After sharing with several Hui friends and acquaintances here in our city, I’ve encountered an interesting, and admittedly very frustrating, phenomenon. It seems that no matter how much I try to emphasize and articulate the clear differences between salvation by faith alone in Christ and what I have just been told about Islam and good works, the response is almost always the same, “Yes, we believe the same thing.” I cringe each time I hear this…
Christmas is a week away! Around the world Christmas trees are lit up full of shiny ornaments. Preparations are underway. Christmas parties are happening nightly. People are taking vacation days to prepare for Christmas or traveling home to celebrate with family. We like to think that everyone knows Christmas is coming! However, among the Hui there is little evidence that Christmas is about to arrive.
Over 7,000 miles away from where the Hui people reside, a small group of ladies wanted to take part in sharing the Good News with this unreached people group. Meanwhile, our team was anticipating a busy Christmas season, full of festive parties and opportunities to share the Good News with big groups of people. These ladies got together and utilized their gifts of sewing and creativity to play their part in this endeavor. They formed ideas, cut patterns, and worked at their sewing machines to create costumes that represented each person of the Christmas story.
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.
What is one thing, besides Islam, that Hui people are passionate about?
They love it. They make a big deal about it. Their holidays, celebrations, and even weddings revolve around it. My good friend spent three days cooking lamb for the wedding guests of her friend’s brother. Three days! And this was only one portion of the feast that was served at the celebration.
Traveling in Southeast Asia, it is easy to find knock off name brands. From shoes and clothing to bags and electronics, look alike products are everywhere. Vendors insist that their products are the same as the real thing as they drive a hard sale. Customers insist that the products are in fact different as they negotiate for a good deal. This back and forth bargaining style and popularity of shopping for knock off goods has made “Same, Same, But Different” a popular slogan.