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Right now there is a severe drought in southwestern China in Yunan, Guizhou, and Guangxi Provinces, where probably most of the ethnic minorities in China live. Although this is not the key rice-growing region, it is still affecting the price of rice across China even though the government assures the people that it has a six-month stockpile of rice. We believe God is able to send rain and perform miracles. Churches in these regions are generally poor and weak so we pray for showers of blessing from God and revival for all of the believers there, especially those of the ethnic minorities.
More than a hundred super-wealthy Chinese from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan made the newly-published list of billionaires in the world. Sixty-four are from China, making her (before 2003 there were no billionaires there) the country with the second most billionaires in the world. Churches in China are now much more affluent than before, especially those in the coastal provinces. However, believers still have the attitude of "Let the wealthy believers do the giving". We pray that believers would see how blessed they are and that God has indeed provided for all of us. May the day soon come that churches in China become a channel of blessing to other countries.
"Soft Corruption" is a new term made popular by an unrepentant official after he was arrested. He insisted that accepting a bribe before one does something is "Hard Corruption" but he was different because he accepted appreciation after he did a favor for someone and that should be distinguished as "Soft Corruption". Although people despise corruption they do, however, use many methods to curry favor. We pray that believers will be different, living according to God's high moral standard. We pray, too, that believers will not be tempted by illicit financial gain.
Several things contribute to the imbalance of the sexes in China: the ancient preference for sons, a modern desire for smaller families, the availability of ultrasound for sex determination, and the choice of subsequent abortion if the fetus is a female. Although prenatal ultrasound is illegal, it is still widely used. Let us pray for Christian couples who are struggling with whether to find out the sex of their baby. They face a lot of pressure from their parents, especially non-believing parents. They need courage and conviction from God that what He gives is the best. May the Lord bless them with a wonderful child and joy in their life for a boy or girl alike.
Female suicide in China is among the highest in the world. It the most common form of death among rural women ages 15-34 in China. Young mothers kill themselves by drinking agricultural fertilizer. Many suspect that the reason for suicide is that they could not live with the knowledge they have aborted or killed their baby daughters. We pray for God's comfort for those who have lost their daughters, wives, or mothers. We pray that rural churches can somehow reach out and help those who are prone to feel so hopeless and bring the message of salvation and God's forgiveness to so many who feel they have done a terribly wrong thing.
Chinese parents with a son save to increase his chances of attracting a wife in China's ultra competitive marriage market. Experts calculate that half the increase in savings in China in the past twenty-five years can be attributed to the reality that there are more boys than girls there. It is literally, no money, no marriage in many parts of China. It is not easy for young Christians to find potential mates of the same faith. We pray for those who are willing to patiently seek God's provision and trust Him for the best partner. We pray, too, along with Christian parents who worry about their children even finding a spouse to pass on the Christian faith in their family.
In most Chinese cities where the policy is carried out in its pure form, couples are allowed to have only one child. In the coastal provinces some forty percent of couples are permitted a second child if their first is a girl. In the far West and Inner Mongolia, there is no one-child policy. Minorities are permitted second, and sometimes even third children. We take this time to pray for children's ministries in areas where more than one child is permitted. May the Lord give churches a vision that children are very precious and help them to know that an effort to teach them is not wasted. We pray specifically for all those who are Sunday school teachers in all the churches in China.