1/19/10 Tom, 30
Several weeks of cold weather have kept me witnessing indoors, so today's warm and sunny afternoon was a welcome change. At the park I asked an Asian man on the sidewalk if he had a few minutes to answer some questions. "I'm from a church nearby, and really want to know about the spiritual beliefs of people in the neighborhoods around us". He agreed, I introduced myself, and he told me his adopted westernized name, Tom. I asked about his background. Tom moved to Chicago from mainland China about five years ago, and now owns a carpet business. He grew up under communism with its atheistic ideology. Confucianism forms his moral beliefs and he was aware of the Buddhist beliefs of people around him. Christianity, in his experience, was a western religion that seemed relatively unimportant. I was curious about atheistic morality since there is no God ultimately to be held accountable to. Tom said that Asian people don't want to "lose face". While western people may fear punishment in the next life, Asian people fear the punishment of peers and society in this life. In general, Tom said, western people are much more moral in their daily lives. After a long discussion in which I learned a lot, Tom was glad to hear more about Christianity. Afterward, he described it as "the perfect religion, it all makes sense". He said he is gradually learning more about it and admires Christian beliefs but he "can't change his Asian way of thinking overnight". I gave him some more info that respects other religions, but points out that only biblical Christianity solves the sin problem that separates us from God. I am confident Tom will read it and I believe God will continue to work in his life.