8-8-08–That’s the start date of the 2008 Olympics in China. We are planning a little Chinese celebration that night to watch the opening ceremony, eat Chinese food, and pray for China. The boys are planning some competitive Olympic events as well.
You can order these prayer bands from Voice of the Martyrs. Voice of the Martyrs is an organization that aids Christians around the world who experience persecution for their faith in Christ. Over 500,000 prayer bands have been purchased from VOM. The prayer bands are also being distributed to members of house churches in China who will be praying for us. You can also read about Christian persecution at VOM’s blog and sign up for their free newsletter and prayer request e-mails at persecution.com. (Their site is down at the moment–I trust that’s a temporary thing.) They also have a free quarterly publication to teach children about kids around the world who are suffering for Christ. It’s called Kids of Courage.
VOM has been predicting that Christian persecution in China would increased prior to the Olympics. Here is a recent article from Christianity Today on the recent persecution of one of China’s house church leaders.
For those of you interested in learning more about the church in China, I highly recommend The Cross: Jesus in China . It is a 4-hour DVD set on the history of the church in China–how Christianity has grown tremendously in spite of intense persecution. The number of Christians in China has increased from 700,000 in 1949 to about 70 million today! It is one of the most encouraging things that I have ever watched. There are many, many interviews with Christians who have served years in prison and labor camps because of their faith. The joy on their faces is inspiring. Many express gratitude at being allowed to suffer for Christ.
And, finally, for those of you interested in teaching your children about China, I have discovered a fabulous website: www.childbook.com The whole site is devoted to media to help teach your children about Chinese culture and the Chinese language. There are links to information about Chinese culture and China-related coloring pages as well as much to purchase. We are spending the month of August studying China. I recently purchased software to help me learn to speak and write Chinese. I’ll let you know how that goes.