Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Prayer Request 8/10 - 8/16

The lyrics from a popular song in China satirizing Chinese parents who struggle to pay expenses for their child go like this: "Do you know, my daughter, how hard it is to earn money? To raise a child is so (expletive) hard. Is family planning still necessary? The great nation is super-rich. I've gotten nothing from the 4000 billions. The GDP keeps growing but who will buy diapers for me?" We pray for all of the believing parents who worry about how they will pay for the rising cost of raising their children. May the Lord give them assurance, wisdom, and a desire to raise their children to love the Lord above all.
Internet video is a new medium the younger generation in China has found to express their feelings. A folksong called "Happiness" says: "Happiness is paying 40,000 a square meter (of apartment) which I cannot afford... Now that I've bought happiness, it will take me thirty years to pay for it. Where is true happiness?" We pray for all young believing couples as they work so hard to make house payments along with saving for expenses for their child. May the Lord remind us all to keep Him as the Master of our house, growing closer to God and each other as we learn to serve in His church.
There are many incidences of Chinese celebrities who were caught with shoddy and dubious academic degrees. Many claim that they have a master's or doctoral degree earned through life experience which they got from a foreign degree mill. Many Chinese pastors feel that since they do not have an academic degree they are inadequate in ministry. We pray for their efforts to receive more training and theological education. May the Lord help them to know that it is not by wisdom of men but by the power of the Spirit and His Word that people come to God.
Respecting elders is a virtue in the Chinese tradition. Conversely, young people complain that they do not receive "due respect" particularly in the churches in China where young pastors feel that the elders do not take them seriously. Let us pray for all the young workers in churches, for spiritual maturity and that they will trust in the Lord and not in their own wisdom and strength. We pray specifically for those who might be hurt or discouraged. May the Lord use a godly older person to give them encouragement.
Some people describe the church in China as being "A mile wide, and an inch deep". Many of those who preach and shepherd churches need to be ministered to themselves. They are still learning but have people in their congregations who are much more mature in age and experience. It is difficult for young people to minister effectively in churches with older members. Let us pray for humility for all, both young and old. May the Lord give each of us tenderness in helping the younger shepherds learn to teach the Word of God boldly with conviction and with humility and gentleness.
A year after the ethnic violence in Xingjian, the region is gradually returning to normal. This is a tense area where Muslim Uighur live side by side with Han Chinese. Many of the Uighur, however, do not speak Mandarin Chinese and so are unable to find jobs. Economic disparity and job discrimination are some of the issues of contention here. The work is hard here and not welcomed by the officials. Converts are ostracized from their families. The one bright spot is the college Bible study groups which target mainly the Han Chinese. We remember them in our prayers.
Although the Chinese government has repeatedly said that it has no plan to abolish the Cantonese dialect, there have been recent protests to keep the Cantonese dialect strong. China has many dialects but Cantonese is the only one which has its own radio broadcasts and television programming in China. There are likely more than four thousand Cantonese-speaking churches worldwide. Many of them are very mission-minded and send out missionaries worldwide. We thank the Lord for the great work the Cantonese-speaking churches have done and we pray the Lord will call out more workers from these congregations.

中國名人被揭發造假學歷的事情屢見不鮮。很多人訛稱自己在外國某某大學獲得某某「在職碩士」、「在職博士」的銜頭。在中國教會裡,不少傳道人覺得自己沒有學位就不能好好服侍神。我們禱告:謙卑服侍主的人能得到更多屬靈上的裝備,求主也幫助他們明白,服事不是憑人的知識或學位,乃是憑上帝的話,依靠祂的靈,方能把人帶到主面前 。

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