“Death Sentence” to the Climate-affected Poor – Resisting Disaster in India

 

Editor’s note: When we were children, we learned about “climate change” in our textbooks; but this expression is no longer an accurate description of the threat presented to the world nowadays. The term “climate change” has gradually been replaced by “climate crisis”, which indicates that the planet has entered an emergency state. In this issue of SHARE, “Climate and the Poor” was adopted as the theme to remind the Christian communities about the group of people who are hit the hardest by the climate crisis. In “Back to the Bible”, we pointed out that caring for the created world is crucial in our beliefs. We have an article on our supporter’s experience of choosing a lifestyle that reduces carbon footprints, and another article about life education for Ethiopian youths written by our staff.

 

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2019 ] FOCUS 

Written by: Edward Lai (Senior Communications Officer)

 

The world experienced the hottest month ever in July [1]. In fact, 2015 to 2019 may have been the hottest 5 years in human history. [2]

 

In recent years, the United Nations (UN) [3] has issued several warnings on the imminent peril of climate crises induced by human activities. Under the same climate crisis, the threats borne by the rich and the poor are totally different. As pointed out by the experts at the UN [4], the rich can use money to mitigate the impacts of global warming, but the poor are almost powerless. They are left to bear the brunt of rising temperature, such as drought, famine and infectious diseases. CEDAR has been carrying out disaster relief and disaster risk reduction in various developing countries in Asia and Africa. In India, especially, we witnessed the severity of the impact of climate crisis on the poor.

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The Church playing a part in DRR work is most effective and sustainable

A PADR facilitator (first right) is explaining a ploughing method

Stanley Enock Hanya is the Coordinator of Church and Community Mobilisation projects at Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), which is one of the biggest evangelical alliances in Zimbabwe. He hopes to equip faith leaders in churches to teach their congregation to facilitate community development based on biblical principles.

 

Written by: Stanley Enock Hanya (Church and Community Mobilisation Coordinator, EFZ)

 

The EFZ embarked on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) after calls for relief from previous project communities that had been affected by 2015/2016 El Niño induced drought. Realising that disaster response was not sustainable, the organisation began to intently look at the word of God for inspiration on issues of disaster prevention. It was after some soul-searching effort that we were able to adopt the Participatory Assessment of Disaster Risk (PADR) as a tool to guide the implementation of DRR initiatives in communities.

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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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Step Out, Live Out the Blessings

[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2018 ] TAKING ACTION

Written by: Tiffany Lam

 

During holiday, would you travel abroad, or do something meaningful? A team of 10 brothers and sisters from Evangelical Free Church of China Waterloo Hill Church (WHC) spent their 10-day holidays in Nepal last April. They travelled to mountainous communities in Gorkha to visit CEDAR’s partner ACN who are doing post-disaster work. “Through this trip, we hope to help brothers and sisters realise what integral mission is and broaden their gospel vision,” says Joshua, former WHC staff and part of the team. Therefore, they stepped out of the air-conditioning room at church and went to remote mountainous area where they practised walking with local people and the meaning of offering a cup of cold water to little ones. It was the first time for most of the team to visit a disaster area or take part in cross-cultural activity, thus Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was also a new idea to them.

 

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Northwestern Bangladesh Citizens Finding Ways to Combat Disasters

Disaster prevention in high risk areas is often, if not always, as important as emergency relief efforts. CEDAR’s partner, Lutheran Aid to Medicine in Bangladesh (LAMB), has been promoting social health and development in northwestern Bangladesh for the past 3 years. They strengthened the area’s disaster responses to mitigate damages together with local churches and resident networks.

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