Called and Serving in Jiaxing, Wujiang,
Huzhou Regions in the Early Days
The past events that happened 70 years ago were just as they took place yesterday! These memories of Brother Liu’s voice and smile remained as vivid in my mind as if it were yesterday.
Brother Zhanxiang was born in Dou Jigang Village, Shuangyang Bridge, located 3-mile east from Zhenze Township, wujiang County, Jiangsu Province. Both of His parents were farmers. He had one younger brother (Ruilin) and two younger sisters. His first younger sister (Isaac’s mother) lived in Yanmu village, while His second younger sister stayed in Zhenze village. After brother Liu finished his elementary school, he attended the normal school in Wujiang County. Later, he went from teaching to school administration.
When he believed in the Lord, both his younger sister and sister-in-law were the responsible ones in the church of Yanmu. He was led to the Lord by brother Huang Baoguang, the elder in Huzhou Parish, and brother Wei Jingdao, the elder in Jiaxing Parish, and was cultivated as their co-workers to take the way of serving the Lord. Although he didn’t receive the training in the seminary,(he went to Theology school in Shanghai afterwards) he himself pursued all kinds of spiritual literature issued from the gospel book room in Shanghai meeting place. Furthermore, he read over 5 chapters of the Bible. He received the training and teaching from the elder Tang Shoulin (the translator of Streams in the Desert, a composer of hymns)
At that time, Jiangsu and Zhejiang parish had a range of 200-li’s (li/500 meters)trip from the east to the west, including such places as Jiashan, Ganyao, Xitang, Fengqiao, Taozhuang, Nanhui, Shifosi, etc. in Jiaxing, Zhejiang, and Shengze, Zhenze, Yanmu, Lili, WangJiangjing in Wujiang, Jaingsu; Nanxun, Mayao, Xiecun, Yacun, Yaolingdou in Huzhou, etc. Brother Liu regularly traveled and preached station to station several times a year, with just a backpack and an umbrella. During these five years, brother Liu had gone through all kinds of hardships and difficulties and had braved the wind and dew for however long, we can only guess.
Let’s illustrate three examples: 1.When he and brother Wei preached the gospel in Taozhuang Township, Jiashan,they were attacked and abused by the local lowlifes, who threw bricks and clubs at them. The fact that they didn’t retaliate physically nor verbally, caught many people’s attention, thus opening the way for the gospel, getting many saved and established the church there. 2. After establishing the meeting place in Ganyao, Jiashan. There, he was defamed and insulted by a sister’s husband, who was an unbeliever. As a result, he suffered the unjustified persecution yet he made a good testimony for the Lord. 3. In the summer of 1944, as I ran an elementary school and serving as school principal, brother Liu walked for a distance of 40 li (li/500 meters)from his first younger sister (Isaac’s mother)’s home to meet me, to share what we learned from our belief and teaching experience. When I knew that brother Liu was also teaching major, have experience in education, it was like meeting old friends! Thank the Lord! I used to live in Shanghai, having been a refugee, and only heard the word from Brother Liu after I fled into Shanghai International Settlement, and believed into Christ. What a mercy I have received!
After the victory of the Second Sino-Japanese War in fall, 1945, brother Liu suddenly told me that the boss of the Dadu Paper Factory in Taizhong, Taiwan sent him the letter of asking him to work in Taiwan, yet the boss didn’t inform him of what kind of work he will get. It is only half a year after he went to Taiwan that I got a letter from him.. From his letter, I was informed that he has established a meeting place of the church, and worked there. From the letter he has sent to me in summer of 1947, I obtained the good news of his marriage to a sister from Foochow!
In 1948, brother Liu returned from Taiwan to Mainland to visit his family, and met me in Zhenze that I learned of his experience of fleeing from the bloodshed incident happened in Feburary 28, 1947. Thank the Lord that He has kept him from the danger in this incident. The main purpose of his returning to Mainland China was to entrust me to arrange his younger brother,Ruilin’s marriage. Before he went to Taiwan, brother Liu had passed the shepherding work in his parish to me. At that time, I had resigned from my academic administration work, continuing to carry out the shepherding work in brother Liu’s parish. During his returning from Taiwan, he and me walked together for over a 100-li (li/500 meters)journey to visit the saints in more than 10 meeting places, to bid farewell!
In 1949, I was commissioned many times to go to the living place of the elder sister Zhu in Fengqiao,Jiaxing to help Ruilin complete his engagement. In 1950, I used brother’s family’s boat to row for a over 100-li journey with more than 10 hours to Zhenze hometown via Jiaxing and Yanmu from 3 a.m.in the early morning and held the wedding ceremony for Ruilin. Eventually, I managed the important affair that he has entrusted to me!
Although brother Liu walk through the valley of the shadow of death, experiencing innumerable trials and hardships and being against all odds, the Lord who led him with His rod and His staff, always guided him on the paths of righteousness until he finished his course. May everything be to the glorious Lord Christ. Hallelujah, Amen!
Mr. Jiayin Song
November 18, 2015