Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Technically, education through junior high school is mandatory and free in China but the reality is often more complicated. As the child grows up, parents who lack social connections must pay repeatedly for better educational opportunities for that child. There are still many churches in China that do not have meaningful teaching or ministry for children or teens. We pray for believing parents that they will learn to shoulder their God-given responsibility to rear godly children.
All over China schools collect special fees that allow students who are not within their boundaries to attend that school. This creates a market for any parent who can afford to select a choice school and pay the exorbitant fees. It seems very unfair for parents to have children in a church which has no Sunday school or is unable to minister to their little ones. We pray that none of us, especially church leaders will be a stumbling block preventing the little ones to come to Jesus.
Although officials in China have repeatedly banned the extra fees collected by some schools, variations of these abuses still persist. These illegal educational fees are especially onerous for the millions of struggling migrant workers from villages who now live in cities. Many Christian migrant workers who feel they have no time to care for their children's education and faith have stopped attending church and their children have drifted away from God. We pray for God's mercy and added faith so they all will turn back to trust the Loving Heavenly Father.
Bribery and political corruption are common in China, but it is particularly dispiriting when educators and school administrators lack integrity as they impose onerous fees on students. Christians also feel numb and even succumb to all the corruption around them. We pray the Body of Christ will remain pure and especially leaders in the church will always be above reproach.
Often, teachers in China find ways to supplement their dismal salaries. Some teachers run cram schools on the side and encourage attendance by neglecting to teach their students a certain chunk of the content in the examination during the school day. Christian parents allow their children to be very busy by enrolling them in classes both day and night with no time left for church. May the Lord open their eyes so they will see the wonderful truth of "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
Many parents in China feel compelled to pay for and enroll their children in the teacher's cram school because they are afraid their child will miss critical lesson material or incur the wrath of the teacher. Christian parents also feel pressured to enroll their children in remedial classes. We pray that they will remember the most important thing is to teach children to fear the Lord, to know and to glorify Him.
At some top-ranked high schools, students with low admission scores can “buy” a few crucial points to gain admission. In an elite Beijing high school, students receive an extra point for each $4,800 their parents contribute to the school. We pray that churches in China will not be stingy in spending money on ministries to children and teenagers because they consider them "low or no return". May the Lord stir up more churches to start teaching their young ones seriously and meaningfully.