“The True God must really care for your son!” I approached my friend in his clothing shop to take some advice and medicine to him to help with a pesky rash his son had been battling. I had it all worked out – I was going to tell him about how I had been to a graduation ceremony, 50,000 people in attendance at a huge stadium, I looked up and there was an old friend … who happens to be a dermatologist!
“I was born this way”
The other day, I was having a conversation with a sweet Hui friend and was reminded of Lady Gaga (bear with me). It may seem like a weird connection, mostly because it is, but it just helped me to understand something, hopefully it will help you understand a little more too.
Often when we are struggling with a trial we feel the need to suppress our emotions or to “tough it out.” Granted, there is something to be said about putting things in perspective. Certain things really are not worth crying about if you can help it. However, on the other hand, the world really is broken. There is sin and suffering in the world that ought not to be. Even though the sadness a child feels after dropping an ice cream cone is not as devastating as she might think at the time, the fact remains that it is still a little bit sad, and it’s OK to say that.
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…
It is common for people to feel overwhelmed. We can feel overwhelmed with huge life issues such as the death of a loved one or we can be overwhelmed with smaller issues like that quiz that you forgot that you had tomorrow morning.
Doing work among Muslims can be overwhelming sometimes. The Hui. 15 million people. Most of them have never heard the Gospel. Their huge micromanaging government, their several-thousand-year-old culture, their friends and their family all discourage them from believing in Christ.
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.