Chaiwan (China + Taiwan) is a term coined by Korean media signifying the ever important economic entity of the combination. Mainland capital and Taiwan high-tech know-how together will pose a threat to the Korean industries. In Taiwan, many fear relocating more companies to Mainland will lead to loss of job on the island. It is unknown and interesting to predict how the churches would come together. But, we have great faith in what God can do and we are thankful for opening many opportunities of dialogue and worshipping together. We have so much to learn from each other and to serve Him together.
Beijing announced that Taiwan students can attend Mainland universities directly, without participating in China's entrance examination. Such a move will potentially attract the best students from Taiwan to Mainland's colleges. A recent survey shows 2 in 3 Taiwan students consider the Mainland's students their biggest future career competitors. This unexpected move has many implications for college ministries throughout China. Let us pray that more people will see the importance of leading college students to Christ. May the Lord use this for great things in raising up a generation of young intellectuals, and calling college-educated young people to serve Him.
Every summer, more and more Chinese churches are having retreats for their young people in China. This is a great time of fun and spiritual growth. Recently a church retreat was interrupted in Shandong. This incidence demonstrates the difficulties in hosting a church retreat which is considered an "illegal religious gathering". Let us pray for all the retreats being held this summers, for their safety and also as they reach out to the unbelieving friends. We too pray that many young people will be challenged to rededicate their lives to God.
A foreign magazine said: "China's economy is reviving for sure, but it is because the government is the big spender." Beijing spending has increased 30% since the beginning of 2009, with 75% of the money going toward infrastructure. Many people think that China is a huge consumer nation rivaling the United States but in reality the government is the one doing the buying and spending the money, not the average consumer. Because of the global recession many churches and mission agencies have cut back in their spending on missions in China . Many community-based projects have also been reduced in size or postponed. We pray that as the economy improves, more of the churches in China will see not only their own need but also that of supporting financially poor churches in other provinces and instead of depending on foreign donors, will themselves become truly "self-propagating".
The sharp drop of exports across China can particularly be seen in Guangdong province. Many are asking, "Can China's domestic consumption replace its dependency on big buyers like Walmart?" In 2007 China exported seven times more goods than that consumed domestically. Their increasing the domestic consumption by opening the market in Hunan and Sichuan for appliances, jewelry, and shoes is only a drop in the bucket in comparison to the needs. We might ask, "How strong and healthy are the churches in China without foreign financal and manpower support?" We are thankful that the churches have grown and we pray that there will be even more indigenious growth, more pastors trained, and the believers will be rooted in the Word of God instead of following what is popular and famous abroad.
A young female attendant who "refused to provide sexual service" and in the process in self-defense killed a customer who was an official, has sparked a storm for women rights in China. This case has generated attention on official abuses, corruption, and illicite sexual services in hotels and entertainment enterprises. We pray for purity of hearts for all Christian men and protection from sexual temptations. We remember, too, the deep dark issue of sexual abuse in China and pray for divine healing of all those who have suffered the trauma and pain of living through such a tragedy.
Beijing has a special squad of police that checks all antique shops each morning to confiscate things that should not be sold to foreigners. On the other hand, China has the dubious claim of producing fake antiques that fool even the experienced eyes of customs officials. Chinese Christians have certain standards of judging whether a person is spiritual or not even though we know it is difficult to ascertain whether one's faith is truly authentic. Let us pray that all believers would focus on a genuine relationship with Jesus and not simply act or behave in a religious fashion.