The Biggest Blessing of Chang's Year

“As I joined the procession for Mazu, the goddess of the sea, I knew this was the year I would receive the greatest blessings.”
Chang is in his 30’s and a personable man who works in a bookstore. He has taken part in Mazu processions for a number of years at his mother’s urging. During Mazu’s birthday each year, thousands of people follow a 211-mile pilgrimage through the south of Taiwan, passing through many towns and villages. The people from these villages come out to kneel in a line on the roads and allow the image of the goddess to pass over them and to rain her blessings on them. They in turn hand out food and drink to the pilgrims following the goddess on her journey.
Chang jokingly said that despite the exercise of the pilgrimage, he would put on weight from all the food and drink handed out! At times, he would take his turn carrying the heavy wooden rods supporting the palanquin on which the idol of Mazu sits on his shoulders. Chang was very willing to put up with the hardships of the pilgrimage including a lack of a proper place to sleep and long days of walking while the sun beat down because he was motivated to receive Mazu’s blessing and receive peace. For him, this blessing meant somehow coming into more money. And the peace he desired was that life would go smoothly and without trouble.
Chang’s greatest blessing that year came to him rather differently than he thought it would. A few months after he joined the procession, an attractive co-worker in a department store invited him to church. He went along just to be with her but soon began seeking the Christian God in earnest. He had always worshiped many gods but he was learning about the true and living God and was attracted to follow him.
However, letting go of his past gods was not easy. He worried that all the gods he had worshipped would began wreaking their vengeance on him and making his life miserable. The missionary in the church tried to encourage him by calling him often and arranging for him to read the Bible with another man in church.
Chang slowly began gaining more understanding that God the Creator was more powerful than the gods he had prayed to all his life. Even though life has not been as smooth as he had hoped, he has confidence that he has found peace—a very different peace from what he had imagined.
Chang soon went on his final pilgrimage, was baptized and received the greatest blessing of all: his eternal salvation.

Will you pray for Taiwan?

  • Pray for Chang to continue growing in his faith in Christ, and to share the blessing of his salvation with friends and family.
  • Pray that the effort expended in worship would lead Taiwanese to question the object of their worship. Pray that they would come to know Christ, who takes our burden of sin on himself and covers us in grace.

To explore opportunities to serve Taiwan, CLICK HERE. 
Related posts: Family Tears Down Idol Shelf and Finds Freedom in Christ / “I Did it for You”

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