One of the most significant inroads of the Good News into the lives of Chinese people has been student ministry. There are around 670,000 Chinese nationals studying overseas. Many encounter Jesus for the first time, and eventually become His followers, during their studies. Many of these students return to China and become leaders in the spheres of government, academia, industry, business, etc. Reaching Chinese studying overseas is on the of the most strategic forms of outreach that exists today! Here are some prayers points from a Chinese student in the UK who is a believer and works with organisations reaching international students, including Chinese students:
• Pray for the teenage students – many are 18 and 19 with little real world or cross-cultural experience before moving overseas. Many of these are not able to take care of themselves very well. Some of the students are staying with host families; many of these hosts are in the CoVid-19 vulnerable group category (over 70 years old or with health conditions putting them at risk).
• Pray for the students who decide to return home to China. This is a difficult decision! Please pray for their safety when many indirect flights assume lots of energy and cause unexpected accidents (cross-infection or refused entry into transit countries). Pray for their time in quarantine when they return to China.
• Pray for the students who decide to remain abroad. Social distancing is hard enough at the best of times – more so for communal cultures. Chinese students living abroad can be a very isolated group when all their family are far away and they cannot be with their friends.
• Pray against the spread of racism and xenophobia. Chinese students (and non-students, too!) are encountering attitudes and episodes of racism. This especially manifests when different cultures hold different views of wearing masks and due to the fact that China is the first country where Covid-19 broke out.
• Pray that Christians who have the opportunity to engage with Chinese students abroad might show compassion, concern, love, and kindness. May the good news of Jesus be clearly communicated to them by word, deed, and attitude. This difficult season is an ideal time to reach out in Christian love.