TuesdayThe news of two mega-entertainers reunited after their divorce 11 years ago became the most followed story in China. Both are divorced and gave up their child custody to their exes. The responses were evenly divided between acceptance and idiotic “pursuit of love”. We pray for more Biblical teaching and discussion from this incident and that churches will teach and emphasize God’s blueprint for marriage and its covenant nature. May theLord safeguard our marriages, lest anyone of us use divorce foolishly as a solution to marital problems.
There are divorced believers in every church in China and even others who experience a poor marital relationship. Generally pastors lack the time or training to provide counseling. While lay people often help with the counseling, often the results are dismally poor. Divorced believers have complex relationships, responsibilities and obligations, and using the Bible as a stick to accuse or criticise is not helpful. We pray for all the divorced, for God’s strength, help and comfort, and also more acceptance and love from their church.
Hong Kong’s democracy is facing a dilemma. Beijing has made it clear that only someone who “loves the country and loves Hong Kong” is acceptable for the top post in Hong Kong. Beijing believes there are people who still do not accept Hong Kong's reunification with China and seek to subvert it. Anti-China sentiment has diminished significantly the passion of Hong Kong churches for mission into the Mainland. We pray for the future and direction of this island, may the Lord strengthen the believers and revive the passion for mission among all churches.
The Election Committee (with 1200 members) that oversees the election of Hong Kong's chief executive is under the control of the rich and powerful of Beijing and Hong Kong. Many believe a direct popular election is not meaningful if the candidates have been preselected by an undemocratic body. In this time of political uncertainty, we pray for patience and wisdom for Hong Kong churches, especially the role Christians should play in the public debate and even demonstrations. We know the Lord will continue to greatly use the Hong Kong churches in the growth of Chinese churches worldwide.
Thousands of university students in Hong Kong abandoned their classes to rally against the limits the Chinese government placed on voting rights. Many parents are leery about high school students taking part in such demonstrations because they feel they are not adults and should not be politically involved. Believers may have different political perspectives and views but there are great divisions among believers in Hong Kong which have even caused shouting matches there. We pray we will not fall into Satan's trap and lose our unity in Christ.
Thirty-two percent of parents in Taiwan intend to send their children abroad for study in either the United States or Canada. Meanwhile thirty-five percent of the parents in Taiwan enroll their children in English classes which is a much higher percentage than the average of twenty-one percent in the Asia-Pacific region. Chinese parents have high expectations for their children. We pray that Christian parents will have equally high spiritual expectations for their children as well and those who attended vacation Bible schools or retreats this summer, had life-changing experiences and are following up on them.
For the young workers in China today, a lifetime career and loyalty are a thing of the past. They work a while and then take a long break. It is said that these young people are incapable of enduring hardship and that they complain a lot. Some rural Christians thought that when they worked in the factory, they would be preaching the gospel but most of them have failed. We pray for young believers who work in factories that they will not only continue to read their Bibles and pray but will also refuse to give up fellowship and will worship with other Christian.