O, Rest! My Spiritual Father—Brother Runhuan Liu
Brother Guo Mingyang
In the Church in Banqiao City
I grew up in a military dependents’ village. I lost my father when I was young (My father died in line of duty). As I was studying in junior high school, I met the Lord. But I was enjoying the worldly amusements by nature, unwilling to love the Lord attentively; sometimes I was dragged to attend the meeting, always throwing the Bible here and there like a football with my companions! Others read the Bible to become worn out, while my Bible got worn out from the throwing. However, there has always been the supply in the church life! Because the co-workers took turns to lead me, at last, I, like a wild horse, was tamed! What has exerted the most profound influence on me was not the tears of my widowed mother, but a faithful servant of the Lord—Brother Runhuan Liu. He was a pattern, a witness, and a servant faithful unto death!
I remembered that when I was teaching in school, and the school gate was strictly guarded, but he always came to visit me. Sometimes he would sit in the office to wait until I finish my class. He could not ride a bike, yet he had traveled through every saint’s home with his two feet in Banqiao. While seeing his silhouette of walking slowly, I was moved to tears! For Christ, for the church, and for the saints, he presented everything, never murmuring! He struggled to nourish us one by one to grow up until he might present us full grown to God. (Although I haven’t been full grown yet)
He did not teach us with lofty words and profound wisdom, but we just frequently heard him say the need to serve the Lord in a humble way, the need of “With my blood and tears pay the price to gain the crown, / Suffer loss that I might a pilgrim’s life live out”, and the need to learn of the pattern of the brothers before us. He would speak from Chungking all the way to Taipei, from Brother Nee to Brother Lee, and from the knowledge and the experience of life to the church affairs. He asked us to read the Bible. When there were classes during summer and winter vacations, he would wait for us very early in the meeting hall. Sometimes I went there early, just finding he was kneeling down to pray alone in a small room. These bit of things remained fresh in my memory, just as they happened yesterday which affected my future service.
When I was serving the young people, I always put forward proposals to utilize vacations to go out for blending, thinking this would be the young people’s favorite thing. (In reality, I liked doing this.) Howerver, every time I came to Brother Liu for fellowship, he frequently asked me a question: “What’s your burden before the Lord?” Every time he would ask me the same question, and every time I would be full of shame! I always had no prayers, no seeking, no fellowship, and no vision. O Lord! Forgive my being without restraint. As I was growing old, I began to learn to serve the business affairs in the church. One most impressive experience of me was that when a saint’s memorial meeting was conducted in a mortuay house in Banqiao, this saint’s family members obeyed the suggestions of the mortuay house to furnish with flower-stands and wreaths. After this memorial meeting, Brother Liu asked me, “What is it? What is it?” Then he nourished me with life, saying: “If he has fallen asleep in Christ, nobody can add anything to him! Nobody can take away anything from him!” Until today I still keep his word in mind. Just as his living from the begining to the end, the fruit of his work followed him because of his work of faith, labor of love, and the endurance of hope. May we, in the rest of our life, allow Christ to be constituted within us more and more, then no one shall snatch us out of His hand.
When elder Brother Liu’s body gradually weaken and his memory faded gradually that even he could not remember those closest to him from his memory, yet he still did not give up the meetings in the church. He was sitting in the meeting to enjoy rest. He lost his earthly memory, but he invited the heavenly reward. His eldest son asked him: “Dad! What else do you hope?” He answered: “I hope the Lord’s coming back. ” On January 8, 2008 when he was at the point of passing away, his fleshly children were praying around him; I also arrived there in time. As he looked at us, I spoke loudly: “Uncle Liu，we see each other in the glory!” At 10:48 in that very night, he closed his eyes to rest quietly. He was like the devout Simeon and his rest was like the rest of Jacob.
One spiritual son of his