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.
Many years passed and Xiao Wei and her family returned to their rural hometown. She began to do some sewing and to grow sunflowers and fava beans on a small plot of land. Some of her friends came to visit and helped her from time to time with the farming. Life became more difficult. She broke her leg while trying to harvest sunflowers. Her crippled daughter died of pneumonia a few months later.
When the Father called our family to full-time overseas service, we weren’t actually even a family yet. We were merely two college students moving towards an engagement and marriage and starting to process what the future would look like.
She listens to hip-hop. She likes to take selfies with her friends on an app with fun filters – the cat one is her favorite. She hangs out at coffee shops and likes to sing with her friends at a KTV restaurant on the weekends. She’s laughing at a GIF that one of her friends sent of a baby dancing. Meet MaHui*, a college student.
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.”
I met my Hui Chinese friend through a mutual friend, and it didn’t take long at all for me to discover she lives in the same building I do and also owns a nearby restaurant that I visit pretty often. Our friendship started out with me asking her if she’d like to come over to have tea (because why else would one invite a stranger over?), and from there we progressed into a sort of “language exchange.”