For million of women in China, square dancing in public has turned out to be an inexpensive and highly popular way to exercise. The Olympic fever in 2008 made public dancing a social norm and a new phenomenon. It is a great blessing when women can serve together in a church. May the Lord grant us a heart like that of Christ as we pray for unity in the church--not to compete or compare, forming cliques but rather to be humble and always to see others as better than we are.
As China urbanizes and people from villages move to cities, women are participating and socializing in the venue of public dancing. Many of these ladies are about fifty to sixty years old. One of the hallmarks of the churches in China is the abundance of many sisters who are retired but are still in only their fifties. We ask the Lord to raise up among them many who will selflessly serve their churches like Mary and Martha who served Jesus.
Most of the "Da ma" (Chinese aunts) in China have experienced the Cultural Revolution.They were fervent politically in their youth as Mao's Red Guards and they did hard labor in the countryside along with raising havoc. The Cultural Revolution seriously scarred churches in China leaving believers with an ugly tendency to contest and challenge their leaders. We pray that the Lord will grant us His love and humility to accept, to believer, to hope, and to bear all things so we can all serve together in unity.
"Da ma" (Chinese aunts) are famous for expressing their opinions and refusing to accept the suggestions of others. In their younger days they were the revolutionaries who followed the orders of the Party that had little respect for privacy or personal ideas. There is still a great deal of critical spirit in the churches of China. Unity among churches is often mentioned but there are still conflicts and residual hurts that cripple many churches. We pray again for unity and humility for ourselves as well as them.
People who live near the public dancing places in China complain bitterly about the loud noise that comes from them. There is much tension between the "Da ma" (Chinese aunts) and the neighbors necessitating new rules to control the noise. In the churches in China, it is common to see people lashing out over some inconsequential matter, too. May the Lord have mercy, enlighten us, and remove all the filth. the evils of our old selves and give us soft hearts the obey the truths that will deliver our souls from sin.
Domestic violence is widespread in China but it is largely seen as a private matter. Victims have been unable to speak out about it or report it to the police because they faced pressure from their family, shame, and even the indifference of the police. We pray that Christians who suffer domestic abuse will find special comfort from the Lord. We praise God for believers who quietly provide comfort, assistance and even shelter for sisters who suffer abuse at home.
Traditionally in Chinese society, physical violence toward a wife and children are viewed as a private matter, neighbors and even relatives will usually not interfere or intervene. The new law against domestic violence will definitely spur changes and at least promote open discussion about abusive men. We pray that churches will devote more time to teaching how to be godly men, true spiritual leaders at home, and fathers who do not discourage the family and live emotionally detached lives.