Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Prayer Request 10/15 - 10/21

Officially, China is fifty-three percent urbanized but only about twenty-five percent of the population has an urban residency permit (hukou), the document which permits a person to register in local schools or qualify for local medical programs. Very few people want to serve in the rural and remote churches. Let us pray for believers who do not have pastors in these regions. We pray for the revival of many believers who used to be strong in the faith but are now lukewarm or even far away from God.
Since it has become impatient and politicized, Hong Kong is the biggest headache the Beijing regime has. The complexity of the Hong Kong issue lies in its being neither entirely domestic nor entirely international. By contrast, Taiwan will have relatively fewer sudden crises.The churches in Hong Kong play a strategic role in the lives of the churches in China since they send both workers and money to support open as well as house churches there. We pray that believers in Hong Kong will not be caught up with the anti-China sentiment and reduce their love and passion for the churches across the border.
After 1997 Beijing believed that Hong Kong would move toward becoming “one country” if they were given greater economic and trade benefits and the “two systems” would be only a transitional thing. However, sixteen years later, the locals in Hong Kong have become increasingly insistent on having “two systems” politically, socially, and culturally. We pray for the continuing growth of churches in Hong Kong and that the Lord will give them passion to reach out and send missionaries not only to China but to the whole world. We pray especially for the churches and ministries to workers from other lands on the island, and especially those from Muslim countries.
China’s labor force is predicted to peak at 751 million in 2015, and then decline. There will not be enough young workers to replace all of those retiring out of the job market. We pray for humility and good skills of observation as well as spiritual insight for the young seminary students so they can quickly be competent teachers rather than being the blind leading the blind. May the Lord safeguard their desire to serve Him and help them to honor God above all else and rejoice in Him only.
One of the biggest challenges to vocational education in China is the traditional bias in favor of having a university degree. Parents would prefer to send their children a university because there is a higher social status associated with attending college. However, since so many college graduates end up at a job that has the same level of wages as those who graduate from vocational schools, this attitude is changing. We pray that Christian parents will remember that children are a gift from the Lord and we must give the Lord our very best which includes encouraging our children to serve Him their entire life.
Many vocational schools are not addressing the critical issue of the qualification of teachers. While instructors are required to have a bachelor’s degree, many do not have experience in industry and the government is working to change this. We pray that more young people will be willing to offer their lives to God to receive Bible training and, as they know God and understand His will better, they will serve Him and live a life to please the Lord.
China’s labor force is huge with more than seventy-five percent of the population of the country between the ages of twenty and forty-nine working. However, the educational level of the average worker is relatively low. Only half of China’s 140 million urban employees can be classified as “skilled”. Many older pastors complain that the younger pastors are not as tough or hard-working as they should be. We pray for the passing of the baton of leadership in each church, that the Lord will help the older pastors to be willing to spend time with the younger ones and share their own experiences in ministry and how they work with people.


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