Excerpt (approximately 6 minutes) from the oral history with David Adeney, who was interviewed by Paul Ericksen in 1988. This excerpt comes from audio tape T2 in Collection 393. The accompanying Chinese driving permit (1936) and detail of photograph come from Adeney's still unprocessed papers. For more information about Adeney, click here. Click to play the David Adeney excerpt on CN393T2

NOTE: Underlined text throughout the transcript identifies changes made in the transcript by Adeney. Underlined text in brackets [text] denotes a written addition made by Adeney to add clarity. When following unbracketed underlined text (text [text]), the text in brackets is intended to replace that which it follows. No subtractions have been made from the spoken record.

ADENEY: And, meanwhile I was out in China, flew out to...we flew by these [a] flying boat...(I think I was the first one to go by air in the CIM) stopping down in the south of France on a lake the first night and then Cairo the second night and then a....a lake in...near to Baghdad [pauses]...an army or air force base there, and then from there across to Calcutta, and then waited there for some days until I got a seat on a plane going into Chungking. And...and I traveled on the Burma Road and traveled around west China visiting new student groups. Driving permit from Accession 95-116, box 1 And I...I got into Chungking just in time for the winter conference when we had a wonderful time of revival with students coming to know Christ. And...and it was a great time with Calvin Chao preaching. He's a great preacher.

INTERVIEWER: How developed was the student work at that point that you became involved in it?

ADENEY: Only just started. It started the previous summer at... [when] they'd founded the.... [China Inter-Varsity Fellowship.] Chungking was the center for many of the universities that had fled from the east. And so there was a whole group of universities in the area around Chungking. And Calvin Chao had started a summer...had a summer conference in 1945, and Christian students from these universities all came to that conference. And non-Christians as well. And they had...(many had come to know the Lord), and they had formed the China Inter-Varsity Fellowship that previous summer. And then January, I came out and joined the work when they were having a winter conference. And [pauses] we all slept on the floor of a gymnasium. And I had a letter from a....from a [pauses] Chinese in New York a year or two ago. He said, "Don't count me a stranger. I was on the bed next to you on the gymnasium floor [laughs] in Chungking." And so...and then I was asked to go and visit with one of the Chinese staff workers. They already had about, I suppose, three of four Chinese staff. And I made a....a trip down into Yunnan and Guizhou to visit universities in Kunming and Guiyang, where again we were seeing the start of Evangelical student groups. ('Cause there had been no work excepting the SCM, the Student Christian Movement of YMCA previous to that, and now Inter-Varsity was coming in as a...as a new movement). And then I went with Calvin Chao to visit other...other groups. We went to Fudan University, which is one of the top universities in China. And that was in a place called Beipei. It was not too far away from Chungking. And there was real revival there. And we heard about it even before we got there. The boatmen had...students had cheated them getting...kind of forging [been cheated by the students who forged] tickets to get across on the ferry and now after the...the Lord began working there the Christian students had come and paid back the money [that] they'd cheated the boatmen. And there a man in...one of the students had got into university on a forged graduation...high school certificate and he'd confessed to the authorities and it was known all over the...the university that things were happening. And we were with them. Detail from riving permit in Accession 95-116, box 1 And...and we went to Chengdu, which is the second largest city in Sichuan and had meetings there. And then I...most of the universities began moving back to the east, (the war was over), and so I went to...to...to Beijing and was in Beijing for some weeks. There was a start of the student work, but I didn't stay there. Leslie Lyle stayed on in Beijing, did the student work there. But I had a few weeks there, including the first evangelistic conference, which was.... We had a...first of all we had a prayer conference in the church of Wang Mingdao, who is [a] very famous, a Chinese house-church leader today. And he had a very fine church, [a] very fine work there. And we had a prayer conference for the students in his church. And then we had the first evangelistic campaign for the students, which we held in the Salvation Army hall with Wang Mingdao preaching. And just a few weeks ago I was in Hawaii, and I met a Chinese doctor there, and he reminded me that he had been the one who had made the poster advertising the conference, and I'd taken a picture of him standing underneath the poster that...that...that he had made. And then, following that, it was decided that the China IVF [Inter-Varsity Fellowship] should have its headquarters in Nanking. And so I moved to...to Nanking. And we set up the...rented a house there. And I lived with the Chinese staff in this house.

For more information about Adeney, Collection 393, or to read the six entire transcripts of the Adeney interviews, click here. If you want more information about the history of in Christianity in China, click here.

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