Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Prayer Request 9/14 - 9/20

Because of China’s crack-down of Islamic separatists and its tight-fist policy in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang, sympathetic Muslims around the world have developed a suspicious view toward Chinese. Admittedly, Chinese as a whole fears the Muslims and our lives and theirs simply do not mix. May the Lord break down our pride and the walls we build in our hearts, so we are truly willing to pray for their salvation.
As China finds a bigger place in world affairs, its wealth breeds hostility. In the recent violence in Kyrgyzstan, Chinese merchants were singled out and robbed. Although China boasts "having friends everywhere", local people resenting Chinese merchants is quite evident in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. "Are Chinese better than the Western capitalists as missionaries of the Gospel?" Let us pray for our own sense of ethnic superiority, and Chinese churches seeing ourselves as the unwilling prophet Jonah in reaching out to the Muslims.
In the 1980’s, trying to attend a house church in China required an introduction to get in. Now, most house churches are open and even publish their address online. Many meet openly in office buildings. Let us pray for all the churches meeting in these office buildings, for their relationship with the landlords and the local police. We pray for their ministries, their growth especially to families with young children.
A new kind of urban church is emerging in China which is often made up of young people with a college education (70-80%). These young believers want to learn more about faith and also to be involved in serving in the church and along with administration. Let us pray that these "new" churches will be able to meet the need of young people with relevant Biblical preaching as well as give the younger generation opportunities to serve and lead in the church.
Many young urban believers are not content to simply attend a Sunday service. They also want to have a well-organized Sunday school and learn more about the Bible as well as learning how their church is run and who makes decisions there. We pray for all the young Chinese believers that churches will be able to meet their spiritual and relational needs. May the Lord give us all, whether young or old, the humility to serve together.
Young urban believers in China are indeed very different from those in the older generation. They want to serve using their gifts and talents in music, literature, and evangelism. They also want their church to help them meet friends, find a partner for marriage, and teach them how to rear their family. The vast majority of churches are trying to meet these needs with the very limited resources and experience they have. We pray for both a sense of urgency for church leaders and for patience on the part of young believers.
Many Chinese believers in the cities are no longer content to have their church function on only Sunday. They want their church to be involved in the community so that believers can live out their faith for others to see. We praise the Lord for this transformation and lift up churches who do have involvement in their communities, such as visitation of the elderly, helping the handicapped, and even those who reach out to the poor.

當今富強的中國在國際上的份量舉足輕重,可是中國人的財富卻引來不少外族仇視。儘管中國一向在全球各角落「廣交朋友」,但在吉爾吉斯坦暴動時,中國店鋪屢遭襲擊;印尼等東南亞國家,華商也常成為當地居民宣洩不滿時掠奪的對象。 「中國人真的比來自西方資本主義國家的宣教士更適合做宣教工作?」 求主挪除我們民族的優越感,在拓展「回民」事工時,不應像先知約拿般輕看任何一種「尼尼微人」,不情願與他們分享褔音。

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