Recently there has been a spate of random attacks on school children in China that were perpetrated by deranged individuals bend on retaliation against society. Hundreds of parents have lost their children. While the Public Safety officials have insisted that the police will deal harshly with these criminals, parents are still unnerved. Parents in China literally "worry to death" fearing their only child will lag behind in kindergarten and not get good enough grades to make it into college. Parents constantly worry about not having enough money for their children's education. We pray the Lord to remind all believing parents that if they are willing to let God use their child, the child is safely in God's hands.
In response to a series of tragic attacks on school children, a Chinese leader said, "In addition to taking strong security measures, we need to note and solve the root causes of these problems, including how to deal with social conflicts, resolving disputes, strengthening the function of mediation at the grass-roots role level..." There are many major problems in China's society. We pray that believers will not simply blame others, society, or political institutions but rather have great faith to continue praying that the nation will find the salvation of Jesus Christ. We have confidence that believers can "overcome evil with good". (Romans 12:21)
Regarding the recent spate of suicides in China, the commonly given explanation is that these are young people who were born after 1980 or 1990. They lack experience and patience. They are weak psychologically and emotionally unable to handle changes in their circumstances and the pressure of work. The death of every one of these young people literally breaks the dream of three families (two sets of grandparents and their own parents). Let us remember all believing grandparents whose grandchild is no longer attending church. We pray that they will continue to share Jesus with their young ones. We know that God does hear prayers and believe He will bring these grandchildren in to the fold.
World Bank reports, 5% of the United States population controls 60% of her wealth, while in China, 1% of households control 41.4% of the wealth of the country. Concentration of wealth in China far exceeded even the United States, and in terms of concentration of wealth, China is world's most polarized country. Many Chinese believers feel that even though God has blessed them, but God has given much more to others and therefore it is not their responsibility to offer. We pray that we will all come to believe strongly that God has blessed us not only abundantly but His grace is so amazing and it is only right that we give to Him because this pleases Him.
A well-known Chinese saying is: "The honorable man seeks righteousness while the man who cares only about profit is disgraced." The Chinese sense of righteousness implies one's duty to take revenge. To get vengeance is the only honorable thing for a Chinese man to do. Such a deep-rooted world view leaves little room for Chinese believers to understand Jesus' teaching that we are to love our enemies. Chinese believers will not speak of how they feel and when they are hurt in the church, they either leave or choose to be on the sidelines and do nothing. Let us pray for our own need to genuinely forgive others and to be forgiven by others, especially those in the church.
A recent survey says that more than half of the people in Taiwan do not want to abolish the death penalty. Nearly three-fourths of those surveyed do not feel safe and are not satisfied with the efforts of the police. Half of them worry that they or their family members might become victims of crime. Christians are also divided in their opinion about whether there should be a death penalty or not but few churches or even Christians want to have anything to do with prison inmates. We pray for those who are involved in reaching out to and visiting people in prison or their families. We also pray for chaplains serving in prisons.
Drugs on college campuses is increasing in both China and Taiwan. In Taiwan the school must report any incidences of drug use by students but most schools tend not to report all of them. It is very common now that many students have tried drugs and after using them three or four times are addicted to them. In Taiwan there are campus ministries in most of the high schools in the cities. Although the number of students they reach is small, they still provide a positive social network to keep students from trying drugs. We pray for wisdom and a good testimony for those who are reaching out to the high school students.