The Chinese American tennis star Michael Chang is being invited by a leading Christian media ministry in Hong Kong to give testimony of his Christian faith.
Co-sponsored by the Hong Kong-based Goodnews Communication International (GNCI) and the Prince of Peace Charity Foundation, an evangelistic gathering will be held at the Kowloon City Baptist Church in the evening of Jan. 9. Michael Chang will fly from the United States and share his Christian faith with Christians in Hong Kong.
The theme of the gathering is "My Calling." In Chinese, the title makes a little play of words related to tennis- "To Grasp the Right of Service of Your Life"- to highlight the providence of God in one's life. The subtitle has quoted one of Chang's favorite Bible verses from Philippians 1: 6, "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
As Chang will be speaking in English, Rev. Chan Young Man from the Abundant Life Christian Church will translate his speech into Cantonese simultaneously.
Making the legend on the tennis court at the age of 17, Chang gained victory over Stefan Edberg to capture the title of French Open champion in 1989 and became the youngest man ever to win a Grand Slam tournament.
However, in front of the flashlights of cameras from the world, as a devout Christian, Chang has never tried to hide his faith in Christ while he firmly believes that the victory he has gained is in Christ and is a testimony for God.
During an interview with the ChristianityToday in July/August 1998, Chang said, "People sometimes ask me, 'Don't you wish you were bigger?' There's a reason God made me 5-foot-9 in a world where the average height of players is 6-foot-2. If I'm able to go out and win a tournament, it's really to God's glory. It obviously has nothing to do with my height or anything else."
Even though Chang has not gained another Grand Slam title, Chang assessed his success by different measures, according to ChristianityToday:
"It's not essential that I win another Grand Slam or become number one, although certainly it would be nice to do either or both of those things. Success for me is using my talents in the way that God wants me to use them. When you touch people in a Christ-like way, it lasts a lifetime. That's the way success should be defined."
Born as a Chinese American and growing up in a God-centered family, Chang was able to realize God's greater plan for him. He explained to ChristianityToday, "I realize now that God made me Chinese for a reason. In my position, I can influence tremendously the Asian-Pacific region, to bring the gospel to them."
Indeed, the popularity of Chang is so much greater in Asia than in the United States.
In 1999, the Chang Family Foundation (CFF), a Christian outreach organization was established. The foundation uses the acronym CHANG for its vision: "Christ Honored And introduced to the Next Generation." CFF's local community and international programs include youth tennis camps, evangelistic events, and a scholarship program.
After Chang's retirement in 2003, he has been spending more time on Christian ministries. Chang's pastor, Wayne Ogimachi of Lighthouse Christian Church in Seattle, told Christian Reader that Chang has guided several people to become Christians.
Ogimachi said Chang "has become a role model for many young people, and has helped them to see that you can be a Christian and a sports champion."
Chang's appearance in the evangelistic gathering in Hong Kong is expected to draw many people. The entry to the event is free.