The government of China is planning to put into effect a law forbidding people who buy things for the government to be related by blood or marriage to the suppliers of such things. China is trying to combat the perception of corruption at all levels of the government because of the news that there have been officials arrested for accepting bribery or kickbacks.?Corruption will definitely not go away with more rules or laws. We pray for that people's hearts will be changed by turning to Christ. Many Chinese house churches give the impression that they are "family-run" or controlled by a few people and hence lack transparency and true accountability. We pray specifically for this kind of congregation, too.
Beginning in the summer of 2010, Chinese laborers who have medical insurance can use that coverage when they are working in other provinces. There is a large "floating" population of rural residents who have left home to work in cities. This policy will certainly encourage more shifting in the population but it will provide much-needed benefits to the laborers. Will more people go to cities to get more money and easier lives? How will this affect the already shrinking rural church ministries? Let us pray for strength, a powerful sharing of God's Word, and a joyful spirit for every one who serves in a rural church despite the fact that their members are older, poorer, and "helpless".
A recent online survey of 360,000 people revealed that eighty percent believe that "happiness is owning a home". For young couples, buying an apartment is a "six-people effort" which involves not only the couple working full time but includes the savings of their parents on both sides. Parents must save not only for their own retirement but are expected to contribute to their child's down payment on his apartment. We pray for all believers whose children are still at the age that they are buying a home. We pray for enormous faith in God, not only in using their savings but also that their children will find a spiritual home and attend church as their parents do.
Recently China has been flexing her muscles and playing the role of the "tough guy" in the international arena from internet censorship to human rights issues. Some have said that this began at the time of the Beijing Olympics. Then the global financial crisis which left China relatively unscathed further bolstered her confidence. In churches we often find pride and rivalry. May we all imitate the humility of our Master and practice, not merely preach servanthood. We pray that Chinese believers will have boldness and courage in sharing Jesus with their kinsmen.
The news frequently carries articles about the arrest of super-rich people in China and the average citizen there often wonders whether rich businessmen are always linked with corrupted officials. It is interesting that such cynical speculations abound in internet postings but are never filtered out by the highly scrutinized Chinese internet policies. Chinese churches have long had the mentality that to be spiritual one must be poor. They feel church workers? should be impoverished in order to depend on God and be effective in their ministry. Let us pray against this incorrect attitude and their using it as an excuse not to take care of God's servants. We pray for more correct and Biblical teaching about stewardship and offerings.
College students who are couples and live off campus are no longer considered unusual. Many are "cohabiting" and sharing intimately online, living in a virtual home, not bound by any moral rules, and even having multiple partners at the same time. A sense of loneliness is very prevalent among today's young people. Many have left home to live and study elsewhere during high school. Once in college, they feel free to do whatever they want to do. Let us pray for every one who is involved in campus ministries. May their fruit be abundant and their discipleship of students effective.
Guangzhou is a city 2210 years old and it has always been a key city in Southern China. It ranks behind only Shanghai and Beijing (surpassed Tianjin) in terms of domestic production. Historically many have gone abroad to work from Guangzhou which has made it a port for both trading and cultural exchange. Although Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua) is now the predominant language among overseas Chinese churches, Cantonese (dialect of Guangzhou) is still widely used there as well as in Hong Kong. An interesting fact is that these Cantonese churches tend to send out more missionaries than their Mandarin-speaking counterparts. Let us pray for all the Cantonese-speaking churches and their ministries.