jesus was the Savior. It appears that this one is especially good.
Because of the results of our prison work, the guards have allowed us to enter into solitary confinement to preach the gospel to the people there. This has happened only recently. There are usually about seventy people in solitary confinement.
The work which I spoke of before where we rotate day by day is our usual method. However, it is now the Chinese new year, and the people in the country have more free time, so we stay longer at every place and do a special gospel work in each one. Yesterday, we started in Nan T’un. If the Lord is willing, perhaps (soon) we will start another gospel preaching place in Chia Chuang Ts’un in Shi Nan Hsiang of Tsou County. We work in places where the denominations have not set foot. Our habit of keeping away from the denominations in our work has caused some brothers in the denominations to complain to us, "You are going on another good road, but you do not bring us along this better road." The people who said this were ones we had brought to the Lord in the beginning and then placed in the denominations. (At that time we were also in the denominations.) These ones are still friendly with us. This is why they complain in this warm way.
The co-working brothers are all well at present. They do not have any great hardships. However, there is a problem in my house that makes it less convenient for me and has made the brothers worry. My wife has been sick for almost fifty days now, and her condition is serious. It still has not begun to improve. It is so serious that my daughter cannot go to school in Yen Chou. I cannot spend the night out and work with the brothers. Please pray for this. I ask that the Lord give you peace.
In the Lord,
Liu Tien Min for the co-working brothers
February 17, 1934
A LETTER FROM YI LIN, KIANGSU PROVINCE
Peace to Brothers Nee and Chang:
Thank the Lord! He has blessed us with a peaceful meeting and has kept us from being scattered, and we also are grateful for your love and prayers! May the riches of God fill you. Amen.
In the last Overcomer Conference the enemy did his best work and caused some brothers to suffer. The details are as follows:
At 9:00 p.m. on the third, twenty brothers from northern Kiangsu went home by two routes. Brother Chiu Jih Chien and seven others took the Ta Ch’in steamer north. I (Wu Wei), my son (named Huei), and Brothers Lan Chih Yi and Hsia Chieh Shan took the evening express to our town. The rest of the brothers, Brother Ma Yun Ho and the other eight took the local. We set out on the same day, but on the way we experienced different things. The express that the brothers and I took was two hours late and arrived in Chen-chiang at 7:00. The small steamer on the river from Chen-chiang had missed a trip and did not leave until a little after 7:00. Thank the Lord! He never fails. The Lord is the Overcomer. When we arrived in Tai Shan, the boat to Yi Lin had stopped running for several days because the river was frozen over, but it began running again on that day. Thank the Lord! "He will prepare." This really confirmed our faith quite a bit! We arrived home safely after five days.
The most marvelous thing was the train carrying Brother Ma Yun Ho and the other eight brothers went off the track at a cattle crossing. Fortunately, no one was hurt. It took one day to repair the tracks, and on the fifth they arrived at Chen-chiang to take the Ch’ing Chiang steamer to Huai An. When the tracks came to Shao Po, they were attacked by robbers and lost some money. Thank the Lord! Although they were frightened outwardly, their faith was not decreased by it, and they arrived home safely on the sixth. In their letter they said, "The trip home was really full of hardships and a frightening ambush. But thanks be to our Lord, in the middle of the hardships we were full of peace and joy." This really comforted our hearts. The Lord is the overcomer! Brothers Chiu Jih Chien and the seven with him also arrived home safely with only a one-day delay. However, the brothers who left the day before we did, Lee Kuan Hua, Ts’ai Yun Hsien, and Tsou Ts’ai Kao met with difficulties on the Chiang Ch’ing steamer: "Brother Lee Kuan Hua’s face was injured and Brothers Ts’ai and Tsou were arrested and taken to Chiang Yin jail for suspicion of crime." The facts of the matter have already been printed in the newspaper. I will explain the details after they return home. May the Lord bless them and allow them to come home peacefully as we did. May they tell a "story of salvation" to give the glory to God that we may know that all things work together for good to those who love God and learn the truth. May the Lord give us revelation so that we will understand God Himself, that our days on the earth can prove His victory and can be spent fighting for Him while awaiting His coming. Amen. This letter is brief, and I am pressed for time. I must say good-by. May the Lord be with you always! Greet all the brothers in Shanghai!
February 11, 1934
P.S. Brother Hsien Chih also greets you. He also says that he was blessed with God’s leading and arrived safely home with no problems on the way. Please do not worry.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 25: Collection of Newsletters (1), Chapter 4, by Watchman Nee)