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The new American Ambassador to China was a Mormon missionary in Taiwan; he speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese. The Mormons have stepped up their effort targeting the collegians; they are taking over a lot of the English teaching positions in China. Many people first come into contact with Christianity through friendship with their English teachers. We need to pray fervently for the need for more Christian English teachers and campus ministry helping young people know what is true relationship with Jesus.
Being in the spotlight as the "youngest mayor in China" can be a nightmare for someone who is as young as one 29-year-old mayor in Hubei. He has drawn much scrutiny and been accused of plagiarism, not holding his own umbrella, and even smoking expensive cigarettes. Since he is a mayor of a county-level city, his term is limited to 3-5 years. In China it is not easy to be a young leader because of the tradition of giving respect to the elderly. We need to pray for young pastors to walk closely with God and have a vision of what God can do through them. Young believers need opportunities to use their gifts in serving others and we must accept the fact that they will make mistakes and not always come up to our expectations.
In order to be promote in China, more than good performance is needed. A person needs good "guanxi" (good relationship) or giving gifts to gain favor (open bribery). Many find these frustrating but accept them as the dark reality in China. For Christians in China, often it is a challenge to live out the Biblical principle. Let us pray for wisdom, favor from their superiors and all who try to model Jesus in their work place.
It is a well-known fact that churches in China do not have enough shepherds and many are desperately looking for workers. However, many Christians instead of respecting God's servants hold a cynical view of them and some have even been hurt by bad shepherds. China needs more workers in the churches, not only in numbers but also in quality, a clear calling, and adequate training. May the Lord supply His church with faithful workers that will be respected for their dedication and sincerity.
Following the Three Gorges Dam project, China has embarked on the ambitious undertaking of diverting the water from the Yellow River to a drought-prone province up north. In Henan province alone, 210,000 people will be relocated. Historically, Chinese rural churches are impoverished and are supported externally. We put all the churches in Henan into the Lord's hands. Many have been weakened by attacks of cults, divisions within the church, or the exodus of young people to cities to find jobs.
Suicide is now the fifth leading cause of death in China. Every year 250,000 die of suicide and just as many more attempt kill themselves. The most common reason for committing suicide is family and marriage problems with loss of jobs and money running a close second.Since Chinese Christians tend to feel that those who turn to suicide are basically weak, they tend not to feel pity for them. Let us pray for people in the churches to have compassion and a willingness to help those who are desperately seeking solutions and answers for problems in their lives.
In China believers face great opposition from non-believing family members. Many young people are afraid their parents will find out they are believers and adults face pressure from their elderly parents or even their own children. Traditionally strong family ties work against those who convert to Christianity, especially those from Buddhist families. ( Buddhism is going very strong in China now.)