Bridges Made of Bread

Uyghur, Han, Hui, Kazak: everyone loves naan bread. It’s crunchy and fragrant, with a chewy center. I bake it in the traditional way, as I should, in an open-air wood-burning oven. My small shop is on the edge of the business district. When the naan is ready, customers from all around come flocking. My wife, Hargul, jokes that the city council should use my naan for their ethnic reconciliation meetings. She thinks it would work better than anything else they’ve tried so far. Fresh naan is irresistible!
I came to this city, the capital of our province, around 10 years ago. My relatives helped me pull together the seed money to get my business off the ground, and it’s been growing steadily since then. Hargul joined me after the first year, and we moved in with two other migrant families. My fourth child, a son, was born last month.
Business has been good, and my family is growing. Hargul and I had been talking about moving to our own apartment. But the landlord of my naan shop told me last week that he has sold the whole building to developers. They, too, know how to appreciate a good location.
My naan shop will be torn down and replaced with a high-rise office block.
What can I do? My customers demand fresh naan, but my oven smoke is too pungent and the prices too high for me to find a space among these glittering office buildings.
Where will I go? How will I provide for my family?
And what will bring our different people groups together once I am gone?

Will you pray for Muslims?

  • Pray for reconciliation between the different ethnic groups along the Silk Road.
  • Pray for small business owners, like Hargul’s husband, who are struggling in the face of China’s rapid urbanization.

Related posts: “Honoring the Dead” / “Neighborhood Life”

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