1 Way to Pray for China this Week

Foreign Policy recently featured an article titled “Leave China, Study in America, Find Jesus: Why a growing number of Chinese students at U.S. universities are coming home with Christian beliefs.” Some of the best reporting on the topic to date, this article is an excellent look at the experiences of Chinese international students finding faith in Jesus while abroad. Whether you are new to ministry to Chinese nationals or have served for a long time, this article is a must-read.

Using the stories and words of the students featured in the above article, please join us this week in praying for Chinese across America’s campuses. And consider joining us every morning at 10:02am!

How to pray:

“China is the largest secular country in the world; young Chinese people often identify as atheists, although many may have visited a Buddhist temple to pray for good luck before an exam, or celebrated traditional festivals with roots in Chinese folklore… Meanwhile, the state-controlled educational curriculum emphasizes patriotism and socialism, promoting a purely materialistic and scientific worldview.”

“On Weibo, a Chinese microblogging platform, users blame a spiritual void for many disheartening social trends, including the flaunting of wealth by the country’s reviled nouveau riche.”

       Pray for China’s spiritual void. Pray particularly for the Holy Spirit to fill this void rather than the many other things people may turn to. Pray that the many other options before people would prove unsatisfying so that China’s population would continue to search until they find Christ.

“…a group of students approached Cai in her dormitory hallway to ask her opinion about God. She realized that she had never thought about it before.”

       Pray for American students to notice and care for Chinese students. Pray for Christians to openly and considerately share their faith with Chinese classmates and friends and pray for Chinese students to come to similar realizations as Cai, opening their hearts and minds to consider something they have never thought about before.

“ U.S. universities are the first places that hundreds of thousands of educated young Chinese are exposed to different religious ideas, and invited to consider them freely.”


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       Give thanks to God for providing a space for so many Chinese to openly consider the questions of God, truth, and reality. Pray that these students would be ultimately attracted to scripture rather than the many other options made available on a university campus.

“Five days in, she learned her grandfather in Nanjing had passed away. Not wanting her new roommate to see her cry, she spent the night at the study den in the basement, surrounded by washers, dryers, and stored bikes.”

       Pray for students who undergo grief, suffering, or trauma at a distance from their families and support systems. Pray for the church to find these students and to provide the support needed.

“In August 2015, for example, 470 freshman from China and their parents signed up for a paid pick-up service organized by the Chinese student union at Purdue University in Indiana. While waiting for the shuttle to be filled, students were offered drinks and snacks including Wangwang crackers, a common Chinese snack — all compliments of the on-campus Great Lafayette Chinese Alliance Church. When the last group arrived at Purdue campus after midnight, church volunteers greeted travelers, wearing neon vests and waving flashlights to gather students and help them move into their dorms. The church also provided temporary accommodation for dozens of students at local homes.”

       Praise God for churches and ministries that so effectively serve Chinese students and pray for more people to participate across the country.

“Ariane Brotto, a Brazilian doctoral student at Columbia University, preaches to Chinese students despite not speaking a word of Mandarin. It started in 2012, when a young Chinese man in her laboratory kept asking her why she seemed happier than her stressed-out peers. One afternoon, Brotto stopped him in the hallway of her laboratory building and handed him a Chinese-language Bible. After an hour, she asked the man what he thought. He responded, ‘I want to start a relationship with God.’”

       Praise God for the amazing ways other people groups are also being called to reach Chinese students! Remember that the American church is not the only one tasked with the Great Commission. Pray for increased cooperation among the many diverse groups seeking to bring the hope of the gospel to China!

“In September 2010, Cai went to her first Sunday sermon, at Harvest Church of Madison… Not understanding most of the English, Cai watched anxiously and followed the other worshippers as they stood and sat, remaining silent during the occasional outbursts of laughter at the pastor’s jokes. Although the crowd was friendly and upbeat, she felt she did not belong.”

       Pray for our churches to be welcoming places for cultural outsiders. Pray that the American church would be at work to extend hospitality lavishly and to serve those who may be at a linguistic, cultural, or spiritual disadvantage within our congregations.

“…it is perhaps natural that Cai’s parents, who asked not to give their full names given the sensitivities surrounding religion in China, were concerned when she first became interested in Christianity during her freshman year. ‘We had only heard about Christianity, but had never really come into contact with it or gotten to know much about it,’ they wrote to FP. ‘When Shelly began frequenting and then soon joined a church in her freshman year, we really didn’t understand and feared that it was like Falun Gong. Maybe she would be misled or possessed.’ Their concerns abated in August 2015, after they visited Madison for their daughter’s wedding and were favorably impressed by her church.”

       Pray for the older generation to also receive the gospel. Pray that students who become Christians while in the US will share their newfound faith with their families so that there might be ripple effects across all parts of Chinese society.

“It just hit me that there are so many Chinese students. I know each of them has a soul that God values.”

       Remember the image of God placed on each Chinese student and pray for the hundreds of thousands of souls that are present at our universities.

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Further Reading

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Why Should I Love My Enemies?: Give Up Revenge, Love Enemies
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Nanjing: Bringing the Gospel Into Life
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Nanjing: A Welcoming City of Newcomers
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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

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ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

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Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

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Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

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Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

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Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

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Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

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Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

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Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

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Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

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Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

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Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

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Stories from Shanghai

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