As migrant workers move to cities in search of work in China, we think of children and elderly people who are left behind in their village homes. But, lately, many of them are taking their children and elderly parents with them to live in the cities. So rural churches in China are losing not only the young ones but, entire families. We pray for the workers in rural churches that God will give them vision, strategies, and strength to know how to teach, especially the young ones and leave all to Christ before losing them to the exodus.
Lately, the percentage of migrant workers in China who are older than fifty years has increased from eleven to fifteen percent. This reflects not only the general aging of migrant workers but also shows that older people from the villages are entering cities in China. It is definitely a good thing that families can stay together as a unit so we pray that these older rural believers can quickly find a spiritual home in the cities and adapt to the new living environment and pace there.
It is a good thing for older people from villages to join their adult children in cities in China. But, the young migrant workers find their older parents do not hold the same view as they do and the older people feel they're totally at loss in the city and with the new way of living. We pray for older rural believers, as the Lord gives them faith and helps them see that it is their mission to be the watchman for their families in the city, to stand in the gap and to remind the young ones to love the Lord.
In China, those who move into cities and are age 60 or more, often feel lost because of the totally strange neighborhood and crammed living arrangement with children and grandkids. They are relegated to cooking and taking the grandkids to kindergartens. We pray for kindness, patience and gentleness for these older believers now living in cities, so they will be the channel of His blessing and full of the joy of the Lord.
Three major issues older rural people moving into cities face in China are: low wages/benefits, poor working conditions, and a lack of medical insurance coverage. Only a third of them have some kind of government assistance and that is certainly inadequate for living in a city. We know that it is not easy to find a church home for older rural believers who live there. We pray they will continue to grow spiritually and not give up their habit of attending church.
Elderly people from the countryside in China have to make great sacrifice to move into the city with their children, and once in the cities, they lose the traditional family leadership role they enjoyed in the village setting. We want to pray for the older rural believers, as they reunite with their children in the cities, that they will continue to have spiritual influence and be the reminder of God’s word in their homes.
More than half of the older rural residents who move into the cities in China must rely on their children to help them financially. Others have to look for work themselves to make ends meet. They have little education or skill so they resort to the hard work and low pay of cleaning jobs. We pray for God's grace for those believers who live with their families that they will not lose their fervor for God, be able to keep their faith, and even teach their grandchildren to know God from an early age.