Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Pilgrimage Spark for Macau

If you like this article about pilgrimage and Macau, I hope you will share the link with others through Twitter, Facebook, text, or email.

Along with several other people recently, I took the challenge to choose where I would want to take a pilgrimage and why. I had a week to think about it and my thoughts turned to the Chinese island of Macao, or Macau. Macau is a large and prosperous gambling center, attracting visitors from all parts of the world. It is also the home of Christian families dating back several generations of Chinese life.

The Macau of Chinese Christians brings to mind European names like Robert Morrison, J. Hudson Taylor, and Charles Gutzlaff, German missionary to mainland China who went to Macau toward the end of his life, according to a reliable source, A. J. Broomhall.  

I think of places like China as fertile places to share the gospel of Jesus Christ if you look at it this way: If you have turned on a pen light or struck a match, then you know what a small amount of light can mean in the darkness. Sometimes our questions about God or a "higher power" seem like questions in the darkness. One song says, "It only takes a spark to keep a fire going." The spark of faith flared in my life long ago.

And a spark flared in my mind years ago about China missions and Charles Gutlaff while reading about his Christ-like response to attacks from some of the other European Christians in mainland China. That story kept a little fire of interest in my mind about Macau, where C. Gutzlaff went not long before he died. 

The question that led to my thoughts of pilgrimage to Macau, and the why of it, prompted new interest: Are there now in Macau the results of  generations of Chinese Christians;  what are their generational stories like, up to the present time? I realized I would very much like to know their ancestral stories of faith. I would like to meet the families and hear the living generations' stories with my own ears. And I would like to write about what I hear and learn, if given permission by those I might listen to. 

To research Christian life in Macau today, I found the Global China Center in Charlottesville, VA, USA, online. I now begin to read and to learn more about Macau, Christ-followers there, and how the community of Christians fares in the present time. I also remember two young adult believers whom I knew while living in Switzerland over 15 years ago. Both were from mainland China, as I recall, and worked in the Geneva area in business and science, respectively. I never heard either of them speak of Macau, but I wish I would have asked them more about their stories. .

In my hope to learn more about generations of Chinese Christian families in Macau, I have a spark of interest in being allowed to visit, worship,  and pray with them on a pilgrimage to Macau.Like many people whom Jesus talked with on this earth, as a modern-age believer I have little official knowledge in to qualify me for such a venture. That's why I have no idea if this idea to visit Macau with a purpose in mind might go farther than an answer to a question about pilgrimage. If this spark should grow, then I hope that others could help me in educational and contact ways.

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