One beautiful sunny afternoon my Chinese student Mike asked if he could take me up to the Blessing Tower. It was a huge traditional style pagoda built on one of the highest hills over looking the valley of the city. Residents would climb it’s eight stories, saying a prayer at the Buddha on every level until they finally reached the top where a ceremonial prayer bell could be rung for a small fee.
I happily accepted my friends invitation and we jumped on the public bus that brought us directly there. As we walked through the gardens leading up to the entrance of the Blessing Tower I began asking him what this place meant to him. He said, “Many people come here to offer burnt incense and prayers, seeking wealth and happiness for their family.” All around the surrounding gardens were thousands of red prayer ribbons tied to trees and bushes, a lasting testimony to the amount of people seeking happiness.
We began climbing the tower and reached the top and quietly took in the panorama view of the city. On our way down with our backs to the pagoda Mike turned to me and asked out of nowhere, “Is Buddha like Jesus?” “Well,” I said, “When you believe in Jesus you only need to ask once and he will give you all the happiness you ever need.” We talked more about the differences for the remainder of the trip. I was blessed to be able to share more with Mike about Jesus throughout the semester.
Mike is just one of millions of students in China seeking answers and true purpose in life. Pray that the gospel can be sent to these hungry hearts.
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