Three megacities in China, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing have "first-tier cities" status. They are recognized because of their gross domestic product (GDP), population and level of political administration. We praise God for the vibrant churches in these First-tier cities. They are pacesetter for the rest of churches. The Lord continue to empower these churches, adding numbers of saved. We pray that they will assist and bless poorer churches in the smaller cities nearby.
Recently, 13 Chinese cities joined the rank of new first-tier cities. Based on their commercial appeal, they include Chengdu, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Chongqing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Xi'an, Changsha, Shenyang, Qingdao, Dalian, and Ningbo. Churches in these cities still have room to grow and mature. Their help is vital to smaller churches in their provinces. We pray that they will reach out and minister to the college students in their cities and be blessed by the energy of young people.
Two more cities in China, Dongguan, and Zhengzhou also made the list of first-tier city list for the first time. Dongguan is a major hub for electronics manufacturing and a magnet for international brands. All these new First-tier cities have large number of migrant workers. May the Lord bless all church leaders and inspire them to share the gospel with migrant workers in their community and not turn their backs to them.
China is pushing the wide-reaching "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) initiative. This grand plan will economically connect China all the way to Europe. This could potentially improve Dongguan's fortunes. Located in the south of China, Dongguan could become a logistics hub for the OBOR. We pray churches will see the opportunity of taking the gospel along the OBOR into Pakistan, India and all the Muslim countries in central Asia. Churches must have strategies and good training for the missionaries they send out.
A survey shows only 3 percent of people ages of 18 and 29 in Hong Kong, describe themselves broadly as Chinese which is the lowest level since the handover in 1997. Young people there see themselves broadly as Hong Kongers. Churches in Hong Kong are big supporters for churches inside China. Obviously, politics in Hong Kong affect the passion of believers for the mission to China. May the Lord protect and bless all the good works Hong Kong churches are doing to broaden their impact.
There is a radical sentiment and idea that many Hong Kong people are considering uniting as an independent nation. They feel as long as Hong Kong is under China’s rule, there will not be a democracy. However, Hong Kong is totally dependent on China economically. Hong Kong churches have generously supported China’s churches for several decades. Many believers from China attend meetings and training in Hong Kong, we pray that these experiences are blessing to their church in China.
The sentiment in Hong Kong is that they are culturally different from Mainland Chinese. The differences are obvious and easily spotted. Hong Kongers use different language — traditional scripts and Cantonese — and they had the British colonial experience. Chinese from Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and North America, all have a very different cultural background, even though they are Chinese. We pray that Chinese churches from outside of China will be even more fruitful in their support and theological training inside China.