One thing that you cannot help but to notice when you’re in Taichung is how there are so many tea shops everywhere.  It used to be quite a stressful thing to order tea but we’re more comfortable doing it now.  First, you have to decide what size you want and choose a tea from the many different kinds such as milk tea, Oolong tea, green tea, fruit tea.  You can ask them to add boba or jin-joo (smaller version of boba) or some other jelly.  Some places even offer vanilla ice cream as an add-in.  Instead of a root beer float, it’s a tea float.  You also have to tell them the degree of ice and degree of sugar that you want.  People usually order some degree of cold.  The tea “masters” make your tea individually mixed and then give you a convenient little plastic bag with handles.  We see people carrying & drinking their tea almost anywhere.

It’s been several months now in Taiwan so we’ve grown accustomed to the fact that boba tea here is not like the ones in the U.S. which are more like slushies or smoothies.  We figured out our personal favorites.  Mine is green tea with boba, a little ice & no sugar.  Our girls like coconut jelly milk tea with half ice & half sugar.  We feel better treating our kids to a cup of tea because it’s not as bad as soda.  They get way more excited about a tea shop stop than at a soda machine.  They haven’t asked for 7-11 slurpees either even though we found one that carries them near their school.

One truth that we cannot deny is that people will only let go of something they are holding on to ONLY WHEN something better comes along.

We were told that not too long ago, the streets of Taichung were lined with betel nut shops.  Betel nut are chewed to produce effects of nicotine & even a mild narcotic.  It’s quite easy to detect betel nut users because it stains their teeth red.  We also see a lot of red stain on the streets from people spitting betel nut juice.  But still the number of betel nut shops has drastically decreased because we were told the demand for tea replaced people’s desire for betel nuts.  The bottom line is people preferred to drink tea than chew betel nuts.

People will let go of something they are holding on to ONLY WHEN something better comes along.

This principle holds especially true in the spiritual realm.  I don’t care what anyone else says, the truth is we decided to follow Christ because He offered a better alternative.  I don’t buy the fact that some people say they had to give up a good thing to follow Christ.  No way.  Even for me, I accepted Christ as my Savior & Lord because He extended forgiveness, healing, peace & life that nothing else in this life could offer.  Nothing in this world can compare to what I have gained in Christ.  For that same reason I will never give Him up for anything in this world.

The only way that Taiwanese people will let go of their traditional religions & worldliness is only if they can see the beauty of our Risen Savior.  This is where missionaries & Christians come in.  Our job isn’t so much to prove their religion wrong.  Our task at hand is to direct people to witness life, joy & peace that are in Jesus Christ through both our speech & life, and how our freedom in Christ goes beyond this life.  I can’t think of anything that can match such an amazing offer.

C.S. Lewis describes the people of our time,

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

I will argue that if one can only see what it means to be in Christ, he will abandon all things that gave him a false sense of security to embrace the real thing.

We don’t want to compete with other religions.  We don’t have to for Jesus Christ alone reigns supreme!