[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2014 – Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour? ] FOCUS ~ SOCIAL CONCERN
Interviewed and written by> Jojo & Tiffany
In September 2013 the HKSAR Government has set the poverty line for Hong Kong to be 50% of median monthly household income, and the Policy Address in January 2014 has announced a series of poverty amelioration measures. A poverty line may help the Government set appropriate poverty alleviation policies, but data and a line cannot define or reflect the real situation of poverty and the voices and expectations of marginalised groups.
The three interviewees below are from different origins and backgrounds. You may see from their sharing how the personal experiences and life expectations of different social groups among them display the uniqueness in life value that is beyond numbers and a line.
[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2014 – Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour? ] STEP INTO THE WORLD
In Pakistan, women are often victims of domestic violence and they are traumatised both physically and mentally. Yet, the society they live in rarely acknowledge the situation.
CEDAR’s partner CGDC launched amongst churches in Pakistan the first ever project that focuses on women abuse, and advocates on Christian family values. It also teaches what the bible says about family violence. In the first six months of project period, CGDC provided related trainings in four churches and held a nation-wide conference against violence on women.
Partner will continue their advocacy in Pakistan seeking to eliminate any form of women abuses:
mobilising local churches to care for and support affected families through visits, seminars and conferences;
holding nation-wide conferences for more awareness on how to respond to and prevent women abuses;
collaborating with organisations and churches in raising community awareness and understanding of women abuses.
Please support the ministry of CGDC, bringing to the vulnerable women in Pakistan safety and dignity!
 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 2014 – Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour? ] TAKING ACTION
Author> Wendy FUNG
Thank God for leading me to a number of CEDAR’s events in the past two years. In January 2013, I joined the exposure trip to Ethiopia where I learned and witnessed God’s power; the trip also helped me understand CEDAR’s operation. The impact of CEDAR Carbon Fast during Lent on me is the most apparent; I was invited to be a member of ‘Carbon Fast Army’, assist posting photos on Facebook about Carbon Fast. With the aid of Scriptures prepared by CEDAR, I have gained better understand of the purposes of our daily Fast actions and God’s will at creation. Some of the Fast actions such as waste sorting and bringing my own water bottle/cutlery have become my daily habits.
On a missions trip to Madagascar in 2012, the missionary not only took home leftovers from the table, she also reused plastic boxes after cleansing as the refuse collection system there is inadequate and people just dumped all wastes into big garbage bins on road-sides. Besides doing evangelisation and church planting, I saw the missionary’s effort not to produce waste and perceived her integral love towards the land and inhabitants thereon.
The Philippines was hit by severe Tropical Storm Haiyan that killed thousands and affected over nine million people. It is irrefutable that human activities aggravate extreme climate changes and the frequent natural disasters make the poor’s lives harder, even taking away many precious lives. Isn’t it ironic that we seek to take the gospel to the ends of the world, whilst our lifestyles bring about changes that would reduce the chance of the poor hearing the gospel? I used to question the effect in turning off one lamp on carbon emissions reduction! But if all Christians change our current lifestyles and practise the bible’s teaching, I believe that by the Holy Spirit we can change the world. Living an Integral Mission may sound grand and hard to start, but we may live it out a bit in a day. Let us start today and with God’s help exert influence on people around us doing small things in loving our world. (Watch a clip by Tearfund UK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vph2oLKb1qM)
In January 2013, Wendy joined CEDAR’s exposure trip to Ethiopia; taking part in Carbon Fast and as a member of ‘Carbon Fast Army’ practising and mobilising low carbon living for better environmental protection in February and March; Wendy further joined CEDAR Barefoot Walk in November showing support for impoverished children.
[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2014 – Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour? ] CEDAR’S BLOGGER
Author> LAM Wai Shan Sandy, Education and Promotion Officer
I have been in poverty relief work for nearly ten years and during this time I not only got opportunities to see the world and broaden my horizon, but also met many ‘life mentors’.
If I had not met underprivileged families, I might not have known that sympathy is not necessarily what the poor want! They yearn more for affirmation and recognition, they long for chances that their dreams may come true, being able to give back to the society their contributions.
If I had not met frontline workers, I might not have believed in God’s grace being all over the world; He moves different people so that they will put aside preconceptions, step out of their comfort zones and go to faraway places to minister those isolated and unreached groups.
If I had not met the sincere and friendly ethnic minority peoples and villagers in rural China, I might not have realised that those who live not so prosperous being more eager and generous than the rich in sharing their possessions with others. Non-material trove such as human dignity, values, temperaments and joy are priceless!
If I had not met Christians in Ethiopia, I might not have appreciated such a situation when daily life conflicts with the faith and our faith challenges our way of life; still our choice is to abide by our faith, despite difficulties we are able to live out the faith in boldness after the struggles!
If I had not met faithful volunteers, I might not have discovered that I am not working alone, and that volunteers are indispensable. They are willing and conscientious and I have learned much from them.
If I had not met generous givers, I might not have known that some give not because they have a lot in spare, but they give what they just have; some even lending hands, in order to help those in needs. Their acts of charity encourage me and show me the good and beautiful side of humanity.
If I had not been in a close-knit team of co-workers, I might not have understood that it is precious to work out the team spirit: working together in hands, having mutual support in prayers, putting to the greatest effect each member’s potential and growing together in works.
Because of you, I have become what I am today – being able to hold on to my faith and love others, just as Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, ‘Christ did not, like a moralist, love a theory of good, but He loved the real man.’