Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Prayer Request 10/4 - 10/10

Although teachers in China are required to have continuous education to improve their professional level and ability to improve the education of their students, rural areas lack training and even good quality training programs. Hence, it is difficult to improve the quality of teachers in rural China. We pray for every shepherd and leader in the rural churches of China. May the Lord give them passion for God's word and boldness to proclaim it and serve His people. Above all, may they have the humility to live out what they preach and be an example to their sheep.

A survey in China shows that high school teachers have many more opportunities to receive training in their field than do junior high teachers and those who teach in the elementary grades have even fewer opportunities for training than the junior high teachers do. These training sessions are mostly seminars followed by a discussion type of meeting. They are given very little opportunity for an observation-type learning experience. We pray for rural churches to grow stronger in God's truth and not waver or be blown about by trifling theological issues. May the Lord move the urban churches to learn how rural believers have a simple faith and a strong love for God.

Opportunities for career training for rural teachers are very limited and usually consist of lectures which cover mostly theories that are often not even applicable to rural settings. These kinds of seminars feature speakers from cities and provide minimal interaction between the speakers and the teachers. These same mistakes can happen as rural pastors receive training from well-intentioned outside or foreign teachers. We pray for wisdom for those who teach and that their students will be able to understand and make good application of their teachings for their own sheep and church settings.

In the recent past, there has been certain improvement of the ministry among children and youth in the rural churches in China. However, they face the huge problem of too many children who have no parental supervision because their parents work in the city. One cannot rely entirely on the church to help a child grow in the faith. We pray that the God of mercy will bless all who serve the young people in the churches with wisdom, patience, and thoroughness to make up somehow for the lack of parents of those children and youth in their church.

In China, the relatively affluent urban children have more access to the nation's prestigious institutions, with a smaller financial investment but end up with better job later. But, for the poor rural children, they pay a much larger percentage of their parents income, to go to a mediocre school and end up with lower-paying job later. Many social factors contribute to "inevitable" decline and so many obstacles seem impossible to overcome for the rural churches. It is sad to see the decline of China's rural churches, but we will continue to pray for what God can and will do because we have in Him.

For many young Christians who have lived in city, when they visit their old church in the village, they find the worship stifled, prayers are formula-like, preaching irrelevant, church as a whole dead and preacher who could not identify with or minister to their spiritual need. We pray especially for the young people who feel they are not ministered to. Many pastors have only limited education and are uncomfortable and even intimidated with members who are college grads. It is our prayer that churches can minister well to both old and young.

The single purpose of the many top-notch high school is to remove every possible distraction as the students prepare for the "gaokao", the national college-entrance exams, which are seen as the gateway to success in life. For seniors at these high schools, the pressure is extreme. Let us pray for all the believers who are in high school and obviously have the pressure to excel academically. Many stop going to church because their parents want them to study more. May the Lord give them strength, wisdom and above all, desire to walk closely with the Lord.






許多年輕信徒回到老家的農村教會,發現教會受許多傳統的束縛,整個教會缺乏活力. 聖詩唱得沒有氣力,禱告流於形式,信息不能解決心中的需要。牧者也不能及時理解他們的思想,更新他們的靈命。許多傳道人本身教育程度不高,在高學歷會友面前有自卑感。讓我們特別記念那些覺得在教會中得不著餵養的年輕人。也求主幫助中國教會不但能牧養年長的,也能供應年輕的信徒。

中國有眾多的頂尖高中,學校竭盡所能消除一切可能分散學生預備「高考」的誘惑。他們相信考進重點大學才是踏進一生成功的門檻。對這些高中學生來說,參加高考帶給他們極大的壓力。我們為所有就讀高中的信徒子弟來禱告,他們面對極大的升學壓力和繁重課業,許多都停止參加教會的聚會,他們的父母也不要求他們花時間在教會。我們求神加添他們力量、智慧,更重要的是感動他們的心, 讓他們繼續渴慕神,跟主有親密的關系。