Work by our mission in Sienyu city was begun some thirty years ago, but a resident missionary has been living here for twelve years only. In the space of ten years God through His faithful stewards in the home land and as an answer to prayer entrusted us with funds to erect a large church, suitable buildings for women’s Bible training and girls’ boarding schools, a woman’s hospital and a residence for the workers. Furthermore, women (present enrollment 56) and girls (present enrollment 92), a goodly number of children, and patients without number have been entrusted to our care and yet—all temporal needs supplied—there was deep in our hearts a longing for an awakening, a quickening, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our midst, as had been so recently experienced in Korea, Manchuria and other places. For ten years on each school day the ﬁrst morning hour has been set apart, to wait upon the Lord, and feed upon His holy word. The people had, as it were, by Bible study and continued prayer come close enough to God to be made receptive, so that the Holy Spirit could deal with them. “Little rain drops” of grace had been falling; we did not realize, when, by what means, and how soon the “showers” would come.
Just one week after a great awakening had taken place in Hinghwa city a few young men were compelled by the Spirit to come the day’s journey to Sienyu to tell of the great things the Lord had done in their midst. It was communion Sunday; instead of holding the customary “Lovefeast” we listened to the message of these young men, which although given in a faltering way, made a deep impression upon the congregation. We knelt around the altar to receive the Holy Communion with a receptive heart and were just waiting and wondering whether even now the Lord would visit us.
On Sunday afternoon instead of S. S. Lesson we continued in prayer, in the evening and during Monday likewise. During the evening service the word written in I Pet. iv. 17 became true: “For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God”; first the pastor, then the elder, later others realized that only by confession and complete surrender could they come into all the fulness which is in Christ Jesus. As soon as these men knelt at the altar, there swept a power over the people convicting them of sin and sweeping away all indifference and resistance. Our pastor won the victory over self and received a new baptism of the Spirit after a long night’s struggle and then he stood among his congregation as a man equipped with new armor ready to lead them all to victory over sin and self. Under his message the students in the different schools broke down, and oh the burden of confessions; it was almost more than we could bear and we have since then a new conception of what the words written in Rev. xxi. 27 mean: “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or makelh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
One like the Son of Man walked in our midst, we were in the presence of His judging eye; and open confession and, where it could be, restitution and a full surrender were the price paid for pardon, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. All were bowed down with each other’s sin and all rejoiced when some brother or sister after “vomiting out the sin” won the victory. The people in the street were attracted by “the queer doings of the Methodists.” Said they: “When some one has confessed to sin, which we would hide because the bad ought to be hidden and the good only pro- claimed, he sits in the front pew and is happy; but whoever keeps his peace, sits behind and is sad.” Yes, it was wonderful, what no Yamen’s threatening or friend’s coaxing could have done, the Holy Spirit brought to pass. But not only that: there were those among the men and boys, women and girls, yea even children, who were compelled to witness to the work of grace in their hearts and whose testimony was honored by God in convicting sinners and arousing the indifferent in the church to know their duty and privilege.
Over a year and a half has passed since we in Sienyu thus kept Pentecost: what is the result to-day? The revival has not resulted in a large addition to our numbers, but for all those who were Christians in intellect only, the day of birth into the kingdom has come, they will be a power for Christ wherever they may be; they are standing upon the rock of salvation; their Bible is a new book to them; they have new conceptions of their duty toward the Lord and toward their fellow men who are still without Christ; they are expecting the work of the revival to go on and on until China shall be conquered by the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus Christ the Saviour.
To my fellow workers, who with us labor and pray for the redemption of China, this imperfect testimony is given: may it encourage your hearts in the waiting and watching for the coming of His kingdom in power and glory. M. N., Sienyu, Fuhkien.—The Chinese Recorder, December, 1910, 811-813