When Poverty Becomes a Sin

The author (far right) and other trippers visited ethnic minorities in northern Thailand

 

[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2019 ] TAKING ACTION

Written by: Janice Cheng (participant of CEDAR’s exposure trip in 2018; church pastor)

 

In December last year, I went to the Thai-Myanmar border with CEDAR to learn about their poverty alleviation projects in the area. The 8-day trip enabled me to understand more about the region. We visited some villages with CEDAR’s local partners and spoke to various individuals during our time there.

 

The residents are mostly ethnic minority groups from the mountainous areas, and they all have their own predicaments to overcome. There are abandoned single mothers and minority groups who have been relocated to the border area in northern Thailand due to warfare and other problems. Since they have not been granted Thai citizenship, they do not enjoy any social welfare, employment or education benefits or support.

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What is the function of a church in the community? – CEDAR’s Project Experience in China

“Suppose that a community that was moderately equipped with a food market or a supermarket, a hospital, a school, a police station, and a church. Now you are asked to get rid of one of these institutions, which one would it be?”

 

Lorraine, one of our colleagues in China, posed this question to the participants during training programmes, and that one answer coincided among them was “the Church”.

Continue reading What is the function of a church in the community? – CEDAR’s Project Experience in China

Saving One is One

Our partner worker carried a 12-week-old embryo baby model to deliver the message of “priceless life” to women who were preparing for abortion in the hospital.


 

Abortion, a bloody noun.

 

According to the interpretation of Wikipedia, abortion, also known as miscarriage or induced abortion, is the ending of pregnancy by removing an embryo or fetus before it can survive outside the uterus.

 

Under the influence of one child policy, millions of women and mothers undergo abortion or sterilisation every year. The Chinese official report pointed out 13 million cases of abortion annually. When this announcement was still hovering around the ears, some US human rights organisations already felt unacceptable and claimed that the actual number is 10 million more. According to this data, there are 63,013 cases of abortion every day, 2,625 cases every hour, and 43 cases every minute. Various reasons have gradually made abortion a “reasonable” choice and it is silently accepted in the society, which can be implied from an advertisement of a mainland Chinese hospital. In the advertisement, a woman was frustrated because of an unplanned pregnancy. After the hospital’s painless induced abortion, the family and even the grandmother were very happy to welcome her home. Various social influences resulted in sexual experience at young age and the prevalence of abortion.

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Mobilising Churches to Serve Their Neighbours

Churches who participate in MBC’s programme realise their mission to serve their neighbours and community through Bible studies

We have shared with you CEDAR’s work in Yunnan in a previous ePrayer where we are actively facilitating churches in China to take part in transforming their own communities. Using the SALT model, we hope to help believers to establish relationship with their community as the salt of the world. We thank God for the great testimonies told by them. Today, we would like to share our similar efforts on mobilising churches in Myanmar to take part in their community.

Over the last three years, CEDAR have been partnering with Myanmar Baptist Convention (MBC) to encourage about 50 churches to train their congregation in transforming their communities, using the Umoja approach. Following the lead of the Holy Spirit is a core value of Umoja. Facilitators would conduct regular Bible studies to help believers realise their mission given by God; and through prayer, they would ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to think about ways to practise their faith in their community.

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You are the SALT of Your Community…

Brothers pray and study God’s words together at Baoshan Reborn Garden Gospel Drug Rehabilitation Centre

CEDAR’s work in China began in 2000. Since 2007, we began to engage the local churches in Yunnan to take part in community work. From initial stage of discussion and planning, to execution, evaluation and revising their strategies, we witnessed how communities and churches slowly take up the responsibility of their community’s development.

As a development organisation, our ultimate goal is to see a community sustaining its own development. Throughout the journey, CEDAR is only a facilitator and mobiliser, the Church should be the successor and driver. The Church, as the body of Christ, is called to serve their community and neighbours, therefore, we invite local churches to partner with us at the very beginning of our work.

Continue reading You are the SALT of Your Community…

Local Churches—the Local Power of Community Development

[“SHARE” Oct – Dec 2017 ] FOCUS ~ Church and Community Mobilisation

Written and edited by: Tsun Wan Yan, Jojo Poon

The act of poverty alleviation often gives the impression of aid workers carrying with them gifts of livestock and funds sponsoring children and their education to some remote villages. However, have you ever considered that the local churches are better suited in bringing continued and sustainable development and support to the people in need?

Continue reading Local Churches—the Local Power of Community Development