Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Prayer Request 6/29 - 7/5

Although there are laws against discrimination in China, "hidden discrimination" in hiring abounds there. It includes: people with hepatitis or HIV; girls taller than 1.6 meters or men taller than 1.7 meters; people aged 35 and above; handicapped people; restrictions on pregnant women; people with certain blood types, using zodiac signs or fortune telling in selecting an applicant. In China, Christians do not usually profess their faith at work. We pray for those who do let others know they are followers of Jesus. May they have a powerful testimony and may their lives touch people in ways that glorify God. We pray especially for believers who work for the government at various levels for integrity and a positive influence in their workplace.
A foreign magazine said that sixteen million Chinese women are married to homosexual men. They are trapped in loveless and often miserable marriages and many are victims of abuse and violence. They are known as tongqi combining the words tongzhi or comrade which is the Chinese slang for "gay" with qizi which means "wife" in Mandarin. Let us pray for these women and also all the women who have found no joy or happiness in their marriages. Christian women can have a powerful testimony and be a support to these women who have "unspeakable shame" or unfaithful husbands. We know God cares for and listens to the prayers of widows.
Christian businessmen (and factory owners) have an important role in evangelism in China, especially in cities like Shenzhen and Donguan in the South. These men allow and encourage the sharing of the gospel in factories and workers' dormitories. Many businessmen who went to China to try their luck at starting a business have also come to know Jesus. Numerous overseas Chinese believers have gone back to China for business along with evangelistic opportunities. Let us pray for God's blessing for these kingdom-minded believers and their ministry in the factories.
Any generalization concerning the churches in China is flawed but the lack of quality church leadership is a common problem. It is true that God can use all kinds of people but those who lack leadership ability, genuine humility, and maturity inflict injury to God's churches. Many people seem to be fine and willing workers but once they are in a position of leadership they become full of pride and care more about personal gain than fulfilling their calling to serve. Let us remember the believers who are under such leadership. We look to God for His discipline for them and realize that pride can blind even the best of us.
The government says that in 2009 there was a significant increase in both the number of students who went abroad to study and those who returned. Of the 230,000 people (a 27% increase) who studied abroad, 90% of them were not sponsored by the Chinese government. Last year 110,000 scholars (a 56% increase) returned and 80% of them were not sponsored by the government. Many Chinese students accepted Christ abroad and returned to involve themselves in campus ministries. We pray that God will use their profession of faith as a lamp in the dark and that they will be a great blessing to and mobilize the house churches in sharing the gospel in the cities.
Since the implementation of the one-child policy in the 1970’s, population growth has been effectively controlled in China. However, this has created the so-called "4-2-1" families where one child must bear the burden of support for two parents and four grandparents. We pray for all the believers who have aging parents. May the Lord give them patience, tenderness, and respect knowing that God wants us to honor our parents and when we care for them God will bless us. We are thus a good testimony to non-believers also.
In many large cities in China the "one-child generation" finds it difficult to know how to support aging parents and grandparents. They feel they do not have enough time and resources to care for and raise their own child let alone caring for the older generations. We pray for believers who have both children and aging parents. May the Lord give them joy and wisdom in taking care of both the young and the old. May He give them strength, encouraging words, and blessings as they live out the love of God in their families.

「同妻」是指同性戀者的妻子(同志的妻子)。據外國雜誌報導,中國同妻有1,600萬人之多。中國的同妻,不僅得不到性生活上的滿足,很多還遭受冷落、漠視和家庭暴力。讓我們為許多婚姻不幸福,沒有喜樂的妻子們禱告。求主激勵姐妹成為強有力的見證,將耶穌帶給許多有「不可告人的羞恥」或「丈夫不 忠」的婦女。因我們深知神是聽「寡婦」禱告的神。
2009年度中國出國留學和回國人數均呈明顯增長。出國留學近23萬人,同比增長超過27%,其中九成為自費出國者;而留學回國總人數近11萬,同比增長超過56%,八 成以上為自費出國者。許多在海外信主的學人回國後,也持續參與學生事工。求主使用這些專業人士,讓他們的信心如黑暗中的明燈,成為教會日益重視和推動城市福音工作時的祝福。
現今中國許多大城市裡,獨生子女正面對父母的養老問題。他們無暇也無力照顧好老人,不僅有「養不起小孩」的憂慮,還面對「養不起父母」的危機。 我們為家中既有年邁父母又有年幼子女的弟兄姊妹禱告,求神賜喜樂的心和智慧去照顧自己的至親。也願主賜他們力量,常有神的話為生活的動力,能在家中活出神的愛。

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