Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Prayer Request 12/11 - 12/17

The Ministry of Education in China requires students at vocational schools to spend time as interns. However there have been recurring problems and abuses. Recently students under the age of sixteen can not work as interns in nightclubs and bars. Students at these schools are considered failures academically and that same attitude prevails in churches. We want to pray that all people, especially those with little education and who are not white-collared workers, will feel welcomed and accepted in every church.
China currently has more than 10,000 vocational schools run by the government. Some of these schools turned their freshmen students into students whereby they can get free labor by mandating them to work in factories and then collecting the money from the "student laborers". Believers in China tend to have the attitude that ministry in the church should be done by people who are paid or have nothing else to do. We need to pray that believers are willing to serve, not only where others can see what they are doing but also silently and doing what other people would consider "lowly chores".
The kind of work performed by "student laborers" is usually simple and at the most requires only a few hours of instruction to learn how to do it. In fact, these jobs are usually done by the regularly hired workers. Student workers must pay their school for the privilege to work. While churches encourage their members to share, most have no meaningful things people can do and there is little training available, especially for young people. Let us pray that churches will know how to inspire believers to serve and train them effectively in the area of caring for others.
The majority of the so-called "student laborers" know they have little chance of getting into college but are not satisfied to settle as "migrant laborers" all of their lives either. They try to get some technical skill by enrolling in vocational schools but they rarely learn any marketable skills. Not every young person in the churches is college bound and those who have high academic achievements find themselves uncomfortable in the churches. Again, we pray for more believers with a high education for the churches in China but we also pray that the churches do not despise those who are poor and less well-educated.
Urban Chinese people currently have a basic knowledge of what Christmas is about and even if they do not know it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, they go along with the idea of buying gifts and holiday festivities. Merchants even sell nicely wrapped apples on Christmas and call them "Peace Fruit". We pray that more Chinese people will not only understand the superficial meaning of Christmas but they will know the true reason Jesus came into this world. We also pray that churches will become very prominent during this season and the Lord will bless their planned efforts to reach out into their neighborhoods.
In the Western China, some churches have a more solid foundation, but many are weak and struggling. Some churches lack a good grasp of Biblical truth and many others are involved in factionalism or have problem with their financial accountability. We pray for these weakness and problems churches face, may the Lord give them power to confront these challenges. We ask the Lord to send more workers to teach the truth and help them especially in the area of church administration.
Many urban churches have experienced increase in attendances and expansion of ministries. These churches offer many programs and their leaders are so busy with church works and lack the opportunity to grow spiritually themselves. Those who serve much in church are in danger of spiritual crisis because they easily and often experience burnout. We pray for God’s renewal, His blessing on their ministries, so everything they do will continue to grow steadily and healthily.
中國教育部規定,職業學校學生在校期間必須接受一定時間的實習。由於「學生工」問題屢屢發生,最近明令禁止16 歲以下的職校學生到酒吧及夜總會等娛樂場所實習。就讀職業學校在一般人的眼光中,代表學科表現不佳,並非是光彩的,在教會裡會眾的眼中也不例外。我們祈求主的赦免與憐憫,禱告每個中國教會都能以基督看待你我的眼光,用謙和、平等的心來歡迎並接納那些未受高等教育,也不是白領階級的人,一同來到神家中。
中國目前約有1萬多所由政府辦理的國立職業學校。一些職業學校近年來利用低年級學生成為廉價、甚至免費的勞動力,與企業勾結獲利,造成「學生工」問題。中國信徒往往也有此類盲點,誤認教會的事工是支薪的或「有閒」的人該做的,他們自己沒有必要做。 我們為每一位信徒,都有樂意服事神的心志來禱告,求神幫助我們,不單在人前做,且能默默完成人們看為「卑微的」的雜事,因為是忠心為主所擺上的,神必記念。
多數「學生工」自覺讀大學無望,又不甘成為「農民工」,於是進入技校或職業高中學習,企圖習得一技傍身,但往往發現自己根本就學不到一些實質性的技術。並非每個年輕信徒都能考進大學。未能進入大學的, 則認為自己在教會中格格不入,沒有感受到真正被接納。 許多人常為中國教會能有更多高知識份子加入而禱告,但我們更是要為教會能不鄙視窮人和低教育程度的廣大群眾祈求,因為神尤其看顧、憐憫他們跟憐恤你我一樣。
中國城市居民普遍地對基督教的認識日增,縱然不明白聖誕節的意義,也跟得上過節的潮流,使『平安果』(一個用美麗的禮物紙裹著、繫上絲帶的普通蘋果)在平安夜(1224日)特別暢銷!求主幫助更多中國人能了解耶穌基督降生的真正目的,以致得著神要賜福的真的平安。我們 也為在聖誕節期間有許多外展的教會禱告,求神藉著他們的辛勞擺上,祝福他們手中的善工,使更多鄰舍有機會經歷神恩典的豐盛。
有些在中國西部的教會,他們屬靈的根基較穩固,但也有些教會仍很幼嫩, 除了弄不清楚聖經真理外,還有派別之爭,更有財務管理的透明度上的問題。我們為以上教會的現況和軟弱禱告,求主幫助教會能自省檢討,靠主大能面對眼下的挑戰,化危機為轉機,力求改進與突破。也求主差派合宜的工人在教導聖經真理和擬定、執行事工計劃等方面給予支援。
不少城市教會發展得很快,信徒也不斷增多,我們為此感謝神的恩典。不過由於事工發展急速,教會常以活動為主體,小組組長們都是忙忙碌碌地事奉, 缺乏機會彼此分享生命中較深層的問題和想法,這是事奉者常出現的靈命危機。讓我們為所有在城市教會裡忙碌於事奉的肢體們祈求,為他們個人的靈命能在與神緊密聯結的靈修禱告中得著更新,也為他們參與的事工的發展及素質不致下降,能藉著神賜下的智慧、能力穩行高處代禱。

No comments: