Upon arriving in Asia we knew that we did not only want to personally reach out to the Hui, but we also wanted to equip our national friends to do the same. They not only have perfect language abilities, but local culture is engrained in their hearts while we will only be able to study it. The things that we simply understand to be offensive in this culture actually offend them and the things that we merely intellectually ascend to in order to be polite are received by them as acts of true love.
This is not to say that foreigners are useless in this culture. I believe they are mandatory in a sense. Because we are outsiders we can easily see sin which our national brothers and sisters have a blind spot toward. We especially are able to empathize with the minority groups who are different from most people in this big country. They have a different heart language and culture, but they live among a majority people who really do not understand them or their home. As foreigners, we understand what it is like to be a minority group.
Upon our arrival we asked the Lord of the Harvest for opportunities to meet Hui people and for locals who would join us in God’s harvest among the Hui. We definitely wanted to participate as “harvesters,” but we also wanted to equip Han people to do the same so as to multiply our efforts one hundred fold.
Rebecca has become God’s answer to this latter prayer for us. She has only been a Christian for three years, and she loves to learn! She’s bold, intelligent and humble. What more could we ask for in a disciple? She’s aware of her strengths and is quick to help translate or tell us what is or is not acceptable in this culture. However, she’s also quick to learn from us as we point out pride or a lack of sensitivity to those who are not like herself.
She not only watches us, but she learns from us and then quickly reduplicates our actions. One of my favorite things is to see her using an illustration that she learned from one of us while she’s sharing with the Hui, a people group that she did not care existed until she got to know us. Now she spends hours a week learning about their culture and seeking to meet them and share the Gospel!
- Pray for more like Rebecca to rise up in China. Pray for more Han Christians who are willing to learn about the unreached Muslim people groups in their own backyards like the Hui, Salar and Dongxiang.
- Pray God will bless foreign workers among the Hui with local friends/partners like Rebecca. May local and foreigners work together to proclaim the Gospel to the Hui.
- Pray for more people like Rebecca to rise up for the sake of the Hui and for the sake of Christ’s glory among the nations.