THE TRAINING IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE SPREADING IN DIFFERENT PLACES SINCE 1989
In 1989, after I finished the work on the Chinese Recovery Version of the New Testament, I came back to the United States. Since then I have been very clear that I must reserve all my being, all my energy, and all my time for the United States. However, the work in the United States cannot depend solely on the training in the United States; it needs to be matched by the training in Taiwan. Therefore, when I left Taiwan, I did not move the entire training to the United States. I told the brothers that the training is of two sides: one is the English-speaking side to be carried out in the United States, and the other is the Chinese-speaking side to be carried out in Taiwan. Thank the Lord, the brothers in Taiwan accepted the arrangement very well, and the Lord has blessed this. In the last five years the training in Taiwan has been very successful.
After my return to the United States in 1989, I began to hold the training in the United States. Just after two years, in the spring of 1991, there was a speaking within me, saying, “Now is the time to go to Russia. Russia has a population of four hundred million and is now fully opened after seventy years under the control of the Communist Party. It is such a vast land, so why not go there?” Hence, at the end of March in that year, after the war in the Persian Gulf was ended, I immediately fellowshipped with the co-workers in the United States that we should go to Russia. They all agreed. Therefore, after the Memorial Day weekend conference in the same year, we formally decided to go to Russia. At that time the training here had been going on for more than two years. This meant that some had received two years of training and therefore could be used. But some restrictions were imposed on the ones who were to be sent, and one of the restrictions was that they must be Caucasian Americans. In October we sent out eighty or ninety to Russia. The Lord has truly confirmed this move—our full-timers were welcomed wherever they went, and the spreading was very successful; up to the present time, we have distributed six million copies of books free of charge which have reached many cities in Russia.
We have to know that in the past centuries the international affairs on this earth were mainly directed by the Europeans and Americans. Since 47 B.C., about two thousand years ago, when Julius Caesar brought the Roman Empire to the Holy Land, the prevailing situation of the world has been in the hands of the Europeans. After the discovery of the new continent, the United States was gradually raised up. During World War I, the strength of the United States rose above the European nations. Hence, World War I was settled by the strength of the United States, and it was even more so with World War II. In speaking these things I hope to make you aware that the world situation has very much to do with the Lord’s recovery. The Lord’s recovery will spread to the whole earth through Europe and the United States.
Brother Nee once told me that Europe and America were the two places in the world with the highest and most prevailing culture, yet in these two places Christianity has been divided again and again; first the Roman Catholic Church came out, then the Greek Orthodox Church, and then the Protestant churches. The division went on continually until the Lord’s church became completely deformed. Since the Lord had no way to go on in Europe and America, He went to China in 1920 in the beginning of the twentieth century. Brother Nee said that at that time China served as virgin soil to the Lord’s recovery. The Lord went to China because He had no way to move in Europe and America. At that time China became the nursery in the Lord’s recovery. However, China was unable to spread the Lord’s recovery to the whole world for various reasons, one of which was the language problem. Brother Nee knew early on that the Lord’s recovery had to come to the West, especially to the English-speaking world.
The Lord raised up a small recovery on the virgin soil of China, but the general situation of the world kept changing. After the drastic change in the situation of China, I went to Taiwan, and Brother Nee was put in prison. It was under Brother Nee’s sending that I went to Taiwan. When I first arrived in Taiwan, I was fully disappointed. I asked myself, “What am I doing here?” And yet the Lord was able to accomplish something in an environment with seemingly no prospect of work. The speediest spreading of the Lord’s recovery occurred in those years in Taiwan. At the beginning there were at the most 350 to 500 people, and in less than five years the number reached 50,000. Then after a little over ten years, some brothers in Taiwan rose up in rebellion. That rebellion took away from me the sweet feeling I had towards the work in Taiwan. Hence, I had the direction within me to come to the United States. I first passed through the United States in 1958 while I was on my way mainly to the United Kingdom and Denmark in response to some invitations. After another two years, in 1960, I revisited the United States; that visit left a deeper impression on me. In 1961 I made the third visit and stayed for one year without doing any work in particular. Then by the end of 1962, I became clear that the Lord definitely wanted me to be in the United States to formally start the work. Thus, the literature of the Lord’s recovery was quickly brought into the English language. Within a short span of thirty years, the Lord’s recovery has spread throughout the six continents with over 1,200 churches.
(A General Outline of God's Economy and the Proper Living of a God-Man, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)