The Hat are a Central Asian minority whose Chinese-Islamic heritage and culture distinguishes them from the Majority populations in the countries in which they live. Numbering about 10.6 million, they are descendants of Muslim merchants from Persia and Arabia, as well as Muslim mercenary armies sent to support local dynasties. Pray for workers willing to go among them with humility, vulnerability and respect, helping them to learn how to follow Jesus as Hat.
Two Hat men – Photo courtesy of Tom Thai
Warren’s restaurant was across the street from our home. He would often see me cycling around town or heading out to exercise. One day as we ate in his restaurant Warren asked if he could exercise with me. We started cycling together once a week – sometimes for several hours at a time, followed by refreshments back at his restaurant.
As our friendship deepened Warren shared about his wife’s health issues.
Warren comes from a Hat Muslim home. His parents have become very devout Muslims as they’ve grown older but Warren has been too busy with his restaurant business and family responsibilities. When his wife recently became ill with a variety of chronic health problems it left Warren with even more responsibilities at home and at the business.
Along with being able to give some advice I promised to pray for his wife. At times, Warren’s parents and I had talked about some of their uncertainties as they faced death but Warren had shown no interest in spiritual conversations. He told me he appreciated my prayers and advice for his wife.
Finally, one day when we were cycling together and not long before we were going to leave Warren’s town, Warren asked to learn about Jesus. I introduced him to the gospel and later showed him a website where he could read the Bible online and seek spiritual help.
Warren was not a follower of Jesus when we left that town. In his city of several hundred thousand people, there is only one church and there is no Hat in it. The two or three Hat believers from Warren’s area had to move after they became Christians.
We pray not just for Warren and his family to know Jesus but the millions of Hat who have never even heard of a salvation that comes freely through grace.
Muslim Hat men returning from prayer – Photo courtesy of Evgeni Zotov