A 4th Generation Christian

I grew up meeting with the local church in Portland, Oregon. As far as I know, I am a fourth-generation Christian. One of my great-grandfathers turned to the Lord in China during the late 1800s. He was very much persecuted for his belief, and many of his relatives were martyred during the Boxer Rebellion. My grandfather also believed into Christ in China during his college years. During that time he was helped by the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee and was meeting with the local churches in China.
When he came to the United States, he brought up my parents to meet with the local church, who in turn brought up my brothers and me in the same way. At first, meeting with the church was a duty, something I had to do because my parents and grandparents did it. The local church was just another part of my life, just as school and music were. But despite my lack of appreciation for the local church, it played a big part in my childhood. Meeting with the church during childhood was a big factor in preserving me from the worldly distractions that I encountered while growing up. Because I was under the care of other brothers and sisters and was receiving the sanctifying Word through them, I had an awareness that I was separated to the Lord. I was not so free to do all the things unbelievers were doing, and if I did them, I always felt a little uneasy. This was how I began to know the Lord and His inward speaking.

When I went away to Seattle for college, I continued meeting with the local church in Seattle. It was at this time that my life changed from one of passive duty to the Lord to one of aggressive pursuit of Him. I moved into a house with several other brothers who met with the local church who were pursuing the Lord in a strong way. Living in such an environment, my hunger for the Lord was immediately stirred up. And with the brothers, there was no lack of supply to fill that hunger. I began to read more books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, which opened my eyes to see the truths in God's Word and the principles of the Christian life. I also began to grow more in the Lord through healthy habits of contacting the Lord in the morning, regularly reading the Bible, and even speaking the gospel to others. In addition, I began receiving much light and enjoyment through meeting with the other brothers and sisters attending the local church's meetings.

Even if I had a discouraging day, going to the meetings never failed to bring in new life and encouragement. It was at that time that I began to enjoy the daily Christian life.

Ever since I tasted the enjoyment of such a life, the taste has never left. Meeting with the brothers and sisters continues to be a source of supply and enjoyment.
As one hymn states:

We have found that meeting with the saints
Is the greatest joy on earth;
'Tis by this our spirit never faints
And our lives are filled with worth.

(Hymns, #1153, stanza 5)