There has been a national outpouring of compassion, generosity, and unity in rescue efforts following the recent earthquake in China. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise for the future of the country. Many will agree that the greatest need of churches in China today is unity, fewer divisions, less criticism, and a lot more mutual encouragement and appreciation. Let us beseech the Lord for this kind of a spirit of humility and for people to have a vision of others as better than themselves.
It is not uncommon to find fancy county government facilities right in the poorest areas of China. Many reports tell how funds meant for improving the condition of poor people have been misused or embezzled, and thankfully, the Central Government has now determined to crack down on such graft. Let us pray for integrity and a fear of God in each leader whether in the local government or local churches. May the believers have the power to overcome greed.
Sichuan has over 250,000 baptized Protestant Christians, 150 churches, one seminary, and 700 meeting points besides 100,000 Catholic believers and in this area, many churches have been destroyed or badly damaged in the region affected by the earthquake. As the entire region rebuilds, let us pray for the reconstruction of these meeting places, not merely the physical buildings but the Body of Christ within them that will minister to and give hope to their communities.
There are Chinese restaurants all over the world but many times we are surprised by the number of them one finds in one city. In Hamburg, Germany where there are thousands of Chinese students, there are five hundred Chinese restaurants. Many Bible study groups meet in Chinese restaurants after working hours and many of the workers have come to know Christ but they are in great need of long-term follow up. Let us pray for this new ministry of outreach and the restaurant-based churches.
In order to get into the top high schools, not only must the students have performed well in the examinations, but their parents must also be willing to pay for the "School Assistance Fees" to gain entrance. These extra fees can amount to a whole year's salary. Getting into a good high school is both extremely competitive and expensive. Let us pray for Christian parents as they seek wisdom in how to give their children the best education with what they can afford.
China has been steadily upgrading its militarily capabilities. It is said that they have a total of 100 plus nuclear warheads, which is the least among the five nuclear nations. In term of military exports, China has about 2% of the international market shares. Material prosperity has in some way weakened China's churches in her resolve to evangelize. As China builds its military might, we pray earnestly that Chinese believers will steadily grow to be strong Christian soldiers, too.
Many foreigners ask, "Are the Olympics being politicized?" Chinese see the Beijing Olympics as more than a sporting event; it is more a defining moment in its national destiny. It is the realization of the "dream of the century" and is equated as "the greatest event." Chinese believers are praying for the Beijing Olympics, to win as many medals and to project the image of "great China" to the world. Let us pray that this would be the time China's churches will see the vision God has given her and find her role in world missions.