Tina Leung, a controversial actress in Hong Kong in the 1960's, has died, Although she attended a Christian high school, she gave birth to a girl out of wedlock, became a spy for Communist China and became a successful business woman. She wrote a book about how she became a friend with her only child who had received a sex-change operation. It is never easy to be a single mother and it is even harder in China. There are also those parents whose child is confused about his/her sexual identity. Let us pray for wisdom, patience, and the unconditional love of God for those parents who are believers. May the Lord comfort and strengthen them.
Chinese officials repeatedly called it a "miracle"， as many miners were rescued from the flooded coal mine after being trapped for nine days. Although the safety of Chinese mines has improved dramatically, some two thousand miners perished last year. "This is probably one of the most amazing rescues in the history of mining anywhere," said a safety expert. In a humanistic society, one can only use the term "miracle" without any reference to God. The nation could only wish for a good outcome, instead of praying for divine intervention. As believers, we pray for eternal salvation of Jesus Christ to millions who will be forever lost in spiritual darkness.
The traditional Chinese view is that men and women should not be single. Chinese homosexuals feel this same pressure to marry to appease their parents. There is an estimated twenty million gay men in China who are "forced" to marry heterosexual women and make their wives the victims of this social expectation. Let us pray for the homosexuals to come to know the salvation of Jesus Christ as well as others. We pray, too, for every Christian who feels he has to "get married" in order to meet the demands of his parents.
Recently the term "ant people" has been used to describe low-income college graduates who live together as a group. They are small but resilient like ants, and determined to stay and live in the large cities. Many people suggest that they should go back to the smaller towns they came from rather than trying to fit into big city life. We pray for those young people who came from rural Christian families but are studying or working in cities. Many of them no longer attend church. May the Lord answer their prayers and help them to return to Christ.
More than half of the "ant people" come from villages and twenty percent of them come from county-level cities. They are the typical "poor second generation" who have neither the connections nor the means to live in a big city since their parents earn less than 50,000 yuan a year and borrowed money to put them through college. Many young people from poor families are under enormous pressure to be successful and help their parents financially when they complete their education. We remember those young believers who struggle with parental expectations to be successful but are hanging on with faith that God has a great purpose in their lives.
Recently some media are reporting the difference between "Shanghai style poverty" (an outsider making a monthly income of 5,000 RMB in Shanghai who must pay rent, daily expenses, and send money back to poor relatives back in the village). and "Beijing style affluence" (someone born in Beijing making only 1000 RMB monthly but who lives with parents and enjoys a carefree life style.) Let us pray for all believers who are working away from home in the big cities, for their physical and spiritual well-being. It is discouraging to be working hard but still know that one cannot catch up with the ever-rising cost of living in the big city. We pray that we all will have a heart of thanksgiving and faith in God that He will take care of us.
The earthquake of Sichuan in 2008 marked a milestone for China's churches in terms of relief involvement and donation efforts. Churches in the coastal provinces, particularly Wenzhou, have shown their compassion and opened their pockets generously, helping the needy churches and also victims in general. We are blessed to see more Chinese believers willing to give and not merely receive. When pastors preach on the topics of offering, tithing, or money, it is usually considered "not spiritual." Let us pray that believers can really have faith in God, trust their church leadership, practice Christian generosity, and most importantly be thankful to their rich and gracious Lord.