Run! To the Finish!
A Soldier and Servant of Christ Jesus
Brother Lee’s Own Testimony of His Life
(2006 College Graduation Meeting, age 83)
1 Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace unto me did not turn out to be in vain, but, on the contrary, I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I but the grace of God which is with me.
Rom. 9:16 So then I is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy
2 Tim. 3:10-11 But you have closely followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, long-suffering, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings, such as befell me in Antioch, in Iconium, in Lystra. Such persecutions I bore, and out of them all the Lord delivered me.
2 Tim. 3:14 But you, continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from which ones you have learned them
I must have some personal testimony here, so that you have a chance to know how I was saved, how I was called, and how I entered into the present ministry, how I came to follow this ministry, how I lived in the local church and in the Body of Christ, and how I had been perfected, after I had answered the Lord’s call to serve full-time, how I had served in various localities, until I stand here today.
The Bible verses that I’ve just read, they spoke of the Lord’s grace on one hand, and the Lord’s mercy on the other hand, and one more spoke of following the ministry just as Timothy had followed Paul. Though I might be eighty-three years old today, but I am still the Timothy to the ministry of the age-you are little Timothies, I am old Timothy, we are all Timothy, following the leading of the ministry of the current age, learning as we should. I will fellowship everything that the Lord has done on me, and has lead me, to the brothers and sisters.
I was born in Shangdong Province, grew up in Dongbei. In 1949, I was 25 years old, the political situation changed on the Mainland, for whatever reason, I had a burden within, that I have to leave. So I took the plane from Dongbei to Beiping, and then to Tsingdao, then to Shanghai from there, following the retreat all the way until I arrived in Taiwan. Back in my hometown, I was engaged (don’t know who the other one is, and never met), but I am not willing to return home, then arrived in Taiwan. I feel that this is the Lord’s calling, His leading, all the way into His recovery.
I came to Taiwan following the military, I personally have nothing, and was hospitalized due to illness (a military hospital converted from a school). Not far from my room is where they keep the recently deceased. Especially in the morning when I wake up, I see that they carry more and more of them out. I think to myself: Where would I end up? That’s when I started thinking about death. I believe that this environment was especially prepared by the Lord, though sometimes it was painful.
It was at this time, an old sister, probably well over sixty, came beside my bed to preach the gospel. I originally really opposes Christianity, I think that it is religious tool of invasion, speaking of faith love, not using politics or military, but invading us with religion. I really oppose that on principle; but that day is miraculous, my heart softened. The old sister spoke of Jesus while she sat by my bed, keep on saying how the Lord Jesus is God putting on the flesh. I did not quite understand it, but hearing the name “Lord Jesus” is like music, not at all agitating to the ear. Once she finished speaking of how the Lord Jesus was nailed on the cross, resurrected, and then said without my permission: “Mr. Lee, you need to pray and accept the Lord Jesus.” She didn’t teach me how to pray, didn’t teach that I must close my eyes, how I should place my hands, just saying: “You pray!” I did, not very loudly, called twice, “Lord Jesus!” With no special tone, in that moment, it was like my whole person has been electrocuted, I started to cry—my heart was opened, and enlightened. A huge rock feel from my heart!
I cried or close to ten minutes, I didn’t know that is being filled with the Spirit. Before this, I had insomnia every night, and had to ask the doctors for sleeping pills every time, pill after pill, there’s approximately 50 pills total. Sometimes I thought that I should just eat them all at once, and die in my sleep, might as well! But that night, my heart was truly filled with joy! It’s almost as if my Lord is right beside me, also in me, that’s how close the Lord felt. I got up before the sky got lighter the next morning, and I went to the garden behind the hospital. I didn’t know how to pray, but just as when the sun came out, I just spontaneously lifted up my face, saying: “Lord! I will follow you for the rest of my life!” It has been 57 years since I said those words. Due to the Lord’s mercy, I had followed Him for the rest of my life; though I had much weaknesses, failures, unfaithfulness, ignorance and event stumbling, but thank the Lord’s mercy, He still attracts me to this day, I still follow Him! Those words I said that morning, it is not just that I had been saved, but that I had also truly been called. The Lord called me to serve Him with my whole heart.
Life Just After Salvation
The old Sister think of me as her own son, often invited me to her home. Her husband is the pastor at the Lutheran church, when Mr. H. H. Kung was still Minister of Finance in the Mainland, he was the head of the Revenue Service of both Sichuan Province and Xikang Province; once at Taiwan, after studying theology, he became a pastor—but this sister is the deaconess of the Church in Taipei, a great sister. In her home, I often see the two of them argue, arguing over spiritual thigs. For example, the sister says: “To love people, and to love God, should not be done with man’s love, but with God’s love to love.” Her husband would say, “What about man’s love, God’s love, just love! Why be so nitpicky!” I listened from the cracks in between, but the Lord enlightens me, that I felt that these two loves are different. Gradually, I saw what the church is. Thank the Lord, a year later, I got out of the hospital, and the old sister say to me: “You can’t go elsewhere, go to Taipei. There is a meeting hall there.” I listened to her and went to meet in Taipei as soon as I got out of the hospital.
I attended Brother Witness Lee’s Conference when I first got there. That day, Brother Lee talked about “Christ’s Redemption”, and I was very touched. While I was listening, the Lord clearly said to me: “You need to follow this man!” Though it was my first time hearing him speak, thank the Lord, I accept this commitment, and the way until now. From 1952 to 1957, Brother Lee had long term training in Taipei, three months every time, twice every year. Thank the Lord, the Lord also gave me the opportunity to receive the perfecting from this multifaceted training from this portion of Brother Lee’s ministry.
In 1957, I was at Hall 6 in Taipei. By the Lord’s mercy my entire heart is the Lord’s, though I was still working, but I felt that I had pursued as much as full-timers, it is truly how attractive the Lord is. At that time, we had morning revival at 6 am, at where the Religious Center now stands. Before the sky get’s lighter, I walk approximately twenty minutes from where I work to go have morning revival. I remember that there was one time that due to being in a rush, practicing not being late, and learning to live in the spirit attentively, I put on my socks and shoes immediately after I got up and ran to the meeting hall for morning revival, on the way my feet felt weird. I checked when I got to the meeting hall, turns out that I put my socks on backwards! This is me perfecting my character, learning how to serve the Lord for the rest of my life. Back then we didn’t know how to pray-read, once I arrived, we knelt and read the Bible, book by book, such as the Gospel of John, the four Heart books has been read sentence by sentence, verse by verse, book by book. That was when I was twenty-six and has truly been attracted by the Lord.
Since I had been saved, it’s like I have completely forgotten about marriage. My wedding is served by an elder (Brother Zhen Chang), though there has been opposition, after dating for over a year, we got married. Mrs. Lee is older than me by six years, I was thirty-two when we got married, she was already thirty-nine. By outside nature, there are so many factors that don’t match; but there is one thing, we have the same will, which is to start a home for the Lord! It doesn’t matter if we have children, our marriage is for the Lord, for God’s economy. Because my military salary isn’t that high, I’m not some high military official, most of our money is for buying spiritual literature, so I didn’t even have a suit when it was time to get married. Thank the Lord, that elder lent me his suit, he said that there’s no way a groom can go without a suit. I say: “A groom is a groom, clothes don’t matter; I’m still a groom without suit!” Though in the end, I still put on that suit. The bed spread, the feast, the chairs, everything has been offered by the brothers and sisters. Back then, Taiwan was very poor, so having tables, chairs and a bed, we thank the Lord.
After getting married, we didn’t even paid attention to the question of if we’re going to have children, due to the Lord’s mercy, in four years, we had a son and a daughter. Thank the Lord, the Lord truly cared about the multifaceted needs of His followers. Now the two of us old married couple, wherever I go, she goes there too; of course, where she goes, I go there too. It’s the truth that the older we get, the more we need to be each other’s companions!
My Full-Time Service
In 1958, one day at the old wooden meeting hall, after Brother Lee stepped off the podium, it just so happens that he was in the garden, I as there too, he said this: “Daw Jiueng, come down quickly to serve full-time.” And left as soon as he finished saying that. Back then I was still in the military, it was not easy to get an honorable discharge. But the Lord said to me: “Aren’t you to be following him?” So, I prayed for this. Miraculously, two years later, probably 1962, the government changed the laws, and I successfully applied for honorable discharge.
When I attended my first co-workers meeting, that was when the church has been suffering a storm of division. I remember very clearly, in that meeting, Brother Lee’s prayer was a great sign to me. He said: “Lord, in this storm, difficult time, man all ran out; but Lord, today you have given us new blood!” This prayer, I had not forgotten to this day. I truly don’t not count for nothing, but I am a blood in the body! Let me not be of the old blood, but one of the new blood.
Once I entered the co-worker service groups, I was first at Hall Six, Hall five, then I came to Hall Two, then went to Kaohsiung, on average staying in each place for two to three years. Went to Hall Three after returning from Kaohsiung, later went to Yonghe, and then to Taipei Hall Seven from Yonghe, then to Taoyuan/Xinzhu/Miaoli district from Hall Seven, then to Lanyang region, later went to Jiayi (simultaneously supporting Tainan), then to Zhanghua. Throughout that, I probably stayed in Yonghe the longest, being over five years.
I never went to college. In 1974, I applied to attend Brother Lee’s training in America, that’s the first time I wanted to go attend a training in America, but the internal governing department declined my application. The reason is: “You want to attend this International conference, but you never graduated college, won’t you make us in Taiwan lose face?” This was a huge blow to me, but also an encouragement. Which is why I thought to myself: How do I go to college now? The Lord gave me a lead: since I can’t go to college now, then go study theological seminary! That the time I was serving in the Taoyuan/Xingzhu/Miaoli region, so I went to China Evangelical Seminary to study theology. Back then, someone from the Lord’s Recovery going to study theology is unheard of! But after such a decision, I am willing to take the way of the cross—I understand that the future fellowship and service of the Body is global, international in nature, so I went and fellowshipped with Brother Xianxi Chang, he approves, and I went to study theology.
I graduated after studying over two years of theology. From that point on, I had no problem going abroad. While I was studying in the seminary, the rest of my fellow students tested in after graduating college, I entered having to meet the same criteria. But the riches that we have here in the Lord’s Recovery is too grate, I am not worse from the rest of them. When they graduate, I graduated as well! The hardest part is the language classes (Hebrew and Greek), but in this two years and a half’s worth of time, I received much perfecting. In religious classes, I’ve learned what is religion, I’ve received much help in languages, this is all of the Lord’s sovereign arrangement.
Then everyone know I’ve finished my studies, there are rumors saying: “Daw Jiueng Lee is going to go become a pastor.” One day in a co-workers meeting, I solemnly dealt with the matter: I repented to the brothers and sisters, ripped up my graduation certification on the spot, meaning that I have no desire to go anywhere to be a pastor, I only want this qualification to go abroad. Now I encourage you to study Hebrew and Greek, because language is very needed. Thank the Lord! For his economy, I experienced these things.
Receiving Training on the God-ordained Way
Brother Lee returned on October of 1984, started to walk the new way. The church reforms were also a new lesson for me, requiring new grace, experienced death in life, life in death, truly received the perfecting of the cross on all aspects. In 1987, Brother Lee especially required all the co-workers to attend the training on the new way. What I understand within is this: not attending the New Way training, you would not walk the new way, you definitely wouldn’t train others to walk the new way—in other words, old co-workers got old, need to be retired. But when the Lord called me, it is that I would follow Brother Lee. So, once he called, I had a feeling within. I was serving at Zhanghua and Taichung at the time, I had fellowshipped with them about this before leaving and going to the training center.
From 1987 to 1988, I received over a year and a half’s worth of training at the training center, I was already sixty-two at that time. Who trains me at the training center? By the Lord’s mercy, I was trained by little young fellows. But thank the Lord, I don’t think that it is they who are training me, I believe that the Lord trains me thru Brother Lee, and I gladly accept. Once arrived we had three days’ worth of lightening door knocking training, my companions include a brother from New Zealand, a sister, and myself. The three of us approximately knocked on six hundred doors in three days, only baptized one person. At that time, I can keep up, fourth floor, fifth floor, climbing upstairs, going downstairs… I did all of that.
Soon after, the leading brothers fellowshipped with me, hoping that I can remain in the training center to assist with the training. I did two things: One, to train others, the other is to coordinate with Brother Lianzhen Xiao, he’s younger than me by five to six years. Brother Lee led the reforms in the church, many people don’t see why it’s important, especially elder brothers and sisters, who complain why this, why that? That’s why the brothers arranged for the two of us to go fellowship with them. Thus, doing this thing is truly not easy, it is a huge training for me—standing on their position is not right, standing on the position of the training is also incorrect; I truly do not know what position to take, only to take Christ’s position, having Christ as head from within. Were other people’s questions solved? I don’t know, I myself truly learned much. I know what is the eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and what is eating of the Tree of Life, good, evil, right, wrong is endless. But on the path of the Lord’s recovery, there is no problem with good or evil, but completely of the issues of God’s economy and matters of life. Thank the Lord! For training me for over two years and a half in the training center, from the circumference to the center, from fundamental levels to the highest levels, I’ve touched almost all of them—except at the time I only know that this is the new way, didn’t know that the Lord lead me this way for the future.
Being Sent to Paraguay
One day in May 1988, Brother Sui Liu came to fellowship with me (earlier, Brother Lee sent him to Paraguay to analyze the needs there). That day, he showed me some photos, saying that the weather is good there, with blue sky and white clouds, and then said that the beef there is delicious, and talked about some of the situation and needs of the churches in Paraguay. He then said: “Think about it, if you would go to Paraguay, they have much need there.” Brother Liu coming to me is after he has fellowshipped with Brother Lee. In the many years that I had been among the co-workers, I always had the attitude I had while I was in the military—taking orders. I’ve never actively picked the places that I serve, there isn’t a place where I would not go, there is also never a place that I try to go—however, going to Paraguay? I could have never imagined, this was difficult. I didn’t agree immediately, but my attitude is accepting.
Looking at all my external factors, it truly is impossible—I’m already sixty-four, my wife is seventy, already past the age of retirement. My children are all worried, they said: “Dad! Mom! You’re so old! Where are you going?” Even to the point of worrying if we might not be able to return. And that was a locale that speaks Spanish, serving them in the ministry would be especially hard. I prayed to the Lord for this for over a week, and prayed with my wife, receiving this burden together. I have the Lord’s word! The Lord sent me there! The Lord is going with me! Since we are in the ranks of this victory march, and the brothers found me, I will also receive this burden, and we left within the month. On August 13, 1988, we’ve arrived at Paraguay—I will never throw in the towel once I got there! I will go if the Lord takes me there! Death or living, I will move forward! Since I am running the race already! I packed my books in the boxes and went, for over 18 years until today.
Serving and Propagating in Paraguay
I brought several burdens going there: First, it is not that I myself went, I went in the flow of the ministry of the present age. Though the two of us old people, but there had been a little bit of work among the Chinese-speaking by the brothers, there’s three churches in the entire country, numbering approximately 150 to 160, and ninety percent are Chinese speaking. Once I got there, there was approximately half a year where no work had been done, because I am not familiar with that environment, and don’t know where to start. Praise the Lord! Thru prayer, thru fellowship, the work started in spring of 1989. My burden is to bring over as much of the riches that Brother Lee had of the ministry, and to bring people to receive perfecting in Anaheim. Since that year, I went to the biyearly training every year, bringing Chinese and Spanish-speaking saints along to attend, this will unite the work of the church and the work of the ministry. I also bring the messages back for fellowship. At that time, Brother Lee releases an average of thirty messages per conference average, I speak accordingly once I returned to Paraguay, at least twenty to twenty-five messages, because there were no video training back then, it has to be spoken. I remember that there was one brother that just entered the Lord’s Recovery, I encouraged him to attend the training in Anaheim with me, after going back, I have him to speak as well. He says: “How can I speak? I myself didn’t understand it!” I say: “You will understand it once you speak it.” Ever since he attended the training in Anaheim that year, until today, he’s never missed another training, the Lord truly gained him as a faithful good brother.
There are two aspects of the propagation of the Lord’s Recovery: The first aspect is to transmit Brother Lee’s messages thru conferences, whether Chinse or Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters, I would tell them: “Do all your can and tell all the saints you know are in various sects and denominations, bring them to this conference.” At the time there was one or two Chinese-speakers that had a college education, they come to translate for me. The other aspect, I and my wife lived in the home of a Chinese immigrant brother, he has opened his home, every Tuesday morning from 8 in the morning to noon, I take the time to speak to Spanish-speaking saints. At the time, there was about twenty to thirty Spanish-speaking saints, I also ask them to bring their friends from various organizations in Christianity, then we gain people in the home meetings. My Spanish is very horrible, but I do my best to practice, because there was no one to translate for me there. Thank the Lord! The Lord raised up a Spanish-speaking brother later, I invited him to come speak with me. In that meeting I speak in English that he would translate into Spanish. We spoke in such a conversational style, kept it up for a very long time, people came gradually. I could’ve never imagined that I can communicate with English in a Spanish-speaking country. But I just speak the word, I don’t have to worry about grammar, it’s fine if we can communicate.
It was probably starting around 1989, the meeting reached four to five hundred people; in 1997, we reached approximately seven hundred—people came because of such contact. In addition, there was another meeting every Lord’s Day afternoon, for the perfecting of the beams, pillars and leading ones, so that the testimony of the church can expand from the capital of Asuncion to the rural regions. At the time, the furthest location for propagation, is 6 hundred kilometers away from us, but it is not propagated by ourselves, but from the propagation of the saved saints of Asuncion, I feel that this ministry truly is of the flow of living water gushing out from the throne. In 1997, we feel the need for a training center, to train the young people! The Lord gave me a burden, we started to pray, started to buy land. Up until 2000, the training center is finished, and we have first semester of the training. We have bought eleven hectares of hilly land, with azure skies, green water, sounds of birds and the fragrance of flowers, there’s also a great lake underneath, we are on the mountain above, looking down on the beautiful scenery that is the lake.
After the training started, my wife and I lived in the training center, only the two of us are Chinese-speakers, all the other saints are Spanish-speakers.
We’ve lived there for three years, my wife had it rough and lonely following me. Aside from me that has received training before, all others are native grown, we have served from nothing to, other people have no way of helping, only to grow slowly. So, all the wives of full-time serving ones must prepare to suffer, the suffering of loneliness. During the day, most of my time is all spent with the trainees, because there are no other trainers. I have to perfect teachers there and need to lead the students—I am an old grandpa leading his sons and grandsons. I lead the sons in the morning, during lessons, the sons lead the grandsons, I go to class with them. I take the way of the disciples of the Lord Jesus, so I understand that shepherding is truly not easy.
There are no Chinese at the training center, the Lord has prepared one or two to translate for me, so my English improved greatly in those years. I try to give messages using English, it is truly relying on the Spirit. I rarely took care of my wife, so at time she watches the sunset on the lake, I can feel her: old people looing at the sunset, though the setting sun is beautiful, but it does not last…but thank the Lord! She truly has patience, patiently enduring the loneliness, eating Paraguay cuisine, bringing Paraguay air, drink Paraguay water, everything is of ow quality…an average person’s daily expenditure is one American dollar, the price of a bento in Taiwan, we can eat for a whole day there. Thank the Lord! What’s outside, the Lord has seen us thru!
The Training’s Perfecting in All Aspects
What is most amazing is that the trainees are mostly high school and middle school graduates, because there weren’t that many college level people at the start—it was only last year when we started two years of college classes, there were high school graduates at the most. At the training center, from first term until now, there was about a total of a hundred and fifty trainees that graduated. What other training centers have, we have most of them, but our standards might be a little lower as a result. But on matters if spirituality, we are all of one flow, our training emphasizes living in the mingled spirit—we have many rules, but we don’t keep to the dead letters, but learning to live within the spirit, living before the Lord, not merely living before men. Must have contact with the Lord in the spirit. The training emphasized that all trainees must exercise the spirit, so calling upon the Lord, praying the Lord’s word, unceasingly pray is often.
Some of the younger children are naughty, they have no direction and slack off at school, so they were heard to lead when they got to the training center. Once a week, we have two classes (four hours) of character classes, to teach them to practice how to coordinate in the spirit with the Lord. Thru such practices, they all touched the spirit one by one. When the time comes, they were like the country girl; two months later, their whole person changed, their attitude changed. One semester in our training is eight months, after it ended, they all went to college, to become seeds in college, then after graduation from two-years or four-years of college, then come to the training. This year, there are those that graduated college and come attend the training.
Such a training affected their families and the local churches, every saw their change, very different from before. Their parents all say that they would come attend the training themselves, because of the guardians don’t get trained, they wouldn’t keep up with the children. On matters of character, on matters of being a proper person, on functioning in the meetings, on the matters of enjoying the Lord’s word, this is truly moving forward. This is merely a small portion of the results. I brought the flow of this ministry over, that Spirit has been with us, which is why all the families in the local churches, their firstborn went to term one, the second child went to the second term, the third term, there were even some elementary age children mimic wearing the white shirt, black skirt, like little trainees. There is such an atmosphere: if my children didn’t attend the training, they are nothing! The parents felt that if their children can attend the training, can sere the Lord full time is too glorious, to worthwhile! Towards the flow of the ministry of the present age, the sky is brought, the road is straight over at Paraguay, all who were saved there all know how to follow the ministry, all understand that God is a God with an economy.
The saints that has received the training formed the vital groups, and then they go out door-knocking. Where the training center is, it used to be the center of the Catholic Church for the whole nation, the President would go attend Mass every year. We have built the training center at the central region of Catholicism, we call it “Training Center of the Flow of Life”. These trainees go out door-knocking, brought people to be baptized in the home meetings, slowly built up the church. Now there are churches in the countryside near the training center, though the number isn’t great, but like the church in Bethany, the Lord Jesus likes it. The trainees never imagined, that though they’ve only graduated high school, they can lead people to salvation, baptize them, and can establish churches. There are also two churches, built not by trainees but by two little brothers that only attended the short term trainings during their summer and winter vacations, they’re about third year in high school now, the two of them manage two churches, coordinated like Caleb and Joshua. Those two churches are all young people, these two high school seniors are the responsible brothers.
A Concluding Reminder
I fellowshipped so much, because I have a feeling: an old brother such as myself, can still go out at age 64 by the Lord’s mercy, this requires multifaceted perfecting and practice. One, to learn to live in the spirit, we are one in the spirit. Not by ourselves, but by the Lord; the Lord thru us, and we thru the Lord, we and He are one. Two, have experience in life, not just speaking on knowledge, must be one with Him in the spirit. On matters of enjoying the Lord, on matters of life, learn attentively before the Lord. One more, and that is to have proper character building. Between 1952 thru 1953, Brother Lee fellowshipped about the thirty character traits in Taipei and Manila, I had no chance to attend either one. But I got another brother’s notes on them, it is so precious! I go by his notes, then based on some situation I’ve experienced, written down more. I myself put these thirty character traits into an outline, and I myself practiced, I still have them with me to practice, it is very useful!
That is why young brothers and sisters must practice living in the mingled spirit, to enjoy our Lord, pray unceasingly, be filled with Him, being occupied by Him, and then experience putting their selves to death in daily living, that the living Lord may be lived out among us. In addition, to have character building, so that on coordination, on function, they can learn to move forward. I believe that however the Lord can use such an old, unworthy brother like me, the Lord can make better use of you! (October 17, 2017, penned by Shoulin, his daughter).