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 at an evangelistic gathering.
Organized by the Hong Kong-based Goodnews Communication International (GNCI), the gathering will be held at the Kowloon City Baptist Church on the evening of Jan. 9. 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" and the title "To Grasp the Right of Service of Your Life" in Chinese, plays on tennis-related words to highlight the providence of God in one's life. The subtitle quotes one of Chang's favorite Bible verses, "...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," from Philippians 1:6.
As Chang will be speaking in English during the gathering, the Rev. Chan Young Man from the Abundant Life Christian Church will translate his speech into Cantonese simultaneously.
Chang was made into a legend on the tennis court after gaining victory over Stefan Edberg to capture the title of French Open champion in 1989 at the age of 17, thus becoming the youngest man ever to win a Grand Slam tournament.
However, as a devout Christian, Chang has never tried to hide his faith in Christ in front of the spotlight of the world and he firmly believes that the victory he has gained is in Christ and is a testimony for God.
In an interview featured in the July/August 1998 issue of Christianity Today, 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, he stated. 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 yet gained another Grand Slam title, Chang assessed his success by different measures, according to Christianity Today.
"It's not essential that I win another Grand Slam or become number one, he said, 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 said was able to realize God's greater plan for him. He explained to Christianity Today that he realized later in life that God made him Chinese for a reason.
In my position, I can influence tremendously the Asian-Pacific region, to bring the gospel to them," he said.
Indeed, the popularity of Chang is 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.
Since 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 the Christian Reader that Chang has guided several people to becoming 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 at the evangelistic gathering in Hong Kong is expected to draw many people. The entry to the event is free.