Beijing institutes a mandatory one-hour-a-day physical exercise for all students up to the high school level. Every school must comply and can not shorten the exercise with any excuses or substitutions. Spiritual exercise for the majority of Chinese Sunday Schools is still song singing and story-telling. Let us pray for an in-depth curriculum, emphasis on relationship with Jesus and parental involvement in the program .
One may wonder how a Chinese kid learns to use chopsticks, which involves 30 joints and 50 muscles. Most children have mastered chopsticks long before they can write. Many believers bring their children to church, but, because there are no trained teachers, the children simply play outside of the church, not learning anything and not having a meaningful worship experience. Let us pray especially for such churches and their desire to minister to the young ones .
“The building of ethical thinking among the juveniles” is a big project the Party is pushing at all levels in the attempt to stem the corrupting influences on the youth--from media--rapidly changing social values and loss of moral values. Materialism and social corruption have undermined the education of a whole generation of young people. Many churches realize this but lack concrete ways to do anything about it. Let us pray for the prevalent absence of youth and young people in so many inland churches .
The governmental regulation is that burial sites not exceed four square meters for one person or six square meters for two people. The government is cracking down on elaborate and outlandish graves, a flagrant violation of these rules. The passing of old saints, especially those who endured the tumultuous time of the last century means there is a new generation who grew us with little memory of the suffering of the churches. We thank the Lord for every one of those saints and the legacy they have left behind .
A first time offender of the law, aged 16 to 18, will not face prison sentences, according to the new rule by the Public Security Bureau. Imprisonment leads to the overcrowding of limited facilities and often makes the offenders worse. Not all parents have well-behaved children; some are literally “black sheep.” Let us remember all the aching parents and their prodigal sons in our prayers .
Many families come from the Mainland to Hong Kong for better jobs. The entire family crams into a one-room apartment and their children become the so-called “street children.” Some Hong Kong churches tried to minister to these children and their families, but the churches have limited success because of the immigrants’ inability to fit in with the local children and the parental immigrants’ objection to church. We pray for these unique ministries reaching out to the Mainland immigrants .
“Lady Guest” is the term for those who married into the village (or family). Chinese courts recently decided in several cases that they must be included in receiving benefits, enjoying the equal rights with the men. Girls who are married off are still seen as “water poured out on the ground” in most of the rural regions. Let us pray for the church workers, especially in these villages where the old mindset runs deep and women are still seen as a liability or property, rather than an asset .