Chapter 2: My Youth
Isaiah 49:1b Jehovah has called me from the womb; From the bowels of my mother He has made mention of my name
My parents had a grand total of 12 children. I was born in 1917, is the oldest son of the family. Mother is the daughter of a pastor, and know that the firstborn boy must be offered to God, so I was consecrated to the Lord once I was born. Among my 12 brothers and sisters, except for a four-year-old younger brother that died early, the others all grew up and become good citizens. When young, grandfather especially loved me, taught me to read ancient literatures. I’ve read books like Analects, Classics of Poetry, Zuo zhuan, Donglai Bo Yi, and can recite a lot of Proses of the Tang and Song dynasties. When I was eleven, I finally entered public school, once in elementary I started in the fourth grade; at age fourteen, I graduated from elementary school, and graduated middle school at the age of seventeen.
When I was studying in elementary school, two major incidents happened in the country: First, is the 1925 to 1927 years of Northern Expedition campaign of the National Revolutionary Army. When they came up north from Min Nan and passed by Yuxi county, I followed all the teachers and other students with flags in hand, went to the road to sing and bless them as they passed by. The second thing is the May Thirtieth Movement in Shanghai. The whole country is swept up in a high wave of anti-UK, I followed everyone to demonstrate in our small town, and shouted anti-imperialist slogans. In 1930 to 1933 when I was in middle school, two more major things happened in the country, I remember it well. One is the Mukden Incident in 1931, when the Japanese army occupied our three northeastern provinces. Second, is the January 28 Shanghai incident in 1932, the whole country’s stance against Japanese invasion boiled, at the time I followed my classmates to the counties to spread anti-Japanese messages. These few incidents made me very patriotic ever since I was little.
When I went to Fuxing county capital for first year in middle school, I was only fourteen. Once the school held a writing competition, I got third place. When I walked up to the podium to accept my award, the applause was especially enthusiastic. Because I was the youngest in my entire class, and the shortest one. My essay can win an award, has a lot to do many ancient classical literatures with grandfather. Later on, literature were my best classes.