Thursday, October 23, 2014

Japanese University Presentation

Hello everyone. Once again I thank you for your prayers and consideration during this time. I just wanted to give a quick update of our speaking engagement at Aoyama Gakuin University. This speaking engagement was able to come about through a Japanese student friend of mine that came to the University of Montana to study last year. His professor heard that we spoke at a university last year and asked us to give a presentation at their university. This university is apparently "Christian", as it was founded by Methodists. However 95% of the students are not Christian. In the class we spoke at only one student out of about thirty was a Christian. Fortunately the professor was a Christian who was 'saved' in the United States as a student many years ago. He apparently attends a local Methodist church in Tokyo.

So, after Language school last Tuesday, Katie and I went over to the University as soon as possible. (30 minute trip by train as well as walking.) We then came to the classroom and waited awhile before the teacher gave us permission to speak. The class was an upper-level class about doing researched presentations in English. ( I think it was a combination of advanced speech as well as research.) I was able to give a presentation on the "6 Big Questions" in life. (Refer to my mission trip last year in a previous post to day 3 for the questions.) I also added the question, 'Does God Exist?'. After giving the presentation the professor had the students 
break up into groups and discuss the questions for five minutes each. Katie and I then went around and asked as well as answered questions. (In my interactions I was able to talk about some of the flaws of evolution as well as answer questions about Christianity.) Most students had never really considered the questions before in their lives and did not really know what they believed. They gave the general consensus of what is often said about Japanese people: Shinto, Buddist, and Secular-Humanism all mixed together.  The professor also engaged the students in detail as well.

Katie then gave a personal testimony to the students in Japanese and was able to answer their questions afterwards. I believe the students and professors were impacted by her testimony greatly based upon the response afterward. Later Katie was able to pray over a student. A student also said that he thought many Japanese people would become Christians if we spoke with them one on one and answered their questions, since Japanese are very shy in a group setting. I have also heard that Japanese as a whole are interested in Christianity, but the way their system is structured it makes it difficult to become Christian. We also placed our contact information on the board.

Afterward the professor gave his testimony in Japanese as well. He appeared to be highly encouraged and even offered to take us out to eat afterward. He also said that we were welcome to come back another time and do another presentation. I spoke with a student who was interested in learning more English ( which is common here ) and asked him to consider reading the Bible in English with him. Please pray for him as well as others in the classroom.

Though we have been very pressed by the rigors of language school there are opportunities like this one in Japan by simply being Christian Westerners. If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask. Thank you for your support.

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