What kind of people does God use to reach the Hui?
Let’s talk about four of them, and you see if you can guess the answer by the end of the story.
Jordan, Emery, Amy and Mike: Jordan is a single young lady who is quickly noticed for her sweet spirit. She’s very introverted, but she does have an obvious and genuine like for people she meets. She’s gifted in learning languages, caring for people, and serving people in a way that makes the Gospel more real to the recipients. Emery is her best friend. Emery is also pretty introverted. She enjoys deep theological discussions, strategizing, and teaching. She and Jordan are both notably punctual people. Mike and Amy are a married couple in the city. They’re known for their flexibility, enjoyment of adventure (something Emery would jokingly say is synonymous with a lack of ability to plan well), and their genuineness in their relationships. Mike is a jack of all trades. He’s pretty quiet, but he teaches very well. He’s a fan of food, is good with directions and cares deeply for those with whom he has shared. He’s usually rolling His eyes at something that Amy has just said. Amy is obnoxiously likable. Although she’s fifteen minutes late to almost everything, she’s consistently so and therefore dependably comfortable with who she is. She’s real and she loves to meet people. In her own words, she’s “never been afraid to annoy anyone.” She’s the entertainer of the group, a passionate worker, and a great friend.
Emery, of course, begins each week with planning, so she arranged that she, Jordan, Mike and Amy would go out, find a new Hui person, and share the Gospel with them. This was strategic. She and Jordan aren’t great at meeting new people, so they chose Amy to be their front-line lady for this operation. Their tutor decided to take them all out for lunch. (If you haven’t been to China, you should be prepared to eat when you do. You’ll eat and eat and eat, and when you seriously can’t eat anymore, your new Chinese friend might be somewhat satisfied, although they’ll probably insist that you eat just a little bit more.) So the four friends ate…a lot. Jordan got to share with their tutor’s friend during the meal. When the meal was over, the four of them decided that the best way to meet random Hui people would probably be to go to a Hui restaurant during the resting time of the day, when it’s not too busy, and to speak with the waiting staff while they ate (again).
Although they were full, they knew they could split one dish at a second restaurant and eat just enough to keep their presence there from being awkward. They ordered and ate, but customer after customer continued filing in, keeping them from being able to speak freely with the restaurant staff. After a while, they decided this restaurant was too busy and that a smaller one would be better. Of course, the two adventurers had a few places in mind. Mike remembered that a man at one restaurant had invited him to come again, so the four friends headed that way. Unfortunately, upon their arrival, the man’s restaurant was closed.
The two planners in the group were not thriving at this point, but the two adventurers weren’t a bit thrown off by all the changes. They decided on the restaurant next door. The only problem, though, was that they had already eaten two lunches, and the three ladies were seriously done eating. They all looked to Mike to be the one to take the hit. He ordered something on the menu. It was Amy’s turn to speak, so she popped up out of her seat, walked right into the kitchen where the Hui lady was cooking, stood next to her, and casually and comfortably began speaking with her. By the time their Hui friend had finished making what Mike had ordered, she and Amy were quite comfortable with one another. Mike had no idea that the Hui lady would then bring out the largest cauldron of soup ever seen in China. Everyone at the table, including Mike, smirked when she brought it out.
Sharing the Gospel
As Amy and the Hui lady’s conversation turned to spiritual topics, Jordan was sent in. (Her Chinese is the best in this group.) She brought with her pictures of the Adam and Eve story. As she walked over, the Hui lady looked at Mike, who quickly forced more soup into his mouth. Jordan had been practicing the story in Chinese all week. Many Hui cannot read, and they love stories…Go read the henna article to learn more about it! Jordan began explaining, one picture at a time; she described sin’s entrance into the world and God’s provision of the first sacrifice to cover man’s shame (by providing clothing for Adam and Eve). She ended by explaining that He also provided the last and the greatest sacrifice, Jesus Christ, for this same purpose.
The Hui lady looked again at Mike; he continued eating. The lady understood the meaning of the story but, naturally, had many questions. This was Emery’s cue. She loves deep discussions. Mike forced down more soup. Emery moved over to the table and began to answer the Hui lady’s questions. She explained that Islam and Christianity are opposite. She used analogies and stories to illustrate the grace of the Gospel and its contrast with the legalism of Islam. They all sat and talked for about an hour. Mike continued to eat. Eventually, it was made clear by an unnatural turn in the conversation that their new Hui friend was not ready to accept the truth of Christ yet. They sat and chit-chatted for a bit until the conversation trailed off. Mike asked for a to-go box for his leftover soup, as the lady told him that she had made the soup for four after seeing the group come in – She didn’t realize just one person would be eating. They all thought this was hilarious. She invited them to come back anytime, and the four went off.
The next day, their team met together as they fasted over lunch time to pray for the Hui they had all been sharing with. They had one guy play the guitar, and another team member showed up with a new henna design sent to her by a friend in the U.S. to use for sharing the Gospel. She had already practiced drawing it on her hand. Another team member talked about how she was able to share with a customer at her work-place. So what kind of people does God call to work with the Hui? Lots. Extroverts, introverts, thinkers, artists, counselors, cooks, eaters, mechanics, students, story-tellers, workers, retirees – The list goes on and on.
So how about you? Do you love meeting people? Or do you love reading in a quiet space? Can you eat weird food? Can you cook weird food? Can you draw well? Are you good at learning languages? No matter your answer, you are the type of person that God uses to reach the Hui if you know Christ. Every person has been uniquely created in God’s image to represent Him well to the nations of this world. I encourage you to ask God how you can be a part of our team. From a prayer warrior in Thailand, to a henna design artist in America, to a team of short term workers meeting people at our school, to someone working here long-term, God uses ordinary people like you to do amazing things for His glory. His glory is manifested here on our team equally in our differences and in our similarities. So ask God how you can use His specific design in your soul for His glory among the nations!