In the past, migrant workers in China were typically young people but now quite a few of them are over sixty years old--people who have lived in villages much of their lives. Many rural believers drift away from faith once they land in cities. We pray for Christians who have a burden for these rural believers and can give them practical assistance and encouragement when they are spiritually down and weak in the cities.
Nearly ninety percent of older migrant workers in China do not have medical insurance since the coverage is effective only back in their village. So when these people are seriously ill or unable to care for themselves, they have to return to their village to get medical coverage. We lift up older Christian migrant workers for their physical and spiritual health, that they will continue to walk closely with the Lord even as they are away from their home church.
The younger generation in China finds they have little time for their parents who have come to join them in the cities. The older folks are most concerned about their health and wish not to burden their children with their medical expenses. We pray for the families of rural believers who have settled in the cities. May the Lord give them wisdom, add to their faith and patience, and help them trust the provision of the Lord as they face myriads of challenges and hardships.
The decline of rural churches in China is real and heartbreaking. Many rural pastors see their churches deserted while believers are spiritually weak and ill. The pastors feel depressed and defeated, even blaming themselves for being poor shepherds. We pray for those pastors who feel despondent or helpless in their ministries. May the Lord renew their body, mind, and spirit and let them know that what the Great Shepherd requires is faithfulness and He will richly reward their sacrifice and effort
There is still much inequality in compensation for pastors in China with a huge disparity between rich and poor churches. Historically, pastors have been poorly paid. However, in some large cities, some pastors have similar incomes as comparable civil servants. Poor salaries definitely discourage those who plan to go into church ministries full time. May the Lord be gracious to them and give them faith so they will see that He seeks workers for the harvest and will take care of those who answer His call.
The amount of compensation has not really improved for the majority of pastors in China, especially those who serve in the villages. Most of them are still serving as volunteers while farming on the side and barely having enough to make ends meet. Some rural pastors have abandoned their churches to work in cities, leaving their churches in desolation and open to attacks by the cults. We pray for the financial need of rural pastors and protection for all rural churches that have no shepherds.
Although the treatment of pastors in China has improved, the root problem has not changed because believers there still falsely believe that "pastors should be poor to be spiritual." May the Lord have mercy on His churches in China. We pray that believers will respect their pastors as servants of God, honor them, and treat them well so that young believers will also desire to receive God's call to serve Him.