Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Prayer Request 6/22 - 6/28

The game of soccer in China is in a state of shambles. Professional soccer is rife with corruption at all levels. To rebuild from scratch, the government has decided to send five hundred promising young players to Europe to receive rigorous training during the next five years. Chinese people tend to do well in individual events but poorly in team events. May the Lord give us humility as believers to serve together in teams in the church. We pray, too, for God's comfort for those who have left churches because they were hurt and unable to serve there.
The number of people over sixty in China has now reached 167.14 million which is an increase of almost 5% over last year. As people are growing older, the need for care centers and welfare agencies for the elderly is quickly growing. At present there are 40,250 social welfare companies and 38,060 elder-care agencies. Although there are more young people in church now than before, most churches still have a large number of elderly believers. We pray for them that the Lord will give them good health, a close walk with the Lord and a powerful witness to their family members. We remember those who depend on others to care for their daily needs. We trust God to be with them at all times as we know He is.
In recent months the most popular TV programs in China have been those about dating which feature good-looking young men and women who have heated arguments on social issues. The government, however, has banned "fake participants, morally provoking hosts and hostesses, and sex-implied comments" in these reality shows. It is difficult for parents who are believers to teach their child about marrying a believer when there are few young Christians in their churches. We pray for all Christian parents as they are concerned about the marriage partner of their only child. May the Lord grant them great faith as they pray for their future son- or daughter-in-law.
In recent years in China there has been a steady increase in divorces at about 7.65% a year and in 2009, 2.468 million couples filed for divorce. In that same year 12.122 million couples got married, an increase of 10.4% over 2008 so we see that for every five couples who got married, one couple filed for divorce. In the churches we also see a growing trend toward divorce. Chinese people put great emphasis on family values and often churches feel awkward or do not know how to minister to those who are divorced. We pray that more believers will feel called to care for those who have experienced failure in marriage and help them know the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.
According to a national report, those who are older than forty accounted for more than twelve percent of the total newlyweds in China in 2009. This figure is up nearly two percent from 2008. Most of these people had been married previously so experts say it shows that the Chinese people are becoming more open about re-marriage. Most pastors in China find it more difficult now to preach on divorce and re-marriage than in the past. Most churches have few resources to help those who are divorced or single parents or to provide premarital counseling to those who wish to re-marry. Let us remember all those who are divorced. We pray that they will walk closely with Jesus, know God's will and find comfort and support from God and His people.
The Chinese government cracked down on popular TV dating programs because, although many people watch them, they have a negative influence on marriages. They ruled that the comment of one contestant, "I would rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bike" be deleted from the program. Let us pray for all young believers who are waiting for the person God has chosen for them. May the Lord give them patience, faith in God and the desire to stay pure knowing that He will not fail them. We also lift up their Christian parents who worry that their children will marry someone poor and not be able to enjoy life.
In China they say, "Those who have a license practice medicine and those who don't have a license sell health care products". A lack of supervision and enforcement of the law allows many charlatans to profit greatly from selling "secret and special health-promoting products." Unfortunately it is also common to find false teachers who preach a "different gospel" which promises material wealth and health to anyone who will believe in Jesus. We pray that the Lord will bring these lost sheep back to the true faith and blessing of Jesus Christ.

今年中國六十歲以上人口達 16,714萬人,比去年增加約百分之五,而全國僅有38,060間老人護理中心,40,250間社會福利機構。隨著人口老化,這些機構的需求日益增加。近年中國教會年輕信徒雖增長不少,但很多教會仍以年長信徒為主。願主賜他們健康身體,與主有親密的關係,並在家人面前有美好的見證。我們也記念仰賴別人照顧生活起居的肢體,求主賜他們恒久忍耐的心,主一路眷顧。
根據統計數字,2009 40歲以上結婚者佔國民結婚總數12%,比去年增加2%,當中絕大多數是「再婚」。 這顯示中國人的婚姻觀念已有重大轉變。中國傳道人很難在講臺談論離婚、再婚等題目,大多數教會也缺乏資源去幫助那些離婚或單親父母,及提供欲再婚人士婚前輔導。讓我們以禱告記念失婚的弟兄姐妹,願他們能與主親密同行並明白神的旨意,從神和祂的子民中獲得安慰與扶持。

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