Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Prayer Request 10/15 - 10/21

Since August 2018, as the result of African swine fever epidemic, China has culled massive numbers of pigs. The price of pork has shot up to 5 USD per kilo, up a staggering 75.5 percent from the same period last year. Increased food cost and devaluation of Renminbi have made people uneasy financially. We pray that believers will trust the Lord, honor the need of His house , and continue to give faithfully, especially in this time of great pressure.
More than 10 cities in China, such as Nanning, Haikou and Xiamen have imposed abuy restriction on pork. It is the peak season for food consumption during the September Mid-Autumn Festival and the National holiday in October, so the government must stabilize the price of pork and guarantee a supply. Most, if not all of the house churches have changed the way they worship and meet at homes in small groups. Open-churches have encountered many restrictions as well. We pray for His comfort so believers will not lose heart, continue to trust God in difficult times and know He is on the throne.
Officials said that at the end of this year, pig production is expected to stabilize. In the second half of next year, pig production will gradually recover, and the price of live pigs will gradually decline.Church offerings have dropped as a result of not being able to meet together and the increase of the cost of living, but some pastors are being paid fully. We pray for all who serve full time in churches that God will provide their needs and they will experience His faithfulness in their ministries.
In addition to the rise in pork prices, fresh fruit, beef, lamb, and poultry prices have risen by 11 to 24 percent, reflecting the recent increase in Chinese food costs.Many churches are poor and unable to pay their pastors who must work elsewhere to support their families. We pray for those who have received the calling to pastor a church that their church will value their service, and give generously to meet the financial obligations of their pastor, so the shepherd can care for His sheep and serve the church.
In China, nearly half of those sixty years and older are “empty-nested” or living alone. A quarter of them reported being lonely and living in poverty. Churches must care for members who are elderly living alone. We praise God for those who have a part in caring for the elderly, knowing 'Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' (Matt. 25:40)
The idea of filial piety has gradually disintegrated in China as young people neglect their elderly parents. There are more sensational cases of elderly parents suing their children for financial support and cases of tragedies of old people dying and the bodies not being discovered until days later.We pray that believers will financially support their elderly parents, and always be reminded of Jesus rebuke to the Pharisees of their hypocrisy, “If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is given to God”’— then you no longer need to support your parents.” (Mk 7:11-12) .
The government in China has enacted laws to force children to "visit or check on their elderly parents" and urging them to fulfill their financial and emotional obligations. But for the “421” families (a child needs to support two parents and two pairs of grandparents), persuading a grown child to support their elderly parents and grandparents financially and emotionally seemed unrealistic. All Chinese parents expect their children to honor them, but they need to provide an example for their children. Honoring parents needs a model, therefore, we pray that God moves us all to live a blameless life and one of good testimonies.

官方表示, 今年底生豬產量有望止跌回穩,明年下半年將逐步恢復,屆時價格才會逐步回落。教會無法以過去的方式聚會,加上物價上漲,奉獻必定減少,影響全職工人的薪水分發。我們為全職服事的弟兄姊妹禱告,求主親自的供應,使他們的需用都充足。
在中國,六十歲以上的長者近五成是所謂的「空巢老人」,其中近四分之一老人有孤獨感,且活在貧困線之下。教會中獨居的長者極需要信徒的關心。我們為參與老人事工的信徒和教會感恩,因為『我實在告訴你們,你們所作的,只要是作在我一個最小的弟兄身上,就是作在我的身上了。』(太 25:40)求主祝福和使用那些樂意服事長者的肢體,叫那些孤苦無依的人從神那裡得著平安與喜樂。
中國社會的孝道觀念逐漸解體,年輕子女責任缺失。近年來,出現了老人因缺失關愛或得不到子女的贍養的情況,也有乾脆把子女告上法庭。另外,也常有空巢老人去世多日後才被發現的悲劇。求主幫助我們不但是孝敬父母,也要在經濟上支持他們,免得主耶穌責備:「你們倒說:『人若對父母說:『我所當奉給你的,已經做了各耳板』(供獻的意思),以後你們就不容他再奉養父母。」 (馬可7:11-12)
子女「應當經常看望或者問候老年人」已經正式入法。 政府期望從法律層面敦促子女履行對老人的精神贍養義務。但是對於「421」家庭(一個孩子需供養父母,兩對祖父母)來說,這些試圖說服子女在物質和精神上承擔起贍養老人責任的做法,顯然很不現實。中國家長都願意子女孝順,但是最有效的教導就是自己先成為孝敬父母的榜樣。求主幫助我們成為無可指責的美好見證,凡所作都由心發出。