Situated in Northeast China is a beautiful old city with a population of about 2 million people. Many of the residents are Hui like myself. We live on the outskirts of the city, and our life is very limited compared to the others people in the city. We have intentionally segregated ourselves because of our religion. Our occupations also keep us outside of most Han social circles.
The Islamic faith is extremely important to Hui in my city. Most believe it is the one true faith and are not open to even hear about other faiths. Islam is at the center of our identity and a source of pride for many of us.
Growing up my father taught me that if I believed in Allah – the one true God – that one day I would go to heaven. Sometimes I would go to the mosque with my father. It was very ritualistic and devoid of life. Not only did Islam seem ritualistic, but also I never experienced love growing up. No one every told me that they loved me.
More than eight years ago, my mom died. I did not expect my mom to die, and I was shocked. I learned I could not control death. It helped me realize there are many things I cannot control. During this time I began to long for someone to love me and care for me. My heart was empty. My family could not comfort me. I knew something was missing.
In my life, I knew many Han believers. I saw that something was different about them. One day my work leader shared the Gospel with me. I responded, “But I am Hui, a Muslim. Can I know this Jesus?” “Yes!” said the leader. So I decided to follow Jesus. I learned there was a church next to my house, and I knew God was leading me to attend.
After believing in Jesus, my life became very hard. It was very stressful. Physically, I faced severe pain and lots of issues. Someone told me to pray. I told them, “I don’t know how.” They taught me. At night when I could not sleep, I began to pray, and God would give me rest.
My father continually tells me that Islam is the only true religion. He was very upset with me the first time I told him I follow Jesus. He told me to leave, and from that point we have not had a relationship. My brother also is a Muslim and does not understand my decision. My relationships with my family are broken because of my decision; however, I know the Spirit of God is living in me! Through all the hardships, I continue to go to church and to learn and grow in my faith. Life is still very hard, but I have new hope and happiness in Jesus.
I know that Jesus is the only way to heaven so now I tell Hui people. I tell them the Gospel even if they do not believe and reject it. They need to know the truth. My family always rejects me. The Hui community also rejects me even though I am Hui. My husband is not yet a follower of Jesus, but he is attending church and learning. I pray that he will come to know Jesus.
- Pray for Sister Leah’s husband and daughter to turn to follow Jesus. Pray that her father and brother will also become open to the Gospel. May God give them, as well as her other relatives, soft hearts to hear the truth and believe.
- Pray that Sister Leah and other Hui believers can meet Hui who are looking for answers and who are open to the Gospel. Pray that God will give them many opportunities to share the Gospel.
- Pray that Hui believers will persevere and find comfort in Christ as they struggle with being rejected by family and friends. May they continue to shine brightly for Christ!