Super Typhoon Haiyan, struck Philippines on 8 Nov., killed more than 5,200 people, 13 million affected and almost 4.3 million displaced. Victims are in dire needs, and some of them lost their homes and even saw their beloved ones swept to their deaths in the storm surge.
Houses were destroyed as storm-surge waves hit Basey, Samar
Women wash clothes by the roadside
CEDAR is responding the dire need of the victims through the local partner PHILRADS, by delivering food packs to affected families in Leyte and Samar provinces. Shelters and emotional support during disaster recovery will be provided. Besides, CEDAR together with other Integral Alliance members are establishing an Integral team on the ground to strengthen our joint response, both operationally and through the work of our local church based partners.
Relief items arrived in a town in south Samar which was completely destroyed
As Philippines was severely devastated, CEDAR has submitted a relief proposal to HKSAR Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee to support the relief work by our partners in Samar and Northern Iloilo. One of our partners Food for the Hungry is going to provide at least 4,000 affected families in two municipalities in western Samar province with items like food, kitchen sets and hygiene kits for children.
Pray for victims and relief work in Philippines:
‘Heavenly Father, we trust in you as our comfort, strength and hope.
In this time of disaster and crisis in the Philippines would you help every agency in their aid effort.
By your Spirit we pray you would lift up the broken, give comfort and strength to those who mourn the loss of loved ones.
And help us as we respond to aid the work of rescue and rebuilding.
Put hope in the hearts of all your children Lord.
Through Jesus our Saviour. Amen’ (source: Tearfund UK)
Emergency and Relief Donation
Please make cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
 CEDAR is an approved charitable institution and trust 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.
Add>G.P.O. Box 3212Hong Kong
[ ‘SHARE’ Nov-Dec 2013 – Life Impacting Life ] FOCUS ~ INTERVIEW
Over 25 years, Mok has influenced many students
Interviewer> Lam Wai Shan
Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ Making changes may seem easier said than done, but there are bound to be things that you and I can do.
Mok Hing-luen is the Chairperson of CEDAR Club; he was a former frontline social worker and has 25 years of experience in social work education. Set to retire next year, Mok is waiting for God to make clear the way for him.
Mok is one of the founders of CEDAR Club. After seeing pamphlets of CEDAR’s exposure trips in 2002, he joined the next two trips to Cambodia and Bangladesh where he got to know more about world poverty. These two trips also gave him the idea of setting up ‘CEDAR Club’, and since its establishment ten years ago Mok has been meeting regularly with a group of like-minded members.
Whether at work or otherwise, Mok maintains and practises his beliefs, pursues justice and human rights. Whenever there is an imbalance between the ideal and reality, Mok would go hiking to regain that balance.
Hardship – preceding brilliance
Mok has loved hiking since he was young; he gave it up for a while to spend more time on work and family but returned to this hobby in 2001. Now he goes hiking at least once or twice a week, and up to four or five times a week during the summer holidays. Mok takes all necessary precautions although he had a brush with death once, ‘About seven years ago it was raining as I went up Kau Nga Ling; when I reached 400m it became blustery and foggy with heavy rain, greatly reducing visibility. The trail itself wasn’t difficult but the weather made that experience unforgettable.’
Hiking gloves are needed for climbing To Kwun Cliff
In January this year he went for To Kwun Cliff, ‘There is no hiking trail and one can only climb the cliffs. I spent over an hour and still could not climb up, so you can imagine the difficulty. I began to wonder if I should continue but two friends behind me said, “Of course, as you are here now it does not make sense to stop!”’ Eventually Mok prevailed and reached the peak; the breathtaking view was exactly what fascinated him about hiking.
Hiking – rediscovering values
In the realm of nature man is tiny and it is that Mok has more reflections on life’s meaning and values, ‘The beautiful views make me think what it is that we seek in life? We live not only to chase after material things, rather we should cherish and esteem the value and significance of being a human.’ And yet the reality is very different. After being involved with social work half his life, Mok understands this very well.
The view from the mountain is dazzling
‘Social work is people-oriented and has high regard for human dignity, values and basic rights, and also for social justice. However, social work is often market-driven and affected by bureaucracy, and as a result human needs are neglected.’ It is difficult to persist in one’s beliefs when social justice and human rights are abused, but hiking helps Mok rediscover their importance, making up for the discrepancy between reality and the ideal.
In fact, Mok has been mobilising the younger generation to uphold core values, and some results can be seen. People often ask him how he keeps this passion, and his answer is, ‘let life impact life’. Says he ‘I hope to be a role model and impact others. Whatever we do, we need to hold on to our beliefs, otherwise they turn lifeless and die out eventually.’
Retirement – turning a new page
As the second-half of life was about to begin, a ‘warning’ two years ago made Mok stop and reconsider his future. ‘Two years ago I kept falling ill, and that was a sign for me to stop for a moment, take better care of my health, and consider changing jobs.’ He has after all taught in the university for 25 years. After some serious consideration, Mok decided to resign. ‘I am no longer young and also tertiary education is getting more restricted and routine, I do need to change and grow differently. One door must be closed before another can be opened.’
So, what lies behind the other door? Mok says with a smile that recently many people have asked about his retirement plan. ‘There isn’t a concrete plan yet although there are a few basic criteria: Firstly, it won’t be a paid job because not many paid jobs allow for personal freedom. Secondly, it will have direct contact with people such as students or marginalised groups. Thirdly, it will involve participating in reforming local social movements, mobilising students to actively care for our society and bring about changes.’ So it seems that, just as Mok says, his post-retirement life will be even busier than before!
‘Gong sheng’ – experiencing living together
Apart from hiking and education, Mok is also involved in taking his students to Taiwan for ‘gong sheng’ (‘living together’ or communal life) experience. ‘“Gong sheng” has been going on there for over twenty years, where groups of local Christians live together in a self-sufficient and environmentally friendly life; they devise their own education and have created quite a few inspiring songs.’ Those songs and the experience have moved Mok.
Some ‘gong sheng’ Christians from Taiwan sharing in Hong Kong
In the past six years Mok and his students having visited the ‘gong sheng’ community have shared with people in Hong Kong. ‘It is difficult to carry out the Taiwanese model in Hong Kong, so we have adopted a fellowship-style gathering where about a dozen of people meet once a fortnight, mainly to share and bond together, making this a starting point to practise the essence of “gong sheng”.’
Mission – passing the torch
Mok admits that meeting once a fortnight is not truly ‘living together’ sufficiently to bond. Similarly, the occasional sharing held by CEDAR Club hardly helped members grow a sense of belonging. ‘A few years ago we collaborated with Mong Kok Kai Fong Association Ltd. Chan Hing Social Service Centre to visit low income families and through this kind of sustainable participation a sense of belonging was built. However, because of constraints on time and resources, it is difficult to run these programmes sustainably.’
CEDAR Club had visited quite a few low income families
Despite the limitations, we can find our place and mission in life if we are sensitive to God’s leading. Mok has found his mission and is actively practising and promoting it. He encourages his students, ‘Do not overestimate yourselves but do not think of yourselves as useless either.’ He receives and he relays, ‘Man is like a drop in the ocean – our predecessors were here, we received the baton from them, and when we leave, other people will take over.’ Thus is mission passed to the next generation and changes will follow.
Have you found your place and mission in life? We invite you to be a member of CEDAR Club, and through monthly meetings learn about poverty, reflect on life and faith, and care for the poor in practical ways.
[ ‘SHARE’ Nov-Dec 2013 – Life Impacting Life ] STEP INTO THE WORLD
When her mother passed away twelve years ago, Sharmaine went to live with her grandmother. Sad and lonely, Sharmaine could not see a future. Education is vital to getting any job but her aged grandmother could not afford the school fees.
In 1987, a group of Zimbabwean Christians set up Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT), regularly distributing food and daily necessities to HIV/AIDS-affected families, and sponsoring HIV/AIDS orphans in their education. Sharmaine says gratefully, ‘FACT has been sponsoring me since second grade and I will soon finish secondary school; I hope to go to university next year and then become a lawyer.’
FACT also holds small groups teaching grandparents how to look after HIV/AIDS orphans, or giving children emotional and spiritual nurturing. ‘I am not lonely anymore because many here have similar experiences and we learn to support each other.’ Sharmaine hopes to help other orphans in the future.
FACT is a partner of CEDAR’s ‘Join Hands Join Hearts’ Children Ministry Scheme; we invite you to be a supporter of this Scheme and enable impoverished children live in hope.
HK$200/month meets one child’s monthly basic needs HK$500/month trains one parent on money saving and management
 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’ Nov-Dec 2013 – Life Impacting Life ] TAKING ACTION
Author> Fanny Lee, CEDAR Club Committee Member
After going to the Bangladeshi poverty relief trip in 2003, I often asked myself how I could step out of my comfort zone and be more connected with the world. Surely life is not just about working hard and having fun? What should I do so that I ‘look out not only for my own interests but also for the interests of others’ (Phil. 2:4)?
Also in 2003, some Christians who went to CEDAR’s exposure trips set up ‘CEDAR Club’; they came from different churches but were all willing to use the bible’s teaching as their basis to see the world, learn about poverty relief works and actively care for the world. I am grateful for being a member and through CEDAR Club’s sharing and visits understand more of poverty relief.
It might be understandable that I knew little about poverty in faraway places, but I also had little idea about the weak and marginalized in Hong Kong! So I set out to see for myself the local needs first. Since then, I have followed CEDAR to visit groups such as new immigrant families, street-sleepers, former drug addicts and Choi Yuen Village residents; listening to these people helped me understand more fully their situations thereby reflecting on any injustice in the social system.
Six months ago, Mr. Pong Yat-ming shared on how he worked against the mainstream, and afterwards I researched the topic and discussed with friends, and as a result we grouped to carry out countering actions. It was an unforgettable experience, because I realized that it was simply not enough to merely know about the poor – after knowing in the head and feeling with my heart, I have the urge to share with others, and I feel the drive to do something practical.
Indeed CEDAR Club is a special platform; it helps me start with knowing facts and feelings and then move onto emotional involvement and practical action. I hope more people who care about the poor will join us, starting with understanding and exchanging and then go onto practising and spreading the message of poverty relief!
[ ‘SHARE’ Nov-Dec 2013 – Life Impacting Life ] CEDAR’S BLOGGER
Author> Alice Kwan, Senior Education and Promotion Officer*
When I gave birth to my first child, friends would ask, ‘What expectations do you have for your child?’
As a mother, I hope that my two sons will be Christians who care for the world.
I first stepped into CEDAR’s office twelve years ago, and the words ‘Eyes on His world’ caught my attention. To Hong Kong people who have easy access to global news and information, it seems to be no challenge for us to learn about the world, and we even think that the world revolves around us! But this is not so. Once, when I was to write about Afghanistan I realized that I knew nothing about it apart from ‘911’ and ‘Taliban’. When I participated in outside conferences, people talked about years of civil war in Sri Lanka and yet I was confused with the names of the warring parties and could hardly take in the torrent of data and information.
In order to encourage my children to have a global view, every time before a trip abroad I would sketch a simple map so they would have an idea of where their mother was going. I also find interesting newspapers reports around the world and share with them so that their world is not confined to the small screen before their eyes.
Recently I tried to talk with the children about the damage caused by the two-year old civil war in Syria. Military use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians aroused international concerns and denunciations and many nations considered sending troops to Syria. Yet, neighbouring countries warned of attacking Israel should Syria be threatened. How should I explain such complexities to my children? Who is the hero and who the villain? I could not say. Just when I was battling inside, my children prayed in their innocence, ‘Dear Father God, please protect the Syrians, they need You, please love them. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.’ Isn’t that the purpose of God willing us to set our eyes on His world? I thank my children for reminding me of this.
CEDAR’s ‘Eyes on His World’ reminds us that we are to set our eyes on Father God’s world. May we start to nurture this mentality in our children from a young age, to keep Father God’s will.
* On 15 October, Alice finished her long stint at CEDAR, she joined a new ministry with her husband and two little sons, to continue caring for the world and the poor.
[ePrayer – Pray for the Typhoon victims and the relief work]
CEDAR Fund’s local partners are responding to the desperate need of 9.5 million people affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines, working with local churches to deliver food packs to 7,000 affected families in Leyte and Samar provinces. Poor communications and access difficulties are still hampering relief efforts. Integral Alliance, in which CEDAR is a member agency, is currently meeting local partners to carry out a crisis mapping to further support relief operations in badly hit areas. Integral Alliance members from UK, Switzerland, USA and CEDAR partners from India and Indonesia who are well experienced in disaster management are arriving the Philippines to support relief effort there. [CEDAR’s Philippines Typhoon Relief]
Pray for the Typhoon victims and the relief work:
Pray for God’s healing and protection to the victims; and for His comfort to those who have lost their beloved ones and homes;
Pray for debris clearing of roads so that the main supply route can be passable for transporting necessary relief goods and reach affected populations;
Pray for smooth emergency operations and for the safety of all types of frontline aid workers;
Pray for good planning and coordination from the Philippine government on disaster relief and rehabilitation.
Emergency and Relief Donation:
Please make cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
 CEDAR is an approved charitable institution and trust 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.
Add>G.P.O. Box 3212Hong Kong