Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Prayer Request 9/20 - 9/26

China is planning to speed up it's anti-corruption efforts by investigating more officials and departments at three times the current speed. However, some suggest that such moves are not​ simple in nature but instead pave the way for the next leader. In China raising up a new church is a slow process. It takes years to implement change and steer churches to a new ministry focus. We pray for God's wisdom, good interpersonal relationships and integrity for all new leaders in the churches in China.
After a study of air quality in five of the cities in China, Guangzhou is considered the most livable. Shanghai and Guangzhou rank best in air quality, partly because of their proximity to the sea and also that they get more rain than Guangzhou. Of these five cities, Beijing and Chengdu have the worst air pollution. These are the five cities where American consulates are located so we pray for those who go there for visas that they would have the opportunity to hear the gospel while they are abroad and even be baptized.
Among the five cities checked for air quality, there are seasonal differences in terms of air quality. Beijing, however has bad air all year around. The other four cities have better quality of air in the summer and poor quality in the winter.​ Believers usually have to travel some distance to attend church which means the time they have for fellowship is mainly on Sunday so time for fellowship and interaction with other believers can be limited. We pray for urban churches, for their growth in the types of ministries as well as the number of people who attend and the quality of fellowship among believers.
The quality of air in Beijing and Shenyang is terrible in winter because these two cities use coal and fossil fuel for heating homes. We pray for revival for churches in all of the five cities with poor air conditions. All of them are mega cities with tens of millions of people. Believers in general are busy with work and investing in the stock market and real estate so they don't have much appetite for spiritual things.​
Beijing and Chengdu have both suffered the most prolonged spells of heavy pollution because of their geography. Beijing has a strong northwesterly wind in​ winter which helps clear the air but that has severe pollution from too many automobiles. Among these five cities, probably Beijing has the most vibrant churches. We pray their fervor and passion for evangelism will encourage churches in other cities to get excited about sharing the gospel in their communities and starting church plants in other smaller cities around them.
Even in Guangzhou and Shanghai where air quality is considered to be better, the days of "good air" are only about 37% of the time and then it lasts only a couple of days. A good​ quality of air and safe food to eat are two things people in China wish to have but they can do little to improve what they already have. We pray for the spiritual pollution churches in China are facing right now which includes overwhelming materialism, the seduction of "success theology", and lukewarm believers.
Of the five cities studied, air pollution in Beijing and Chengdu​ is the most enduring. The report said, "Don't move to Beijing, Chengdu, or Shenyang if you can help it." ​We pray that churches in the five cities studied will have more mutual fellowship, getting to know each other better. Many churches are affiliated with others but are quite territorial and discourage their members from attending other churches. We pray for unity of churches with the larger ones being willing to help the smaller and weaker ones.​

中國政府計劃在2016年,以過去三倍的速度,對尚未調查的單位和部門進行貪腐調查。有些人認為這些行動並不單純,而是與新國家領導人的變動有關。 在中國培養新一代教會領袖是非常緩慢的過程,教會要有所革新更是得積年累月。求主賜新一代的教會領袖有從主而來的智慧和正直的心靈,不但善於教導,更能與人和睦,成為信仰上的中流砥柱。
北京是平原,成都是在盆地,兩地的物理環境不利於污染物往外擴散。北京唯一的有利條件是:冬天有強烈的西北風,能幫助凈化空氣,但這並不能解決根本問題 - 過多的車輛排放廢氣。北京的教會或許是這五個城市中最具活力的。求主將傳福音的感動和熱情加給其他城市教會的信徒,積極在社區為福音作見證,也幫助他們在附近較小的城市植堂。

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