The government of China will pass out 10,000 copies of the Chinese-English Bible in the Athletes Village and another 30,000 copies of the New Testament to tourists during the Olympics. Beijing house churches have been under tight surveillance recently as part of the tightening security throughout the capital. Let us pray earnestly for all the believers in Beijing, for their passion to share the Gospel, good opportunities to present their faith and the relationship of churches with the government during this exciting time.
China is rapidly graying. It is estimated that by 2025 nearly twenty percent of the population will be sixty years old or older (twice as much as today). The one-child policy has slowed the population growth, but increased longevity means there are a lot more older people than before. China lacks a nationwide retirement plan and a majority of retirees there live with their children. Chinese churches need to redouble their efforts to minister to the elderly. We pray especially for those who are no longer able to attend church because of physical limitations as well as those older believers who try to share their faith with their families.
About 8% of the population of Guangzhou is sixty-five years old or older. Many of them come from other provinces to stay with their children who are working in the city. They are called "snowbirds" because they usually come for the mild winter season to care for their grandchildren and to get better medical care themselves. Ministry to the elderly focuses on visitation and is usually done by retired believers. Let us pray for all the churches, especially those in the costal provinces that spend a great deal of effort on reaching out and ministering to the elderly in their neighborhoods.
Chinese parents in the cities invariably push their children into as many extracurricular activities as possible. A survey shows that the mothers are usually the ones who decide what kind of class or musical instrument the child will study. Many children do not have even a half a day free a week for themselves. This is true for Christian families, too, so many of their children simply skip Sunday worship. Let us pray for all parents who are believers that they will teach their children to honor God above all else.
Chinese parents have a fear their children are not doing well enough academically to get into a good high school or a well-known university so they enroll them in all kinds of remedial classes which they feel is necessary for them to get ahead. Some Christian parents even advise their children not to go to church so they can have more time to study. Let us pray they will have an unwavering faith in God and be steadfast as Joshua was when he said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Many house churches have debated for years whether to register with the government or not. They insist that churches must not be under the regulation of the government because they have suffered persecution and are still apprehensive. Many of these churches are fundamental and charismatic and find it hard to interact with the community. We thank the Lord for their dedication to the Word of God and fervent prayer and pray especially for them to have unified hearts[j6] .
Hai gui (Chinese student who studied abroad and have now returned to China) have started more than 5000 companies which means two in a hundred have become their own bosses. They are popular because they have connections with Western companies but they often lack the connections they need to do business in China. There are also pastors and believers who have been trained and served in churches abroad but have returned home. We pray for the ministries of all who have been abroad. May the Lord use their experience to help the Chinese churches.