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In this historic 60th year of the Republic of China weekend chartered flights, tour groups, and the opening of direct crossings through ships and scheduled commercial flights from China have taken more than 880,000 mainland Chinese to visit Taiwan. We praise the Lord that the possibility of Christians from Mainland China getting to attend meetings or training sessions hosted by churches in Taiwan has become a reality. We pray that more believers from both sides can learn from, enjoy fellowship with, and have a burden for the needs of each other.
Many became wealthy entrepreneurs after the Chinese economic reform. Their children, the so-called, "wealthy second generation" who were born in the 1980's are now replacing them at the helm. They received elite education abroad and came back to run the family business. They are now getting much attention and creating a buzz in China. A whole new generation of leaders is emerging in both Three-self and house churches. They too will chart course of Chinese churches in the future. We uplift all the leaders who are in their forties and fifties. May the Lord continue to mold their character, empower them mightily with the Spirit and instill in them the humility of Christ.
With over six million unemployed college grads this year, China faces a major social problem. Although the government claims that 74% of them find work soon after graduation, in reality nearly half of them do not have work. A recent book calls these people "ants", people who live together to save money but are too embarrassed to tell their parents about their plight or return home to live. We pray especially for those who became Christians in college but are still searching for work. We also include those who have become Christians but are afraid to tell their families about their new-found faith for fear of rejection. May the Lord strengthen their faith and help them to continue to trust Him to provide all they need.
A survey of college students shows that sixty percent of them agree that pre-marital sex is fine. This is twenty-five percent higher than the results of a survey done ten years ago. Students in China have no problem with living together while they are in college. Some of the churches in China have seen the need to prepare their young people before they leave for college not only to be able to defend their faith but have also shown them the benefits of living a life of purity. Let us pray for the spiritual vitality of all the Christian youth who are still attending church while they are in high school.
It is a fact that joining the Communist Party will open doors and provide better opportunities to people. It is the dream of every college student to be recommended to join the party and no one ever turns it down. So it is a dilemma every college student faces, especially when their families do not know they are going to church and plan to be baptized. We pray along with every young person who struggles with these decisions about whether to be baptized or stay a "silent Christian", whether to join the party or not, and whether to stop going to church in order to get into the party. We cannot really understand the struggles they face but we can empathize with them.
In the past 2 decades, many "seminaries" have sprung up and many of the students are actually from pastors' families. Unfortunately, many of them enrolled and received the training but did not really have the calling nor the willingness to serve like their parents. Let us pray for all the students in the training process now. May the Lord give them a clear vision and heart of a shepherd with the burden for saving souls. We pray for their spiritual formation and for the learning process of all those receiving Bible training now.
Nearly forty percent of parents in Taiwan spend less than three hours a day with their 6-12 year old children. Parent-child interaction often becomes merely a routine thing with no mutual understanding. Parents are so busy working that they take little time to help their children and there is hardly any communication between parents and children in many families. Many of the churches in Taiwan are likewise losing their second generation youth because of the heavy emphasis that is placed on academics there. Poor parent-child relationships make it difficult to encourage children to go to church as well. Let us pray for all Christian parents that they will know how to raise up godly children and have a healthy relationship with them.