Students from China who have studied abroad are returning to China and women comprise the majority of them. They return because jobs and prospects for marriage are hard to find abroad. A considerable number of these returnees have come to Christ while they were overseas. We give thanks for all of those who came to a saving knowledge of Jesus while they studied abroad--a result of the great sacrifice and seed sown by many Chinese churches overseas.
Basedon the experience of those in China who serve the returnees from abroad, at least three-fourths of them who professed to be Christians or even those who were baptized do not have a consistent spiritual life and many have fallen away. We pray for those who have recently returned to China that the Lord will keep them safe and connect them quickly with other Christians in their workplace or help them find a supportive church fellowship where they can continue to be discipled and grow in love for God.
Highly educated Chinese who return to China from abroad face reverse culture shock and a myriad of problems in living in their homeland. It is difficult for them to get back into the Chinese way of life, especially for idealistic young people. It is absolutely crucial for returnees to connect with a local church fellowship. We pray those who led them to Christ will emphasize the importance of this to these new babes in Christ and help them to have personal devotion soon after conversion.
Students from China who have studied abroad face reverse culture shock which includes readjustment to issues of pollution, food safety, housing shortages and exorbitant housing costs, traffic problems, seeking medical help, problems in finding a mate and job, pressure at work, and the idea that "everything needs connection to get things done." We pray for the guarding of hearts and victory for Christians who return from abroad to China as they face tremendous financial and sexual temptations.
In China,a key reason that so many Christians who return from abroad fall away is their own weak faith. Most of these people are perhaps new believers or newly baptized and merely believers--not disciples. Their lives have not been transformed. We pray that these Christians will quickly join a close-knit faith community, become connected and continue to be nurtured. This is not easy because existing churches are usually receptive to young people who have returned from abroad but have no idea of how churches in China operate.
There is little done to help Chinese Christian returnees to prepare for their return to China. They may well have almost no understanding of the challenges they will face on their return, especially if they have not been Christians in China before. We pray that Christian believers and fellowships around them might help them to prepare well for their return to China, since this is the only way their faith can survive back in China.
It is not easy for Christians who return from abroad to China to find and join a church in this Communist-controlled country. There is also political pressure along with the fear of making their Christian identity public as well as objections from their unbelieving family members, and spiritual homesickness. We pray that those studying abroad will receive a good grounding in the faith and have the opportunity to think through the challenges they may face on their return. May the Lord have mercy on them so they will have boldness and make godly friends quickly.