RENTING PREMISES FOR THE MEETING
After we had been holding meetings for about a month, some young brothers among us felt that we should have a proper place to meet in the future. But since we were short of money, it was beyond our means to do so. I went to school to talk the matter over with several brothers, that is, with brothers Faithful Luke, Simon Meek, and Wang Tze, and we agreed that we should continue our work among the students. Then for the first time I rented some premises, a place owned by a family named Ho, all the members of which had been saved. They agreed to rent the place to me for a monthly amount of only nine dollars. I then prayed with several brothers, asking God to supply the three months’ rent which was needed in advance before we could move in.
Every Saturday I went to Ma-kiang, Fukien, to listen to Miss Margaret Barber’s preaching. This time when I saw her, she said, "Here is twenty-seven dollars, which a friend asked me to give you for your work." This sum was exactly sufficient for three months’ rent at nine dollars per month—not too much and not too little. On my return, without hesitation, I paid the three months’ rent in advance. Later, we prayed again, and the Lord provided again. This was the beginning of the work in Foochow.
THE REVIVAL OF MANY BELIEVERS
I have never seen a revival greater than this one. At that time, there were people being saved every day. It looked as if anyone who contacted us would immediately be saved. Every morning at five o’clock, when I arrived at school, I saw people everywhere reading the Bible. There were more than one hundred of them. Before this time, reading novels had been very fashionable. But now those who wanted to read novels could only do so secretly. Instead, Bible-reading became an honorable thing to do. There were eight classes in our school, each with a prefect and a deputy prefect. It was amazing to see that the prefect of practically every class had been saved. Even all the famous athletes had been saved. Our headmaster admired us for everything we did. The only thing he lamented was our attitude towards the Anglican Church. The headmaster was a member of the Anglican Church, but we refused to belong to that denomination.
More than sixty people daily marched in procession carrying banners, and a few dozen also went around daily distributing tracts. The whole city of Foochow with about a hundred thousand people was shaken.
Many brothers were saved and immediately baptized. At this time, we began to meet according to the Scriptures. This was the way the meeting in Foochow started. Later the number of believers increased, and the work in the villages also began.
COMING TO NANKING THE FIRST TIME
In 1924 I went to Hangchow to do some work, and I met Brother Chang Gwan-rung. At that time something happened in Foochow. Some of the co-workers had different views concerning the truth of the church. In order to avert a split, I left Foochow and settled temporarily in Mawei. (Although in recent years, Brother Leland Wang and I have taken different ways, the oneness we had at the beginning cannot be erased!) I felt that I should engage myself in some special work, and I also went to Nanking to help in the publishing of the Morning Light Magazine.
In November of 1924, because of a call, I went to visit Southeast Asia where meetings were also started. In May 1925 I returned with the aim of settling down and rented premises in Pagoda, Foochow.
PUBLISHING THE CHRISTIAN
Publication of The Present Testimony began in January 1923. It was published at irregular intervals and was discontinued in 1925. While I was staying in Lo-hsing Pagoda, I felt the need to issue a regular publication which would give more emphasis to the truths of salvation and the church and deal as well with prophecies and types. I intended this magazine (called The Christian) to be temporary in nature. In 1925 two issues were published; in 1926 ten issues were published; and in 1927 another twelve issues were published.
THE BEGINNING OF THE MEETINGS IN THE AMOY AREA
In the first half of 1926, I visited Amoy, Kulangsu, Changchow, and Tungan to bear testimony, and many people were saved. In the second half of the year, I went back to these places. This time I was very tired as I had to conduct meetings, write articles, and take care of correspondence as well. I was already slightly indisposed. Originally, I was scheduled to have ten days of meetings, but on the ninth day I fell ill. Later Brother Wang Lien-chun came and resumed the work for a few more days. In the second half of 1926, not at the beginning of 1928, the work in the south of Fukien started, with meetings in Amoy, Tungan, and the neighboring districts.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 18: Notes on Scriptural Messages (2), Chapter 8, by Watchman Nee)