This site was desiged for standard modern browsers. Please upgrade your internet browser to Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Unexpected Hospitality

Alfred Chui /Friday, May 5, 2023

*This article was originally published on the Outreach Canada blog in 2022, and has been republished with permission. 

When a Muslim family moved next to our house, we felt pretty “alarmed”. Who were they and where did they move from? The only thing we knew was they were a family of a couple and three boys, and the hijab of the lady indicated they were Muslims.

When we saw the boys climb on the roof of their vehicle and play with the steering wheel, we immediately had this typical stereotyped middle east kid mindset we saw on the TV!

The real impact finally landed on us when the boys played soccer and used the fence for their goal. So, the panels kept falling, and I kept nailing them back until a point I gave up and put the panels aside by the shed.

One afternoon, the doorbell rang, and I was surprised to find the father with the boys standing at the entrance. He asked me to let them in to fix the fence. He quickly nailed the panels back and uttered some Arabic to the boys. Then, with his head down, he whispered sorry to me. We have had no more issues with the fence since then.

A few months later, my doorbell rang again. This time it was the eldest boy, O, and he asked me to show him how to make a tie knot because his father was invited to a Christmas party.

Our relationship grew, not just in more frequent interactions, but with comfort level.

When I needed to do an assignment for the perspective course, I was welcomed to their home, sitting for over 2 hours to interview them, and shared the thoughts of our faith.

When I organized a Kairos course at my church, this family prepared some dishes for our cultural meal.

I had the most interaction with O. We could not come to an agreement of the identity of Jesus, but we respected each other. When the Syrian family sponsored by our church attended our service, I asked O if he could interpret for us. He said yes. O had never been in a Christian church but this day he sat on the pew, listening to a gospel message preached in English, and interpreted to our Syrian friends. He also stayed behind to have lunch with us.

Do we call this hospitality? Absolutely, an unexpected one, and I would even call it a divine one!

Alfred Chui practiced physical therapy for over 25 years before he joined North Edmonton Alliance Church in 2009, first as the English Pastor & then in 2013 as the Senior Pastor. In 2019, Alfred & his wife Charis relocated to Richmond, B.C.  and Alfred joined Outreach Canada in July 2019 as the Simply Mobilizing (SM) Canada Chinese Language Coordinator - implementing, maintaining and expanding the Kairos and other SM courses to mobilize Canadian Chinese diaspora Christians and their next generations to reach and disciple all nations.



Show All Blogs

An Invitation to Pray: Week 3

An Invitation to Pray

In this time between Easter and Pentecost, let's embrace the strength of communal prayer. Just as the early followers assembled with one purpose, let's raise our voices in harmony, seeking the Holy Spirit's guidance and blessings. During this third week, let's lift up prayers for the mobilization efforts to flourish, seeking opportunities for collaboration and fruitful partnerships in reaching diverse communities across Canada.

An Invitation to Pray: Week 2

An Invitation to Pray

As we journey through the sacred season between Easter and Pentecost, let us come together, Christians united in faith, to embrace the power of collective prayer. In this second week of our initiative, let us deepen our commitment to intercede for our communities, nations, and the world at large. Let us not underestimate the impact of our collective supplications, for in unity, our prayers resonate with greater resonance before the throne of God. Join us in this sacred endeavor, as we strive to be vessels of love, peace, and healing in a world yearning for divine intervention.

An Invitation to Pray

Join the SM family in Canada in a Season of Prayer: Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday (March 31-May 19)

This Sunday we celebrate Easter, remembering the death, burial, and resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. On that Resurrection Day everything changed. But it wasn’t until the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came, that the power of that change was fully realized in the early disciples’ lives.

We need that same power to be at work in our efforts as the Simply Mobilizing family in Canada to awaken the church, the ‘sleeping giant’.  Our mobilization efforts shifted online during the pandemic, and much good has come from that. But the Canadian context and the Canadian church have changed. How shall we respond to these changes? 

Nowruz Mobarak! Happy New Year!

Nowruz Mobarak! Happy New Year!

For many in the northern hemisphere, the first day of Spring (this year falling on March 19th) is a cause for hope and anticipation. Warmer weather, sunshine, and outdoor living is just around the corner.

But for people from places that have been influenced by Persian culture, such as Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, and the countries of Central Asia the spring equinox marks Nowruz, their New Years Day, and the start of thirteen days of celebration.

While the celebration of Nowruz varies between ethnic communities, it is an important celebration—including among the diaspora here in Canada. Perhaps even some of your neighbours are celebrating Nowruz?

Here are some ways to pray for those who are celebrating Nowruz

Love Your Muslim Neighbours this Ramadan: Ways to Pray and Engage

Why do Christians Pray for Muslims During Ramadan?

During the month of Ramadan Muslims devote a lot of time to prayer and fasting, seeking Allah’s favour and the purification of their sins, though they are never sure if they have been forgiven or if what they have done is ever enough. Muslims everywhere are seeking God’s approval through a system of works, and yet, they don’t have assurance of their salvation and forgiveness.

As Fouad Masri, the founder of Crescent Project, puts it: “For followers of Jesus, Ramadan is an opportunity to focus on God’s heart for Muslim people, many of whom are desperately seeking God’s approval through a system of works.”

Discover Opportunities to Pray and Engage with Muslims During Ramadan!

Empowered to Influence: Part 3

Paradigm 3 – Worship that Adds Value to Communities

Most unchurched people wouldn’t imagine participating in one of our events because we are completely irrelevant to them. In this third paradigm, Ken Chua explores the shift in thinking that we, as Christ-followers, must make to have any relevance or attract the interest of those in our community. 

Empowered to Influence: Part 2

Paradigm 2: Labour, The Premier Worship

For many, 'work' is a four-letter word, a necessary means to enjoy the desirable. In this second paradigm shift, Ken Chua suggests that the issue lies in how we perceive work/labor and whether God is involved. Your 9 to 5 could be your path to worship!