Evangelism Class in Japan

Evangelism in Japan has entered a new and promising era.

By DONALD LEE, Teacher, Japan Junior College

Evangelism in Japan has entered a new and promising era. In prewar Japan, Chris­tian meetings of all types were looked upon as places where a loyal Japanese would not be found. However, in postwar Japan this attitude has been reversed. An announcement of a Christian meeting brings out large crowds of interested ones. They come, eager to learn the tenets of the Christian faith. They ask end­less questions, ranging from doctrines to phi­losophy. They will sit for hours listening in­tently while their questions are answered.

Perhaps our workers in the States would like to look behind the scenes and see an actual effort in progress for these needy people. The field requirement for the class in evangelism at Japan Junior College was the conducting of an eight-week effort in the near-by city of Kis­arazu. After considerable search a suitable hall was located. Brother S. Kunihira and I then visited the mayor. He gave us a very cor­dial welcome, and after we had stated our busi­ness, promised to do all in his power to help us secure the desired hall. After visiting vari­ous other officials of the city, we secured the necessary permit to use the hall each Sunday and Wednesday evening for a period of two months.

A rental fee of sixteen hundred yen was paid in advance, and five hundred yen was paid to the janitor for the extra work our meetings would entail. A total of twenty-one hundred yen was therefore paid for the use of the hall, or approximately seven U.S. dollars.

The hall was the largest of its kind in Kisa­razu. It would comfortably seat one hundred. Although it was a little removed from the cen­ter of town, we found that the Japanese were willing to walk the extra distance to attend Christian meetings in a respectable hall.

Ten days before the meetings began, a small introductory advertisement was placed in the largest of the city's papers. At the same time a personal-invitation card was sent to each prominent citizen of the city.

On Friday, October 1, a large advertisement appeared, announcing the first meeting of the series. On Sabbath the students from the school distributed two thousand handbills throughout the city. The evangelism students painted twenty 16" X 24" color posters. These were placed in strategic sections of the city four days before the meeting began. By these various means the effort was well advertised throughout the city.

Unfortunately it was raining hard on the opening evening. But in spite of this, sixty-four non-Adventists attended. The program for the evening was as follows:

7:00 to 7:15 Song service.

7:15 to 7:35 Kodachrome slides on "Life of Christ."

7 :35 Special music by college choir.

7 :40 to 8:30 Sermon by Paul Eldridge.

Topic: "Christianity's Message for You."

8:30 Special music by choir.

Announcements. Benediction.

Because most of those attending knew noth­ing about Christ, the special twenty-minute fea­ture of the entire series was devoted to the life and teachings of Christ. Each talk was appro­priately illustrated with Kodachrome slides. This feature proved to be the most popular part of the entire program.

All the songs used had to be taught to the audience. They proved to be very apt students, and soon were able to sing quite well. Song slides and a specially compiled songbook were used. In arranging the order of subjects it was necessary to keep in mind a non-Christian au­dience. After consultation with a number of experienced workers here in Japan, the follow­ing topics were selected:

Christianity's Message for You

Will There Be Peace?

What the Bible Offers

God's Program for the Nations

The Kingdom of God

The Problem of Sin

Christ the Saviour From Sin

How Can I Be Saved?

The Life of Faith

The State of the Dead

The Second Coming of Christ

Signs of Christ's Return

Standard of Righteousness

Sign of Sanctification

The True Church

What It Means to Be a Christian

For the series there were an average of sev­enty-five non-Adventists in attendance. This group bought liberally from the bookstand, which offered Bibles, Jicho (Signs of the Times), and the Japanese translation of So Lit­tle Time. Two hundred enrollments to the Jap­anese Voice of Prophecy lessons were received.

Eighty-seven interested persons are now at­tending weekly Bible studies held in various sections of the city. Miss Sudoki, an experi­enced Bible instructor for the North Japan Mission, is conducting most of the studies. As time permits, the evangelism students help in this important work.

Finances are always an important item in an effort. The total cost for the Kisarazu effort amounted to about eighteen thousand yen, or approximately seventy U.S. dollars. This is less than one dollar for each individual now enrolled in systematic Bible study. For a mini­mum amount of money spent in Japan today large returns can be harvested in souls. The breakdown of the expenditures, in yen, is as follows:

Rent -------------------


Newspaper ads ---


Handbills --------                   


Transportation ---------------------------


Mimeographing --------------------------


Miscellaneous ---------------------------


Total ---------------------------------


Income for the effort was derived from the following sources:

Offerings -----------------------------


Sale of literature ---------------------


School and mission subsidy --------


Total -----------------------------


 Two weeks before the meetings closed, a small hall near the center of town was rented for Sabbath morning services. The first regular Sabbath school and church service were held on Sabbath morning, November 13, 1948. Our hearts were made happy when twenty-two non-Adventists, in addition to four church members already in the city, attended services. On the five Sabbaths that meetings have been held a total of 4,736 yen was given. Also 2,000 yen Ingathering came into the offering.

A baptism is planned for this spring. At that time a church will be organized. We are now giving study and laying plans for a church building. In order to get building permits one must go through endless "red tape." Building material is difficult to get, and the cost is high.

Truly God is richly blessing His work in Japan. The great need is for consecrated men and women, and sufficient funds to carry on in this land of opportunity. Now is the time to evangelize Japan. If we wait, the doors now open will close, and the work will have to go forward under less favorable circumstances. As you pray for the work in Japan give of your means that this work may be brought to a triumphant close in this land of opportunity.

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By DONALD LEE, Teacher, Japan Junior College

December 1949

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