This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of David Howard Adeney (CN 393, T5) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. Foreign terms which are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing. Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
Chinese place names 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.
NOTE ON INTERVIEWEE'S EDITING OF TRANSCRIPT: Underlined text throughout the transcript identifies changes made to the transcript by Adeney. Underlined text in brackets [text] denotes a written addition made by Adeney to add clarity to his recorded comments. 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. 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 use the revised text.
... 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.
This transcript was made by Christopher Easley and Paul Ericksen and was completed in April
Collection 393, T5. Interview of David Howard Adeney by Paul Ericksen, November 14, 1988.
ERICKSEN: This is a continuation of an interview with David Adeney by Paul Ericksen. This session was recorded at 12:45 p.m. on November 14, 1988.
ERICKSEN: What did you do when you left China?
ADENEY: We went back to England, first of all, and there I had to apply for a visa to get to America. And we stayed in England for a short time, and then came across to the States, and...we...I rejoined the Inter-Varsity staff. At first I was the director for the Midwest, looking after the Midwest region, and then later on became the missions secretary, (what's known...now known as director of the missions department. And...and in that capacity I had the job of [pauses] being responsible for Urbana in 1954. I had...I had about five years on Inter-Varsity staff, from the beginning of '51 'til the summer of '56.
ERICKSEN: What had happened to Inter-Varsity [unclear] in the time when you had been back in China? You had worked with Inter-Varsity for a year?
ERICKSEN: What a...?
ADENEY: When I...I worked with Inter-Varsity actually for two years, between '41 to '43. During those two years it was really a kind of a beginning work because Inter-Varsity had just come into the States and Stacey Woods had asked me to join the staff. (Bishop [Frank] Houghton had suggested that I should do this and...) That time there were only about half a dozen staff workers and...I...I remember taking journeys all over the continent. I traveled with Stacey and [pauses] Paul Beckwith who was...who'd...who was the one who [pauses] did the hymn book, (the first hymn book), and we went across the west cost and I visited Stanford. At that time Elton Trueblood was the chaplain at Stanford and I remember meeting with students in different...different areas. That was my first year. Actually I was in the University of Michigan on the day that Paul...Pearl Harbor was bombed. I was...staying in one of the student houses and the Inter-Varsity group had just been started there. And I...I remember...just going out...my...I was just going out to go to a meeting on campus when somebody rushed downstairs saying, "They're bombing Pearl Harbor." So I'll never forget that Pearl Harbor Day. And...the president of the...of the Inter-Varsity at that time was one who became later the president of Calvin College and...Gordon [Van Wylen] [sighs, chuckles, claps]...I've lost the name for a moment. But...these are very interesting early days, and I... He always claims that I introduced him to his wife because I was looking for a...somebody to be missions secretary and I found a...one of the girls who seemed to be really interested in...in...in missions, and so I went to Gordy and I...I told him...I said, "I've found the person I think will be the missionary secretary." If a person's really got a vision of missions, and.... He married her [laughs]. But...though many such...such encounters.... And that was the first year. And then the second year I was in Boston. That was '42 to '43, and I was in Boston as the only IV staff worker for the east coast. And during those days I traveled up and down New England and East Coast. And I visited Charlie Hummel when he was a student at Yale. (Later he became president and...president of [pauses] Barrington...what's the...what's the name of that...College...College. And he's now in charge of the work of Inter-Varsity amongst faculty members. And he was the one later who helped to start the work in Japan at the end...end of the war. But, I visited him at Yale and I visited Christy Wilson when he was a student at Princeton. And...and then we had a...a...a student group started at Harvard and I worked with the Harvard group and the MIT group. We had the first Inter-Varsity weekend conference in New England with the help of people of Park Street Church. So....
ERICKSEN: Was [Harold J.] Ockenga....?
ADENEY: Ockenga was there and was very, very helpful in the...in the whole there. So that was a very interesting year, and.... Then at the end of that year, there came the invitation to go to England to serve on the home staff of the China Inland Mission in London. But of course it was during the wartime, and we...we got a Portuguese boat and sailed to...to Lisbon, stopping I think at the Azores to take on a whole lot of Portuguese soldiers and others, and met some Christians at that time. And that gave us introduction...duction. So that the few weeks that we spent in Portugal waiting for transportation to England, I had the opportunity of going round and speaking in different little churches and even speaking in one of the prisons, and.... Then I got word that my mother was very ill indeed and [pauses] I had to go ahead of the family and I went over to London by flying boat and [mouth sound] it was very hard leaving my family behind in Portugal, but they were able to follow about two weeks later. (It was extremely difficult to get seats on the planes into London.) And...so I...we lived in my hometown of Bedford for a time. Then I [we] moved up to the headquarters in...in London, and I was [we were] in London for the flying bombs. I...I remember coming back from a visit to Tumbridge-Wells and seeing the first of the flying bombs dive down into London. And...and then later on we had the rockets, and we had a rocket just across the road from the CIM All around there was devastation, and yet the [clears throat] CIM headquarters buildings were...were spared. [Unclear] One of the air raid wardens...one day he...he pointed up to the sign in the...it was carved in the stone over the gate, "Have faith in God." [Unclear] "You see governor, it works!" [Laughs] But after the rocket had fallen and...all the devastation round about, but.... Those were two very valuable years working with the CIM home staff, first as youth secretary and then as prayer secretary of [pauses] CIM.
ERICKSEN: Going back to the United States for a moment, what...when Inter-Varsity was just beginning, what was it like getting a group started on cam...on a campus? I think your wife mentioned that you helped start Harvard.
ADENEY: Well I...I was with them in the...in the very early days of their work there, and we had...we had a very...quite outstanding group of students there, people who really had an influence. (By the way, I can't go back but the name I was thinking of in Michigan was Gordy Van Wylen, and.... But...we had people...Barnhouse at Harvard, and Dave...and Harold Davenport did a lot of work oversees. (Afterwards he worked among the Muslims.) ....And a very interesting group, and then MIT also. They were fairly small Bible study groups that....[clears throat], but.... At the same time I was missions secretary at well [laughs], so...in those early days I had a...kind of was taking a double role.
ERICKSEN: Who were the other staff at that point?
ADENEY: Well, Charlie Troutman...Charlie Troutman and Stacey, Paul Beckwith, Herb Butt... [Clears throat] Those are about the only names I remember actually. [Pauses] Of course I was also visiting Canada because I was missions secretary for the Canadian Inter-Varsity also, and...Stacey had been general secretary for both Canada and the States, and.... Those early days I went to Pioneer Camp [pauses] which [pauses] was the...the young peoples'...the...the...the high school age camp in Canada, and we had some wonderful times there. And then Campus in the Woods, and...some of the early camps.
ERICKSEN: What...what kind of impact did your.... It sounds like you were traveling quite a bit. What kind of impact did that have on your family?
ADENEY: Well...I've...this has been a [laughs] problem in a sense that I've always had to do a great deal of traveling, and I'm so thankful for my wife's support in that, because it wasn't easy for the...for the family, and...and the children got used to their daddy being away a good deal. It was always rather hard when Rosemary would say, "Daddy when are you going away again?" [laughs] when I came...came home. And yet I think we...we recognized that that was the work the Lord had given us, and.... I...I feel that in spite of the disadvantages of...of...of these journeys, being away from the family, yet God overruled in it.
ERICKSEN: What...what were the Ockengas like?
ADENEY: Oh, Ockenga has been a friend right the way through. He was...he was a tre.... I suppose everybody was tremendously impressed by his preaching, and he was a magnificent preacher. But in addition to the real inspiration and help received from his preaching, I think the...the...the fact that his friendship meant a great deal. He was a very....when you got to know him, he...he was a man who could bring much encouragement, and...I certainly valued his...his counsel and his friendship, and... He wrote the forward for my first book, Unchanging Commission, which Inter-Varsity published, and [pauses] he was always extremely supportive in the work.
ERICKSEN: Was he an easy man to get to know?
ADENEY: Well I...I don't think I found him too difficult to get to know, but.... I think the only time that Harold Ockenga made me feel a little bit uncomfortable [pauses] was...[laughs] when we were.... The new lodge at Ceder Campus was being opened, and I had just started the missionary training camp there and we had quite a number of internationals there, and in his talk, Harold Ockenga talked about the greatest...the great important...importance of missions and their influence in...spreading American influence, and the value of...of missions related to American culture, and...the... America's position in the world, and I was rather uncomfortable with...with those remarks because of the international students who were with us at that time.
ERICKSEN: Did you say anything to him about it?
ADENEY: I can't remember whether I talked to him about it or not. I'm not sure that I did. Maybe I failed in that [laughs].
ERICKSEN: What about Stacey Woods? What's he like?
ADENEY: [Laughs] Stacey was my boss for good many years, and...I really appreciated Stacey. He was a...a dynamic person and...a...a person who had great vision for the student work and...a...a person who had a...such a strong...such strong convictions and strong faith. In a sense, Stacey had his strong convictions as both his...his strength and weakness, in the sense that, Stacey al...saw all...everything as either black of white. There was no grey, middle...middle position for Stacey. And in a sense people either loved Stacey or they hated him [laughs]. He would...he would have such strong feelings concerning people, and...if there was anything that he disapproved of, he would come out very strongly regarding it.
ERICKSEN: Can you think of an example?
ADENEY: Yes, but I don't know that I want to go on record [laughs]. I can think of plenty of examples, but I...I would say this, that I sometimes...I'm much more of a middle-of-the-road person, and...Stacey's strong convictions, his firm stand for the truth, his vision, made him the leader that he was. On the other hand, sometimes there were sad misunderstandings, conflicts, and Stacey being sometimes very critical of people [pauses] made things difficult. And on some occasions I was caught in the middle, and had to try and keep the peace.
ERICKSEN: Your wife mentioned that you sometimes played the Barnabas [based on the relationship between the Apostle Paul and Barnabas in the book of Acts in the Bible]...
ERICKSEN: ...for Stacey.
ADENEY: But.... [Pauses] But...undoubtedly the...the student work throughout the world owes a tremendous amount to Stacey. And he was a...he was a very real friend. We...I...I was...I was with him just shortly before he died, had a time of prayer and fellowship with him, but.... And I think that I'm thankful that in spite of some problems that...that he had, there was a...he did have a heart for God and a...and a desire to please God. But his critical nature and...sometimes it caused problems.
ERICKSEN: Can you think of an example that would...(I'm not trying to get you to go on record)...but some...some situation that would illustrate, I guess, the...the exuberance of his character without....?
ERICKSEN: I'm not thinking so much of a...of a situation where he was critical, but just something that [pauses] would give a glimpse of how he was as you described him.
ADENEY: [Long pause] It's....I don't know, it's...it's a little difficult to think at the moment of concrete examples, really. There...there's so much that has started because of his vision, like the...the...the...the camps...the campus...Campus in the Woods, and...Inter-Varsity camps like Cedar...at the...Beartrap Ranch, and that, and his...his great...vision to see the student work keep on a sound footing. His seeking for leaders, seeking for the right staff...staff workers. He came into conflict with... especially with, say Campus...Campus Crusade and that, and there were some very strong conflicts there. When it came to the work overseas, he was...he...he...he traveled all over the world, and...he was very much loved as a.... He would speak at conferences in Europe and Latin America. I mean he was everywhere, and God was...used him in that...in that...in that ministry, and in his...his real desire to see students have an uncompromising witness, and to be true to the word of God. These were his...his very strong points. In the....I was in the...I was in Asia, and...I think he realized that...that he did not really know, for instance, the Chinese mind, and the outlook of Asians, and so he...he very largely left me to...to the work in...in Asia. The problems would arise sometimes in organizational matters, and...we had a big problem in Japan because of a misunderstanding that was between Stacey and Miss Webster...Webster Smith Sensei over the matter of the buildings there in Tokyo, and I...I constantly had to arbitrate and try to keep the peace and things...things like that. But [pauses] in spite of these difficulties, I would that Stacey...Stacey's influence in the student world is something for which we can really thank God.
ERICKSEN: When you rejoined Inter-Varsity in '50, how had it...what was different? How...what...what...had...what...had the staff size grown?
ADENEY: Oh yes, the staff, of course, was...was very much larger and it was...it was now much more organized. And [pauses] in 19...1950...'51, when I came back, the office that had...was in Chicago, and I lived out in Geneva, Illinois, just opposite Stacey. He was just across the road, and.... Stacey, of course...another thing about Stacey was his great ability to get friends to support him, and get some very strong Christian leaders on his side and to stand with him. And I...I admired his ability to get people who would be very loyal to him and would support the work financially, and...and in every way. He was...he was extremely good at...at doing that. He led the work and he was a little bit of a...a wheeler-dealer in the sense that...that...that he would...he could...he could make the board and the...and executive committee [laughs] do what he wanted them to do [laughs], and he'd...he'd work behind the scenes to get things...to get things done. So he was a...a very strong leader in that...in that way [pauses], and.... But he...the work was then at his office down on the...right by the lake in Chicago. I used to go up to the...to the office there and work out of...out of Chicago. And in those days, of course, we didn't fly; we went by train [unclear], and...I would...had to travel quite widely in the States, and.... I had...had a...for the beginning I had a very interesting group of...of staff workers, and.... Walter Liefelt, who has been for many years professor of New Testament at Trinity, was one of my staff workers and a very great friend, and.... Others, like Bob Baylis, runs...who started the Logos bookstore in...in Berkeley, now has a travel agency, and....Bob. Many different ones like that, and...and Paul Little, who I knew very well indeed, and.... Paul Little, actually, was also one who worked with the international students. I think I was the first one to be the...in charge of work with international students. And I'll always remember going to a...a conference of international student advisors from all over the country, and I was much impressed....it was a secular conference, but the...the...the theme for the conference was "Ambassadors of Sensitivity," which I thought...felt was a splendid title of...for a person working with international students. And I started the...little confer...little...what we called "international student house parties." And I took a group to Washington D.C. and a group to Niagara Falls, and up into the Rockies, and...and we would have a weekend with the international students. And I'd...we'd...we'd have sightseeing all down...all the daytime, and then in the evening we'd have a meeting. And I remember quite well, on one occasion, we had a group of quite a...international group from many different areas of the world, and a student who was a Muslim, came to me and said, "I'd like to speak at the meeting this evening." And I said, "Fine. What would you like to speak about?" And he said, "Well, I'd like to speak about the uniqueness of Jesus Christ." I said, "Good," and.... I always believed that if you were going to speak to them, you must also allow them to speak to us. And...and so I said, "Go ahead, we're glad to have you." And, of course, he got up and...and began by saying that...Muslims believed ninety percent of what the Christians believed and [pauses] and so on...spoke...spoke very highly of the prophet Jesus. And...and then, of course, came out the ten percent: one of the vital things. But in this way one...one was able to gain the confidence through letting them feel that they should also have the right to speak and to share what they believed, and.... I remember one...while I was at conferences in...up in the Beartrap Ranch, I, think it was, and we had another Muslim student there. And I always remember talking to him for hours, and trying to get across the meaning of...of the death of Christ, and.... And always he came back, "Why did Christ have to die?" And we'd...we'd talk and talk and finally he went down from the mountain, and I felt rather disappointed and felt I'd failed, because he still hadn't be...come a Christian, though he seemed so near. And then it was almost a year later that I visited the campus where he was, and to my tremendous joy and surprise, he came up to me and said, "I'm a Christian." And I said, "How did it happen?" "Well," he said...he said, "You know, we talked and talked there at...at Beartrap, and I still didn't fully understand, but..." he said, "when I went down, I couldn't get Jesus Christ out of my mind, and I just thought about him all the time," and he said, "Finally, I went to a...a...another friend there, pastor, and I talked to him, and I've become a Christian." And as a result his girlfriend (Muslim) broke the engagement. It was very difficult for him, but he had come to real knowledge of Christ. And this work amongst the international students, I...I really loved. I felt this was a very, very important work. I...I remember so well when I was in Chicago, and I used to work a bit with the group at the University of Chicago, and we had a Bible study in...in the "I House," international house there. And there was one...one Japanese student who came. And he came from a Buddhist family. And he was a very fine student indeed. I remember how he...he would come to me and he said, "I feel like somebody walking round and round the house, but I can't go in." And he...he came regularly to the Bible study, but he still hadn't become a Christian. And then we had a...a conference in Wisconsin, and he came to that conference and it was just before he was to return to...to Japan, and he...he came and sat on my bed, and I had a Chinese student, who had become a Christian in this country also, and we talked together, and that evening, Me-yi-san became a Christian. And he left the...the next day to go to the West Coast by bus, and to go back to Japan. And he went back to Japan, and he finally became the head of Shell Oil in Japan, and he maintained very, very strong witness for Christ. When he got home, his wife wouldn't believe him when he said he'd become a Christian, and [clears throat].... It was a very little thing that he was a chain smoker, and we'd never said anything about smoking actually in our talks together. But his wife turned to him and said, "Well," he said...she said, "I think if I saw you give up your smoking I'd believe something had happened to you." And...he said, "Well, if it takes that to make you believe, then I'll do it." And he and his wife became a Christian. He became a leader in his church, became a member of the board of the K.G.K (the Inter-Varsity in Japan). And he was just one who still today is a...is a very fine witness for Christ. And the other...the Chinese who had been with him is a man I had met in the lab in Chicago. and I'd gone and spoken to him in Chinese. And it turned out that he'd just finished his PhD in Berkeley, and in Berkeley he'd just become a Christian, and he...he now was transferred to Chicago...he was starting a second PhD in nuclear physics. And...he...he didn't know any Christians, and he went to the nearest church...was a...which was a Christian Scientist...Science church, and that wasn't helping him too much. And so he...he started coming to our Bible study, and he came to many different conferences. He came to the missionary training camp at Cedar Campus, and really grew in the Lord in a wonderful way. And then, finally, he wrote to me, and he said, "I must go back to China," and he...he wrote saying, quoting Paul's words, "I count not my life dear unto myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry which I have received from the Lord Jesus." [Acts 20:24] And he went back to China, and then we a got word that we mustn't send any letters of books to him, and twenty-two years I have no word from him at all. Then, I got a letter after the Cultural Revolution, and [from] the Yong Lo Pet [?] Chinese Academy of Science. And I opened the letter and it started, "These twenty two years my Lord Jesus has protected me...," and he told the story of God's protection. When I got to Beijing, he was to the airport to meet me. And I heard him cry out "David" and there I was seeing him after twenty-two years or more, and he came around and shared with me. And he has had a tremendous witness for Christ. He's been over her couple of times since. Everybody knows he's a Christian, and it's a...it's a longer story, but it's quite a wonderful witness. So this work with internationals is...is tremendously important.
ERICKSEN: What led to your moving into IFES [International Fellowship of Evangelical Students]?
ADENEY: Well, after I had worked with the Inter-Varsity for about... almost five years, I had still kept in touch with the work in Asia. In fact, I think it was 1951, Stacey Woods had asked me to go to Japan, and I'd been to Japan to meet with the newly formed KGK, and especially to help in the...with the first staff workers, and discuss with them, to help them starting a staff. (They were just finishing a seminary, and....) They...they...they became (Ariga [Ari-ga-san] and Tagahashi [Ta-ka-ha-shi-san])...became the first staff in...in Japan. And then I was in touch with IFES international conferences, and we...we had a conference in America [pauses] with people coming from different parts of the world, and I was at that conference. And finally in 1956, Stacey Woods said, "Would I be willing to go to Hong Kong?" (because they were asking for help among the students in Hong Kong, and he wanted me to work with the students in Hong Kong, and also to seek to help with the newly formed movements in southeast Asia, and...and try to pioneer work in countries that were not yet reached, and....) In Hong Kong there was the Christian Association (in Hong Kong University). And I had spoken to the group when I came out of China in 1950, but at that time the group was in the Student Christian Movement, and it was very much of a social group with rather liberal teaching and influences, and.... But now, there was a new work starting in...inside the group, and a...a group of the students had started praying...they had started a prayer meeting, and there was a new spirit within the group. There was a Baptist missionary, (lady missionary), who was in touch with them, and I rather think that she got in touch with Stace...Stacey woods. And so Stacey said, "There's...something's moving among the students in Hong Kong. Would you go and see whether you can help in the work there. And so, as a family, we pulled out our roots and moved to Hong Kong. By that time, I had now joined the IFES, and was no longer supported by the...the OMF [Overseas Missionary Fellowship]. OMF has already branched out into the new fields, and...because I was to be in an executive position, which involved my taking responsibility for finances and that kind to thing, the OMF felt that it was better for me not to be a...a full member of the OMF during that...during that period. So I was still in touch with OMF. In fact when I went to Hong Kong, I became advisor to the newly started Dung Ta [?], Lighthouse magazine, which the OMF was starting, and I was put down in the OMF prayer list in italics as a... as...as...assisting in that work, but I was no longer a full member of the...of the mission. And for the next twelve years I was under the IFES, and supported by IFES. And my work was not just to be in Hong Kong. It was to be within the whole of the southeast Asia region. And so I started by traveling to Taiwan, and.... A remarkable way, when I got to Taiwan, I was looking for Christian students and I was on the train going south, and a student came up and greeted me and.... (He'd been a...a student in the China Inter-Varsity in...when I was visiting, I visited his campus in Anhui province), and he had gone to Taiwan with the nationalists, and he'd just visited seminary, and he was wondering if something could be done to work with the students. And we talked on the long...on the journey from Taipei to Tainan. And then we met with Dick Webster, who was a OMF missionary there at the time, and we (all that evening) we discussed how we could get things started in...in Taiwan. And as a result David Cha [?] started a magazine for students and then planned for a summer conference. And the next summer we had the first summer conference [clears throat]. And that summer conference really was the start of the Campus Evangelical Fellowship. And so I use to visit Taiwan from time to time, and one of the interesting contacts there was...was Professor Chang [?], who was a...he'd been converted in his mid-fifties...mid-forty or...well...round about middle age. And he was the head of a petroleum company, and after his conversion he felt that God could use him more as a teacher, and he moved to Taiwan, Tai...the...Taiwan University [pauses] and...as a professor of chemical engineering, and.... He was a very outstanding person, and he was very active in his church, and he had a Bible...a Bible class for university students in the church. And I talked to him about helping a group to work on campus, and he couldn't see it at first, he said, "No, it's best to have everything...everything in the church." But in the end [clears throat], he saw the importance of it, and agreed to come on to the board of the newly formed Campus Evangelical Fellowship, and to give his support to the student work, and.... That led on to his becoming the main adviser, chairman of the board, and trainer of the staff. He used to have two Bible studies a week for the staff workers, and...he later became the president of [National] Tsing-Hua University, which is the MIT of Taiwan. And then he went on to become the chairman of the National Council of Science, which was really cabinet standing in the...in the uni...in...in the government of Taiwan. But all the time he was giving his time to the training of the staff workers and student work which was growing very very rapidly. And he continued that until about three or four years ago, when he came to see me. He was on his way to Washington to meet with the National Council of Science people here, and he said, "I think time's come for me to retire," and he said, "I want to do writing." He had had a remarkable spiritual pilgrimage from Buddhism to agnosticism, finally into Christianity, and he said, "I think God wants me to write some of the things that I've learned." And the upshot was that we were able to invite him to come to Berkeley, and to...as a visiting scholar to New College Berkeley, where I was teaching, also. And finally he's been writing apologetic literature for Chinese intellectuals, and these booklets are going into China, and they're being used amongst the Chinese students...here, Christianity and Science, Scientific Trends and Human Development, The Book of Books, What is Christianity. And these little booklets are being much used of God today. So that was one contact. But, I use to love going to...to Taiwan, and speaking at the conferences there, meeting with the students in their campuses. Then I would go to Japan and meet with the groups there. In Japan, I had to do everything by interpretation. I...I remember going up to a conference in the very beautiful mountain holiday resort in Japan and coming down on the ski lift, (just two or three of us in a very small little cabin), and...and a Japanese student turned to me (very little English indeed), and he said, "I came to the conference alone. I go home with Jesus." [Laughs] And [pauses] it was [clicks tongue]...it was always joy to see the development of the work there and to have fellowship with the Japanese staff there. They had some extremely fine staff workers, and...there was another professor, Bai-no-san, who's become a real leader in the...in the work, and now he's on the IFES executive committee. But, I was with him when the work started in his region. And I remember his introducing me to a girl who'd just become a Christian, and she had been turned out of her home, because at the Japanese New Year, someone had brought cakes and her father said, "Offer them to the god shelf." And she said, "Father, I'd do anything to please you, but I can't do this. I'm...I'm now a Christian. I can't do it." And the father flew into a temper and said, "If you won't obey me, get out!" And she waited for him to cool off, but he wouldn't change, and she was turned out. And she was just before graduation (university). About a year later, I saw her again, and someone had taken her into a Christian home. She worked in a Christian bookshop, and after a year her family relented and she went back into her home. But one realized something of the struggles that there were at the...that the...the students.... So each country has its...its stories...
ADENEY: ...and.... One...one interesting thing was John Stott's visit to Hong Kong.
ADENEY: It was...I think it was in 1963, that.... The Hong Kong group had become very strong, and was really being effective in its witness to the Lord. We had...we had started in Hong Kong with the...the CA [Christian Association] group, and then we wanted to reach out to the other colleges, and also to the...the high schools. And one day, soon after arriving, I was on the ferry and I met a...a...a Chinese doc...dentist who had studied in America and now returned to Hong Kong. And he was a very fine Christian. And I got to know him on the ferry and he came to our home, and his wife was an American-born Chinese having rather a difficult time getting adjusted to the...to life there in Hong Kong. And that couple became the...really the...the leaders in the Graduate Christian Fellowship which we formed at that time, (because we felt if we were going to reach the...the high school students and the other colleges, we must have a group of graduates who would stand behind the work). And so beginning with meetings in our home, this...this started the Graduate Christian Fellowship. Last year we had the 30th anniversary, and 400 graduates came to the dinner,... remembering the time when we...when we started. Now one thing we did was to start a reading room, because so many of the students find it, (who live in very very cramped conditions, they have no where to study, especially the high school students). And so we started a reading room with space for them to study, and library (we'd lend books to them), and we had two of those reading rooms. Then we got work started in the high schools, and... and then gradually into the other colleges. Because of the very liberal theological atmosphere in Hong Kong, we had some problems. The...when I first started in the Christian College, Christian, which is now a part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, but there was...there was Chong Chee, which was a Christian college. They wouldn't allow us to meet on campus, and we would meet by the...on the beach by the sea shore, a small group of students, and we'd meet...we'd meet there and had some wonderful times of fellowship there. And then later on things changed, and I was even invited to...to speak at meetings, a series of meetings in the...in the college, and the chaplain became quite friendly, although he was...not completely one with us in theological positions. But we did have real problems with the Bishop...the Bishop of Hong Kong, quite an out...outstanding person in many ways, and he is very highly respected, but he was very liberal in his theology, and we arranged for John Stott to come and take a mission, and the students were terrifically enthusiastic about it. By this time they were a very active group, and.... They had withdrawn from the Student Christian Movement, and the Student Christian Movement now had it's...it's own organization. But the...the Christian Association was going ahead, was becoming more and more active and...and effective in the university. And so they arranged this mission for John Stott, and everything was arranged. This was twenty-five years ago. And John arrived in Hong Kong and then a bomb shell. The Bishop...issued an ultimatum: "John Stott would not be allowed to preach in his diocese." And according to the rules of the...of the Church of England, it's a very, very serious thing to disobey the bishop in whose territory you find yourself. And to our great dismay, John decided that...that he could not risk disobeying the Bishop. And we had to cancel the whole mission. The only thing he was allowed to do was to meet privately with the...the Christian Association leaders, and have...have fellowship with them, so.... And then he went to have a interview with the Bishop, and the Bishop told him he was immature in his faith, and the Bishop, I think possibly, rather regretted things because later on he called me in, and...and he said that he was thinking of inviting Alan Cole, (who was Australian or least as I know from Ireland, originally, but actually with the...with the OMF), that a...an Anglican, and...very, very...extremely gifted person, and he was going to invite him to come and have meetings in Hong Kong University, [laughs] and I think he's just trying to make amends for his having turned...turned down the request for...for John Stott. But from...from...from Hong Kong, John Stott went to Manila, and I went with him to Manila and we had a mission in Manila in which the Lord really used him. Many people came to know Christ. And I'll always remember his preaching in the cathedral at Manila. The cathedral at Manila is extremely high church, and it was my first experience in the...before the service, meeting with the choir and the clergy, and invoking the saints, and...and so on. John described the service as "bells and smells" [laughs]. But...but John gave a magnificent address there, and the Lord really used him in the Manila mission. So those were the...some of the early days...the development of the work.
ERICKSEN: What...can we talk a little more about John Stott, before we get away too far from him. What...what kind of fellow was he?
ADENEY: Well...I...I mean...to me, John is not only a prince of Bible expositors, and I don't think I know of anybody who can have such a gift of combining a prophetic and teaching ministry. Prophetic in the since of speaking to the...to the needs of today and doing it though the use of the Scriptures. Because John Stott's evangelism is also exposition, and his...his messages are...are...are so based upon the Script...the Scriptures, and...and yet he brings the...the Word of God with such effect that students respond to it and...and come to know Christ, and not only his preaching, but also his writing. I remember his...taking his...his book [pauses] Basic Christianity and lending it to a professor in a university in...in Hong Kong, (a man who had a...a very much of an intellectual background, and somewhat of a philosophical background, and he'd studied in Europe). And I lent him this...this book, and he kept it for a long time, and then he brought it back to me, and he had gone all through the book underlining various things and through that he became a Christian. And so whether it be John's preaching or his writing, he's so effective among students. But of course, he's more than that, he's a friend, and I thank God for him as a man who is so humble, and I think he's sort of afraid of being glorified, and this I think accounts for his unwillingness for anything to be written about him in biographical terms, and.... He's a man whose extremely disciplined in his own devotional spiritual life. And he's a man whom I felt I could go to for counsel, and.... John is ten years younger than I am, but I look up to him as a brother who has been...he's given me real encouragement, at the.... I remember when I was appointed president of the IFES, and I...my appointment came without my knowing about it, because a letter went astray and I was not even asked if I would allow my name to be put forward, and I wasn't able to be at the conference. And after the conference I re...suddenly received word that I was the new president of IFES, and.... After...little time after that I went through a time of considerable depression, and I felt very...very much concerned as to having taking on this position. Could I live up to it? And if I should fail my Lord, what would this do for the glory of His name and for the...for IFES? And I remember going and talking to John at a...I was speaking at a conference in England, And...I...we had a long talk together, and I shared with him some of my fears and doubts, and that was a very...very helpful talk that I'd had with him. And he's always been someone that...(I don't see him very often, but whenever I do see him), I feel encouraged in our fellowship together.
ERICKSEN: During your time as associate general secretary in Asia, where did you find the student work had the most difficult time?
ADENEY: [Pauses] I found it difficult in...to get the...the work started in Indonesia. It...later on it started, and more under...when Chua Wee Hian took over from me, and it developed much more af...after that. I was there at the beginning of the Student Christian Movement, extremely strong in Indonesia, and extremely opposed to Inter-Varsity coming in. And evangelical missions who were cooperating with the...the church in Indonesia were a little afraid of rocking the boat, and they were a bit afraid of...of...upsetting the church authorities, so that it wasn't easy to...to get the work started. And in fact, when I was the associate general secretary, the work in Indonesia, there was an evangelical work, es...especially in Medan. But it was...it was not under the name of Inter-Varsity. Rosemary Aldis,(who is now Personnel Director for OMF and she was teaching in the university there), and...she started a Bible class for the students. And I remember at that time the SCM student secretary came by and he was so liberal that he almost...almost denied the very basic acts of the faith and was completely political. And...and so the...some of the...the students wanted a biblical teaching, and they started a Bible study and Rosemary Aldis, as a lecturer in the university, was a great help to the students and got quite a strong movement going, but it remained nominally as a Bible study linked with the Student Christian Movement, even though it was...it was completely separate. And for...for some time it wasn't easy really to get a...a...a...movement established in Indonesia. But finally Perkantas was formed and has now gone...really gone ahead. Indonesia had some difficulties. In...in Thailand, there was a...it was a hard field there because there are so few Christians. And it was in Thailand that a...a...a OMF missionary went to lecture, I think in pharmacology, Dr. Richards, and he started...and there an American lady who was lecturing in geo...geography. And they started very small, little Bible study groups in...in a couple of universities in Bangkok, and finally out of that there grew the Thai Christians Students. But that was quite a...a struggle in the...in the beginning, both of those places. In many places we...we had to overcome initial prejudices and some...some opposition. Even the Philippines, which became a very...quite a large movement.... When I first went to the Philippines, where the work was started by Gwen Wong and Mary Beaton, and they had...they started with a tiny little group in a little baby Austin [?], and that was a prayer meeting in the University of the Philippines. And they got the work going there and then they said, "Now it's time for us to...pull out." And they were working with IFES and they turned it over to the Filipino leadership. And I used to go and visit there in the Philippines and speak at...at conferences and...and so on. And in the University of the Philippines we were not allowed to meet in university buildings and the students used to meet under the trees. They called it the Christian Trees. And if it rained we had to rush and get under a...of a bridge and continue our meeting under...under the bridge. And then one year, they decided to have a mission and they invited P.T. Chandapilla from India, and.... I must talk about Chandapilla. He was an outstanding person. But unfortunately Chandapilla was taken ill and couldn't go. So they asked if I could take his place, and so I went to...went to the Philippines and we decided that we would make an attempt to get recognition. And there was one Christian professor, professor Constancio Amen, and so I went with him to the university authorities. And it was a time they were having a lot of troubles with the students. There was political unrest, and some of the students were very communist in their...in their beliefs. And in fact they were...they were holding communist groups on...on campus. And...and the authorities, (as we talked to them), they finally agreed, but they looked at my subjects. They said, "This is too...too religious. You must change your subjects. But you can have the lecture hall and you can have the mission here." And so I revamped the list of...of subjects and...and...and we had the meetings. And they...and...and I think changing the subjects was...was very very beneficial. And as a result large numbers of students came, and we had quite a...quite a wonderful time in the...in the mission on campus. And from that time there was no more problem. They could meet officially and use university buildings. And then they had a mission down in...in Cebu, and [pauses] I...I went down there to speak at that. And this illustrates the amazing thing that has happened in the Philippines. I think it was on that...when I was on the...on the plane I talked to a Jesuit priest, and he said...he said, "You know, ninety percent of what the Filipino Catholics believe is supperstition." This was Jesuit...Jesuit piece...priest. But when I got to the Philippines [Cebu], I discovered to my amazement, that the...the one staff worker, (one I think to Cebu) had arranged a luncheon to which he'd invited the mayor of the city, and all the...the heads of the colleges in the city, plus the chairman of the student bodies in each university. And I said, "Do you think they'll come?" And I was suppose...to speak to this...this group. And they had the luncheon and to my amazement these people turned up. And after speaking to them, I was greatly surprised when the president of the oldest university in the Philippines, San Carlos, which goes back some 500 years or so, came up to me and he said, "When are you coming to my university?" I said, "We don't have a group at your university." "Oh," he said, "You've got to come to my university." And so, a day or two later, I went to his university, and he...he...he first of all had the reception for the faculty, and I spoke to the faculty and talked with them. And then he had a...a student meeting, and the dean of the theology department introduced me. And...and...and he said, "At a time when...when there are so many nominal Christians in the Church, Mr. Adeney's message is very important." This was my introduction to the students, and.... In it I had used some illustrations from China, my talk used some illustrations from China, and at the end of the message the president of the university got up, and he said, "In China, Mr. Adeney tells us how the...the young people are all studying the works of Chairman Mao." He said, "I wonder how many of you are studying the words of Jesus Christ every day." And so that was.... ....Went on from there to Mindanao, and we had missions in different...different centers. But these are just some of the...