“I believe Zhēnzhǔ, you believe Shàngdì; they are different. They are both good, but they are different. I cannot believe in Jesus because I am Hui.”

She was adamant about there being a difference between us; whatever I said or showed her to read that had to do with Jesus, she responded with something like the above.

We had other conversation, some of which was about what she does during the day. After thinking and then listing off some things, she said, “Maybe I am not a good Muslim.”

This woman lives in a small city, is the owner of a small coffee shop, and she loves serving people. She is fashionable, a lover of culture, and she longs to travel. She is also Hui. But this is only a label of sorts for her; she is Hui because her family is Hui.

Many other people we spend time with are similar in this last aspect; they say, “Yes, I am Hui,” but when conversations deepen, they realize their lives do not match up with the definition of “Hui” they carry in the backs of their minds.

Please pray that this coffee shop owner will think more about her inability to perfectly meet the standards held before her. Pray that she’ll think about Jesus, that she’ll see the perfect love, the forgiveness, the grace that He offers. Pray for others who rarely question what it means when they say, “I am Hui,” and pray that Christians around them will show what it looks like to follow Jesus as sinners forgiven.