[ePrayer – Pray for Cold Wave victims in Bangladesh]
The country has been experiencing its record lowest temperature since 1968. Severe cold wave is sweeping over the north and west regions of Bangladesh. CEDAR’s partner KOINONIA said, ‘People there are crying for the support while near about 100 people died in last 24 hours [on 8 January] according to the Disaster Management Bureau of Bangladesh.’ Many people have suffered from cold-related diseases. Another one or two cold waves will hit the country in coming two months. CEDAR is going to allocate funds to our local partner KOINONIA to respond to the dire needs of the victims.
Pray for Cold Wave victims in Bangladesh:
Our partner KOINONIA has collected warm clothes for sufferers; pray that partner is able to raise sufficient fund to purchase 10,000 blankets;
Pray for involvement of local churches in distribution of blankets to the victims;
Pray also health and survival of Cold Wave victims.
[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2013 – Green Notes Or Green Life? ] FOCUS: TOPICAL INTERVIEW
Last year Vince worked as a volunteer at a wetland forest in Vietnam.
Reporter> WU Ying Lun
In recent years conservation and development has become a hot topic locally, but other countries are also facing similar struggles and challenges. Dickson Wong, Vince Cheung and Samuel Chiu, three Christian conservationists, tell us about different countries’ stance on development and the church’s involvement.
[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2013 – Green Notes Or Green Life? ] STEP INTO THE WORLD
While hoping to economically develop, the Lahu people of Northern Thailand borrowed money to buy fertilisers and pesticides for growing cash crops. Then crop prices fell but they could not return to growing rice because the soil was too contaminated. Like many young Lahu people, Jam and his wife moved to the city but contracted HIV/AIDS from drug abuse. Jobless and rejected by their people, they resorted to stealing food.
Thai-Lahu Foundation (TLF) carries out agricultural development projects in eight local villages teaching production of organic fertilisers and pesticides, supplying seeds, livestock and equipment to encourage organic farming. They help the people to resolve community problems, encouraging them to learn the traditional Lahu language and reinforcing their native knowledge and life skills.
After training, Jam and his wife now grow vegetables and raise pigs. They are also involved in establishing a local HIV/AIDS support network. You only need to give a little yet many Lahus like Jam and his wife will have hope again!
HK$200/month facilitates one village’s leadership training on assessing and resolving community problems
HK$420/month provides seed farming for eight villages (3,500 inhabitants)
 CEDAR is an approved charitable institutions and trusts of a public character under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Please click Inland Revenue Department website to check for details.  Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.  Please DO NOT fax any donation information.
[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2013 – Green Notes Or Green Life? ] TAKING ACTION
Author> Dr. Chris FUNG
Environmental protection is the secular version of Creation care – the biblical task given to every person. For Christians, it starts with a grateful heart for what God has provided us through nature directly or indirectly. Directly: treasuring nature’s provision of clean air, water, food, sunshine, ventilation, shade …. prompts us to minimize our disruption to nature after appropriating from it no more than we need. Indirectly: appreciating the work of others in providing for our other needs – food, clothing, running water, medicine, electricity …. would prompt us to conserve and to act justly towards each other, e.g. paying a ‘fair’ price for what we use.
With these guiding lights, we naturally practise what society calls ‘green’, but our faith takes us further. When the Bible is read properly from beginning to end, with God’s first creation (Gen 1), Jesus’ life, death & bodily resurrection and the renewed creation (Rev 21&22) as fixed references, we understand what God’s redemption encompasses, how and through whom God is effecting this redemption. This holistic awareness, rather than the piecemeal attempt to extract quick ‘biblical’ answers to fit our agenda, would lay a strong foundation for our actions. Organising such Bible discovery sessions would enrich us with many refreshing findings.
This understanding could lead to countless creative ways to fulfill our divine mission, from ‘green’ baby diapers to paper coffins and anything in between. An example: I usually wait to share an elevator with others and then tell the grateful co-passenger my reason for doing so – creation care.
The conclusion: creation care tends to both human and nature’s needs. This stands in irreconcilable opposition to ecological degradation and human poverty, which are two sides of the same disharmony. A practical remedy then is to give whatever money one saves through creation care to build up the needy.
Dr. Chris Fung works in the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department. Out of office, he endeavours to mobilise poverty alleviation and environmental protection. In recent years, he is also keen on sharing the relationship of Sabbath and theology of creation care, including a published paper in a journal of theology. Besides research and study, Chris also practises creation care thoroughly in his daily life: He prepares a lunch box everyday, goes to Wan Chai to work and back to Midlevels on foot; only brings a small towel and a few clothes for a trip overseas, and seldom turns on the air conditioner even in hot summer.
[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2013 – Green Notes Or Green Life? ] CEDAR’S BLOGGER
Author> Lisa CHAI, Senior Programme Officer
In September I joined a CEDAR sponsored agricultural training on Sustainable Agriculture based on Christian holistic development. At the end of the six-day training, I realised participants benefited not only in learning different techniques like making Effective Microorganism (EM), but most importantly, our trainer has given participants hope and an outlook of an improved life despite the difficult circumstances faced by many.
Many of the ethnic peoples living on the mountains are very poor and struggle tremendously. A Lisu pastor shared that this training has provided a way and a chance for them to improve. Before the training, villagers thought a large investment is always needed to raise animals and often farming activities. They saw what other farmers did and wanted to follow yet many of Lisu people are poor, the fear of not having investment inputs deterred them. However, our trainer taught us simple techniques and gave such straightforward instructions that they can all follow to start with a small plot which requires very little financial investment, thus giving them hope of change.
Over 25 participants from several states attended. They were rice farmers from lowland, church workers from arid dry zone, village leaders from conflict resettlement area, church pastors from mountain region. One trainee is a youth pastor from a dry, dusty, poorly developed area. Just imagine, I was told there you would see peacocks walking alongside rickety vehicles…. it is a land quite wild! Water scarcity is a daily challenge. During summer time, local people can only afford to use 3 cupfuls to clean themselves. The community wants to widen and deepen the existing lake to collect rain water. I do not know if this is the best way to solve the water crisis; however I can see this youth pastor is full of passion, to give ’living water’ in terms of meeting community’s survival needs and spiritual nourishment.
It is a reminder to me that we purposely need to act in the context of holistic development to see how project activities and people involved contribute towards extension of the Kingdom of God. For a road construction project, development workers naturally think of easier access to market, more trade, better livelihoods. Yet from the words of this same youth pastor, it also means isolation broken is down, easy access by evangelists to result in the spread of the gospel.
Christian development is more than secular development theories and concepts. Sustainable agriculture is not just about applying principles of ecology. Natural farming is more than bringing the soil and environment back to its original form. It is about God’s creation and our stewardship over the environment. It is about ruling over the earth that reflects God’s character….certainly I look forward to taking more lessons in future!
Numerous protests in Delhi broke out and there is now a global concern on the situations and rights of women in India after a female victim of a savage rape died recently. In recent years, Indian women have more opportunity going out to work and participating in politics, but crimes against women in India are rising too. Reported rape cases rise by 9.2% and trafficking by an alarming 122% in 2011. Each year more than 100,000 women are killed by fires in India. Analysts say deep-rooted changes in social attitudes are needed to make India’s women more accepted and secure. Many citizens queried if the political parties and politicians would take any actions to protect the women when the political parties in the last five years have fielded candidates for state elections that included 27 candidates who declared they had been charged with rape, as well as there are six elected state legislators who have charges of rape against them. [BBC]
CEDAR’s partners in India are addressing this issue on violence against women in their own respectively programmes. Our partner EFICOR is bringing awareness collectively among women self help groups on such incidents and to pressurize local administration with prompt actions.
Let us pray together:
Oh God, we are deeply aware of our afflictions and pains in the face of the death of a savage rape victim in India. We lift our hands in prayer. Hear us from Your heavenly dwelling.
May the victim be granted eternal rest in Your peace. May Your comfort be with her family and friends. May women and girls from India who have suffered from sexual abuses receive healing. May Your presence be felt in their difficult times.
We thank You for the quick response of Indian government and the law court. We seek for Your justice.
Pray that the offenders can have a broken and repentance hearts. Pray that the society in India to deal with widespread misogyny and take appropriate measures to protect the women.
Please raise up Your church to be peacemaker. Where there is hatred, there is always light from You. Where there is sadness, may Your church bring Your love and comfort.