THE TRANSFER OF THE MINISTRY IN THE LORD’S RECOVERY AND THE BEGINNING OF THE WORK IN TAIWAN
After I arrived in Taiwan, outside the house I heard the noise of wooden shoes on the gravel road, and inside the house I saw a room with Japanese tatami. At that time there were at most fifty people meeting in Taipei, and there was not much for me to do. I lay in bed in my home looking at the ceiling, saying, “What did I come to Taiwan for?” That was in April. Later I took a trip to the central and southern parts of Taiwan. The Lord gave me a sense that something could be done in Taiwan and that it was a very good place in which it was easy to set up local churches, because in one day I could go to three or four places and the transportation was very convenient. Therefore, on August 1, 1949, I officially began the work in Taiwan.
The next year Brother Nee went to Hong Kong. In the beginning of the year a revival was brought in, so he asked me to go to Hong Kong to help him lead the whole church in Hong Kong in three aspects of service: the service of the co-workers, the service of the elders, and the service of the deacons. For a period of one and a half months the two of us were there, and nearly every day we met with each group. From the end of 1949, for two years the church in Shanghai enjoyed complete freedom. Brother Nee had never before had such a great opportunity to release what he had received of the Lord, because at that time all the Western missionaries had left. At that time ninety percent of Chinese Christianity was in the hands of the Western missionaries, so after they left, the different denominations in Shanghai were like flocks without shepherds, and anyone who had a little desire to pursue the Lord turned to us. Brother Nee considered that a golden opportunity. In 1962 or 1963 Brother Nee’s brother-in-law Samuel Chang told me, “Brother Lee, in 1950, before Brother Nee left for Hong Kong to hold a conference there, the co-workers in Shanghai talked about transferring you out of Taiwan, since there was not much to be done in Taiwan. They wanted you to return to Shanghai, where there was too much work to be done. As far as Christianity was concerned, the entire Shanghai was in our hands.”
Brother Nee was very wise; he seldom did things or said things in a rush or in a headstrong way but always tried to see how God would lead and arrange in the environment. Therefore, when I arrived in Hong Kong, he did not mention this thing to me. As we sat down to talk, spontaneously I told him about the situation of the work in Taiwan in that half year or more. I told him that up to the end of the preceding year the number in the church in Taipei had increased thirty times. In my speaking I also showed that I was very burdened, saying that from there we could go to work in Southeast Asia, and then go on to East Asia, and gradually we could go on to the West. After hearing me speak concerning the situation in Taiwan, he not only did not bring up the matter decided by the co-workers in mainland China about transferring me back to the mainland, but he also encouraged me to do a good job. We talked about going back to mainland China. I said, “This is too great a matter; I don’t dare to say that either going back or not going back is the Lord’s will.” He said, “What shall we do with the few hundred churches?” After a few days, without saying goodbye to anyone, he went back to mainland China. More than ten days later, after he left Hong Kong I also returned to Taiwan.
When I went to Taiwan, I had a family of ten with two domestic helpers. A total of twelve went to Taiwan. When I got off the plane, I had three hundred U.S. dollars with me. Brother Nee fully realized the situation among us, and he knew that when I arrived in Taiwan it would be difficult for me to receive support. At that time there were only a handful of saints in Taiwan, and most of them went there to take refuge, so they did not have much to spare to support others. Brother Nee truly loved the co-workers; he said, “Brother Witness, here I have a bottle of medicine as a sample, and I also have the formula. Take these two things back to Taiwan. Gather some brothers who are engaging in business and ask them to make a small investment and do a little advertising. That would be enough.” So I went back to Taiwan and fellowshipped with the brothers, but everyone felt that it was not the proper time, so we did not do it.
(The High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)