A Witness Like a Cloud Surrounding Us
Brother Zhaorong Chen
In the Church in Gangshan town
“Therefore, let us also, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race which is set before us。”—Heb. 12:1.
In 1957, when Brother Runhuan Liu, the Lord’s servant, came to serve in Gangshan, I was just a young man with the age of twenty-six. Although I grew up in the children’s meetings, attended many meetings and trainings, and served in coordination in the church, I still possess a superficial knowledge concerning Christ and the Church. Therefore, I was zealous, but my service was always of myself. It was not until Brother Liu came to Gangshan that I obtained a full knowledge concerning the administration of the church through his teaching and help. Although Brother Liu served in Gangshan for just two years (from 1975 to 1977), he perfected many brothers who had a heart to serve. This brought a long-term blessing to Gangshan. As far as I am concerned, even more, Brother Liu opened a new landmark in the spiritual aspect for me, laid a spiritual model of service for me, and made me see a pattern of administrating the church. This helped me to still serve in the church until today.
When I carefully considered beloved Brother Liu, the Lord’s servant, he truly possessed a good character of the Lord’s worker. He was stable and deep. During his stay in Gangshan for two years, I always saw that he was neither fast nor slow, quiet and stable, and handled affairs in good order. He did things strictly and seriously. Every time when there were meetings or trainings, he would called the attending saints to charge them that they should be serious and strived to enter into the messages. He himself even took lead in being a pattern. He would come to every meeting in advance and seriously prepared the messages for every meeting. Brother Liu left us a deep impression that only when we live the church life and pursue the Lord seriously can we have the progress. Although he was such a serious worker, he was not strict toward the saints. Instead, he was full of the tolerance in life. Moreover, he labored diligently. Although he could not ride a bike, he always walked on foot to visit saints that many families might be strengthened.
Even more, Brother Liu was a man of prayer. Every afternoon He would have a customary prayer at 3:00 p.m. In the service fellowship for the elders and core brothers every Saturday afternoon, he also first led the brothers to pray together to present the conditions of both the church and saints before the Lord one by one. Therefore, they used more half of the time in that service fellowship to pray. No matter what kind of situation he encountered, regardless of the place, people and things, his first response was to pray to the Lord. I remembered that after the conclusion of one Lord’s table meeting, we got the information that a young sister in the sisters’ house contracted the peritonitis and was in danger; at that very time, Brother Liu led the saints to kneel down to pray to the Lord desperately. Eventually, this sister got cured (at that time, peritonitis was the most serious disease). This matter showed me that Brother Liu’s service was truly joined to the Lord, trusted in the Lord, and was of the Lord. He, who was even as Moses, always brought God’s people to Him and borne and embraced the saints in God’s love.
In Brother Liu’s perfecting of the saints in Gangshan, I saw that he truly embraced the saints in prayers, and he also was the one constituted with the truth. To the congregation in general, he would first drew up a general outline for a year, then drafted the general subject for each month according to the general outline; then according to the general subject he drafted the topic that would be released every Lord’s Day, and led the saints to enter into and experience the truth. I found Brother Liu’s personal letters at that time and just shared about a few of them. The general subject in April of 1976 was that before experiencing Christ as good land, every saint needs to have four points of basic enjoyment of Him. The topic of each week in that very month was respectively that enjoying Christ as the lamb, enjoying Christ as the unleavened bread, enjoying Christ as Manna, and enjoying Christ as the living water. In addition, Brother Liu gave the questions as examination to those saints who had a heart to serve. To those saints who had a heart for the Lord, Brother Liu would arrange them to enter into the deacon’s office first to watch for the church and guard the meeting hall. In addition to accompanying the saints to pray, every month Brother Liu would put forward a topic for the saints partaking of the service in the deacon’s office to answer and let them write what they had learned. Besides perfecting the saints to enter into the Lord’s word, Brother Liu also observed everyone’s spiritual condition. This would become a basis for his leading on one hand, and even more, on the other hand, he could pray for those saints who had a heart to serve.
In addition, Brother Liu was very faithful in following the leadership of the ministry. At that time Brother Lee began to release the Life-study messages, Brother Liu then immediately followed closely. On the one hand, Brother Liu would release the Life-study messages on the Lord’s Day. In the first half of the meeting, he would perfect the young saints to coordinate to have some sharings, and in the second half part he would make an exact and penetrating conclusion. Brother Liu’s word was often with power, supply, and the anointing. On the other hand, he would employ all kinds of opportunities to enter into the pursuit of Life-study messages. The deepest impression that he left on me was that once we went to Tainan Park for an outing, Brother Liu found a pavilion and then led the saints to read the Life-study of Revelation. As a result of Brother Liu’s leading us so faithfully to enter into the word of the ministry, I could still slightly understand the Bible, even some deep and profound signs in the book of Revelation, although at that time the Holy Bible of Recovery version had not been printed yet. Brother Liu’s help had laid a good foundation of truth for me and made me properly realize God’s New Testament economy in the future.
When I remembered my dear Uncle Liu, my beloved Brother Liu as well, a great deal of gratitude sprang up from within my heart. The pattern that Brother Liu had lived out truly became my leading, which was just like a cloud that led God’s chosen people to enter into God’s presence. When Brother Liu was serving in Gangshan, his age was just the same as my current age. At that time, He had been constituted with the Lord and full of spiritual weight. Therefore, on the one hand I also felt ashamed that as to me today, I still had a lot of shortness and felt inferior in comparison to Brother Liu at the time when he was in Gangshan. Brother Liu’s good testimony encouraged and reminded me that I should put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles me and run with endurance the race which is set before me.