Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Prayer Request 3/18 - 3/24

TuesdayChina has finally dropped its "one-child policy" for urban couples that are Han Chinese even if only one parent is an only child. Rural couples who are non-Han or where both parents were only children have already been allowed to have two children. This decision will definitely be a huge boost to children's ministry in coming years. We pray that all churches will capture this huge opportunity for spiritual growth in children as well as in youth ministry and gear up their Sunday school training classes as well as dedicating more resources to them.
The new policy of allowing two children per couple in China will be in force for only urban Han parents who were both the product of two-child homes, a fairly small proportion of the population. However, this should lead to about 9.5 million new births a year and eventually to a larger labor force. We pray for vision and burden for the leaders in the churches and that they will see this tremendous opportunity for embracing more children in the churches of China. Older leaders often fail to see the importance of children's ministry and even worse, consider it a drain on their limited resources.
A baby boom would help to compensate for the rapidly greying nation and then when these babies grow up, it would increase the number of people who could support the aging population. Many churches do not have a significant ministry or program for older children so the parents stop taking them to church. We pray for children of believers who have stopped attending church because of boredom or lack of friends there. May the Lord give the churches of China an urgency to reclaim their lost youth.
Probably the most important effect of changing the one-child policy in China is that it could end forced abortions. Allowing people to have more children now should quickly boost consumption of goods like infant formula, food, clothing, and educational services. Christian parents want Christian reading material for their children but often cannot find any. There is a huge need for Bible-based curriculum and reading materials. We pray that God will raise up people or ministries to meet this need.
China's cultural preference for boys has meant that for many years parents have used various ways to avoid having a daughter. Thus, many more boys have been born than girls. In 2004, the highest year on record, there were 121.2 boys born for each 100 girls. Christian parents need to know that God has entrusted children to their care and desire that their children come to love and serve God. We pray that more churches will stress this important teaching rather than merely asking God to bless their children with good health and high grades in school.
One of the results of the one-child policy is that by 2020 there will be 30 - 35 million more Chinese men of marriageable age than there are women. Removing this policy won't change the cultural preferences but it may ease the pressure on parents if their first child is a girl. Let us pray especially for parents who have daughters. May the Lord give them wisdom in knowing how to teach them Biblical values concerning godly womanhood. We pray that mothers will model what the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 looks like and that fathers will be a source of love and gentleness, a visible reminder to them of our invisible Heavenly Father.
Because they do not have siblings, many couples in China who are thirty-four and younger are the sole inheritors of the wealth of their four parents. When the parents die, their children get at least two extra homes, and given present trends in investments, likely more. Let us pray especially for Christians in this category. They can usually depend financially on their parents but their unbelieving parents will often impose traditional values and demands on them as well. May the Lord give each of them a good testimony before the parents and opportunities to share Jesus with them.

一胎化政策雖仍對城市中雙方都來自兩個孩子的家庭的漢族夫妻有效,但他們只佔極小的比率,故此政策的改變應該會每年為中國帶來950萬新生兒,慢慢為中國增加勞動人口。 老一代傳道人往往不重視兒童事工,有些信徒還是認為兒童事工浪費教會寶貴且有限的資源。我們為教會領袖有遠見及負擔祈求,求主讓神兒女把握機會,培育教會第二代,造就屬靈承傳的新血輪。
未來的嬰兒潮勢必能彌補中國人口老化的趨勢,有更多的勞動者來支付龐大的退休制度。然而此政策能改變的太少也太遲了,因中國勞動人口預計在2025年開始下降,每年減少一千萬人。 許多教會沒有合適較大兒童的事工或聚會,造成信徒家長放棄帶孩子來教會。我們為停止聚會的信徒子女祈求,也許他們認為教會無聊,亦沒有朋友,願神激動眾教會感受此迫切性,為主尋回失落的第二代。
一胎化政策的改變,最重要的影響是減少強迫墮胎的情況。更多生育會刺激嬰兒奶粉、孩童食物和衣服,和教育等 。信徒父母盼望能有更多兒童屬靈讀物,但是往往找不到也買不到。合適孩童的聖經課程與以聖經為基礎的兒童讀物實在太少了,我們求主興起忠心的弟兄姊妹撰寫兒童屬靈讀物,又預備出版事工的人手,回應此需要。
中國人傳統重男輕女,很多夫妻使用各種方式避免生女兒,因而造成嚴重男女失衡。2004年是有記錄以來比率失調最高的一年, 男女比例為121.2比100。我們為更多信徒認識真理禱告,子女是神託付給我們照管理的,祂要求我們為祂養育敬虔愛主的第二代,而不是僅僅向神求孩子的健康和好成績。
預計到2020年,中國適婚年齡群中,男性比女性將超出3千萬至3千五百萬人。 改變一胎制度不會改變傳統的重男輕女觀念,但是會減低夫妻生頭胎是女兒的壓力。我們特別為有女兒的信徒父母禱告 ,求主賜給他們智慧,教導女兒成為合神心意、敬虔的女子。願母親們都是箴言中賢慧的婦女,父親們滿有慈愛和溫柔,幫助孩子們認識看不見的天父 。

No comments: