Ramadan is one of the most significant times in a Muslim’s year. During this 30-day period, Muslims fast during daylight hours and feast at night, all the while praying for spiritual favor. This prayer guide was put together by believers who love and serve the Hui, DongXiang, Salar and Bonan – all of whom are Chinese Muslim people groups. Join us during these 30 days and pray that as Chinese Muslims set aside time to intentionally seek spiritual truths, they will come to know the saving power of Jesus Christ who alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life!
The Hui are spread across all of China; they’re present in nearly every county. An excellent avenue for reaching such a large and dispersed people should be through Han Chinese house churches, which are also spread across China. These house churches are beginning to recognize the need to share the Gospel with Muslims and with the Hui, but there are significant challenges to overcome in order for the Han Chinese to reach the Hui.
Sharing the Good News of Christ’s love with the Hui is undoubtedly a privilege. Most times they have never heard the full Gospel story. Like Paul, we get the opportunity to “preach the Gospel not where Christ has already been named,” but to “those who have never been told of Him…and those who have never heard” (Rom 15:20-21).
One of the easiest ways to meet people here is to simply walk down the street. There are many street vendors, many of whom are Hui, who sell just about anything you can think of, from dishware to goldfish, trashcan bread (which is delicious, by the way) to hair bows – You can find it all here, and at pretty decent prices.
The Bonan (or Bao’an) people are one of the smallest groups of unreached peoples in China. In fact, at 12-17 thousand people, they are one of the smallest people groups in China in general. The Bonan are believed to be descended from Mongol soldiers that were left after Genghis Khan’s troops swept through China.
China is under construction. I don’t mean that in some abstract sense. What I mean is that when I look out from our main apartment window, I can count at least ten tall buildings with construction cranes on top. I can look immediately to my right and see an unfinished neighborhood with five or so 30+ story apartment buildings.
As we sat in the restaurant sipping tea, it quickly became clear that our young friend, a recent college graduate, was not your average “big-city Hui.” He had just begun describing his upbringing and the nature of his work when he abruptly excused himself.
It was a freezing morning; the temperature had dropped to -17 degrees Celsius. Yet despite the cold, I was eager to meet one of my friends, a Hui Muslim, who lives in the mosque near my apartment. He lives in a small dorm room in the mosque that contains a couple bunk beds and one small side table.
“So this is life on the frontlines.”
This is what crossed my mind as I sat on Nai Nai’s couch, enjoying a hot cup of eight treasure tea and snacking on delicious bread, waiting for her to finish cooking dinner. Nai Nai is my seventy year-old neighbor who has taken it upon herself to take me in and love on me like only a grandmother can.
Most workers, when they think about moving overseas, envision living in a forest or jungle, hiking around looking for villages and people groups that no foreigner has ever seen. But those who come to Beijing and Tianjin find themselves instead in two cities whose populations dwarf those of most countries!