Introduction / History
As the cute joke goes, "God must love the Chinese very much or He wouldn't have made so many of them." Not only are there more than a billion Han Chinese in the world, but they are spread out all over the globe.
The Chinese diaspora is noted for its involvement with businesses, be they small or large. In the South Pacific Islands, they are often hated because they own the businesses. Relations between the Chinese and the local Pacific islanders are strained.
But in the Northern Mariana Islands, most of the Chinese work in the garment industry. Garment production is by far the most important industry with employment of 17,500 mostly Chinese workers and sizable shipments to the US under duty and quota exemptions. The garment industry has grown rapidly as a result of duty benefits stemming from the relationship between the Mariana Islands and the US. The garment industry recruits workers from East Asia because of the limited supply of local labor, and because it's easy to get there from Asia.
Though the Han Chinese groups are reached in most parts of the world, they remain without a church in this part of the Pacific region. They have maintained their traditional Chinese religion, which is characterized by a blending of philosophies, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and most of all, superstitions. Rather than leave their destinies in the hands of the Lord like many Han Chinese have done worldwide, they consult horoscopes and placate a pantheon of spirits in vain attempts to determine what courses of action to take. They believe that the spirits of their ancestors roam the earth, and if treated properly, are benign, and bring good fortune. They are especially concerned about promoting harmony and enjoying good luck.
* Pray that they will see their need for Jesus.
* Pray that they will put their trust in Jesus rather than ancestral spirits.
* Pray that God will use businessmen who are walking with the Lord to show the Han Chinese migrants a better way.
* Pray that the Lord will raise up His ambassadors from among the believers in the Pacific Islands.
|Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey|