Chapter 1: My Family Background
Joshua 24:15b But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.
I am from Yuxi town, Fuqing county, of Fujian Province, my family is in Qianting village. There’s rice fields all around the village. A little stream behind the village, the gurgling water flows east; not far from the front of the village is a small hill, there used to be many green pine trees, but now they all got chopped down.
My grandfather is a Scholar of the Qing Dynasty (passed the County level imperial examination), full of learning, has much wealth in his home. He married several wives and concubines, but only has one boy, who was got gravely sick at the age of thirteen. My grandfather spent a lot of money to beg all the gods in Yuxi to protect him, but his only son still died in the end. My grandfather has a younger brother, who passed away at the age of thirty, leaving three sons and two daughters; thus, my father got passed to grandfather’s household to be heir. At that time, our household is still a family that worship idols.
My father Shaoliang Lin, courtesy name Xianggen, was born in 1898. After he grew up, he went to study in a church school in Longtian, got to know my mother Shu-er Yu. My mother is the daughter of a Methodist pastor. After father married her, he not only became Christian, but due to my maternal grandfather’s recommendation, served as the preacher in the Methodist church for two terms. The first term being at Xiashi chapel in Dongzhang town. At that time, though I was born, but have no memory due to being too young. The second term being in Mahu chapel in Longtian, when I was already six so have some memory of that. At that time father really hasn’t clearly received the life of Christ, only relying on mother’s biblical knowledge for help in preaching. Later, an American missionary in the Methodist church saw that my Father is very smart, and capable, then recommended him to go study in Nanjing’s Union Theological Seminary. Unfortunately, not soon after father went to study in the seminary, he studied away even the little faith he had while being merely a preacher. He came back before graduating from seminary and completely left the church, got mixed up with some of the gentry and picked up all sorts of bad habits. Mother also gradually left the Lord, our family fallen to a dark and pitiful place. At that time, I and several younger brothers and sisters have no concept of God. Until the latter half of 1933, one of my 4-year-old younger brother died from pneumonia, father felt the hit, then felt that he’s sinned, that God is disciplining him with my younger brother’s death, and if he doesn’t repent, there would probably be worse disasters in our family. Since then, he and mother started to pray, and started to take us children to Methodist church. Father also went to the True Jesus Church and the Catholic chapel to search for God. Too bad back then the spiritual situation were all very lacking in the Methodist church and other Christian sects, without the truth and life supply. So although father wants to return to the presence of God, but he is powerless over the chains of sin.
Thank God! In 1934, Brother Zhongxing Lu and Luosan Chen in the Local Church passed by Yuxi, they were passing out tracts and preaching the gospel on the street during daytime, and meeting in Brother Weizhi Lin’s clinic in the evening. In the first evening, mother was invited to go listen, the Holy Spirit worked in her heart, touched her to truly repent and turn to the Lord. When mother returned, she confessed her sins to the whole family, father was amazed. The next evening father was also invited to listen to the gospel, he also thoroughly repented and confessed his sins. After they were born-again, they have a drastic change, thru the power of the Holy Spirit, not only they left many sins, and became very zealous, in preaching the gospel and bring up others to the Lord. In the first month of 1935, father attended the conference in Hanjiang, got baptized there. After returning, he coordinated with Brother Weizhi Lin, baptized other new believers, and started the Lord’s Table meeting in Yuxi. This is the earliest established Lord’s Table in the entire county of Fuxing. In November 1935, father attended Brother Watchman Nee’s overcomer meeting in Quanzhou, and got perfected with the truth. In the decades after, under his effective leading and promoting, churches were established in places like Dongzhang, Chengguan, Longtian, Andou, Yuyao. At the time, he was the most forefront leading brother in the churches in Fuxing, everyone respected him very much.
Father has always respected Brother Nee. In 1949, he also attended the second Kuling training. He’s had much fellowship with the previous generation of brothers in the church: Lianjun Wang, Zhongxing Lu, Luosan Chen, Zaishen Chen, Zhichun Tsai, etc and received spiritual help from them. In the beginning of 1951, he immigrated to Indonesia, served in the church full time, helped raised up the churches in and around the Indonesian capital Jakarta. In 1976, due to being homesick, he tried to return to Fuzhou thru Hong Kong, and experienced the Government’s harassment. Only in the beginning of 1977, he was able to officially enter the country and reunite with family members, until leaving the world and returning to the Lord in 1981, at the age of 84.
My mother Shueh Lin-Yu, was born to a Methodist pastor’s family in 1896. She received a Christian education since little, has more biblical knowledge, and especially familiar with the bible stories in the Old and New Testaments. At the age of twenty, she got married with my father, and raised twelve children in total. In 1934 when she and father both got recovered, she became a very sincere saint that loves the Lord in the church. Her faith is great and particularly good at prayer; my whole family received God’s mercy because of her. She is very loving to younger brothers and sisters, view them like her own children, and often suggest that they consecrate themselves to the Lord when young. Thus, the young people in turn treats her like their own mother. In 1948 she once went with my father to Sanshan Yuyao for gospel preaching there, when she saw a poor newly believing sister only wore thin clothes in the chilly weather, mother took off her own only wool sweater, and gave it to this sister to wear. Thru her loving heart, the Lord was able to touch many people to the Lord. During the Cultural Revolution, she received heavy insult and persecution, but she never complained, but full of praises for the Lord. In 1977, she was brought back to the heavenly home by the Lord, to rest in the Lord’s bosom at the age of 82.