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Adventist Mission

The Banner Man

“By wearing the Sabbath banner, I’m able to proclaim the Sabbath truth effectively and conveniently,” he said.

Song Sung Sub* lives in one of the most densely populated areas of the world—the Seoul Capital Area in South Korea. He serves as Assistant Secretary of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Living and working in such an area, Sung Sub wondered how to reach the millions of people around him with the important Three Angels’ Messages found in Revelation 14.

“I wanted people to see the truth, so my strategy was to come up with a way for them to immediately see the heart of the Three Angels’ Messages—which is the Sabbath,” said Sung Sub.

Creative and Bold

Before long, a very creative and bold idea came to him. Sung Sub contacted a local advertising company, and designed a customized backpack advertising banner proclaiming in large yellow letters on a blue background that the “Sabbath Day = Saturday = Seventh-day.” The banner included more details in smaller print surrounding the main message.

As he considered this unique form of evangelism, Sung Sub had two biblical examples in mind: 1) Jonah, who was sent to walk around a large city, proclaiming the need for repentance, and 2) the children of Israel who were a silent witness as they marched around Jericho.

“By wearing the Sabbath banner, I’m able to proclaim the Sabbath truth effectively and conveniently,” he said.

Surprising Encounters

Sung Sub wears his banner as he rides his bicycle to and from work, and often wears it as he walks in the park.

“When people see the banner, they are curious and they read it with a loud voice. There are always people around, and they talk about the words on the banner. The Sabbath is an important message, a testing truth. There are many ways to spread this message, but this is my strategy.”

When he first started wearing the Sabbath banner, Sung Sub worried that people might feel negative toward him, or think that he was judging them. Instead, he was delighted to see that many were interested in learning more about the message that he carried on his back.

“One day I took the subway while wearing the banner, and a person kept following me. Finally the person approached me and said, ‘I know this is the truth. Is there a church that keeps the Sabbath day?’”

Another time Sung Sub was walking with his banner through a park on a Sabbath afternoon when he was approached by two couples. “Oh, you must be from the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” they told him. “We haven’t attended church in a long time. Where is it? We have been looking for one!”

Sometimes Christians who worship on Sunday approach Sungsab with appreciation for the banner’s message, often exclaiming, “I didn’t know that!”

Children enjoy seeing the unusual sight and will frequently follow the banner man for as long as they are allowed to do so by their parents.

A Character Building Experience

“Sometimes people ask me how I can survive carrying this banner around,” Sung Sub admits. “My heart isn’t brave enough to carry this on my own. And I need to behave very well because I’m carrying this important message. My mind should be peaceful. I pray and pray—then I feel at peace and filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. I know that God’s angels are walking right beside me. I find the whole experience to be very much a character changing and building experience.”

The banner idea is catching on. Not long ago an elder in Sung Sub’s church asked for a copy of the design. “I also felt that I needed to do some type of evangelism” said the elder, “and this is the one that I need to do.” The elder had an even larger banner made, and he uses it as he distributes literature. Already his banner has attracted a lot of attention.

“I feel very happy,” said Sung Sub. “I am seeking lost sheep. My strategy is: Just one glance, and the message is forever recorded in their minds. And whenever people ask for more information, I share some literature with them. This is just a pilot project—who knows what the results will be?”

*In Korea, names are written with the family name first, followed by the first, or given name(s).