When I first heard that brother Andrew Yu had been taken by the Lord, even though I was filled with grief, I also was filled with recollections of my encounters with him throughout the years I have known him. I first met brother Andrew Yu in Guangzhou, China in June 1979. This encounter clearly was entirely arranged and orchestrated by the throne in heaven. I had come to Guangzhou to search for Bibles; he was there to distribute Bibles. We were two young people from different parts of the world, who had never met each other, coming together unexpectedly for the same purpose. This was not a chance encounter; behind it is a sweet and touching story.
We all know that due to the political situation between 1952 and 1979, the parts of the Body of Christ in mainland China had been cut off from fellowship with the churches in the rest of the world. The result was that the speaking of the Spirit through the ministry could not be propagated in China. God could not allow this situation to continue; the flow of the stream of life needed to reach this country with a quarter of the world’s population. God wanted to come in and do some things to carry out His move; however, first there was the need for Him to raise up some saints to pray for His heart’s desire and cooperate with His move.
As a result, by the end of 1978 Andrew Yu and a few young people were raised up by the Lord in Hong Kong. They were moved by the Holy Spirit to come together with one burden — to pray for mainland China. The more they prayed, the more they received the anointing and the more their burden increased. These saints began to pray specifically for Bibles to be sent to mainland China. According to the environment at the time, this was impossible. However due to their persistent prayer to the throne, in the beginning of 1979 the Lord stirred up a group of saints in a small village in Yongtai, Fuzhou to begin praying earnestly to the Lord for Bibles. In Fujian and other provinces there were tens of thousands of newly saved ones who had never read the Bible, much less the words of the ministry.
Although the saints in Hong Kong and the group on the mainland had never met and did not have horizontal fellowship with each other, they prayed together as one vertically to the Lord. Thus, the Head of the church, Christ, began to arrange everything to allow our horizontal fellowship to take place. This resulted in my “chance encounter” with brother Andrew Yu in Guangzhou.
When brother Andrew and I met and fellowshipped, he asked me how many copies of the Bible we needed. When I told him that I needed ten thousand copies, he was shocked. This number was far beyond his expectation. He thought that most of the Christians in the mainland had died, but I told him that in Fujian province alone there were more than ten thousand Christians. He asked me to list each locality and the number of Bibles each one needed. How many copies did Yongtai need? How many copies did Fuqing need? I compiled a list for him of each county and municipality and their respective needs. He told me, “We will go back to pray, and you must go back to pray. Let us ask the Lord to open the way and we will see if by the end of the year, we can deliver ten thousand copies of the Bible to you.” This statement of faith from brother Andrew came from the heavenly throne. At that time, even just to bring ten copies of the Bible into China would have been incredibly difficult. However, brother Andrew believed that nothing was too difficult for the Lord.
Brother Andrew went back and fellowshipped with brother Lee concerning the needs of the saints in the mainland. After brother Lee fellowshipped and trumpeted in the body, the churches around the world responded positively. Through the prayer, the fellowship and the coordination in the body, the initial distribution of the Bible and ministry books to mainland China began in 1979 and lasted through 1983. Brother Andrew’s declaration of faith was realized on time and beyond our expectation; at the end of 1979, more than ten thousand copies of the Bible and other ministry books including the life-studies were delivered to us. By the beginning of 1983, we received more than one million copies of the Bible and ministry books. During that time, brother Andrew would personally come to Hong Kong to serve the saints who came from all over the world for the distribution of the Bible, and oversee all the practical arrangements. Brother Andrew also frequently visited the saints in mainland China. His footprints were spread all over the country, and only the Lord knows the toil and hardship he suffered during those years. He loved the saints in China to the uttermost, disregarding his own life so that they might receive the word of God.
In 1983 a wave of persecution in China led to the imprisonment of many saints. The court judgments of these saints often included the names Witness Lee and Andrew Yu. Even though these two brothers were abroad, they suffered the same humiliation as the saints in China. Thus, they were brothers who were fellow partakers with the saints in China in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Jesus.
It was God’s sovereignty that mobilized all the persons, events, things, and even international politics to allow for the Bible distribution to take place. This has resulted in the building up of the Body in the one stream of life with the saints in China blending with those overseas.
The Bible distribution between 1979 and 1983 was only a beginning. In the ensuing years, brother Andrew faithfully and continuously propagated the divine revelation to the saints in mainland China through various means. Today, thousands of churches have been raised up in this most populous country on earth. Millions of people have been brought into the Lord’s recovery. Indeed, the word of God has grown and multiplied.
The saints in mainland China are very grateful to the Lord for brother Andrew Yu’s faithful labor and service throughout the years. He is a witness of faith. His sojourn on earth was short but meaningful. Because he allowed the Lord to pass through him, a page has been written in the divine history as a memorial for eternity. He may have left us to be with the Lord, but as part of the cloud of witnesses surrounding us, he is still encouraging us to run with endurance the race which is set before us.
May the Lord comfort Marilyn, John and Anna.
John Zhao (赵世和), church in Cairns, Australia