David Chou and Pastor Billy Chang spent their whole lives forging parallel paths. They were born in early 1950s Taiwan, grew up just miles apart during martial law and later rebuilt their lives in the United States.

But over several decades, they carried with them vastly different memories — and views — of the island of their birth.

Chou was the son of parents who fled mainland China after the 1949 communist revolution, part of a mass exodus of Chinese who established an authoritarian government-in-exile in Taiwan. Although he was born on the island, he and his parents were "mainlanders” devoted to the Chinese motherland and saw Taiwan as forever part of China.