The Eldest Son Qianxun Liu
My father, Brother Runhuan Liu, was born on March 18, 1918, into a Buddhist family. When he was nine years old, he lost his father. And he received the Lord during his study in a Christian school, and then he remained in the Methodist Episcopal Church. When he was working in Chungking at the age of twenty-two, he contacted a cellist, who had just entered into the Lord’s Recovery, been saved six months ago, and had studied in Moscow. He always invited my father to attend conferences; my father was exceedingly drawn, got revived, and immediately turned to the Lord’s recovery. After his experience of the Holy Spirit being poured upon him, he determined the future of his whole life; he gave up the violincello that he loved, followed the Lord, and took the way of the Lord’s recovery.
He frequently mentioned that he had worked in the Biochemical pharmaceutical factory and was fortunate to share a large office with Brother Nee. Also during his stay in Chungking, he listened to the messages concerning The Orthodoxy of the Church released by Brother Nee and acted as a stenographer of his messages. The impression that Brother Nee left on my father was that he was an interesting person, whether in spiritual aspect or in the aspect of knowlege, possessing an all-inclusive understanding. Brother Yu-lan Chang, who was in Chungking, brought my father into weapons manufacture bureau to work. Brother Chang was my father’s superior in the bureau, expecting my father to coordinate with him to preach the gospel. Therefore during that period of time my father had more opportunity to be with brothers to come to Brother Nee for fellowship.
During the time when my father was in Shanghai, Brother Lee was serving in the Church in Shanghai as well, so my father always listened to his messages and received his help. Soon after the civil war within China became critical, my father followed the weapons manufacture bureau to Taiwan. This happened in the year of 1949. In 1951, my father married sister Xihong Yu. Later, they successively had two daughters and two sons—my elder sister (Qianli), my second elder sisiter, Qianmei, me (Qianxun), and my young brother (Qianjun). Due to scarcity of resources in the early years, after my father got married, his family lived together with Brother Xiaoliang Liu’s family, Brother Feng-lu Sun’s family, Brother Yu-lan Chang’s family, Brother Zhanxiang Liu’s family. Each family had one room, yet they shared one kitchen. Following that, my father’s family lived next door to Brother Wu-chen Chang’ house to learn how to serve from the brothers. During the day he worked in the Gospel Book Room, and in the evening, especially during Elders’ meetings, Brother Lee asked my father to carry out the written record of his messages and fellowship that my father might learn how to serve people, handle affairs, and administrate the church.
My father often said that in his whole life the greatest mercy the Lord has granted to him was to meet the two ministers—Brother Nee and Brother Lee. My father not only received help from their messages, but even more was influenced by their human conduct that in service, my father was not afraid of enduring hardship, suffering poverty, and encountering difficulties.
From 1952, he was consecutively sent to Taoyuan, to Xindian in 1959, to Banqiao in 1963, to Taoyuan in 1965, to Chungli in 1966, to return back to Banqiao in 1972, to Gangshan in 1975, to turn to Huanlien in 1977, to Yilan in 1978, to Taoyuan again in 1979, to Badei, Guishan, and Dayuan simultaneously in 1982, and to propagate in Daxi in 1985. Until the end of 1987, due to the fact that he could not walk because of his leg injury, he had to go back home to recuperate, so he returned to serve in Banqiao again.
My father was not a man gifted in word. He always said that he had no gifts. But concerning the administration of the church, he had always been carrying out the practices one by one according to the teachings and the books of the two ministers in every locality. In the aspect of the work he constantly did it quietly and diligently on a small scale; he did not manifest himself but he did the work in a very solid way, especially in perfecting people one by one. I had not felt this point until my father was at home in his old age. Many saints, whom my father had served, caring nothing about the long distance of their journey to visit my father, said how my father led them to salvation, how he helped them to love the Lord, and how he influenced their whole life. Even more, there were some saints, who shedded tears as soon as they saw my father; as soon as they prayed, they wept; they seized my father’s hand, unwilling to bid farewell to him. Although some saints have become elderly, living abroad for a long time, they still charged their children that as their children returned to Taiwan, they should surely give regards to old Brother Liu.
At that very moment I felt that my father was really marvelous and glorious; he gave his whole life to his beloved Lord and the Church, and was spent on behalf of the saints one by one. I can recall what he had ever written on the notebook: he hoped to be a person, giving up his life for the church and suffering afflictions for the Body of Christ that he might practice in reality the filling up on his part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ. He said how worthwhile it is.
After Brother Lee was taken by the Lord, he felt even more responsibility to sort out the previous messages recorded in shorthand yet unpublished. Henceforth every day he copied the messages word by word at his desk, and he had been laboring like this for a number of years.
One early morning in 2004, he fell down and broke his leg. From then on, he had difficulty in getting around. Since then my father’s memory became worse and worse with the decline of his body year after year. Later, he could not yet remember many things, including the names of his children and grandchildren. However, when we mentioned his service in the early days and the brothers before him, he said: “I remember! I remember!”
One day in 2007, I accompanied him to have a walk and called on the Lord Jesus with him. I asked him: Now what is the thing that you hope to do most or desire to do most? He answered without a second thought: “The Lord’s coming back.” This word deeply touched my heart. At this very time, he was really an Israel with maturity in life. By the end of the same year, because his lumbar vertebrae got injured due to the stress fractures, he just had to stay in bed. It was beyond our expectation that ten days later he was taken to National Taiwan University Hospital to receive an emergency treatment because of having a high fever. After another ten days, that is, on the evening of January 8, 2008, he rested in the Lord.
My father had been pure and sincere all his life. He personally said to me that he did not love money, and in his whole life he just lived by faith and had a conscience without offense toward God and men. He had ever charged us as well that we should not conduct the memorial meeting for him, because he could not be greater than the Lord; it was enough that his family would have a gathering for him. I can still remember that from my childhood the hymn: “Let me love and not be requited. / Let me serve and not be rewarded…With my blood and tears pay the price to gain the crown, / Suffer loss that I might a pilgrim’s life live out” composed by Brother Nee had been hung on the wall in Brother Runhuan Liu’s home. This is what he had committed to in his life. Not merely his dealing with the saints, but even his dealing with his own immediate family members made them feel sweet, refreshing, and forebearing. Although he was from a humble origin, and did not have any outward enjoyment and splendor in his life, he lived a noble and glorious life, flowing out the Lord’s life. I thank God that He has granted my father such a good old age. I thank God even more that He has granted me such a father who is mature in life.