In the past, the average life expectancy in the southern part of China has been at least five years longer than that of people in the North. This discrepancy is attributed to the widespread use of coal in the northern provinces and the serious pollution which it cost in devastating the health of people there. There are also many differences between house churches in the northern and southern China. In general, churches in the north usually members of a larger group. Let us pray for these churches, the Lord give them unity of hearts, to spread the gospel, to accept and build up one another, and the Body of Jesus Christ.
Scandals involving food and drugs have endangered the lives of many children in China. The most recent one involved hundreds of thousands of children who received faulty vaccines. The news angered the public, rattled confidence in the government and amplified frustration with the health care system.We need to pray for the spiritual health of all the children of believers in China. May the Lord remind all parents to fulfill their responsibilities, not only praying for their children but also teaching them to know the Word of God from a young age.
The current health system cannot adequately support China's population of more than one billion people. Hospitals can no longer meet the needs of the public. The large gaps and inequalities threaten to undermine China's progress, social stability, and financial health. Churches in China are also struggling to meet the need of the growing number of believers. Again, we beseech the Lord to protect His churches in this difficult time, strengthen and comfort those who are oppressed and even forced to change their practice of faith.
The Chinese government said the “two-children” policy is working. While the total number of births dipped to 17.2 million last year, however the percentage of families with two children has climbed from 36 percent in 2013 to 51 percent today. We pray for believer families with two or more children specifically that the Lord will help these parents to teach their children to know God at an early age as well as learning to pray to Him, especially in this time of many restrictions of children going to church.
Experts warn it will be difficult to change people’s reproductive behavior. The Chinese government needs to provide more support to families planning to have a second child by providing more child welfare, such as early education, maternal and child health care. Many Christian parents do not want their children to become a pastor because the life of a church worker is hard and they very likely will not be able to support their parents financially when the parents are old. We pray that believers will honor their parents and even be able to lead them to believe in Jesus.
Grandparents on both sides are expected to help with childcare in China, especially with the one-child generation. Many see this is as an exchange or a requirement for the parents to receive support from their children when they are old. We pray that Christian parents will spend both quality and quantity time with their children and help them to know the love of God, especially families with only one believer or spiritually strong parent. May the Lord grant them strong faith, help them to trust His faithfulness, and be joyful in all things.
In China, young couples are hesitant to have a second child because their parents can only help with the caring for grandkids if they have good health. Maternal grandparents also pressure their daughter to work outside of the house and not to stay at home caring for children. We pray that believer parents can effectively manage their home, especially when they are both the only-child. The Lord gives them wisdom and grace in handling the stress of honoring their aging parents and caring for their children.