People who live in rural China are still relatively conservative. Women marry in their early twenties and people feel women do not need a lot of education. Many female pastors who have more education and are nearly thirty years of age feel they now have no hope of getting married. It seems that sisters in the church who have received Bible training in China have to prepare for the possibility of remaining single the rest of their lives. We thank God for their dedication, pray for His grace to care for all of their needs, and even prepare a godly partner for them.
Lady pastors who are unmarried at thirty years of age in China are anxious because they know the possibility of finding anyone young in the village is virtually impossible since most of the young people have already left to work in the cities. Let us pray for all of the single lady pastors in China that the Lord will provide what they need so they will not be lonely and depressed in their work and that He will give them His own word to strengthen both their own hearts and those of others.
Those Christian men who remain in villages fall into three categories: those who are a suitable age but are already married; old men who stay to care for little ones and the young boys. We know many female pastors devote their time to God's work and have no social lives at all. We pray that God will comfort and refresh them, and give them strength and joy in serving Him.
For female church workers in Chinese villages, they strive to be faithful in serving God, but the same time, they long to find a husband with whom to serve together. Many female church workers in their 30's and even 20's face similar predicament. Staying in village to serve God means having no husband. The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit (1 Cor 7:34). May we be sure to remember this special need of lady pastors in our prayers!
It is said that sixty percent of the air pollution in China is due to the burning of coal and oil which causes smog and releases toxic material that causes cancer. May the Lord have mercy on this badly polluted country. We pray officials will deal seriously with the ever worsening smog issue in many cities. We pray, too, for the cleaning up of spiritual pollution that all believers encounter daily.
Over the past two decades, China became an engine of global growth. But in 2015, it stopped devouring all the metals the world could produce. Based on official figures, China’s growth has now fallen behind India. We pray for wisdom for officials with responsibility for China’s economy. We too pray believers will continue to be faithful in their giving to their churches, knowing God will bless them abundantly and the more we give, the more we receive from the Lord.
Any economic decline in China has a huge impact both on its own people and on many other countries. Some experts suspect the actual economic slowdown is worse than what the officials admitted. Stock market and economic news do give us anxiety. We pray believers will always give thanks to God and trust God will always provide for us. We pray especially for churches that are planning or in the process of fundraising to rebuild their churches this coming year.