With the stock market sky high, the most common greeting now is, "Are you in the stock market?" Everywhere in the media, there is a not-to-be-missed stock frenzy and even housewives are very involved in it. Church leaders estimate that 70% of church ministry is done by female believers. We lift up everyone who serves in their churches, in whatever capacity. May the Lord bless them with the riches of heaven and good health .
At Chinese New Year's time Chinese people struggle with the amount to give in their red envelopes (hong bao) as New Year's gifts. In the past, a few chickens, dozens of eggs, or a few bottles of wine made good presents but now, a hundred yuan is considered the minimal gift for friends or relatives. This month there will be many people giving and receiving gifts. Let us pray that believers will not forget to give back with thankful hearts from what the Lord has given to them. We pray for stronger Chinese churches through increased giving and sending of more missionaries from those churches.
What happens when one needs medical care but has no money to pay for it? If that person is in Mainland China the chance of getting any medical care is slim. In Hong Kong care in public hospitals is free. In Taiwan, everyone is covered by a global medical care insurance. Church workers in China do not have health care benefits at all and must cover such expenses themselves. Let us pray for both the physical and spiritual health of all workers and especially those who are ill and have to pay their medical costs with their own money .
In the past ten years convenience stores like 7-ELEVEN have become a fixture in many communities. They have also become the one-stop, open-24-hour centers for paying for utilities, places to grab a quick meal, and even bookstores.In contrast, places of worship are hard to find and are open only on Sundays in China. Let us pray for many seekers who are hungry for God and looking for churches to fill the emptiness in their hearts .
Chinese advertisers are focusing on "single career women". They have a good income, buy the newest cell-phone regularly, drink name brand coffee, and speculate in the stock markets as the newest and hottest hobby. Single women constitute a high percentage of China's church workers but few ever have any luxuries to enjoy. Let us thank the Lord for their faithfulness in serving. We remember, too, their financial needs and comfort for the loneliness they all experiences .
Speculating in the stock market has reached a feverish pitch in China with 600,000 new trading accounts opened in December 2006 alone. Young people are also trading on the market looking for quick gain as the general market heads higher. Trading stocks has become the favorite pastime in Shanghai. Let us pray for the guarding of the hearts of all believers against greed as stock market has become the favorite conversation in church .
There are about eighty million Hakka (guest) people who have their own unique customs, dialect, and ethnic characteristics. About 85% of them live in Guangdong and Fujian provinces. Also there are about 6.4 million in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. It is difficult for Hakkas to become Christians but once they get saved, they are usually very good Christians. Hakka-speaking churches have an ambitious goal to double their attendance in ten years. Let us pray for their churches, their outreach and even that the gospel will be broadcast by radio in the Hakka language .