THE NEWS CONCERNING THE MEETING
IN YU NI, TUNG AN, FUKIEN PROVINCE
To the brothers and sisters who love the Lord faithfully in every place:
Despite the fact that the world is dark and the church is degraded, thank the Lord that He has chosen and called His children in every place to rise up and testify for the truth. We should praise Him.
Brothers and sisters, since we have received the Lord’s love and His light, should we not be in fear and trembling as we carry out the Lord’s commission? May the Lord keep us and lead us so that from now on we will serve Him more faithfully and give all glory to His holy name. Amen.
I am sure that all the brothers and sisters care for the condition of the church here. For this reason I am constrained to tell you something of our condition and experience. May we thank and praise God together.
According to the brothers here, our meeting began in the winter of 1928. Brothers Faithful Luk, Wang Teng Ming, and Ch’i Wen Yu came to preach the gospel. Later, it became a place known for the preaching of the gospel. In 1930 and 1931, Brother Ts’ai Chih Ch’ung and I came a few times to preach the gospel. At that time, I had only started to work for the Lord and had not yet received the light concerning the truth of the church. So I did not have the faith to be responsible for the work here. Therefore, I went to Southeast Asia to testify for the Lord’s gospel. Later (in the winter of 1931), I was led by the Lord to return from Southeast Asia and attend the second conference in Shanghai. Thank the Lord, I received the truth concerning the church at that conference. Therefore, I began to bear the responsibility for the work here. Although there were people saved at the time, there was not a table meeting yet because there were many barriers. If I remember correctly, it was in the fall of 1932 that the Lord Himself began to work. A few brothers began to feel the need of a table meeting. We began to have a table meeting every Lord’s Day. (Before, there had been a few times when two or three had met to break bread.) There were only a few people then (about six or seven). Now more than twenty people have been baptized, and twenty-one break bread together: nine brothers and twelve sisters. (Some heard the gospel and were saved, and some came out of the denominations.) There are more than seventy who come to hear the Word but do not break bread yet. We have three meetings on the Lord’s Day. There is a gospel meeting in the morning. There is an edifying meeting in the afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00, and after 3:00, there is a table meeting to remember the Lord. Every Thursday afternoon, there is a prayer and Bible study meeting. There are more than twenty people in that meeting. With the exception of the gospel meeting, the edifying meeting, and the Bible study, which are led by the co-workers, the other meetings are according to the principle in 1 Corinthians 14.
Most of the brothers here are farmers. Some have never been to school. Thank the Lord, they can now read the Bible and Notes on Scriptural Messages. Although some of them have to bear much burden, they are very happy in their hearts and spirits. I cannot refrain from praising the Lord when I see their condition.
Two young brothers have been raised up by the Lord to prepare to work full-time in the Lord’s holy work.
Most of the brothers are young. They care for the affairs of the church very much. Presently, there is a possibility that they will bear the responsibility themselves. Therefore, I feel that I should now leave this place and move on to fight the Lord’s battle on the front line. May the brothers and sisters who love the Lord pray much for the work here and ask the Lord to keep the saints and lead them into the deeper truths, so they can glorify the Lord’s name. Amen.
Brothers and sisters, I now have an important request --when you pray, remember this poor dark region of western Fukien. There is a total of several hundred thousand people in western Fukien who have never had the opportunity to hear the gospel of our precious Lord.
With regard to this matter, I have felt this burden for quite some time. However, in the past, because so many things were happening and because it was my period of training in service to the Lord, the Lord did not open the way to fulfill this burden. Now I feel that the time has come. If the Lord is willing, perhaps between the next two Lord’s Days, I plan to go to Lung Yen in western Fukien to pioneer the Lord’s work. In the near future, perhaps another brother will be willing to go with me. In that region, there are perishing lambs throughout the wilderness, waiting for people to seek them out. The work of the devil has been increasing daily since the Communist revolution. Therefore, the people in that region are suffering in heart and body. One can imagine the harsh environment they are under. It will be hard to capture the hearts of those in the devil’s territory unless we have the Lord’s power. For this reason, I deeply hope that the brothers and sisters who love the Lord faithfully in each locality will sympathize with the inward parts of the Lord Jesus more and pray earnestly night and day to labor with me.
There are about one hundred fifteen thousand people in Lung Yen. None of them have heard the Lord’s gospel. Although there are two denominations in Lung Yen, there are less than two hundred people who go to them to listen to the Word. When I see such a condition, my heart aches.
According to the flesh, Lung Yen is my ancestral home. In the winter of last year, I went to preach the gospel once with my brother. I went again to the marketplace by myself to preach the gospel over the Chinese New Year. I had more than thirty opportunities to preach the gospel. Praise the Lord, His blessing was with me. Sinners were saved, and the believers became more desirous of the Word. We witnessed some results through these meetings. Now the believers there have a heart for the truth. I feel that at this time, I should do some edifying work among them; if not, I am afraid I will be helping the work of the denominations.
However, the voice of opposition has been raised through the presentation of the truth of the church and baptism. Recently, a Western man (a so-called pastor) wanted the believers to join the denomination. Because I had already preached something concerning baptism, many people were affected. Therefore, this Western man and a few others said that I was welcome to help them to be zealous, but I could not preach about the matters of baptism, etc. If I continued to preach, they would turn against me. This Western pastor used to be a friend of mine, but recently because I have been walking a different way, he began to dislike me. Brothers and sisters, at the beginning I was almost trapped by friendship. Thank the Lord, while the Spirit and my lusts were warring, I read what Paul said to the churches in Galatia: "For am I now trying to win the assent of men or of God? Or am I seeking to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a slave of Christ" (Gal. 1:10). Brothers and sisters, this verse was the strongest help to me to leave the error of tradition, to obey the Lord, and to take the God-ordained way with you.
Brothers and sisters, I not only ask you to care for the pioneering work and to pray, but even more I ask you to pray for me, your weak brother, that I would have the utterance to boldly speak the mysteries of the gospel according to the ministry entrusted to me. Peace in the Lord.
Teng Chih Ch’eng
June 15, 1934
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 25: Collection of Newsletters (1), Chapter 9, by Watchman Nee)