Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, by Witness Lee


The following is a testimony of Samuel I.L. Chang, Mrs. Nee’s brother, concerning Watchman as a businessman:


I received my college degree in the field of chemistry, and in 1938 I engaged in the pharmaceutical enterprise as an assistant to Watchman Nee’s second brother, Hwai-tsu (George). From the time Watchman Nee began to manage the enterprise late in 1939, I worked with him for about ten years, until I left the China mainland in 1949.

Due to the Japanese invasion, our factory was moved from Shanghai to Chungking. In 1943 Watchman Nee went back to Foochow. At that time he cabled me to come there. After arriving, he told me that there was a brother who needed approximately ten thousand dollars to clear his debt. I was quite puzzled at the time that he was exercising such generosity to unconditionally pay off this brother’s large debt. But this incident made me clear that he was running the business, not for his own needs, but for the needs of others.

Sometimes the Lord provided for Watchman’s needs; sometimes He did not provide. Then he would work with his own hands to supply his own needs as well as the needs of others.

As time went on, the restriction on obtaining raw materials from abroad became acute, and there was no way to develop the pharmaceutical business on a large scale. The saints still needed to be provided for, yet the income was limited. This situation forced Watchman to work at a government job in order to not become a burden to others. He worked not only in order to provide help for others but also to meet the need of his own living expenses.

After the war he returned to Shanghai with the pharmaceutical factory. He built the business on a sound foundation, and there was such blessing from the Lord that another factory, which produced dye, was added to the business. From the financial blessing of these two factories, Watchman was able to offer a large sum to the church in Shanghai for the building of the meeting hall. He was also able to maintain the training center on Mount Kuling, Foochow, with a number of living quarters.

I believe I was the only one with him from the beginning to the end of his time in business. I can bear witness that his motive was absolutely not to make himself rich. He was utterly captured by the Lord. Although he was criticized for going into business, I must testify that he did not spend the profit for his own enjoyment. The money he made was for the Lord, and he spent it in the way the Lord desired.

Because of his rich experience in the Lord, he was enabled to work with government officials in a very efficient way. All his superiors admired him. He never attempted to prove that he was superior; rather, he lived and worked in the spirit of submission and took orders from those above him. For this reason, when the war was over and the government returned to Nanking, he was offered a high position. However, because of his relationship with the Lord and his ministry with the co-workers and the churches, it was necessary to give up the government job.

(Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)