Intentionality with a Dongxiang Friend

The Gospel clearly speaks for itself. But honestly, it can be hard to find different angles from which to share the Gospel when it comes to friends who have been shared with many, many times. I’m so thankful, though, that the Lord continues to open doors, windows, even cracks for His Word to come through.

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A Call to Prayer

I had never seen Friday prayers at a mosque before. On our way back from a trip to another city, we decided to stop and watch as the men assembled for worship.

It was a cold, cloudy afternoon, eerily quiet, the square almost void of people. A few minutes passed as I wandered around in front of the intricately decorated mosque, looking at the buildings and attempting but not succeeding to read the characters written on the walls.

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Who is Who?

Buddhist jewelry, short-shorts and neighborhood bars. These are typically not the first things that pop into one’s mind when thinking of Muslims. I live in a city with mostly Han people and roughly thirty percent Hui people. Despite the people group categorization, at first glance it can be difficult to differentiate the Hui from their Han neighbors. Traditionally, the Hui people have a distinct culture that can be characterized from the outside by their clothing and lifestyle choices. However, cultural lines between the Han and the Hui are becoming more and more blurred.

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What’s in a Story?

Storytelling has been around for generations uncountable. It spans countries, cultures, and people groups. It’s a major component in the lives of people from oral cultures, and it sneaks its way into the everyday lives of people from written cultures as well.

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What Does Pumpkin Bread Have to Do With Anything?

We had been in the city a little less than a month, and all I could say were a few simple phrases: “Nǐ hǎo” (hello), “Zàijiàn” (goodbye), and “Tīng bù dǒng” (I don’t understand). Needless to say, I felt pretty awkward just smiling at my neighbors as they asked me all sorts of questions, curious about my appearance and why I was there. I stood out like a sore thumb, so those questions came pretty regularly. Despite the language barrier, though, I was determined to befriend my neighbors.

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God is Always Working

One day as I was heading home on the bus, tired after a long morning of intensive study in language class, I noticed three Muslim women who were more covered than the majority of Muslim women in our city. I asked God for courage to start a conversation, and then began speaking in broken Chinese to these precious women.

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She Said You Can Never Know

As we sat on her lumpy sofa, eating fruit and drinking tea, we explained the Easter story to my sweet, elderly Hui neighbor. We explained that God sent Jesus to Earth and that Jesus lived a perfect life; He never sinned. We told her about His death on the cross and about His resurrection. We explained to her that for everyone who believes He was the perfect sacrifice, and for everyone who asks for forgiveness of their sins, He is faithful and will forgive them.

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Eid al-Adha – The Festival of the Sacrifice

Hours before sunrise Mr. Ma, his father, grandfather, and 4-year-old son, Ibrahim, all rise and get dressed. Winter has almost arrived so they pull on their warmest long underwear before slipping into their finest clothes. Mr. Ma slips on black dress pants, a new white shirt and a nice grey sports coat. His son has received new clothes for this special day. He has a new white outfit that resembles traditional Muslim clothing with a colorful prayer cap (skull cap). The Ma men leave their mud brick home and walk down to the local village mosque where they find a tour bus waiting.

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He Alone Saves and Sanctifies

The other day, I felt more than I ever have before the longing for another to see the truth of the Gospel. A Chinese friend and I had just studied the Word and talked for a while about what we’d read, and I had tried as well as I knew how to explain the Gospel’s eternal importance. As far as I could tell, though, she had gone home with the same skewed views of Truth, of good and evil, right and wrong, that she’s had for the time I’ve known her. I felt helpless…

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Huángtiān Shàngdì

Beijing’s Temple of Heaven park complex attracts many tourists each year with its buildings’ elaborate wooden architecture and meticulously kept grounds. Before the complex retired to tourism, however, it served as a place of Heaven worship, where for hundreds of years Chinese emperors performed the Border Sacrifice, during which a spotless animal was sacrifice and prayers made for protection and blessing.

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