By Angela Chen
Sloth is an 8th grader who attends the youth group in Puxin, a rural town in Western Taiwan. He is quiet around his classmates but surprisingly, at youth group, he is the first to answer questions. Sloth loves to stay behind for games with the other students after the program but the missionaries urge him to go home as soon as the youth group is over since his father, Chou, has previously come along to scold Sloth and drag him home.
A year ago, Chou had a minor stroke and was hospitalized. Sloth seldom visited his dad because of his busy school schedule. One Saturday, Wayne, an OMF missionary, took Sloth to see Chou in the hospital.
When Chou saw Sloth, his eyes were filled with tears as he said, “You (Wayne) know how to teach him. Thank you.” The visit was a short one but at the end, Chou asked Wayne to pray for him.
Wayne began to visit Chou weekly to share Bible stories. Chou started asking meaningful questions and listening to an audio Bible. Within one month, Sloth’s mother arranged for Chou to be baptized in a local church. He had become a Christian!
In the following two months, Chou disposed of the seven idols that he had faithfully worshipped. With the help of a short-term team, missionaries and the family cleaned up the shrine where the idols were placed and turned it into a bright, spacious storage room. During the cleaning time, Chou looked worried and dared not come closer. Occasionally he peeped in to check on the cleaning progress. When it was done and he was invited to enter to see the difference, he strode in with his walking stick, wearing a big smile on his face. He had found freedom!
After the stroke, Chou couldn’t sit too long so he found it difficult to attend Sunday worship. Wayne offered to hold a meeting at his home on Saturday nights. Three months after Chou’s stroke, a house church was established. Gradually, Sloth’s siblings joined in and his mother led during the Chinese New Year break while the missionaries were away.
It is never easy for a traditional Taiwanese working class man to become a Christian. It was even harder for Chou because of his long history of idol worship and his experience as a spirit medium in his youth.
Step-by-step, the red light of the household shrine has turned into a cross in this home. But sadly, in much of Taiwan, these red lights are still dotted across the whole country.
Will you pray for Taiwan?
- Pray for Sloth’s family to be a light in their community and be a blessing to many.
- Pray for Taiwanese families to come to know the freedom Christ offers.
- Pray that people in Taiwan would encounter believers who can share the gospel message with them.