Life Education for Ethiopian Youths

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2019 ] JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS

Written by: Edward Lai (Senior Communications Officer)

 

What kind of person would you like to be?

 

When discussing dreams with youths, despite where they live, they somehow think of being a doctor, pilot, lawyer, teacher or entrepreneur. Dreams may fade in a blink, but it may also be planted in hearts, awaiting to sprout. CEDAR’s Ethiopian partner [1] entered local poor communities, determined on discussing dreams, meanings and values of life with youths.

 

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“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 The term “climate change” has gradually been replaced by “climate crisis”, which indicates that the planet has entered an emergency state.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.

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

Caring for God’s Creation and Discipleship Training

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2019 ] BACK TO THE BIBLE

Written by: Raymond Kwong (Chief Executive)

 

Mankind is unique in God’s creation because we have been made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). We are living beings (Genesis 2:7) and we have been granted stewardship to take care of all other forms of creation (Genesis 1:28-29; 2:15). These are mankind’s intended identities. Unfortunately, when sin enters the world, these identities are distorted. Our stewardship has been altered beyond recognition. Mankind’s role has morphed from stewards of God’s creation into owners, or even exploiters. God’s creation should have received mankind’s love and care, but now it has become an instrument for personal gain. This simply goes against God’s intention in Creation!

Continue reading Caring for God’s Creation and Discipleship Training

My Plastic Reduction Action – After the CEDAR’s Exposure Trip 2018

Sarah Hong (far right)

 

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2019 ] TAKING ACTION

Written by: Sarah Hong (Participant of CEDAR’s Exposure Trip 2018)

 

The world God first-created was in a stable and balanced peaceful condition, which illustrated Shalom. He gave us the responsibility to manage the land. Yet, we failed our task, destroyed the land and its eco-system and caused a lot of problems, such as climate change.

Continue reading My Plastic Reduction Action – After the CEDAR’s Exposure Trip 2018

The Love between a Grandmother and a Granddaughter

Angela (second from the left), Kimberly (centre) and her grandmother

 

[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2019 ] TAKING ACTION

 

Written by: Jady Sit (Communications Officer)

 

“Snap!” A colourful image emerged slowly from the blur in an instant photo. A grandmother from an impoverished village in Zimbabwe saw herself and her granddaughter, Kimberly, in the picture and broke into a smile, which was rarely seen on her face. Suffering from AIDS, Kimberly was physically disabled. She was unable to speak or sit up, and had been abandoned by her mother when she was 3 years old. Since then, she had been cared for by her grandmother, who sold vegetables in front of their hut. Owing to her disability, Kimberly was sick very often. Since she did not have a birth certificate, every time her grandmother took her to the hospital, they were either refused treatment or had to pay very expensive medical fees. Nevertheless, this grandmother never felt despair. She gritted her teeth and bore it. The smile on her face when she was holding the photo clearly showed the power of love.

 

The person who asked Kimberly and her grandmother to take this photo was Angela from Hong Kong. Angela had gone to Zimbabwe to visit the beneficiaries of CEDAR with staff from CEDAR and other brothers and sisters in Christ. She was deeply moved by the story of grandmother and Kimberly after meeting with them. Every day, Kimberly laid on the bed in that dark little hut and fought for her life. Her grandmother prayed twice daily for her because she believed that Kimberly was the good and perfect will of God. She hoped that one day her granddaughter could study and play like other healthy children. The pair’s perseverance and hope won Angela’s respect – she decided to respond to their practical needs by sponsoring their living expenses on a regular basis.

 

Through the effort of our partner in Zimbabwe, Trinity Project, we finally located Kimberly’s mother. We helped Kimberly obtain her birth certificate and apply for social welfare benefits from government departments. Grandmother and Kimberly’s story even caught the media’s attention in Zimbabwe, and some of them called for society to advocate the rights of underprivileged children. Eventually, the hospital voided the pair’s debts, so Kimberly’s grandmother no longer had to worry about paying for large medical bills. And with birth certificate, Kimberly could even enjoy free medical treatment.

 

This one photograph records the deep love between Kimberly and her grandmother. Unfortunately, it was probably the pair’s last photo. Kimberly had gone to heaven on 8th May this year. With the grace of God and the unconditional love of her grandmother, Kimberly bravely lived until the last moment.

 

Epilogue

When this article was being written, Kimberly was still in the intensive care unit. Angela told me that she was very worried, but believed that everything was in the Hands of God. Kimberly passed away not long afterwards.

 

Angela reflected on her encounter with Kimberly, and she was convinced that even though sometimes things can look hopeless and futile, it is not so in God. Let me share a Bible verse as an encouragement to us all: “ and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10)

 

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The Trap of Discrimination in Poverty Alleviation

[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2019 ] BACK TO THE BIBLE

Written by: Wance Kwan (Assistant Professor [Practical Studies], China Graduate School of Theology)

 

“If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:3-4)

 

If you are one of the few in your church who are involved in poverty alleviation work, you may be angry with the snobs in the scripture above. You might probably think that you would never be like them. However, have you ever thought that always putting the poor at the receiving end can also be considered as a form of discrimination? Such attitude of judging people by their outward appearances is being challenged in James 2:1 as favoritism.

Continue reading The Trap of Discrimination in Poverty Alleviation