Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Prayer Request 5/5 - 5/11

TuesdayA career in the People's Liberation Army is becoming less attractive for talented young Chinese, even as the country's military is increasingly in need of educated soldiers, sailors and airmen to operate its rapidly growing arsenal of advanced weapons. We praise the Lord for the churches in China, especially those in the cities where there are many well-educated believers and pray for pastors who are equally well-educated to be able to minister to the young and more intellectual members.
The one-child policy in China which is now well into its third decade has led to a generation of only children in the cities who have an option of a variety of careers and that makes a career in the military less attractive. Becoming a pastor used to be an option for young believers in the villages but now they simply go to work in the cities where wages are good. Let us pray about the ever-worsening shortage of workers in the rural churches of China. Many churches have been without shepherds for years.
After decades of peace, young Chinese are not keen on joining the military. Retired soldiers no longer receive the favorable treatment from government-owned enterprises they once did, so the incentives to join the military are fewer now. Pastors' salaries have historically been poor and have not been adjusted for inflation. Some churches still insist their shepherd should be poor in order to live by faith. We pray again for churches to correct this wrong idea and treat their pastors with respect.
China plans to increase military spending by 10 percent to about $145 billion USD this year. But, as China becomes prosperous, young people are not as interested in joining the military. It is a fact that churches in China will spend much on buildings but very little for the compensation of their pastors. We pray the Lord will revive His churches so they will first take good care of their shepherds and honor God's servants with adequate salaries.
In the Eastern Chinese province of Shandong, a heavily populated region that has traditionally supplied a disproportionate share of the military forces of China, the number of recruits has steadily dropped in the past six years. Burnout is a huge problem for pastors in China. They are spiritually, physically, and emotionally spent. We pray for renewal of all of the pastors there so they can serve with direction, preach with inspiration, and regain the passion they once had.
In the past, parents in Shandong used to vie to get their children enlisted in the Chinese army, and some even tried to bribe the recruitment officials, but now the opposite is true. The shortage of pastors in China is a longstanding problem with little evidence of improvement. We pray for those who will answer God's call to ministry to know that serving the Lord is not only a great blessing but is glorious and pleasing to God.
Many of the young people attracted to a career in the army in China do not have the skills needed to advance the army. Pastors in China are expected to perform many duties, big or small, much like a caretaker. They pour out so much but receive so little replenishment. We pray that pastors will receive renewal from above and appreciation from their church members.

獨生子女政策在中國已邁入第三個十年, 各大城市中的獨生子女有很多職業可以追求,從軍不再是首選。信徒父母知道傳道人生活艱難,捨不得孩子獻身,甚至阻擋其全職服侍。成為傳道人也曾是農村年輕信徒的選項之一,如今農村青年直奔城市謀求更高薪工作。求主幫助教會能有改進,信徒父母在神面前有正確的價值觀,懂得為從上而來的呼召感恩,也以作神的工人為榮。
中國今年將計劃增加軍費10%,達到9000億人民幣 (約1450億美元),然而,中國的經濟繁榮造成年輕人不再愛「從軍」了。令人難過的,許多中國教會寧可花費在硬體的建設如蓋教堂等,卻不願意改善傳道人的過低待遇。求主再一次復興中國教會,且先從好好照顧、尊重、不虧待傳道人開始。
過去,山東的父母會搶著讓孩子當兵,一些人甚至賄賂招兵官員,但此情況已不復存在。 教會傳道人短缺已不是一朝一夕的問題,目前也還看不到改進的跡象。求主幫助得著神呼召的信徒,知道他們能服事教會是何等大的福氣,更是尊貴榮耀又蒙神喜悅的美事。
現今,許多被徵召入伍的年輕人,都不具備現代化的軍隊所需要的技能。中國傳道人所做的工作,事無巨細,幾乎充當了信徒全方位監護人的角色,他們給出的多,自己得供給的少。我們為許多傳道人全然擺上的心感恩。求主親自供應他們一切的需用,在艱難中更深經歷從上而來的更新;廣濶他們屬靈的量度,歡歡喜喜作主合用的工人, 也在牧養中得到會眾的敬愛。

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