When I searched for Pearl Young on the internet, I found that there is very little information about her. That is typical of Pearl. She really only had one message, that of seeking the presence of the Lord, not chasing after men and their tools of publicity. Her passion was the presence of God and also to lead others to know Him. The Lord knows her well, even if man and the internet does not!
In the 1970’s I used to go on a Sunday evening to her meetings. It was a chance to put aside the busy demands of my student work and other ministry and to rest in the presence of the Lord in those meetings. There was a place of renewal in the presence of God.
Pearl Young served as the leader of a small church on the edge of Taipei. Before she passed away the work (錫安堂) had grown to over 25 affiliated churches, with some of them located in North America. The work is still growing.
Pearl was born on July 6th, 1904 in Nova Scotia, Canada. From 1929 to 1945 she served with the China Inland Mission as a missionary to China, and, having had to leave China, from 1954 till her home-going in 1986 she served in Taiwan.
Pearl’s emphasis was on 内在生活. The literal translation of that (“the inner life”) is capable of many interpretations. A better understanding would be something like “our hidden life in Christ”, growing in our relationship with Him.
The best way to describe that would be in her own words, from an article she wrote about four months before she went to be with Jesus.
Pearl wrote: “Oh, what a ‘call’ is ours – this marriage-relationship with Jesus! And He is able and willing to make it all ever more and more wonderful to our souls so that we see it as truly the greatest thing of all. Too many Christians are content just to know that the Lord is dwelling within, and that indeed is a very wonderful thing. But, if we greatly desire, and if we are willing to pay the price…, then we can not only ‘know’ that He is within, but we can ‘see’ Him, we can dwell in the Holiest of All, constantly enjoying His precious, glorious Presence. And this is what He desires. It is what He has promised. He says so in John 14 and 16. He longs that we will be willing to perfectly obey Him so that He can manifest His Presence (John 14:21)! Only then can there be that closest, sweetest fellowship with Him, the Lover of our souls, our Bridegroom. And only then can He do His greatest work of changing us into His own likeness – from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18). This is the ‘so great salvation’ spoken of in Hebrews.”
“It is the burden of my heart, the prayer of my heart, that His children may realize the great, all-importance of this – dwelling in His very Presence, the life in the Holiest of All. It is what the enemy of our souls will fight against using all his power. He will try to deceive us, to keep us from realizing its great importance. He will use all sorts of devices, even such good things as our ‘service’ and Bible knowledge, for instance, to affect our hunger and thirst for just Jesus Himself. We must watch and pray!”
The meetings were unusual. “Her meetings were true Pentecostal meetings. There was no hype or deliberate planning on how the meeting should proceed. They were led by the Holy Spirit and Sister Pearl Young would just empty herself to allow the Spirit of God to move her, or simply remain still. The magnificently glorious and holy presence of God would fill the meeting place, and miracles, signs and wonders occurred as a common event. People knew with their eyes and their hearts that God was among them. Each meeting was a holy and awesome encounter with God the Almighty.”
Another wrote of Pearl: “She was a rare vessel of God in many ways – pure, humble, persevering, obedient, faithful, kind, loving and full of the Holy Ghost. Her life, for those who knew her in person, truly radiated the fragrance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of her, many Taiwanese Christians experienced the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit, walking with God and abiding in Christ. She was an early pioneer of the Pentecostal movement in Taiwan and had a tremendous and profound influence on many of Christ’s followers. She did all this not just by her Christ-centred teaching but, more importantly, by the life she led.”
Pearl still would speak to us today, calling us to that “marriage-relationship with Jesus.”
Sources: 曹力中牧師 and others.
Read her autobiography here.