The conservative estimate of the "Left Behind" children in China is about sixty-one million or one in five of the children in the villages. Nearly all of the adults who are of working age have gone to work in the cities so only the old and very young are left behind. In general, few churches have the resources (especially the trained leaders) to minister to the children of believers and help them grow spiritually. We pray that more believers will see the seriousness of this crisis and at least try to address the needs.
In China, "Left Behind" children are often united with their parents only once a year. Although some parents do call or video chat, it is not uncommon that the long separation causes these children to feel estranged from and even unable to connect with their parents emotionally. Children need the attention of their parents. We pray for healing for families of believers that suffer poor and even broken parent-children relationships that they will claim their God-given role and responsibility to rear godly children.
The "Left Behind" children in China struggle at school and also suffer higher rates of issues in the areas of mental health and behavioral problems in school than their counterparts. We pray for rural churches to be more involved in ministering to the children who are left behind. They can at least provide some comfort or emotional support. We pray, too, for Christians who can support various camps and Vacation Bible Schools specifically targeting the needs of the "Left Behind" children.
"Left Behind" children are literally creating an entire generation of Chinese who lack security and confidence with serious and potentially disastrous social consequences. We pray that in every church in China, God will raise up people who are loving, mature, and willing to reach out to those young people who come from broken homes, are academically challenged, and even troubled behaviorally.
In China, the "Left Behind" children are usually under the care of their grandparents who can provide only daily meals for them but are really unable to help them with school work or anything else. Can the rural churches do anything to help these children of believers? We know the difficulties churches have to provide a meaningful children's ministry but we ask God to give wisdom and strength to those who are involved, to help these "Left Behind" children to know their heavenly Father and learn the Biblical way.
Some of the "Left Behind" children in China have not seen their own parents for years so they have little memory of them and basically no meaningful parent-child relationship. We know that children who are without an intact family or healthy family relationship quickly drop out of a church. We pray that the Lord will remind us all that churches need to teach and stress family and parenting, not only in sermons but also in counseling.
In China, many of the "Left Behind" children spend the entire summer break in internet cafes because there are no adults to supervise them. These children pick up bad habits, and some are even raped. Not a few die in accidents. We pray for all of the summer camps and classes sponsored by churches and Christian groups that the Lord will touch the heart of children who do not live with their parents through these venues, that they will know Jesus at a young age and have hope for their lives.