Gymnastics has always been a dominant sport for the Chinese Olympic team but they failed to score any gold or silver medals in Rio. This year they won the fewest number of gold medals they have won since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It is only natural that Christians compare the attendance at their churches. Many churches in China feel inadequate and unable to evangelize due to their small size. May the Lord have mercy on us so we don't merely look at sizes but look on Him Himself.
Sports officials and coaches in China concluded that the Chinese team this year was too young and lacked experience. The level of competitiveness has slid significantly and their training was less than desirable. Many pastors enter ministry with theological training but lack interpersonal skill and maturity so they give up serving when they encounter setbacks. We pray especially for those who are having difficulty in ministry and the young pastors who are struggling with interpersonal issues.
China sent more athletes to the Rio Olympics than any other country (410) but seventy percent of them were first-time participants with an average age of only twenty-four (the youngest Olympic team for China since 2008). When many young pastors begin serving in their churches, they must shoulder all of the responsibilities without having any mentor to guide them. May the Lord have mercy on churches so they will honor those who labor among them and value these young pastors who work hard to serve the Lord.
People in China have a "victim mentality" about the Rio Olympics. Eighty percent of those surveyed believe that the referees were biased against Chinese athletes but many of those same athletes publicly apologized to the nation with tears for their poor performance. Believers in China usually blame their pastor for a lack of growth in their church which is one reason churches have difficulty in finding a pastor. May the Lord have mercy on those churches that have turned cold or are without a shepherd and may we each one repent of the places where we have fallen.
The authorities in China have announced a massive layoff in the coal mining and steel businesses which will leave 1.8 million people unemployed. We pray that believers will be sensitive and try to help those who are unemployed in their churches. There are many ways they can care for them materially but we pray the church will help them spiritually to walk closely with the Lord during this time of testing of their faith.
Currently there are about twelve million people engaged in the coal and steel industry in China and recent layoffs account for almost 15% of the workers in those industries. Being unemployed and with limited financial means is very hard in China where "face" or one's image is very important. We pray that churches will be a place for not only those who are comfortably situated financially or "very blessed of God" but a place where all members of the body of Christ practice His love.
The economy in China is facing tremendous recessionary pressures with some companies struggling to keep alive and without job openings. With the new wave of graduates looking for work, job markets promise to be very tight. As the economy in China slows down, we pray that churches will play an important role in helping believers to trust the Lord and continue to give to God in good times and in bad times as well.
目前從事煤礦和鋼鐵業的勞工大約有 1,200萬人，這次裁員的人數佔了該產業 15%的人力。在中國人眼中，失業和經濟陷困是一件很沒臉的事，甚至喪失個人的尊嚴。求神幫助眾教會，不僅是那些生活無憂的人的聚集處，更是那些窮乏人得著溫暖的地方。願神的兒女能靠著主，敞開自己的生命成為別人祝福，活出基督的愛。