The biggest season for travel in China is over the Chinese New Year. This year they expect 210 million people to take the train in the short 3-week period. Getting a ticket for this trip is historically very difficult and requires bribery or "special favor". Officials have severely warned that railroad employees unfairly getting or selling tickets will be fired. We pray for the planning and a great harvest as many churches have made big plans for outreach programs during the Chinese New Year. We pray, too, as believers are re-united with their families that it will be a wonderful time of sharing their faith, contributing offerings to their home churches,and reconciling with estranged members of their families.
A 2008 survey said, an average Chinese household has 69 copies of book (94.6 for city, 41.5 for village). More than 60% Chinese are not satisfied with their own reading, believing they have not read enough. Half of these said, "they are too busy to read". The vast majority of believers receive their "spiritual feeding" from sermons only. There is very little Bible studying programs/efforts on the grass root level. We pray for people who will bring attention to studying of Bible, not merely listening on Sundays, and living out what God's teaching in our lives.
Government study on reading habits and book purchasing trend shows, 81% of young people (under 18) buy and read book, but only 49% of adults do so. Young people read from other media too, Internet, cell phone etc. Christian books in China used to be printing on any white paper will do. In this age of information's explosive growth, we must pray hard for providing high quality of Christian content, not merely to appeal "rural believers", but must be able to interest young people and urban residents.
The very first TV commercial shown in China was on Chinese New Year in Shanghai. When the "Beauty Nourishing Wine" was shown during a women' basketball, many audience called the station and complained. Back in those days, buying anything required a ticket, especially a luxury item. Today, Chinese consumers are constantly bombarded with commercials and they will buy anything shown on TV especially when it is pitched by celebrity. Unfortunately, believers often will believe whatever they hear or read, especially it is pitched by famous preachers. We pray that Christians will have discerning wisdom of what they read and listen.
For several decades China has had a mandatory retirement policy of sixty for men and fifty-five for women party members or fifty for ordinary workers. As people live much longer, retiring at such an early age presents a problem socially which the government recognizes but has problems correcting. There are many believers who are in their fifties and sixties who are retired but are still energetic. Many of them are devoting time and effort to visitation, teaching, or even in the role of shepherds. We pray for all of them to have spiritual vitality and faithfulness in serving God and His people.
Today, China produces the most television dramas in the worlds and has the most viewing audience. China's very first TV drama