Uprooting Poverty: The Perspective of Christian Faith

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2018 ] FOCUS ~ Christian Response to Poverty

Written by: Raymond Kwong (CEDAR’s Chief Executive) and Jady Sit

In recent years, the international development sector began to emphasise the importance of human inner transformation for uprooting poverty. For instance, Cornell University Professor Kaushik Basu, who serves as the chief economist of World Bank from 2012 to 2016, shared in a public lecture, that no matter what kind of models of poverty alleviation is, one of the key factors to its success is whether people are willing to let go of some of their own interests or economic benefits and seek higher purposes, with which human being in general are common, and so, he advocates strengthening values education in society. This is about changing hearts and minds.

Impoverishment is a consequence of mankind’s broken relationship with God, with each other, and with the rest of the Creation. This broken relationship does not limited to the poor, but also to the non-poor. That is to say, for the sake of ending poverty, inner change has to happen with both the haves and the have-nots.

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Understanding Integral Mission through God’s Sovereignty

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2018 ] BACK TO THE BIBLE

Written by: Dr. Mok Chiu Yau (CEDAR China Programme Advisor)

 

When presented with so many suffering and adversities on earth, Christians usually respond with sympathy, expressed by charitable giving and voluntary services. But gradually, Christians may realise that the problem of suffering is too heavy and difficult to solve, therefore they think that the paramount thing is to evangelise people. The belief is that once a person (who suffers) knows Christ, he or she can have strength to persevere in the world’s suffering, be comforted by fellowship members, and eventually enters into heaven after death and never suffers. Yet, such belief  is a one-sided understanding of God’s mission to believers.

 

God’s mission to believers  is a holistic mission. We can understand it based on two biblical aspects. First, God’s mission is the foundation of our mission. Second, God’s mission is the mission of the Kingdom of God, meaning God exercising His sovereignty and transforming the heaven and earth. Believers should take obedience of and witness His sovereignty.

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Julie who Does Not Give In to Circumstances

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2018 ] JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS

 

Every individuals should be entitled to basic human rights, no matter adults or children. However, in reality, millions of children are far from having their rights secured. Children’s rights is not just an ideology, but are about children’s survival, children being free from any form of abuse and exploitation, children’s entitlement to education, children’s freedom of expression and their rights to enjoy social and cultural lives.

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“Let’s Go Barefoot, NOW!”

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2018 ] TAKING ACTION

Written by: Ethel Sha (Participant of CEDAR Barefoot Walk 2017)

 

A year ago, the chief executive of CEDAR commenced the event by sending out this command. Everybody in the hall took off their shoes and got ready to step out of their comfort zones to walk around Tseung Kwan O barefoot. Since then, I have never bared my feet to walk in the city, but to learn and be aware of the issue of human trafficking with a “barefoot” spirit.

 

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The Answer to Disaster

[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2018 ] FOCUS ~ Disaster Management

Written by: Jady Sit

 

Every time there is a disaster, we feel sad and anxious for the suffering victims. While some people would pray for them, others would donate generously or organise a fundraising campaign, and some people would form a volunteer team to serve the devastated survivors through humanitarian work or counselling support. Although we try to give what we can, in the face of a natural disaster, we still feel helpless and powerless, because what could we do to stop tragedies that are not of our control?

 

In 2015, the massive earthquake in Nepal brought irreversible destructions: close to 9,000 casualties, 3.5 million people lost their homes, and Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was severely damaged. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the overall damage of the quake was about US$10 billion (about half of the country’s GDP). So, is it true that we cannot prevent a disaster from happening?

 

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Give US our Daily Bread

[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2018 ] BACK TO THE BIBLE

Written by: Tony Chan (CEDAR’s Senior Partnership Development Officer and Pastor)

 

Matthew chapters 5 to 7 documented Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. At the end of the teaching, He invited the crowds to make a choice: Enter through the narrow gate and live faithfully according to His teachings. He pointed out the consequence of their choices (7:13-23). Jesus then told the parable of the wise and foolish builders; and the wise would put His words into practice (7:24-27).

 

Jesus often took reference from daily life to explain through parables about difficult teachings. From the parables of the house builders, we learn that even in Jesus’ times, people were aware of the power of the nature and would try to avoid disaster from happening. These verses are often used as biblical proof of the importance of disaster prevention. But, as we study it, let’s also look at the context of Jesus’ teaching and think how we should respond to it wisely.

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