IT WAS the very first time it had happened in the history of Japan Missionary College. The event was a campus-wide evangelistic crusade under the capable leadership of theology department member Hiroshi Shibata. Helpers included the 45-member public-evangelism class with Isao Ueda as associate director, and Brothers Kanazawa and Noguchi as student leaders.
Rather than a community campaign, this unique on-campus crusade was decided on because of the possibility for many neighbors and non-Christian high school students to come to the school. Thus after studying techniques and principles from Evangelist Shibata, who has had eight years of evangelistic experience throughout the union, the students were ready for the practical demonstration.
With enthusiasm they worked hard making beautiful advertising materials, including posters, streamers, announcement stands, and even a wind-operated device! Across the campus in strategic places and inside the main auditorium and cafeteria these posters invited students to attend, their attendance being on a completely voluntary basis. Off-campus shop windows in nearby Nahara carried placards, and across the road in front of the train station a banner waved its invitation. Attractively printed handbills were distributed to both students on campus and to people in the surrounding towns. At 7:00 A.M. students stood outside the train station to catch the attention of those en route to work, and again at night they positioned themselves to greet those returning home. Visitation bands were organized and personally met with every non-Adventist student during and after the campaign. And more than fifty "big brother" teams were chosen before the opening night, and each took a high school non-Christian as his burden.
Village bands, both before and during the two weeks, visited the scattered villages to prepare the people and later bring them to the meetings. Personal invitations were also mailed out and a car with loudspeaker equipment toured the villages to announce the crusade.
Equipped with beautiful slides, well-planned black light, and radio mike, Evangelist Shibata presented practical topics for his listeners. "Victory Over Fate," "Your True Security," "The Man Who Opened the Future," "The Rule of Victorious Living," and "The Only Way to Glory" were theme thoughts shared with an average audience of 330. Of these, around 200 never missed a meeting, and these included 50 to 60 non-Christian students and some 50 visitors from off-campus, most of whom were non-Christians!
And what were the results under God? A total of 34 decided to join the baptismal class and 21 neighbors from off campus made the same decision. But that is not all, for the 45 public evangelism students received a never-to-be-forgotten experience in life's greatest thrill—soul winning! And many caught that same inspiration, although not class members, for those who attended know that God richly blessed this historic crusade.