October is traditionally an important month on the political calendar in China. Every five years the Communist Party meets to discuss and decide the course the nation will take. This is the so-called "12th 5-year Plan" (2011-2015). We praise God for the economic achievement China has made as well as the growth in the churches there which includes the greater freedom they now enjoy. We pray for continuing numerical and substantive growth of the churches in China in the next five years. Believers must have a renewed sense of mission and passion for God, not merely a pride in their nation.
Because of the 7-day national holiday, in China the first week of October is traditionally a busy time of travel and shopping time--the so-called "golden week". The government reports that Chinese are spending a lot more on purchases and eating out at restaurants (a whopping 18.7%) than in 2009. Chinese Christians are no longer the poor peasants we once thought them to be. Let us remember especially those who are wealthy. May the Lord remind them that it is God's blessing that they have the wealth and may they not be proud but willing to use their wealth generously in God's work.
A very popular Mainland magazine, Duzhe （"Reader's," with 10 million in circulation), has been approved to be published in Taiwan. It will keep the same name but will be printed in the traditional fonts, and it will be available for sale in convenience stores. This is highly significant because the literary "tastes" of two sides of the straits are becoming similar. Biographies of persecuted Chinese believers have inspired countless readers in and outside of China. We pray that God will raise up more contemporary believers to pen their testimonies and encourage others to serve the Lord faithfully.
A 2006 survey showed that 62% percent of Chinese religious believers are 39 years old or younger. This is very evident in Wenzhou which is also known as China's "Jerusalem". Many of the devout are young and obviously well-off. We praise the Lord! May He give each of us the humility and desire to learn more about Him. The generation gap is quite evident in many churches. We pray that older believers will accept the younger ones and younger ones will be willing to learn from their elders.
China has a long history of peasant rebellions that were fueled by religious belief and observers say the communist government still today views religion with caution saying it is a social and political issue that could affect social instability. We take this time to remember again the rural churches in China. Many desire that their young leaders be trained outside but face difficulties with the local government. We pray for the safety needed and for those who are being trained. They are willing to learn but have only a limited education. May the Lord give wisdom to those who teach and the students alike.
In recent years, there have been many fraudulent "doctors" and “health experts.” Chinese media repeatedly performs the role of making these fakes famous and then denouncing them later. It is almost comical to see how charlatans can fool people by making ridiculous claims about healing or providing nutritional misinformation. There are indeed many naive people who would believe anything. Jesus warned us about false teachers and prophets too. We pray that believers will not fall prey to heresies and un-Biblical claims. May the Lord grant us mercy and spiritual discernment.
In the past, farmers were not able to afford medical care. With the new government-sponsored rural medical system, 20 yuan can buy basic medical care. This has been a great improvement for the rural communities. We praise the Lord that rural regions in China have seen substantial improvement in medical care, basic welfare, and education. Rural churches have seen much decline in the past 2 decades because of the exodus of young people. We pray that such decline may slow and that more workers will see the big needs of rural churches and be willing to go serve there.
一本發行量達一千萬份的暢銷雜誌 -《讀者》，成為首本中國進入台灣的刊物，此書保持原名但改以繁體版發行，在全島便利商店和超市銷售。這個發展意味著兩岸讀書文化口味的靠近。 中國信徒為主受逼迫、受苦的信仰經歷激勵了許多人，我們求主興起更多當代中國信徒，使用他們的見證分享，激勵更多神的兒女持守真道，忠心服事主。