More than 200 miners killed in a coalmine gas explosion on Valentine’s Day in Liaoning. More than 6,000 miners died in 2004, a 6% decreasing from 2003. Growing energy demand has led operators to ignore safety concerns. Miners must sign a “life-and-death” contract, limiting employer to a one-time 20,000 yuan (2,500USD) compensation if life is lost. Let us remember all the families who lost their father, and what local churches can do to provide assistance to them.
The Spring Festival is the biggest season for giving gifts in China. Nearly all forms of gifts serve to build guanxi (relationship). To circumvent evidence of bribery, people purposely lose large sums of money in private gambling to the person whom they intend to bribe. Bribery is prevalent and few expect it will improve. Both Christians and church leaders are susceptible to this temptation. Financial impropriety involving large donations meant for church work creates scandal and hurts the churches badly. Let us pray for the guarding of hearts and integrity for all who are in church leadership.
Thirteen Chinese Christian publishers attended the largest publishers event, the Taipei Book Fair. Nine hundred 900 companies including a large number of Buddhist, Taoist, and other religions also attended. The small number of readers and sales volume are a challenge for Christian publishers. Books translated from English are still the best sellers. Let us pray for all the ministries involved in publishing and translation of Christian books as well as printing of Bibles.
Since 1949 there have been nearly half a million Chinese who have had leprosy. There are still 6,500 cases with nearly a thousand new ones each year, mostly in Yunan and Guizhou, and Guangdong. In Asia, Vietnam and Cambodia also have quite a few cases. Leprosy is found in places where there is extreme poverty. Jesus showed special compassion to lepers, yet today they are still discriminated against and confined to leprosarium. Let us pray for the quiet evangelism and caring work in which churches are involved with these people.
There are more than six thousand cases of HIV/AIDS in Taiwan and nearly ten per cent of them are in the prison system. The most common causes are drug abuse and male homosexuality. Caring for AIDS in prison presents a great headache for the government. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, several groups have extensive ministries in prison, half-way houses, and residential drug rehab centers. Every year churches give gifts to families of those who are incarcerated. Let us pray for fruit from these gifts in the lives of those behind bars as well as the difficult follow-up work when they are released.
One in three Chinese families suffers from domestic violence which may be physical or psychological abuse. One hundred thousand victims of spousal abuse file for divorce each year. Neglect, kneeling, or death (263 in 2003) are forms husbands use for punishing their wives. Few women report being abused because of shame. Many also say that relatives and friends are hesitant to get involved. Let us pray for all the believers who suffer from domestic violence and for the beginning of ministries to help with this “epidemic”.
Nearly one million copies of “New Children Songs” have been released to teach to children in all Beijing schools. This is a collection of four hundred songs sponsored by the Party and promotes patriotism, nationalism, and civic duties. In contrast, very few Christian songs have been written for the children. Resources for Sunday school and toddlers are paltry compared with what is out there for adults. Jesus said, “Let the little ones come to Me.” Let us pray especially that this great need will be met.
西 洋情人節當日，遼寧省孫家灣煤礦發生瓦斯爆炸意外事故，有200多名礦工遇難，是歷年來死亡人數最多的礦災。2004年死於事故的礦工有6千多人，比 2003年少了6％。中國70％的能源來自煤炭，由於商業利益但掛帥，礦主經常隱瞞事故避免受罰與稽查，實際死亡人數可能更高。部分包商與礦工簽訂死亡賠 償2萬元，其餘善後自理的契約，被礦工稱爲生死合同。讓我們為這些失去父親的破碎家庭禱告，求神使用當地教會來安慰並協助他們。
春 節是中國人送禮的最高峰。目的是要建立各種”關係。 “送禮是門大學問，禮輕了，失去誠意；送重了，給對方造成麻煩。”，“現在送禮物和錢，領導不一定敢收，把錢故意輸在牌桌上給領導，也是一種不錯的方 式。” 國內教會因事工環境特殊，許多開銷不容易提供收據證明，也是魔鬼最愛攻擊之處，讓我們為主内同工在財務上不留任何破口，能持守聖潔生活，榮耀主名來禱告。
基 督教圖書界以「踴閱耶穌」為題，結合十三家基督教出版社參與台北國際書展。今年參展的出版商共有900家，攤位數高達2,000個。市場規模小是基督教出 版界的一大挑戰，由英語翻譯成的書籍在華人信徒間仍是較受歡迎的，讓我們為基督教出版界來禱告，無論是自編、翻譯或專注於印刷聖經，求主記念他們的服事．
從1949 年至今，中國痲瘋患者已累計有48萬餘病例。現今尚有痲瘋病人6,552例，並以每年一千人的速度增加．目前發現的新病人多來自雲貴、兩廣、四川、湖 南、、福建等省份。亞洲其他地區如越南和柬埔寨也有新病例．痲瘋病人多半處於貧困的地區，他們備受歧視，並與社會隔離。主耶穌醫治痲瘋病人讓世人看見神無 比的慈愛和憐憫，讓我們為痲瘋病人以及相關事工來禱告。
台 灣約有六千多個愛滋病帶原病例，其中十分之一是獄後篩選出來的。注射毒品和不安全的性行為是感染的主因。監獄內愛滋帶原者常擁 “病”自重，不聽管教，是監獄內管理上頭痛的問題．在香港和台灣，有數個專門服事受刑人及其家人的事工團體，他們除了在監獄內傳福音，照顧受刑人家庭外， 出獄後更積極輔導其就業，希望幫助他們倚靠耶穌基督成為新造的人，讓我們藉著代禱與獄中福音大使們同工．
中 國家庭中30％存在家庭暴力，施暴者九成是男性，受害者85％以上是婦女，每年有約10萬個家庭因家暴而解體。由於 “家醜不外揚”，家庭暴力發生率可能更高。冷戰、罰跪、甚至生命威脅是常見的家庭暴力方式。神所立意的幸福婚姻是兩性平等、互助合作的美善關係，求神讓中 國人能羨慕基督化家庭的和樂，也願意建造自己的家成為榮耀神的祭壇。讓我們在禱告中常常記念以服事家庭為主的相關事工。
近 一百萬份的 “新兒童歌謠” 已分發至北京市所有學校。這份由黨提供的教材收錄了四百首歌曲，內容強調教導兒童愛國、團結思想和國民義務責任。國內兒童福音歌曲非常少，主日學和培育兒 童靈性的教材更是缺乏。「讓小孩子到我這裡來。」是主的心意，培育敬虔的後裔責無旁貸，讓我們將此廣大的需要仰望主，求主豐富預備。