《Special prayer》 As you are aware, the horrendous casualty from the earthquake in Sichuan province Monday continues to rise, and the fear for worse continues.
China hoped 2008 would be a yearlong celebration, a time to bask in the spotlight of the upcoming Beijing Olympics. Instead, the Year of the Rat has been a string of troubles — both natural and man-made — that are diverting the attention from the Olympic.
Remember the paralyzing snow storm in the Chinese New Year, the problem in Tibet, the recent terrible train accidents in Shandong and the viral infection that killed scores of children , all these have poured cold water to the festive mood Chinese are hoping to enjoy toward the August 8, the auspicious opening day of the 2008 Games.
We would like to invite you to pray along with all the Chinese believers in the following:
1. For the rescuing effort and divine comfort for all the victim's families.
2. A window of opportunity for Chinese Christian to demonstrate the love and compassion of God in this time of great suffering.
3. May the Lord soft the heart of all Chinese, not to depend on our strength and might, not to take glory in our own achievement, but to turn to God and give glory to Him alone.
4. Let us pray for all the Chinese churches, Mainland and overseas, as we all unite in prayer to uplift the country in God's hand.
The recent cyclone devastation in Myanmar has affected nearly half of its population. Many victims have yet to receive any relief. The two million Chinese there have largely been spared. The Chinese own rice shops and some have to quickly distribute rice for fear of whole-scale looting. Let us pray for the relief effort there, especially what the local Christian and Chinese churches can do to be a testimony of compassion in this deeply devout Buddhist country.
For many of the young Chinese, graduating from college means unemployment. There is stiff competition for any job for college graduates. In the Xinjiang province, 30% of them are unemployed. There is a sense of desperation among many college students. We are thankful for many students who have come to know Jesus in college, but let us pray that they will remain faithful and walk closely with Him after graduation.
For millions of college students, graduation means bleak future. Among the large cities, like Beijing, Changsha, Shanghai, and Wuhan, 1 in 3 graduates will not be able to find a job. Many have even ridiculed the economic benefit of college education, since parents usually have to support them with savings. Among these cities, there are very active college ministries. They all try to focus on discipleship to prepare them once they graduate. Yet, a high percentage young Christians are lost due to lack of follow up. Let us keep praying for all who are disciplining the college students.
The “fifth year college student” is a phenomenon of unemployed college graduates. They usually claim they are studying to get into graduate schools, living near campus, enjoying the campus facilities but are not enrolled as students. Unemployed college graduates experience stress, depression, and impaired self-esteem because parents expect them to start making money. Let us pray for all the believers who are not able to find work or are unemployed. May they not lose trust and faith in God who promises that He will always provide for us.
The government estimates that varying degrees of violence occur in 1/3 of all Chinese households. In 90% of cases, wives are the victims and 100,000 homes are destroyed every year because of violence in the home. Very few battered women report to police because of shame. Christian women who are abused have no outlets for advice or consolation in the church either. Let us pray along with all the believers who live with abusive husbands as they struggle with decision of separation and beyond.
In Taiwan, there are almost 300,000 “foreign brides”- wives who came from Mainland China, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. These families are frequently ostracized because of their lack of language ability, education, and family support. The incidences of marital violence are very high among them. Many Taiwan churches are involved in helping the foreign brides, through teaching Chinese, assistance, and Bible study groups. Let us pray for these ministries and all those who show compassion, who are doing the cross-cultural mission at home.
This year, a total of 5.59 millions college students will graduate, which is 640,000 more than 2007. In the past, only 2 in 3 will find job and this year will be even harder for all the college graduates. There is an alarming trend of these unemployed, highly educated people to turn to criminal activities. Many observe that college students lack appreciation for ethics and traditional values.We continue to pray for many who work with college students, through teaching English and Bible studies. May the Lord give them wisdom in disciplining these new converts.