Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Prayer Request 1/10 - 1/16

Currently the mandatory retirement age in China is 60 for men and 50 for women with 55 for those in the management level. Experts believe the average retirement age in China is less than 55. There are many believers who are barely over fifty and retired. We pray that many of them​ will help out in the churches. May the Lord use their strength and stamina to be a great blessing in their respective churches.
The population of China is greying rapidly. It is estimated that ratio of working and retired is 3 to 1 now, but will be 2:1 in another 20 years. Many churches in China do not have a full-time pastors and the ministry is totally dependent on volunteers who are retired. We pray they will rise up to be watchmen for the flock and caretakers for those who are elderly. May the Lord reward them.​
In comparison with the retirement age of sixty-five in other nations, the​ age of retirement in China is very young. As the problem of aging population worsens, delaying the age for retirement is an inevitable policy decision. One huge challenge in the churches in China is how to mobilize retired believers to help in the churches. We pray that many more of these people will be equipped Biblically, become mature spiritually, and be willing to serve the Lord humbly.
Ninety-five percent of the respondents to a survey in China opposed delaying the official retirement age, so the government will implement reform on a gradual​ basis--extending the age for retirement a few months each year. Many retired believers are involved in the care of their grandchildren. We pray that these Christian grandparents will have a powerful influence and witness to the little ones, especially when their parents are so busy or unbelievers.
Although official figures show that there is a current positive balance financially in government coffers, the government of China faces tremendous pressure to pay the cost of social security which is the main reason for their wanting to postpone the age of official retirement. Rural churches in China are now composed mostly ​of elderly people and children with no young people. We pray for the revival of the churches in the villages. May the Lord raise up people who are older but still able to teach the Bible and continue the ministries in these churches.
China has a very grave problem with the graying of its population.​ By the end of 2014, China had 212 million people over the age of sixty--15.5% of its total population.In every church in China there are numbers of elderly believers, many of whom live alone or are very poor. We pray that more retired people will get involved in ministry to seniors, not only meeting their physical and social needs, but helping them to grow spiritually.
​Nearly half of those who are sixty or over in China live ​alone and it is reported that a quarter of them are lonely and that nearly one-fourth of them live below the poverty line. Elderly believers who live alone definitely depend on the care of the church. We praise the Lord for believers and churches who reach out to the lonely elderly people and know that their kindness will be rewarded by God.

中國面臨巨大的社保支付壓力,使當局不得不考慮推遲退休的政策。雖然官方數字表明養老保險基金收支平衡,但無可否認未來必面臨超支壓力。農村在過去 20 年成為只剩下老人與孩童的「空城」。我們來為農村教會的復興祈求,求主興起年長能教導真理的信徒,為主牧養看顧羊群。

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