Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Prayer Request 9/3 - 9/9

To comprehend the vast underground economy of China, one need only visit Shanghai’s train station and watch as peddlers openly hawk fake receipts. It is so pervasive that even auditors at multinational corporations are being duped. Christian businessmen are still a minority in churches. The common view is that faith and business are two different things and doing business goes by a different set of rules than that of being a Christian. We pray for all Christians in business whether a big or small business, that they will trust God and hold steadfast to their faith.
Buyers use fake receipts to evade taxes and defraud employers. And in a country rife with corruption, they are the grease for schemes to bribe officials and business partners even though making and using them is illegal in China. In a world where it seems everything is fake and fraudulent, we must pray that believers will trust that doing God’s will and not compromising themselves is pleasing to God and will bring great blessing.
In China, people advertise all kinds of fake receipts: travel receipts, lease receipts, waste material receipts and value-added tax receipts. Promotions for counterfeit “fapiao” (the Chinese word for an official invoice) are sent by fax and through mobile phone text messages. However, there is a new awareness that Christian businessmen can make and spend money. They can love Jesus without loving money. We pray these people can have a positive influence in society by caring for the have-nots and even being involved in public welfare.
State employees, whether they work for government agencies or for state-owned enterprises, seem as eager as anyone to bolster their compensation by filing fake invoices. Christians often feel, “everyone is doing it and I must go along” thus compromising their Christian testimony. We pray for Christians who have enough conviction that when they do not compromise themselves, will know that God will protect them and bless them even more than before and that they will gain favor in the eyes of their superiors.
Nearly ninety percent of the young people in Taiwan are willing to work in China and even in the so-called “second tier” cities with Chongqing, Nanjing, and Tianjin as their top choices. Presently two million Taiwanese (about one out of ten) work there. We pray for believers who work in China and their families who are separated from them for months at a time. We pray for their spiritual lives, the guarding of their hearts, and their family relationships. Success in the businesses in China is not necessarily rosy so we ask the Lord to grant them opportunities and favors in their workplaces.
Many Chinese resort to pinyin or Romanized Putonghua when they use a keyboard but their grasp of the written language is weakening as a result. The pictorial forms of Chinese characters are notoriously hard to learn and require years of repetitive practice. Many young Chinese know the characters but have difficulty writing them. We pray for those ministries that produce Christian materials and their need for many more Christian writers who can share clearly and powerfully their testimony with their readers.
The Chinese language has one of the most complicated systems of writing in the world and requires the knowledge of several thousand characters for an adequate level of literacy. Today’s computer and mobile devices offer many simple ways of inputting Chinese. The current Chinese Bible has many archaic words and terms that young believers have difficulty understanding and pronouncing. We pray for those who translate the Bible and publish Christian books that they will provide suitable contents that are relevant and readily accepted by young believers.



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