Roots Christian Club invites guest speaker to prepare for weeklong Why Jesus? event

Pastor Yuji Ogura introduces the Wordless Book as an evangelism tool

Tyler Cho and Flora Peng

Pastor Yuji Ogura took out a book and asked people to describe it. Flipping through the pages, he told them to explain what made it different from all the other books they had seen before. He was met with hesitation, students pausing before calling out their thoughts.

He called it the Wordless Book: it was blank, there were no words or pictures on any of the palm-sized pages and every other spread was a different color. But just like any other book, he said, it tells a story — the story of a man named Jesus Christ.

On March 28, Roots Christian Club invited Ogura to speak in preparation for their weeklong event, Why Jesus?, which will be held from April 8-12 to give students opportunities to learn about the Christian faith. Although Ogura has spoken at MVHS before, this will be his first time participating in Why Jesus?

Expressing his desire for the Gospel to be spread to students, and even adults, on campus, Ogura introduced the Wordless Book to members as a resource club members could use for sharing their faith. A simple tool, the book outlines the basics of Christian beliefs in five colors.

“The Wordless Book was made so that anyone could understand it and it could be used to teach children, to teach teens, to teach adults,” Ogura said. “And [Why Jesus?] itself is a way of reaching the untouched.”

Ogura then walked students through the meaning behind each of the colors and the order in which they are presented in the book: gold for heaven, black for sin, red for the blood of Jesus, white for forgiveness and salvation, and green for spiritual growth. He also read out relevant Scripture passages relating to each of the themes and modeled a conversation with a nonbeliever, using the book as a visual aid to explain the Gospel.

“Usually at church in our youth group, they’ll be a passage, and then the pastor would talk about it and analyze the text a little bit and answer questions about the process,” sophomore Lauren Yin said. “[This meeting] was interesting because it was about what was different than how we learn what we normally [learn about God].”

When advising the members on what to do when discussing their faith with a nonbeliever, Ogura recommended holding one’s self back from projecting their beliefs directly onto the other. From experience, he explained that such an action could compel them to agree for the sake of being agreeable or cause them to become disinterested in the conversation.

“[They should be thinking,] ‘Do I believe as a child of God that Jesus truly died and rose again from the cross? Do I actually believe that I was on his mind when he made that sacrifice?”’ Ogura said. “And if the person says, ‘Yes, I believe he did that for me,’ I … believe that’s a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.”

Ogura closed with a message from 2 Corinthians 5:14-19.

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

The message left the members with the purpose of reconciling people back to God. In the future, Christian Club hopes to be able to invite other speakers and pastors to MVHS in an effort to promote more interest and engagement in their activities.

“The point of this event is just to get out the faith to school, and to really give people an opportunity to understand why again, Why Jesus?, why it is that we follow this,” vice president and junior Yoanna Lee said. “It doesn’t have to be through one pastor because it’s about the faith, so we’ll see what happens.”