This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of David Howard Adeney (CN 393, #T2) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. Nothing recorded has been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. In a very few cases, words were too unclear to be distinguished, so the word "[unclear]" was inserted. Chinese placenames are spelled in the transcript in the old or new transliteration form according to how the speaker pronounced them. Thus, "Peking" is used instead of "Beijing," if that is how the interviewee pronounced it. Chinese terms and phrases which would be understood were spelled as they were pronounced with some attempt made to identify the accepted transliteration form to which it corresponds. This is a transcription of spoken English, which of course follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
() Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
 Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
Text 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. See NOTE below.
This transcription was made by Katherine Elwell and Paul Ericksen, and completed in October 1990.
NOTE: Researchers wishing to quote from this transcript may do so. In the event that the selected text includes an underlined portion reflecting a revision or addition by the interviewee, Dr. Adeney has requested that the researcher should use the revised text.
[NOTE: This is a continuation of the interview of David Howard Adeney recorded on June 10, 1988.]
ERICKSEN: I just wanted to ask you, how did you do at language school?
ADENEY: How did I do with it? Well, [pauses] I...I remember it was pretty hard slogging, because we...we had six months of solid Chinese language. And [pauses] I had a...we had a very good teacher, a Mr. Yen who taught generations of...of OMF/CIM [Overseas Missionary Fellowship/China Inland Mission] missionaries. And he had a real sense of humor and he could communicate a great deal. He hardly spoke any English, but he could get the Chinese across very well indeed. And he gave me my name, the Ai De li, which was my Chinese name. And [pauses] I think by the time we'd had the six months there, we had enough to...at least to enable us to make ourselves understood and to get...perhaps to give a....I think we had to give a very simple little talk [chuckles. pauses] following the language...our language study then. And we took our first exam. And that was the only formal language study that we had. Afterwards we would work with a teacher, but no more classes. The only classes we had were...were there at Anqing. And from then on it was our own study, and.... We...we had also to...to start on the study of the classics, which was the classical Chinese. We...we were supposed to be able to get a...a little bit of a knowledge of the...of the Chinese classics as well.
ERICKSEN: How did you get along with all the different nationalities?
ADENEY: Oh, we...we enjoyed getting to know them and realizing that there were differences and different cultural background and attitudes to...to...to different things. We...I suppose we had a little bit of a problem. We had the Germans there and...and some of them were quite pro-Hitler. And this [thus]...they were not amused when one of our English people dressed up as Hitler for a...a kind of a fun night [laughs]. And we had [laughing]...and so there were...there were some little problems in that way. And then...and of course we...we found peoples' views of so called worldliness were different. The continent [Europe] had their views and...the strict views of the Sabbath and [pauses]...but [were] quite open to...to drinking or [pauses] that kind of thing. And so that we had different...found that we came from different Christian cultural backgrounds. But we had...I would say we had good fellowship together.
ERICKSEN: What were your first impressions of Honan?
ADENEY: Honan. [Laughs] I...I suppose my first impressions were of...of cycling [laughs], because I...I was met by [connected with] Henry Guinness, the father of Os Guinness [clears throat], who was to be my fellow worker in the...in the next [few] years. And Henry was a...was a great cyclist and very...he had a strong physique. And I tried to keep up with...with Henry because we...we had just a very short time at the railway station, because we...we went by ship up to Hankow and then took the train and then got off at a...at a CIM [China Inland Mission] station. I think we probably stayed a night there. And...and then Henry took me off. We set off to the place where I was to be stationed for the first...first months there in...in Honan. And [pauses] I suppose our luggage went by hand-pull (hand cart that was pulled). And...and we...we went on our bicycles. And that was the beginning of many a long cycle journey with...with Henry. And he was a..a tremendous person and I...I very greatly enjoyed the working...working with him, though I felt that I could never keep up with him. He was, both [Not only] in physical matters but also as a...in his spiritual life, he was a very, very [pauses] disciplined and dedicated worker and absolutely excellent with the...with children. He...he...he used to play his trumpet and was a very, very fine young people's worker. He always felt a little bit sorry that he'd never had any university training. He'd been to the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow, I think. And...but he was so gifted I felt I...I...I...I had a great respect and admiration for him. And I was so glad to have him as my senior worker. And we...and then we lived in a (for the first year or two)...lived in one of the mission stations.
ERICKSEN: Where was that?
ADENEY: This was a place called Siangcheng. And we lived there. And our senior missionaries were Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Weller, who were extremely fine people. We always called them our "China parents." And living with...with them we learned a great deal, 'cause they were...he was a very humble and deeply spiri...a man with a deep spiritual life and extremely wise in the counsels he gave and...and also so very much of a parent type of...of attitude to us younger workers. And we couldn't have had better senior missionaries than...than the Wellers. And there were a group of young men, Louis Gaussen, who'd been with me at the Missionary Training Colony was there, and Henry...Henry Guinness and...and Raymond Frame from Canada and one or two others. We...that was the kind of a center which we...we lived in, and.... But then with Henry I used to go on country trips. And...and then in the center where we lived there was a school. We...later on we were a little bit glad to get away from the big mission station. But we started...there was [pauses] quite a large school there and a number of missionaries. And it was...it was rather the typical mission station of those days in...in China with its foreign style house and...and so on with a river flowing by. And I always remember we had...for soon after we arrived we had a tremendous flood, and the whole mission station was flooded. And...and then we...we had...we had a summer camp for the children of the schools. And I remember Henry Guinness organizing the sports. And I have a picture of myself with Henry on a...on a pole across a muddy stream [chuckles] slugging away at each other [laughs] with pillows and [pauses] tug-of-war and sports that we had for the...for the children and...and so on. This was the [pauses] kind of early days there in...in...in...in China. And then later on, I...we went out to some of the outstations. And I remember very early a thing that impressed me. I climbed a hill. I'm not sure whether Henry was with me or not, but [pauses] possibly my teacher...probably [with] my teacher, and we climbed this hill. And from it you could see the plain...very flat plain stretching for miles and miles and just hundreds of villages. And it...it made a great impression as I thought of these villages without the knowledge of Christ. And that was our...the goal for that period of life was to reach those villages with the...with the Gospel. And then later on I...Henry took me out to a...to one of the little, what we called outstations, country churches, a place called Yehsien. And we stayed, I think, for a month there living in the home of the gatekeeper, a dear old Christian man, and he was...he entertained us in the [his] home. And I was learning the language and couldn't speak anything but Chinese. There was nobody to speak English to excepting Henry and we...we didn't.... And...and so I was really forced to use my Chinese all the time. And living in that home really was a very valuable experience and this Mr. Liu, the gatekeeper, was so very...very friendly and helpful. And I think that was one of the outstanding things that... [of] my early days in China.... I was still single and I was able to go out and live in the country and live with the people. And that...that helped me to get the language. So that by the time I'd been out a year, I was beginning to get fairly at home with the...with the language. I was beginning to preach. I...I had a...first of all [At first] I had a...a regular language teacher who [pauses] was...didn't do very much more than teach me the...the language. But later on I had a...a fellow worker who was an evangelist and also my teacher. And then we would go out and we would...we would preach and I would use the posters. We'd preach in the open air and crowds would come around (the attraction of a foreigner). And I would talk about one of the posters, the picture [unclear] Gospel posters. And...and then my fellow worker would explain what I was trying to say [chuckles]. And...and that...I often tell the story of one of those trips out when we met somebody who'd never seen a foreigner before, I think. And he asked me, he said, "Ni shi na yi guo de ren...quo de ren, ni shi?" ("What...what nationality are you?"), you see. And I thought I'd have a little fun and I said "O shi, O shi tian guo de ren." [It] means the kingdom of heaven, you see and the...and he said "Well I've heard of Mei guo, Deh guo, Ying guo" - America, Germany, Ying guo. It's all...Dei guo, Mei guo, Ying guo and then Tian guo would be heaven country, you see. And...but he said "I've never heard of...of Tian guo. It's a new one on me." And I said, "Well, my friend here, my Chinese friend, he's...he's Tian guo, he's also [in] the heavenly kingdom." And that puzzled him more than ever. He said, "Well, he...he doesn't have a gao bei tze" ("he doesn't got a big nose like you.") [Chuckles] "He's...he's... he's just...he's one of us." And I said, "Yes [pauses] he's...he's a Chong guo...Chinese. And I was...I'm Ying guo [ren], that's England. But both of us are now Tian guo." And so I tried to [pauses] start in on the Gospel in a...in a simple way. But these were some of the early contacts.
ERICKSEN: As a junior missionary, what did...what did your duties include?
ADENEY: Well, my main job was to learn and to...of course to help with the...the young people's work. I did quite...quite a bit of that. But [my] main job was to...to gain experience and to get on with the language, because I was...still had to be taking exams every... every few months, and [pauses] then just to get to know the...know the people. That was...that was the main thing.
ERICKSEN: And how long would you be ranked as a junior missionary?
ADENEY: Well, technically...well, the first two...in those days (it's...it's different now)...but in...in those days for the first two years we were [on] probation...was the test period. And then we were a junior missionary until we passed all our language exams.
ERICKSEN: And how long did that process take for you?
ADENEY: Well, actually, I got so busy and involved in the work, that I [pauses]...I think my wife always has one up on me in this, because the men were supposed to take six language exams, and the women, five. And so the women could be a senior missionary when they'd taken five...five language exams. I took my five, but I never did take the sixth [laughs]. So, I suppose technically, I was a junior missionary for my first term. But it...it didn't kind of make any dif...difference, particularly. But...but...and then I...I got so...so busy in the work. And then I came back into student work, and so they never did ask me to take the sixth. The sixth one was more in [pauses] advanced Chinese studies, which I'm afraid I never...I never did do, which probably was a pity, but I...I was too much of an activist, too much involved [chuckles].
ERICKSEN: Now in these...these cycling tours that you took, what would they consist of and how long were they?
ADENEY: Well, it was only a matter...a way of getting from one place to another, you see, because there was not much other transportation. And there were...there were a few old charcoal burning buses, trucks usually, just...just trucks, and occasionally we would...we would travel [that way]...if it was on a motor road. But there were very few motor roads, and so to get to most of the smaller places we...cycles [cycling] was about the only way you could...you could do it. And it's like we'll walk. So, we would pile everything we could on the back of our bikes and just.... Some...sometimes I would go out on a...later on an early Sunday morning, and I would...I would cycle maybe as much as twenty miles to a...to a church and spend the day there at the church. Then...then...of course, some months...sometimes I went by other means. Now, I remember going to one place with Henry when we went by boat, and that's always stands out in my memory, because [pauses] halfway through the journey the...the river rose. And the boatman couldn't stop the boat. You know, it was going at a terrific [pauses] speed down this...down this...this river. And obviously the river was in flood and it was quite dangerous. And they...they...they finally decided they...they need...they couldn't keep going on it; it was too dangerous. And they threw a rope ashore and a whole gang of men on the shore caught onto the rope, but it pulled them into the water. They couldn't...couldn't stop it. And then we were coming to a bend in the river and weren't sure we were going to make it, and they threw another rope ashore and this time the men on shore managed to get it round a tree and...and...and stopped the...the boat. And so we got off...got off the...the boat. But then we had to go by land, and walk and carrying our...our belongings with us. And we had to wade through deep water (there was so much flood). And I remember the great amusement and excitement in one small village with a...a walled village, when...with a.... We were on a road which had deep ditches on either side, it was...and we had...we followed a local man, who was leading us and were wading through the water. And I was rather tired and got a bit behind and...and didn't keep in...close enough to the...the leading fellow and suddenly found myself in one of the ditches by the side of the road...deep into...into really deep water. It was a...a terrific amusement. Whole crowds of villagers on the wall watching these...these strange foreigners [chuckles] going by. But that was just one of the...one of the experiences.
ERICKSEN: From what I've gathered from other CIMers [China Inland Mission workers] the country was sort of divided up denominationally according to tradition. What was the orientation of the area you were working in?
ADENEY: Well, in...in our area we had some towns [which] were...were CIM stations. And then we were also surrounded by Lutherans. And...just very...very close to us, there was a...a...a...a city which was the...where the Augustana Lutherans had their work. And they had a hospital and...and schools. And we often had quite good fellowship with these Lutheran...Lutheran missionaries. And I was...I in fact went to their station when the very famous evangelist, John Sung, was holding a mission there, Sung Shanzieh. Leslie Lyall has written his life [biography]...wasn't it...no...yes, Flame of Fire, I think. And he was the man who took his PhD. in...in...in America and then on the way dumped it [the diploma] in the ocean and gave his life to preaching the Gospel. A very, very unusual man with.... Nobody would ever forget hearing John Sung using those graphic illustrations and a complete...a very special...unique character and always tremendously blessed by God with great numbers responding and forming evangelistic teams wherever he went. And he just blazed a trail for the Gospel, not only in China, but also in Southeast Asia. And he's one of the best known of Chinese evangelists. And I lived in the same house with him, the Lutheran missionary's home for a time. And he had one [unclear] peculiarity, that if you ever thanked him for his message he'd get very angry and would turn away from you, wouldn't speak to you for ages. And we...it was...it was a great privilege being in the home with him and seeing him in action, and remembering.... I still remember one of his sermons there at ...and the illustrations that he...that he used. So...so the Lutherans were in a number of stations. Then to the south of us, later on, we had the Swedish Lutherans. And we had a very famous Lutheran missionary, Espegren in Nanyang, which was about a hundred and twenty li (that would be about forty miles) to the...to the south of us. And so we would often...sometimes stay in each other's places when we were travelling and we would sometimes have Lutheran missionaries coming to stay with us, and we would stay with them. The CIM [China Inland Mission] was the...the church polity...the church government was Baptist-type. We had....the Anglicans were in Sichuan. And...and then the Method...the Methodists had a field down in...in Yunnan. And...and there was another field where there was [were] Presbyterians. But the...the largest portion of...of C-...of C-...of the China Inland Mission was Baptist in its...in its beliefs. And so we were...our field was...was...was Baptist in...in...in chur-...ecclesio-...ecclesiology. I had been brought up Anglican. But when I was about eighteen, I had got...oh, even earlier than that I...I got questions about baptism. And my...my godfather who was the Archbishop of Melbourne had...my father had told me to write to him, but he'd written back and said, "Well, you'll get over it when you know Greek like a child gets over measles." But I...I never did. And I was actually baptized when I was in the Missionary Training Colony. And so...and then my...there was a very fine Baptist church in Bedford (John Bunyan's home town, of course). And they were a extremely keen church in rather a [in] contrast to the rather dead Anglican church which I was going to. And so they...they had sent me out from...from Bedford. So I was with the...in the Baptist area of CIM [China Inland Mission].
ERICKSEN: Now, when...when you were restationed at, is it Fangcheng with your wife...
ADENEY: Yeah. [Yes.]
ERICKSEN: ...you were opening a new station, weren't you?
ADENEY: Well, it was already an...an outstation. That is, there was a small group of Chris...Christians there. And we were very thankful that we weren't sent to one of the big mission stations. And we were the...I think the first missionaries to stay in...in Fangcheng. And so I had been there on visits because it was a...it was a...there was a small church there al...already. And there were two or three places that I used to visit: one was Fangcheng, one was Wuyang. And my wife, Ruth, before we were married, used to go to Wu...Wuyang to work with the women, and I went there to work with the men. And actually the folk in Wuyang had already begun to put us together. But that was only, maybe...maybe that was some twenty...twenty miles or so from...from Fangcheng. And [pauses] so that Fangcheng was a...was a...a new station for foreigners to live in. And...and...and we lived in a Chinese building, so it was...it was just a large, old-fashion type of Chinese home with a big hall, which was used as the...as the church. And then we had at one end...one end of the building there was [were] two rooms, one downstairs and one upstairs with almost a ladder between them. And that was our home. We had the downstairs room as our dining room/sitting room and...and then we made a stairway up into the upstairs room, which was our bedroom. And then there was a large house just behind it and then across the courtyard was the [pauses]...the kitchen and...where the cook lived. And...and then we...because just outside our bedroom it was kind of being used as a public lav...lava...lavatory and we...we managed to get that bit of land and walled it off and made a little garden there, which was a great improvement. And so that was...that was our home. And [pauses] of course there were other little courtyards where the Bible woman lived, and another place where our Chinese fellow worker lived, and this was outside the city of Fangcheng.
ERICKSEN: Now did you continue your touring to other out-stations while you were located there?
ADENEY: Oh, yes...yes...yes. I would frequently go out to...to visit other...other stations. There were...there were about...we were about...(what was it?) about thirty miles, I think from, the next big CIM station which was Shekichen, and now it's called Shejen [phonetic approximation], which is also a county town. And there was a...there was a school and missionaries' houses and it was quite a large station. It was some...some thirty miles away. And then...then...then we had a number of smaller churches within a radius of possibly forty miles. There was [were] a number of them.
ERICKSEN: What impact did your marriage have on your work?
ADENEY: Oh, a very big impact, because that, of course, meant that now I had a home and...instead of traveling around as a bachelor [laughs] I had...had a...had a home. And [pauses] I still did much the same kind of work. And...but I was more centered down in...in one...in one place. And...but I would go off visiting the outstations and occasionally.... Afterwards we went up (our first child was born), and we sometimes would go out with...as a family and stay at a...an out-station. I don't remember many of the...the [One] thing that we remember very strongly was we'd all made all the arrangements to go to an out-station for a Bible school for...I've forgotten it was probably a week or two week Bible...Bible school. And then we got news that they had smallpox there. And our baby girl hadn't been vaccinated. And we were very, very troubled to know what was the right thing to do. And my...my wife probably will tell you about that. But finally we went and trusted the Lord to...to look after Rosemary. But those were the...that was a time when we went to teach together. My wife will tell you more about that. She did a great deal of teaching of the women.
ERICKSEN: So far as we've talked about your work in Honan, no one would know that there was all sorts of fighting and what not and the presence of brigands and Japanese in the area. What was it like working in that kind of environment?
ADENEY: Well, it was a...a troubled period of time for...for Honan. We had...we had the problems of refugees coming through, because when the Re...the Nationalists cut the dikes of the Yellow River and that flooded vast areas of land. And [pauses] as a result tens of thousands of people were...were displaced. And the government sought to relocate them and they would come through, because the motor road (the main north-south motor road) ran right past our...our city. And we started a key...a tea station on the road...motor road [pauses] to help the refugees when they came through. And then quite often we'd have people staying in the church. And [we] had one group of Christian refugees, and always remember them, as we...they stayed with us and then we escorted them out to the motor road and they went on their way singing:
"Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same. All may change, but Jesus never. Glory to His name. Father and mother, All may leave me. Jesus never changes."
And it was a moving thing to see them going off to another part in the south where they were to be given land, start life over again. And there they immediately set aside one of their number as pastor and built a little church and had a Christian community.
ERICKSEN: [I] read somewhere about your...your work visiting refugee camps in the...in the province?
ADENEY: No, not...not really. I wasn't really doing anything of that. We...but we did seek to minister to those going through.
ERICKSEN: As they were passing through?
ADENEY: Yes, as they were passing through. And then, [pauses] of course, there was always the danger of brigands, because Honan was plagued with [them]...especially up in the hilly [hills]...the mountainous regions. There were lots of these robber bands. And from time to time you'd see people with no ear. They'd been taken captive and the ear had been sent to demand ransom. And I was once visiting one of the out-stations, a little church in the foothills. And it was there that the...the...my worker...fellow worker and I were preaching. And we knew that in these villages roundabout there were brigands. And we knew that probably in our audience there were...there were brigands. But they weren't any problem. But then that night or two later we were awakened in the middle of the night by the watchman. (There's always a town watchman going around banging a gong at every hour of the night.) And he wakened the whole town with the news that brigands were approaching, a brigand army was coming. And we went out onto the city wall and there you could see villages burning nearby, [which had]...been taken by the brigands. And they approached the city, but didn't...didn't get in. And next day some government soldiers came, and they retreated, disappeared into the hills again. But that was the only actual close contact with... with brigands. But then the Japanese was another matter, of course. We had the [pauses]...the bombings. We...because [pauses] Honan at that time was a kind of a no-man's-land [unidentified rustling noise]. As the Japanese approached then the Chinese armies retreated. And we'd...we'd had a...a Chinese military hospital in the...in the town, but that was...that was withdrawn as Japanese armies came nearby. And the Japanese would send two or three planes over from time to time and drop bombs. They'd fly very low and just drop these fairly small bombs, but did quite a bit of damage. And, of course, people were wounded, and.... At that time I had to learn how to look after the wounded, because they had no hospital there. And we used to go out sometimes with very simple medicines and minister to the...to the wounded people. And we dug a little trench in our garden, covered it over with boards and made a little dugout, and when the planes came over we'd go down into this, take the...a baby and go into the...into the trench. And at one time when they...we had the chief city officials in our [home]...visiting us when the planes came over. [I] Always remember that time. And then we...it looked as if they [the planes] were leaving and we were relieved and then we heard them coming back again. That was a very bad sign [laughs]. We all dived underneath the dining room table [laughs]. But, that...those were the bombing attacks. And then you probably read about the time when the Japanese army came through. And we had to struggle to know what to do about claiming nationality [privileges], because this...the...I wasn't very keen on [pauses] kind of [pauses] using the [claiming my] British natio...nationality, though I don't think I thought it through as much as I did later...later on. But it seemed the only thing to do, that the only way to keep the Japanese out was to [pauses] put up a notice saying it was British property. And finally the Chinese all wanted us to do that, because the only way that we could in any way look after people who came for refuge to the...to the church was to...was to put a...a notice of British ownership on it. We'd already painted a red cross on the...on the roof to try and keep the...the bombs off. And so when the Japanese came I...I had to stand at the door. And that was the only way we were able to keep the women and children safe who came in to us.
ERICKSEN: Now you mentioned before that occasionally you would stay in the home of another missionary or they would stay in your home. How much contact, let's say in the course of a year, would you have with other missionaries?
ADENEY: It would vary in just.... Of course we had...sometimes we would have visits from our...our CIM [China Inland Mission] missionaries. Our superintendent would come and visit us And...and then of course, when my wife gave birth to our first child, then the CIM sent a doctor to...to be with us and to help with the delivery of the baby. And...and when our second child died, we also had a...a CIM doctor with us and [at] one time a nurse as well. So we had.... And then occasionally CIM missionaries traveling would...would come through. And then sometimes Lutheran missionaries. We...we had...there was a family to the south of us and they lost a little girl in a bombing raid and they stayed with us. And [pauses] so in that...that way we would occasionally, not...not too often, but every now and again we would. And we had...we had a fellow worker...Olive Joyce [pauses] stayed with us...was a [pauses] missionary, fellow worker that stayed with us for a time.
ERICKSEN: How prevalent was Watchman Nee's little flock in the area you were in?
ADENEY: Not...we didn't actually have much of that [teaching] in the area. We did have the...the Dze li Hwei, which was the independent mission. There were some [independent] churches, Dze li Hwei and the...and the [pauses] Zhen Jesu Zhao Hwei, the "True Jesus Church," which was a...a very [pauses] strongly charismatic group, which [pauses] actually had some rather extreme teaching. I'm [pauses]...I've had very...personally very happy fellowship with charismatic [pauses] fellow workers in the....[past.] But at that time, of course, the...the...the whole word "charismatic" wasn't even known [chuckles]. And it was...it was of a rather extreme Pentecostal variety. And [pauses] we had some problems with that, because there was some rather divisive influences. And Mr. Matt [Ernest] Weller, who was one the most humble of missionaries, and was at the southern station of...of...of...of Shekichen. And the...this group got into the church, and on one occasion they pulled Mr. Weller off the platform. And...and they...they preached on Lazarus and said that...the [when] Lazarus was in the grave, and when Jesus came, they...he ordered them to take away the stone and for Lazarus to come out of the grave. And the stone was the missionary, and this must be removed in order that Lazarus might come out of the grave. And it was a...a difficult time in...in that (this was not in where we were) [we were not there], but it was where our senior missionary was living. And he went through that...that experience and we felt very...very concerned for him. But he was so gracious and humble and the thing passed over. And [pauses]...and I think the example of his gentleness in...in the...in the whole thing was... was...was made a blessing to the church.
ERICKSEN: What were the circumstances that led to your departure in 1941?
ADENEY: Well, the Japanese had been through and they had gone. They passed...passed through. And we were...we were still in free China, because the...it was a guerrilla army, a roving army, that...that had come through, and they only stayed a short time. And we'd helped put out flames when they...when they left. And...but now I had been out for seven years and (or both of us had been out seven years)...and my health wasn't good. I was beginning to show the strain of the...of the years there. And in any case it was almost time for furlough - seven years. And so the mission sent word that...that I should take furlough and that we should go to Shanghai. And so we...we packed up. And we had to pass through the guerrilla areas and then through the Japanese lines. And so we had quite a journey with our goods piled on hand drawn carts. And I was on my bicycle, and Ruth and the baby on one of these...these carts. And we had several days travel, that way staying at little country churches on the way. And finally passing through the Japanese lines. They were so intrigued with the baby that they didn't bother to examine our luggage very much. And [I] remember staying at a rather remote village church, where for the first time I...I ate silkworms and silkworm moths. They were served to us as dessert in that little village church. I'll always remember that.
ERICKSEN: Any good?
ADENEY: Not too bad [laughs], but it was.... Then we...we stayed in another place where one of our fellow missionaries, the Springers, were and saw them. And Dick Hillis was around that area. And so we...we made our way to Zhengzhou, which was on the railway, took the...the railway from there (that was already in Japanese hands) and took the train from there to Shanghai.
ERICKSEN: And then what did you do between 1941 when you left and when you came back in '46?
ADENEY: Well, we went to America. We took the Tatsutamaru, Japanese ship, from Shanghai and almost got taken to Japan, because outside of San Francisco they went round in circles because Japan...Japanese credits had been frozen. And we almost didn't make it, but finally landed in San Francisco. And we were traveling with Bishop and Mrs. Houghton. He was our general director, and they were going on furlough (of course it was war time), and so they were going to America before going over to England. And after we arrived Stacey Woods, who was the general secretary of the Inter-Varsity, which was just starting, approached Bishop Houghton and asked him if he had anybody that he could loan to Inter-Varsity to help with the missionary emphasis in Inter-Varsity [sound of passing train]. And Bishop Houghton offered our services. And so I was introduced to Inter-Varsity and became a staff worker of Inter-Varsity. We were in Minnesota to begin with (my wife's home) on the farm in Minnesota, and I traveled from there, [and] made some journeys with Stacey. There were only...I suppose there were only...probably no more than half a dozen staff for the whole country at that time.
ERICKSEN: So how much of an area did you cover?
ADENEY: Well, at that time I was missionary secretary for the whole country. But then, at the end of the year Stacey asked whether we would move to the east coast and have our headquarters in Boston. And so I was still missionary secretary, but I was also staff worker for the east coast, and...
ERICKSEN: The whole east coast?
ADENEY: ...whole east coast, yes. And I...I was...I saw the beginnings of the work at Harvard, and I visited Charlie Hummel, who was then a student in...in...in...in Yale. And I went up to Princeton, and I visited Christy Wilson, who...who was a...who was a student at...at Yale...at...at Princeton, rather. And of course, now he's teaching at Gordon Conwell, and later on he was in Kabul, Afghanistan. And...and...and so we saw the first...I think the first Inter-Varsity conference on...in New England. We...we organized it at that time, helped by the Park Street Church people. Dr. Ockenga was then the pastor at Park Street Church and he was extremely helpful. I spoke at the Park Street Church missionary conference. So we were...we were a year in...in Boston. And...and then I got a call from the OMF [Overseas Missionary Fellowship] asking me to go to England to serve on the home staff of the OMF in...in England. And we took a ship...a neutral ship to Portugal. And there in Portugal we got stuck, because the only way to get from Lisbon to London was by flying boat and there were very few seats available. And we were there for several weeks, in Lisbon. And then my mother was very ill. She had had a stroke and she had lost her speech, and it seemed that she was getting worse and the word came that she was quite seriously ill. And so I took...got a ...got special permission to get one seat on the plane and flew ahead of Ruth. And Ruth remained with the two children in...in Lisbon for another week or so. And then she got a plane, and was I ever thankful [chuckles] that plane got safely over there (it was wartime). And we lived at home in Bedford, and I went up and down to London. My office was in London, about an hour's train journey. Then the second year we lived in London. We moved up to the mission headquarters, lived in London. And we were there when the...the buzz bombs came over from Germany, the...the pilotless planes that...that would crash and...and then later the rockets, which came without any warning at all. Had one rocket right across the road from us, which destroyed a school just opposite the CIM [China Inland Mission], shattered our windows. And so we were...I was serving on the staff there. I was prayer secretary and then youth secretary for the mission and did a good deal of traveling and spoke also at a number of student groups as well. And so....
ERICKSEN: What would your duties have included?
ERICKSEN: What would your duties have included in those posts?
ADENEY: Well, in the prayer secretary work I was responsible for mobilizing prayer, encouraging formation of prayer groups and seeing that prayer information was sent out. And as youth secretary I was really responsible to bring the needs of the mission to young people in...in England and visit young people's groups in schools and universities. And so I...it was getting...it was [a] kind of a combination of student work/deputation work for the...for the mission. And [pauses] then I...of course I got back into touch with my IVF [Inter-Varsity Fellowship, China] friends at...at that time, too. And then came the end of the war. And we were in....[London.] I'll always remember the celebrations for the V-Day [VE-Day, Victory in Europe] and the VJ-Day [Victory in Japan], which was when the Pacific war ended. And we [pauses]...it was just after that the [pauses] telegram came from Chungking. (Mission headquarters was now in Chungking...had moved from Shanghai to Chungking.) And Bishop Houghton was approached by Calvin Chao, who was head...starting a student movement, and he was a very gifted Chinese evangelist. And he asked the...Bishop Houghton if the CIM [China Inland Mission] could loan a worker to the newly formed China Inter-Varsity Fellowship. And Bishop Houghton suggested that I should be invited to come [pauses] because of my experience in America. And so the cable came asking if would fly out to Chungking. (But they could not get the family out until shipping was available. They expected that would be available very soon.) And so my wife and children had to travel alone back to America to go to her home, expecting that from there she would carry on to the west coast and get a ship to Shanghai. But there were shipping strikes and she was delayed month after month, so that it was a whole year before she could get a ship from San Francisco. 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 I traveled on the Burma Road and traveled around west China visiting new student groups. 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 was a great preacher.
ERICKSEN: 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 had 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, was not too far away from Chungking. And there was real revival there. 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. 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. And then at the end of the year....
ERICKSEN: Now was that IVF...the IVCF [Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship] house?
ADENEY: IV...yes...yes the IVCF house. [I] lived with them [the staff]. And then at the end of the year my family came, and they moved into the house, too, so that we were all living together in this...this house in central Nanking.
ERICKSEN: I'm curious. It seems that the student movement was started by Chinese and yet it has a...a connection to Inter-Varsity. How was it given the name China Inter-Varsity Fellowship?
ADENEY: I think...I think that...that Calvin Chao was invited to America. And he certainly...he was able...at that time the IFES [International Fellowship of Evangelical Students] was just about to be formed. And [pauses] 1946, I think it was, they had the...the meeting that...that established the IFES. And Calvin Chao was invited to attend that meeting. I wasn't there, but Calvin was...was there. And...and that was...and in that time [the time that] the...the China IVF [Inter-Varsity Fellowship] was invited to join as a...as a...as a founding member of the...of the IFES. And so, of course, I had been connected with IVCF [Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, USA] and Stacey Woods. Stacey Woods already knew...knew me, you see. And so...so Calvin [pauses] really...really was the one who...who...who joined in with the meeting. And they already knew that I was out there as a [on] loan by the...by the CIM [China Inland Mission], but also as a...as an Inter-Varsity staff worker as well.
ERICKSEN: Well, I think this is a good place to stop...
ERICKSEN: ...before we get into some other [chuckles] deep tributaries. So, thanks very much.
END OF TAPE