Monday, August 18
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As a test of advanced Presbyterian knowledge, the following question might be submitted: What Presbyterian-established university took for its campus a former prisoner-of-war camp and used its barracks as classrooms? If you answered Shikoku Gakuin University in Zentsuji, Japan, you would be correct. In 1949, soon after the end of the Second World War, the Japan Mission of the former Presbyterian Church in the U.S., together with Japanese Christians, founded this liberal-arts institution on the island of Shikoku. Where Allied POWs had languished under severe conditions, this center of Christian witness and learning—and symbol of hope and peace for war-ravaged Japan—was established.
Starting out with only eight professors and 36 students, Shikoku Gakuin has blossomed into a comprehensive university offering 19 majors and several graduate programs. Under the able leadership of President Takaaki Sueyoshi, the university is endeavoring to meet the educational needs of young adults in Japan, especially those from Shikoku. The erstwhile POW camp has been transformed into a beautiful garden campus, as proof that violence and hatred can be overcome by love and learning.
Just as importantly, Shikoku Gakuin University has become a beacon for Christian witness. Only a small percentage of the students are Christian, and most have had very little contact with Christians and the Christian faith. Their days at university provide ample opportunity to learn about the faith that transformed a hellish POW camp into a beautiful and happy center of learning. Seeds of faith are planted, and God brings the increase.
—Rev. Dr. Bill Moore, PC(USA) mission coworker, Nishitani
Let us join in prayer for:
Japan Oral School for the Deaf: Akinobu Nishigai, principal • Kinjo Gakuin University: Dr. Tetsuo Kashiwagi, MD, chancellor • Meiji Gakuin University: Dr. Haruki Ohnishi, chancellor • Shikoku Gakuin University: Dr. Takaaki Sueyoshi, president • Tokyo Union Theological Seminary: Rev. Dr. Katsuhiko Kondo, president • Tokyo Woman’s Christian University: Dr. Masako Sanada, president • Yodogawa Christian Hospital
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Gracious God, we thank you for your transforming power through our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. We pray that many young people may come to know you through the witness of Shikoku Gakuin University. Amen.