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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Will You Make Things Right?

[“SHARE” APR – JUN 2018 ] FOCUS ~ Reconciliation

Written by: Jady Sit

“Where are you?”

“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

“Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

“The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

The above scene (Genesis 3:9-12), well-known by every Christian, documents the event when men and God’s relationship went from perfect intimacy to complete distant. As Adam accused “the woman you put here with me”, relationship among humans had also become distorted. Then, men and land were cursed. Sin made the world a broken world plagued with poverty, warfare, and exploitation of resources.

Often, we describe CEDAR as a development organisation, but we believe what we actually do is the ministry of reconciliation. Through the work of CEDAR and overseas partners, we hope to urge men to reconcile with God, others, the land, and with themselves; then, we would be able to break the chain of poverty.

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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.

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May God’s Kingdom Come and His Will be Done in South Sudan

When South Sudan’s civil war broke out in 2013, much of Equatoria – the country’s breadbasket in the south ­– was immune from the conflict. But that respite was short lived. As the government army began purging the region’s opponents last year, it has triggered the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis, with the United Nations warning of a potential genocide.

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Partnership in Drought Relief in Central India Helps Farmers

Farmers taking a picture in front of reservoirs of the village

Extreme weather has caused frequent disasters around the globe. Central India is one of the areas heavily affected by the lack of precipitation, the farmers there are experiencing a painfully prolonged drought. In the Chitrakoot district where an alarmingly low level of rain has been recorded for 3 straight years. Men of the farming families were forced to look for other jobs in other regions, while the children and women were left behind with a depressive economy with seemingly no end to it.

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