• Bro. Zhanxiang Liu •

Some Memories I Had of My Father

Preparing for Moving as Soon as He Came back
from Co-Worker Meeting

Father is a co-worker that serves the Lord full time. Due to the changes in the work, ever since I was little, my impression of him is this: Every time Father came back from Co-worker’s meeting in Taipei, we have to get ready to move. We had a pile of big leather briefcases at our home just to make it easier to move. As a result, I’ve went to four elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. It was probably because my parents believed that I can be independent, and agreed that I don’t have to continue to move with them once I reached high school. It’s probably due to growing up in this environment, I have no issues with adjusting to moving or changing jobs. Aside from moving often while living in Taiwan, I’ve moved nine times in my thirty some years of living in the USA. Lived in Texas, Illinois, and Southern California, even living in Jerusalem now. But regardless of where, I have no problems with adjusting.

More Than Happy to Do This,
and Always Helped Wholeheartedly

When I was in elementary school, we lived in Gangshan district of Kaohsiung. The training base for the air force is located in Gangshan, so there are many enlisted brothers that came for help or hospitality. When the demands are high, mother would feel overwhelmed, so father is always stuck between “comforting mother” and “meeting the needs of our guests”. But he is more than happy to do this, and always helped wholeheartedly. I remember one night, a soldier asked for hospitality, though there’s no money at home, mother keep on waving no to father, but father still took out a sum and given it to that brother, that he can stay at a hotel.

Got Warned, but Not Unbearable

When I was in middle school, I take the train daily from Zhanghua to Taichong for school, and mother always gives me a little cash for dinner. At that time, budget was very tight for the family, so my allowance is mostly squeezed out from dinner money. Father probably realized this as well, one evening he asked me, “Where did you eat dinner tonight? How much did you spend?” It’s only later that I know that he had been following me ever since I got off the train that day, watched what I did. This really reminds me, and see that father handled this with much wisdom, picked a day that I actually ate dinner to ask me this, to warn me, but it wasn’t unbearable.

Incentive Proposition for Moving Up

When there’s less than half a year until the high school graduation exams, father and mother were very worried for my future academic career, and thus proposed an incentive for moving up. They told me that if I can test into my top choice in colligate program, I can get a prize from them. And I asked for a camera. Though the price of a camera is astronomical for our family, but mother thought of my current grades, and decided to try. Half a year later I did test into my top choice in colligate program, and my parents made good on their promise. They prodded me in order to unlock my hidden potential. I am still grateful of them even now.

Father’s Shaky Handwriting Softened My Heart

When I was in college, after living for half a semester in student center of Hall Three of the Church in Taipei, I already wanted to move out and expressed these thought to my parents via letter and ask for their acceptance. Father already suffered stroke at the time, but still personally wrote the reply letter, the synopsis being that if I insisted on moving out, they’re willing to support me financially, but they felt that living in the student center is the best choice. When I read father’s shaky handwriting, my heart was softened, and never mentioned moving out again. My wife Sophia and I, met each other later in the student center of Hall Three.

Father’s Reminder: No Throwing in the Towel
for Full Time Service

When I was in graduate school in Taiwan, I mentioned my desire serve full time in the future to my father. But he wept! I was confounded. He says to me that full time service is a very hard life, that I must consider carefully. And now I thought that it was great that father gave such a reminder. Which is why I never considered throwing in the towel when encountering difficult situations in full time service.

God Led Our Family to walk the “New Way”,
“New Grace” Is Declaring Our Realization of God’s Blessing

At the end of 1981, I and Sophia got married at Taipei Hall 14, in Shipai District. Father was very happy that day, and spoke many words of encouragement in the meeting. In the summer of 1982, I went to the USA for training, that was the last time I’ve seen Dad alive. In 1983, I was working at a Chinese restaurant in Dallas. The work was hard and I was feeling down, but thru my eldest daughter’s birth, father spoke many words of encouragement. He said that he believes God will lead my family to walk a “new way”, thus he named my eldest daughter “Hsin-Lu” meaning “New Way”. In the later years, God did bless my whole family as father had prophesied, so we named the second daughter “Hsin-En” (New Grace), declaring our realization of God’s blessing.

When father passed away in 1985, I was in graduate school in Texas, and did not went back for the funeral due to not being able to afford it. It is until 2013, and father’s grave get transferred to Grace Terrace in Southern California, that my regret can finally die down.

Looking Back at Father’s Entire Life:

1. It’s not just he that loves and serves the Lord, he also encouraged his children to do the same. Even today, our whole family considers serving the Lord as most glorious thing. The proclamation in Joshua 24:15, “As for me and my family, we shall serve Jehova.” Is father’s life testimony.

2. Concerning propagation, he is willing to break the alabaster flask and pour out everything for the Lord, and go to the harshest region to propagate. When father and mother first went to Hualien for propagation I was born, and mother suffers from chronic migraines since then. The second time father went to serve in Hualien, he suffered the stroke, severely limiting his mobility ever since, but he never held it against the Lord.

3. Concerning the service in the work, he absolutely put himself under the authority of the leading brothers. And wouldn’t have his own choices due to concerns with family, nor the children. The boxes for moving is always ready and prepared for directions to the next destination.

4. On shepherding and perfecting the saints, father doesn’t mind, and took care of them family by family, from house to house. Another impression I had of my father when I was little, is that he always rode his bicycle out every night, be it to meetings or to visit the saints. After the stroke, he served the saints with his prayer.

Father’s example, and his personal character deeply affected me, and helped me a lot in my service. I am very honored that I have such a father.

Respectably, and Sincerely:

Second Son, Li-Shi Liu

May 3rd, 2016 in Jerusalem

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