Explosions at a chemical plant in Harbin contaminated the water supply of Heilongjiang province and are threatening neighboring Russia. Water supply to more than 3 million-plus residents in the city was turned off, and panic ensued. Churches in the northeast region of China are not in the news often, but they have come under attack of poisonous cult teaching of the Eastern Lightning in the past 2 years. Let us remember their fervent love for the Lord even in the season of bitter cold .
Bird flu hit Heishan, Liaoning, the "chicken coop" of China, which exports a third of eggs consumed nationwide. This week, the government shut down a drug company which manufactured millions of fake doses of antiviral medicine intended for bird flu. Many well-meaning intellectuals see Christianity as the cure of social ills. Let us pray for a genuine repentance of believers and seekers alike, and not merely a panacea for moral decay .
Despite the horrific record of twenty-two Chinese murdered in South Africa in 2004, more Fuzhou Chinese are still going there thinking it is a good place to make money as merchants. There are now sixty thousand Fouzhou people in South Africa alone. Let us pray for all the churches, Chinese and white, reaching out to and serving Chinese there .
The Ministry of Education plans to extend its nine years of compulsory education and wipe out illiteracy in all people between 15 and 24 years of age by 2010. Fourteen million were enrolled in senior education this year as compared with 6.28 million in 1998. The venerated Union Version of the Bible is nearly a century old and the language is considered difficult for even today's high school students. Let us pray for the wide distribution for the New Chinese Version of the Bible in China .
In urban areas "halal" Muslim restaurants have replaced the mosque as the social center of the Hui minority. While most of the Hui are in the Northwest, 800,000 Hui live in Henan, the province which claims the most Christians.Very little evangelistic effort is directed at Hui people and the government policy also restricts it. Let us pray for the opportunity and for Chinese believers to be willing to share the gospel with the Hui .
In China, it is illegal to employ children under sixteen and companies involved in foreign trade usually avoid such practices. However, in poor families where the typical monthly income is about US80, every child must earn his keep even though it means being treated unfairly. If they do not continue in school, working is the only option for children. Let us pray for the faith and health of all young believers who must work to supplement their family incomes .
115,000 Chinese students went overseas in 2004. The USA, England, and Germany are the leading destinations for all foreign students. One in ten persons in Germany is a foreign student. As Christmas draws near, host families will be inviting students to spend time with them. There will be church celebrations and winter retreats for Chinese students. Let us pray that many will come to know Jesus through these activities .