Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Prayer Request 1/1 - 1/7

China opened the world's longest high-speed rail line that more than halves the time required (8 hours) to travel from the country's capital in the north to Guangzhou. The government plans to build a grid of high-speed railways with four east-west lines and four north-south lines by 2020. Chinese churches have largely been isolated in the past because of distances. As travel becomes more convenient, we pray that churches will have more dialogue and interaction, and there will be more sharing of resources in terms of speakers and training.
The new Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway traverses through Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Guangzhou, covering the northern, central, and the Pearl River Delta economic zones. It is a great economic boost to cities along the route, especially Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou.Other than in Beijing, Christian churches are considered weak in all the cities along this new train route. We pray that God will bring revival to all the churches on this new route, especially in Wuhan and Changsha, where the hearts of people are hard and resistant to the Gospel.
The number of China's floating population, those who have left their hometowns where they were registered and have a "hukou" and are now living unregistered, reached 230 million in 2011-- seventeen percent of the total population. We pray for wisdom and insight for the leaders of the churches in China so they know how to reach the migrant workers in the city more effectively. Many of the "floating" people have no one to care for them and are rejected and despised.
The average age of China's floating population is about 28 years. Those who are from villages and were born after 1980 account for about half of this number. The majority of these young people were born in the cities and do not know how to farm. Most likely they will never return to the villages. These young immigrants represent a huge harvest field but churches really do not understand how to reach them or reap the harvest. May the Lord have mercy on us and help us learn how to accept the younger generation, especially those who do not have a college education.
It can be said that most of the floating population in China has settled down in the cities. More than thirty percent of them have lived in the city for more than five years and have worked there for more than four years. On the average they return to their home villages barely twice a year. It is utterly sad that once believers from the villages go to work in the cities, the vast majority of them stop attending church. We pray for them that they will hang on to their faith and that more of them will continue to pray and read the Word. Young rural believers need to be better equipped to face the world before they leave home.
In China, seventy-two percent of the migrant families rent. They feel that affordability of housing and education for their children are the key factors deciding whether they can stay in the city where they work. Migrant families are by nature renters and after paying their rent and trying to fit into their new neighborhood, they have little strength to seek out a place of worship. We ask our Lord for grace for all of those believers who rent. May they have joy because they place their trust in God.
Less than thirty percent of migrant workers have joined the social insurance system (retirement, medical insurance, disability, unemployment, or maternity benefits) with their employers. Most pastors in the house churches have no benefits available to them. Their children cannot get into schools where they live because they do not have the proper residency papers. We pray for this utterly thorny issue so that pastors will be able to focus on their ministry and not give up.

世界上運營里程最長的高速鐵路京廣高鐵正式全線通車,由北京至廣州僅需8小時, 節省一半的通車時間。在「四縱四橫」高鐵網中將起到「骨幹」作用。中國教會之間過去因著地理上的距離造成相當的隔閡,求主使用現今交通的便利,幫助教會間有更多的對話與互動,也能在資源上彼此分享,例如講員和培訓資源的共享,讓主的愛與救恩湧流八方。
現時就業流動人口在流入地參加「五險一金」的比重均不超過30%。「五險一金」就是養老保險、醫療保險、工傷保險、失業保險、生育保險和住房公積金 。大部份家庭教會的傳道人都沒有「五險一金」的福利,他們的孩子沒有戶口,升學是最大的難題。求主施恩憐憫,幫助那些為主擺上一切的僕人們,也看顧他們雖經艱難試煉,仍然能堅忍地向標竿前行,為主作成美好的善工。

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