Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Prayer Request 11/19 - 11/25

One-fifth of China’s population is elderly now, and by 2050 it is projected that number will be almost a half of the population, with tens of millions of widows. Jesus praised a widow who offered the only two little coins she had because she trusted God. We pray for all the believer widows in churches in China who trust God and serve their church in seemingly small and insignificant ways but always please please the Lord.
Some urban churches in China have sent people to help churches in the poor countryside. We pray that more churches will start doing similar short term mission, with the aim to help a church with evangelism or training of Sunday School teachers. It can be said that the once thriving rural churches are now in survival mode. We pray that church leaders, especially in the urban areas, will see the urgent need to help their nearby churches in the countryside both financially and with people who can preach.
Average woman salary in China is less than 80% of what a man earns. Many women believe what hinder their career advancement is spending much energy on their family, lack of resources and social support, and inability to master the managerial positions. We pray for all the sisters in the churches in China. May the Lord give them wisdom in managing the finances of their families. The majority of these ladies work full-time so they must balance family and church with work. May the Lord give them strength, good health, and a close walk with Him.
In China, young couples do not want to have children because of the high cost of housing, education, medical care, retirement, and gender discrimination. Buying a house has emptied out the pockets of two generations of Chinese families. Chinese pastors speak little of giving, but believers must be reminded: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse.... And test Me now with this, says Jehovah of Hosts, to see if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you, and pour out a blessing for you, until there is not enough room.” (Mal 3:10)
In this grand plan to send millions of young people to villages, former revolutionary bases, areas suffering from extreme poverty and ethnic minority areas will receive top priority. Relations are often fraught between the Han majority, who make up more than 90% of the population, and ethnic minorities like the Tibetans and Muslim Uighurs. We pray for urban churches who in the past have helped churches in the poor countryside. May God continue to bless their efforts, even in the time of tightening control and pressure.
The Chinese government plans to send millions of young people to the countryside which evokes the chaos of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, when Mao sent millions of “young intellectuals” into often primitive conditions in the countryside, while universities were closed for a decade. The Cultural Revolution was indeed a tumultuous time for China, but the deep scars on the churches of China are still healing slowly. We pray for the continuing healing of these wounds, forgiveness, and the grace of God for all of us.
Better benefits and services will not be enough to persuade all Chinese parents to have more than one child. People who are hesitant to have a second child cite workplace discrimination, high costs of education and the social strains on extended families as their reasons. We pray for China as she tackles the serious consequences of thirty years of the one-child policy. We also pray for the unity of hearts and faith in God for believer parents who are considering having the second child, knowing God will provide and help them overcome their concerns.

年輕人對鼓勵生育政策感到無奈,除了因為不想生,還有不敢生。住房、教育、醫療、養老、性別差異導致的不平等就業等等都讓年輕人疲於奔命,而單是購買房子已經掏空了很多中國家庭兩代人的腰包。若傳道人在講台上不敢談奉獻,信徒是不會學習也去經歷:「你們要將當納的十分之一全然送入倉庫,使我家有糧,以此試試我,是否為你們敞開天上的窗戶,傾福與你們,甚至無處可容。」 (瑪3:10)