Streams Of Living Water Flowing
By Andrew Gih
China experienced wonderful revivings in the years that preceded World War II and the later takeover of China by the Communists. Andrew Gih was a Chinese brother greatly used of God in ministry during those years. When the fire of God touched Bethel Mission in Shanghai, Gih was one of the young converts who went out with the missionary leader in evangelistic campaigns. Four of these young evangelists were so inspired to carry revival fire to all parts of China that they formed the Bethel Worldwide Evangelistic Band and pledged themselves to preach the Gospel in every province of China and beyond. The following is Gih’s account of the “Bethel Band” venturing forth into the north of China in February 1931:
The first campaign of the new-fledged Bethel Worldwide Evangelistic Band was in Taimingfu, a city in the interior of Hopei Province. The meetings dragged on but nothing happened. There was no indication that the Holy Spirit was working in hearts. Our own hearts were bleeding. Then one of the Band members was led to give his testimony, telling the miracle of God’s grace in his own life. An altar call was given and scores came to kneel at the mercy seat.
In Shantung our unknown little Band had the privilege of holding meetings in one of the greatest evangelical seminaries in China. The fire of the Holy Spirit fell and we could not close the services until midnight or later. One teacher was so full of joy after he had made things right with God that he just wanted to lead the students in praising the Lord. When finally the meeting dispersed, the students marched back to their dormitories singing. The very glory of God filled the place!
One old Christian woman had been much persecuted for her faith. One night after the meeting she was sleepless, the Holy Spirit convicting her of sin. She rose and knelt in prayer until midnight, pouring out her heart to God. While still on her knees, she became aware of a crackling noise. Opening her door, she found her house in flames, ignited by her persecutors! The next night she came to the meeting with beaming face and gave a thank offering to the Lord for sparing her life! Home and belongings all in ashes, yet no word of complaint or recrimination, but a heart full of praise! Truly this is something the world knows nothing about!
Next, the great northeastern provinces were laid on our hearts and we journeyed thither in September 1931. Our first stop was at Fenghwangch’eng where a conference of church leaders was in progress. We were full of hope. If these were revived and filled with the Holy Spirit, the whole of Manchuria could be reached! The first night we were allowed to lead the meeting. After giving our testimonies, we held an after-meeting where many eagerly sought the Lord’s blessing. But those in charge were unsympathetic and even suspicious. We gave ourselves to fasting and prayer. Two of the Chinese delegates were sent to urge us to change our methods.... We felt we must be free to be led by the Holy Spirit. So the leaders closed the door and we were sent away. Our Chinese brethren had caught a vision of God’s power and begged us to stay. As we left in the middle of the night, they followed our carts, weeping all the way to the railroad station.
Ahead of our schedule, unannounced and unknown, we arrived in Mukden. Meetings were hastily called. A meeting of 300 the first night soon grew to 1,500. The church could not hold the crowd, but the people were willing to stand outside the doors in the bitter cold to hear the message. At least 1,000 were saved or definitely blessed.
“He Shall Direct Thy Paths”
God arranged our itinerary in a miraculous way. We left Mukden on the last through-train for North Manchuria. That very night the Japanese overturned the government and took control. We were called to a small church on the border of Siberia. It was a three-day trip, an expensive journey with (now) five members in the Band. Ought we to divide our forces? We were strongly impressed that we ought to keep together. The immediate political overturn proved that it was divine wisdom directing our path and keeping us out of trouble.
On the way as we were waiting to change trains in a strange city, I was led by the Holy Spirit to call on the missionary there. I did not know him and had no business, but just felt I must take him greetings and tell him of our plans. Three Band members stayed at the railroad station while two of us went to call at the mission. The missionary was very cordial and accompanied us back to the station. We found that in our absence one member of the Band had been arrested and a crowd of police were surrounding the others!
The authorities could not understand why young fellows would come so far to preach in such troublous times, especially when they had no promise of remuneration! They refused to release our brothers until we could prove our identity. A sorry plight! But the Lord had provided for this very situation! Our new missionary friend went to police headquarters with us, vouched for our identity and guaranteed our good behavior! “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits!” (Psa. 103:2).
Kept from Harm
We had no more than reached the far North than rail communications were broken. God shut us up there for nearly two months, working in small places. It was His way of keeping us out of danger. We frequently had four meetings a day. In one town the presence of God so saturated the room that people would rush in and fall on their knees crying for forgiveness of sin before ever the sermon was preached! It seemed as if the Lord Himself was pressing them down and they could not resist.
Finally the way opened for us to start south again. But it was impossible to notify the mission that had invited us, either by letter or telegram. So we went by faith. When we presented ourselves at the door of his home, the missionary could not believe that we had actually gotten through. Soldiers and guards were everywhere and no Chinese were being permitted to enter or leave the city. Yet we were neither searched nor questioned. Oh, the timeliness of our God! Unknown to us, the League of Nations Commission was expected that very day, so the military were trying to simulate a normal peacetime appearance!
On our return we stopped two days at Mukden and were greatly heartened to see the way the new believers were standing true. The missionaries there had not approved of our meetings. They were not convinced that the conversions were real. However, when the trouble came and the city was in terror, these converts calmly trusted God and by their lives testified to His saving power. Multitudes lost everything and many were killed, but the new believers were kept “under His wings.”
It soon became evident that the World Band was not sufficient to meet the many opportunities that were coming. The news of the sweeping revivals in one station after another reached other missions. Often the entire student body in mission high schools were won for Jesus. These high school students organized their own bands pledged to city-wide personal evangelism and the reviving kept spreading. As the calls came to Bethel Mission from far and wide, other bands were formed and sent out.
One missionary summed up the meetings in her city in this way: “What wonders God hath wrought! We are still filled with amazement at the miracles our eyes have seen. For many barren years we have longed and prayed for reviving! Now that it has been poured out we are pressed in spirit for believers everywhere, yearning that they might receive the unspeakable blessings we have enjoyed. Streams of living water are flowing and daily we hear and see new life springing up. None of us has ever seen anything like it. We can scarcely restrain ourselves from shouting, ‘Praise the Lord!’”
– Taken from Launch Out Into The Deep by Andrew Gih.