I have a friend who is Hui. She might be my best friend in the city. Why are we so close when it seems like it takes so long for relationships to be built here in East Asia? Many times when I try to become friends with people here I get surface answers of “I’m fine, life is great, no problems here.”
One o’clock rolls around, and what had previously filled the table – a feast of chicken, beef, sweet rice, special bread, and stir-fried vegetables – now fills our bellies. As I begin standing up from the table, my Chinese grandmother, a sweet Hui lady in her late 70’s, tells me, “Don’t you run away now; we still have to wrap the dumplings. You are staying to wrap the dumplings, aren’t you?” Her question leaves room only for a Yes.
A sweet Hui family, who own a hole in the wall restaurant, cooked up a special dish of “Big Plate Chicken” to serve on Thanksgiving evening to their foreign friends and special memories were made, deepening their relationship. Kiddos dressed up as angels and shepherds and heard the true story of Christmas while wearing costumes and having fun with their friends.
Jordan, Emery, Amy and Mike: Jordan is a single young lady who is quickly noticed for her sweet spirit. She’s very introverted, but she does have an obvious and genuine like for people she meets. She’s gifted in learning languages, caring for people, and serving people in a way that makes the Gospel more real to the recipients. Emery is her best friend. Emery is also pretty introverted. She enjoys deep theological discussions, strategizing, and teaching. She and Jordan are both notably punctual people.
I’ve heard before that it’s not always good to listen to what “they” say, but it can also be very difficult to get first-hand experience, especially when it comes to expat life in another country, namely China. We also often hear a friend here say, “What’s true today in China will not necessarily be true tomorrow.”
When the Father called our family to China to work among the Dongxiang people, we were about as green as you could be when it comes to working among Chinese Muslims.