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.
How do you spend your Christmas? When do you start preparing and celebrating? Stores begin stocking their shelves with Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. Billions of dollars are spent on Christmas gifts the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas parties, tree lightning ceremonies and many other festive occasions fill up the schedules of many in the west.
Moving overseas increases the amount of transition that workers face on a regular basis. For many people who are working to see the Gospel go forth among the Hui, transition is a big part of life. For starters, many of us are transitioning to a completely new culture, a new language, new food, sights and smells.
The more you travel internationally, the higher the likelihood you will experience the frustrations of getting, changing, or reapplying for a visa. Visas are a necessary part of living in many countries. This is also true if you work with the Hui in China. Visa problems can be especially stressful since delays or hiccups may cause you to unexpectedly leave the country, force you to change airline tickets, and even be rejected entry into the country.
My home among the Hui is on the edge of the Gobi Desert, the largest desert in Asia with an area of 500,000 square meters. The weather is dry, and it rarely rains or snows. I come from a place in America that has a very similar climate so it was not a hard adjustment adapting to the physical environment. However most recently I lived in the Pacific Northwest where rain is much more common. Sometimes my spirit seems to match the environment in its dryness, and I long for rain to quench my thirst spiritually.
Sometimes, when you hear a new song, there’s one single line that just gets stuck in your head. For me, “Prayer for the Hui” has one of those lines. Of course, there are clearly God-glorifying, gospel-centered words throughout the song, laying before God our prayer that He would work throughout the world bringing people into His Kingdom. But there was this one line that resonated with me in a profound way and had a huge impact on my thoughts and prayers, because it was so applicable to my own life and my own struggles with sharing the gospel with those I know personally.