Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Prayer Request 8/3 - 8/9

In the recently held Hong Kong Book Fair 2010, fictions are still the most popular books, followed by literary genre. The once hot investment how-to books lagged behind because of the sagging financial climate. China churches, especially the rural, laborer churches, and also churches in the disaster-afflicted areas, receive a lot of donated books. Yet, the majority of these books stay boxed up and never reached the intended believers. Generally, the appetite for spiritual readings among Chinese believers is not good. We pray the Lord to give us hunger for spiritual readings, that our lives will be renewed and our love stirred because of the fervent reading.
Shanghai people are very practical, which is in their very nature. Shanghai men work outside and come home to do housework, too. They are humble, not demanding. Women from northern China consider Shanghai men not macho at all. But, to Shanghai men, they would not have it any other way. It is very difficult to teach the Biblical command of "wives submit to your husbands" in China, when the prevailing culture is "women hold up half of the sky." Let us pray for all the marital relationships of all the believers, for husbands to honor their wives and be considerate. We pray for many couples who can serve as good role models in their church as well.
The divorce rate has risen considerably in China and 56% of while-collared workers consider their marriage "psuedo-happy." Two reasons that couples cite for divorce are stress from work and extramarital affairs. It is also said that Chinese married women often neglect to keep themselves "pretty and presentable," which contributes to marital discord. We believe God can "fix" all bad marriages and that marriages are for life. We pray that Christian couples would not give up and lay blame on their spouses, but ask the Holy Spirit to change themselves first, learning to accept and love, as Jesus loves us.
Recently police in Guangdong publicly paraded prostitutes in handcuffs and neck chains in an attempt to humiliate them and cut down the sex trade. Public Security at the highest level has ordered that police cannot do this but must respect the basic human dignity of all offenders. Christians often condemn prostitution in their cities but then they cannot really offer any positive or moral influence to help in a concrete way. We pray that believers will "hate the sin but love the sinner" as Jesus Christ did. We remember the few believers who purposefully reach out to those women trapped in prostitution.
Mr. Yamasaki was a physician with the invading Japanese troops in the opening of the Sino-Japanese war. Now, he is 102 years old and still offers free medical care to local residents every Saturday as his personal "redemption." He deserted his troop and even stayed in Jinan, Shandong, and lives there still today. The Shandong province was once an important place in the history of the Chinese church revival in the 20th century. We remember the believers there, many of them are old but witnessed those glorious days of revival and the sending of the gospel band. May the Spirit of God come again to churches there.
Since 1997, after Hong Kong's return to China from the British rule, Hong Kong's educational goal is "Two languages and three tongues." Schools aim to equip their students to be proficient in Chinese and English and to be able to converse fluently in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. To minister to Chinese churches overseas, those who are "two languages and three tongues" enjoy a great advantage. Let us pray especially for the growth and spiritual vitality of churches who are non-Mandarin speaking, for those who speak only Cantonese, Fujianese, Wenzhounese, or English.
China is now the world's second-largest economy, having overtaken Japan. China could even overtake the United States as the world's biggest economy in the next 20 years. Still, China's annual per-capita income is a mere $3,800. We thank the Lord for the great stride China has made in her economic development in the last 30 years. We pray China churches will also grow both in numbers and strength, spiritually and in her ability to minister to churches in China and in other countries.

在香港,「兩文三語」(書寫兩文–中文,英文;口操三語–粵語,英語,華語(普通話))是1997年回歸後語文教學的目標,學校要刻意培養學生的華語能力。 從事海外華人教會的福音事工,有「兩文三語」能力者占盡優勢。讓我們為「非華語」教會,亦即講廣東、福建、溫州話,或英語的華人教會的增長和靈命進深來禱告。
中國已超越日本,成為世界第二大經濟實體。中國更有可能在未來20年裡繼續前行,取代美國成為第一大經濟體。儘管如此,中國人年均收入僅為 3,800美元。我們為中國在過去30年經濟的發展感謝神。我們祈求上帝,賜給中國教會信徒人數的增長,她的靈命及能力也都成長健全,能幫助更多的教會,不論是在國內或是國外,成為流通愛的管道。

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