In the light of the growing need of women or family ministries for house churches in China, Open Doors United Kingdom has launched some special projects in 2006.
Project Ruby is a new program that aims to distribute more than 2.6 million pieces of literature, including "The Power of a Praying Wife", "The Power of a Praying Woman" and "The
Power of a Praying Parent" to house churches in China in 2006, according to the Spring 2006 edition of the 7-year China Prayer Campaign bulletin.
The three books are among the first titles from the series of books by the American author Stormie Omartian and are now available in Chinese.
Open Doors has a long-standing history in supporting the persecuted churches in China by providing Bibles and other Christian cultural resources such as hymnals, tapes, and music players. While it offers theological training to raise house churches leaders, it also emphasizes on the faith education for the second generation through Sunday Schools.
However, a new challenge is emerging as house churches grow bigger. According to Open Doors, women tend to make up the majority of the church and many of them have to play important leadership role. In many cases where their husbands or family members have not become Christians, they may be easily be blamed and misunderstood.
"Families in China are breaking up at an alarming rate. In the church, many wives have become Christians while their husbands have not. They need books that teach them how to deal with the problems of an unequally yoked marriage, how to live out their Christian witness in the home, and how to pray for their husbands and children," Open Doors stated in the prayer request.
In China, house churches have been able to gain access to Bibles more easily under the effort of Open Doors and other mission organizations. However, Chinese believers still need help in learning to apply the principles of God’s Word to their daily lives and in their ministries by reading other spiritual books. Unfortunately, those kinds of books are not available for purchase anywhere in China.
"I was speaking with a couple who were themselves leaders of a group of house church leaders, mainly women. Each woman was dealing with some kind of issue in her own marriage which, of course, was affecting her ministry as well.
I remember the couple saying that they felt this book would help greatly as it addressed key issues that most in their group were facing," shared an Open Doors coworker from Southern China after introducing "The Power of a Praying Wife" to some house church leaders.
Meanwhile, Open Doors is looking to find more donors for Project Ruby to send the literature as gifts to house churches in China. There are Chinese believers who are praying and fasting to receive these books and the books are going to be a blessing to many, Open Doors says.
Other than Project Ruby, Open Doors have been actively organizing many marriage and family enrichment camps to touch and transform marriages and families. According to Open Doors, sometimes the impact can extend as far as the entire network of churches. Some church leaders have changed so much after returning from the camp that other members could not recognize them anymore.
"The needs are real and the requests are urgent. If we had more personnel, we could be conducting the same training in many other equally needy locations. Thank God for the impact of these camps, and please pray that we will be able to equip more couples to run the camps," stated Open Doors in the prayer request.