May the Lives of Slum Children in India Change

[ePrayer – Pray for Children’s Ministry in India]

CMCT_Josephin Sheeba_edited

Josephin Sheeba, living in the slum of Tamil Nadu, India, came from a broken family. When Josephin was six, her parents got divorced and since then she has been taken care by her grandmother. She has received basic need support from CMCT, a CEDAR’s partner, since her fourth year in primary school and also knows God through CMCT. Her life is completely changed then. With the help from CMCT, the scar in her heart is slowly mended and she was able to overcome her hopeless and desperate past. She has now finished her study in a bible seminary school and joins God’s ministry.

CMCT celebrates her 50th anniversary this year. CMCT supports many hopeless children in India’s slums. A total of 1,800 poor children receive basic need support from CMCT. CEDAR sponsors 204 of them through provision of food, daily necessities, medical support, education, vocational trainings, and also in spiritual care.

CEDAR’s staff visited CMCT this January and we are glad that most of the graduated children are able to further their studies in universities. Those who devoted their lives to God are probably the future of the society and will make significant contribution to the communities. According to CMCT, 150 of their 1,800 sponsored children still wait for a regular donor support. May our God provide for the needs of CMCT.

‘Make me a blessing, make me a blessing, out of my life may Jesus shine; Make me a blessing to someone today. (Make Me a Blessing)’. We see how life impacts life in generations. Thanks to CMCT’s service that Josephin experiences a complete life transformation. May God bring changes to many more slum children in India.

Pray for Children’s Ministry in India:

  • Thanks for the partnership between CMCT and CEDAR for bringing hopes to the poor children in India over the past 18 years;
  • Pray that more Christians will be willing to support CMCT by participating in their child sponsorship programme, giving generously in financial and human terms;
  • Pray for more wisdom granted to the CMCT staffs that they know how to better serve the poor children with love and care, and also help them in fully utilizing their skills and strengths that in future these children can make contribution to their society and serve the need;
  • Pray for the general election in India that will be held from 7 April to 12 May. Pray that it will run smoothly and political parties who show care to the poor and deprived groups will be elected. Pray also that under the new government, the work of local churches and organisations will carry on as before.

Donate Now! Click here.

Other Methods of Payment

  1. Cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
  2. Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
  3. Autopay (only applicable to regular fixed donations), enclosing with a completed Autopay Authorisation Form (Download: WORD or PDF)
  4. Visa/ Master Card

Download Donation Form

Please send a completed Donation Form, enclosing with cheque or pay-in slip, to CEDAR FUND, G.P.O. BOX 3212, HONG KONG.

Donation Form: WORD or PDF

[1] 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.
[2] Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
[3] Please DO NOT fax any donation information.

May Peace and Hope Prevail in Syria

[ePrayer – Pray for Syria]


Can you hear Syrian voices?

The conflict has its roots in protests that erupted in mid-March 2011 in the southern city of Deraa, after the arrest and torture of some teenagers who painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. Syria’s crisis enters its forth year and fighting in Syria between government forces and opposing groups continues to escalate. More than 100,000 lives have been lost and over 2.5 million Syrians have registered as refugees in neighbouring countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. With displacement inside Syria reaches over 6.5 million, the total number of people in flight internally and externally now exceeds 40% of Syria’s pre-conflict population. At least half of the displaced are children. UNHCR predicts the refugee population in the surrounding region will grow to become the largest refugee population in the world.

With a population of around 4.1 million, Lebanon already has the highest per-capita concentration of refugees of any country in recent history, with nearly 230 registered Syrian refugees for every 1,000 Lebanese. Syria’s neighbouring countries, including Lebanon and Jordan, have shown incredible generosity in continuing to offer a safe refuge for people fleeing the crisis. However, drastically increased numbers of arrivals lead to the consequence that basic services and facilities are stretched to the limit. Worse of all, more and more Syrians are putting their lives at the mercy of human smugglers.

This is the most severe humanitarian crisis in the 21st century. The unending cycle of violence, displacement, worsening health, disruption to education and learning put millions of Syrians at risk. A generation, with over 5 million Syrian children, is also at risk of being lost forever. The United Nations stressed the need for a political solution to end the conflict. Only with a political intervention will Syria and her people be rescued from further devastation.

Since 2012, Integral Alliance, a global alliance comprising of 19 Christian relief and development agencies, has been providing relief materials, food parcel, medical care and psychosocial care to Syrian refugees. CEDAR is one of the member agencies of Integral Alliance. Let us pray for Syrian refugees continually. May peace and hope prevail in Syria. [Integral AllianceTearfund UKUNHCRUN]

Meditate on Hymn:

‘Let Your Heart Be Broken’

May this hymn be your prayers and will:

Let your heart be broken for a world in need:
Feed the mouths that hunger, soothe the wounds that bleed,
Give the cup of water and the loaf of bread
Be the hands of Jesus, serving in His stead.

Here on earth applying principles of love,
Visible expression God still rules above
Living illustration of the Living Word
To the minds of all whove Never seen or heard.

Blest to be a blessing privileged to care,
Challenged by the need apparent everywhere.
Where mankind is wanting, fill the vacant place.
Be the means through which the Lord reveals His grace.

Add to your believing deeds that prove it true,
Knowing Christ as Savior, make Him Master, too.
Follow in His footsteps, go where He has trod;
In the worlds great trouble risk yourself for God.

Let your heart be tender and your vision clear;
See mankind as God sees, serve Him far and near.
Let your heart be broken by a brothers pain;
Share your rich resources, give and give again.

Pray for Syria that:

  • International communities and leaders put most efforts to support an immediate end to the Syrian war;
  • More support including financial assistance be given to Syria’s neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, from which protect and host can be provided to Syrian refugees;
  • Lives and basic needs of Syrian refugees are secured and the refugees can return home soon.


Present Our Love and Care to HIV/AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Zimbabwe

[ePrayer – Pray for Children’s ministry in Zimbabwe]


In Zimbabwe, many children suffer from the loss of parents and feel unrooted in their young age.  AIDS is severely impacting the country and many children have become orphans after one or both of their parents died from this fatal disease. According to the official figures from UNAIDS, 15% of the overall population is HIV infected.  The frontier NGOs even estimated that the actual infected figures probably hit 30%.  Among the HIV/AIDS orphans, some live with their grandparents or relatives, some are looked after by their teenage brothers or sisters, and some even are left abandoned so their childhood is absent of love and care.

Many Zimbabwe children feel unrooted because they do not have any identity documents. CEDAR visited a school in Zimebabwe last November and 2/3 of the 350 students there do not have birth certificates.  Indeed, this phenomenon is prevalent in the country. Many parents will not let their babies out of their homes because of traditional beliefs.  They believe there is ‘Evil Eye’ on the streets and their babies will be in danger once they are exposed to the outside.  Thus many children have become unregistered and cannot be promoted to high school education. The HIV/AIDS orphans even feel more helpless because they cannot inherit their parents’ processions without identity documents. 

CEDAR’s Partner ‘Trinity’ is committed to the education on the parents about the importance of birth certificates so as to change their rooted traditional beliefs.  Yet, with a limited number of government offices in the country, some parents have to take a one-day trip for registration if they live in remote areas.  A lot of them are unable to register because they do not have money to travel.  Trinity is planning to fund their trips in the near future so more children will be able to enjoy higher education and the other benefits that they are entitled to. 

Another CEDAR partner ‘Family AIDS Caring Trust’ (FACT) recently launched a programme called Buddy System.  The main idea is to pair up a HIV+ orphan with a buddy who is not HIV infected.  FACT encourages mutual support between the buddies, such as the healthy buddy can remind his/her counterpart to take medication on time. FACT hope that with this programme, the HIV infected orphans will feel cared and supported even though they do not have their own families.     

An executive of FACT said, ‘I wish that the orphans will feel that they are normal and are no different that the others, that they are loved.’  CEDAR supports the both partners through the ‘Join Hands Join Hearts’ Children Ministry Scheme. ‘And most of all be warm in your love for one another; because in love there is forgiveness for sins without number.’ (1 Peter 4:8). We hope all the kids in Zimbabwe will access to the basic needs and experience God’s love in their lives, that the AIDS orphans will be relieved from the pain of loss and unroot.

Pray for Children’s ministry in Zimbabwe:

  • May Our Lord provide all the needs for the children in Zimbabwe so that they can maintain their well being.  May our Lord not only provide HIV/AIDS orphans with medication, but also let them feel cared and supported in the community.
  • Pray for the Buddy System Programme led by FACT.  May our Lord grant wisdom to the organizing team so more HIV/AIDS children get paired-up and receive support.
  • Pray for the project of identity registry led by Trinity. May our Lord grant resources to Trinity and protect the children and their parents on their journeys to obtain proper registrations. 

Donate Now! Click here.

Other Methods of Payment

  1. Cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
  2. Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
  3. Autopay (only applicable to regular fixed donations), enclosing with a completed Autopay Authorisation Form (Download: WORD or PDF)
  4. Visa/ Master Card

Download Donation Form

Please send a completed Donation Form, enclosing with cheque or pay-in slip, to CEDAR FUND, G.P.O. BOX 3212, HONG KONG.

Donation Form: WORD or PDF

[1] 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.
[2] Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
[3] Please DO NOT fax any donation information.

Taking Precaution

[ ‘SHARE’ Mar-Apr 2014 ] FOCUS ~ MINISTRY


Compiled and written by> Jojo Poon

Kalapara lies in the southernmost part of Bangladesh, where each rainy season causes great concern to its inhabitants. Memories of past typhoons and floods bring fear: lives, crops and houses may not survive the coming ones.

‘Our villagers are mostly illiterate and have no knowledge of disaster prevention, so any natural hazard would result in heavy casualties and property loss.’ High-school girl Mitu told CEDAR’s partner World Concern Bangladesh about her village. Last May the whole village was anxious about surviving the coming storms but the fight against the latest level-10 cyclone rewrote the villagers’ fatalistic attitude to facing disasters.


From help-less to self-help

It was a frightening event when cyclone Mahasen directly hit Kalapara with winds of 90 km/h, flattening houses along the coast. Yet after the cyclone, residents were nonetheless thankful, and the community volunteers felt greatly encouraged. The disaster prevention and mitigation measures learnt from World Concern Bangladesh over the past three years have come into good use.

When the Bangladesh Meteorological Department forecasted that the tropical cyclone along Bangladesh’s southeast coastline had intensified to a hurricane-strength storm and was heading towards the southern coastal regions of Bangladesh, World Concern Bangladesh immediately contacted the area’s Community based Disaster Management Committees (CDMCs), launched emergency responses including issuing flag-warning and broadcasting, and summoned volunteer rescue and first aid teams, as well as preparing several shelters to be used.

‘One single flag hoisted by the village volunteer signifies that a natural disaster is coming, two flags warn people to look for a safe shelter nearby, and the highest warning of three flags means people should hide their possessions and dry foods under the floorboards and then hurry to a safe place immediately to save their lives.’ Mitu is one of those who learned this flag-warning mechanism and this helps illiterate villagers to identify different levels of disaster and respond accordingly.

Before Mahasen hit, the CDMCs managed to evacuate 4,000 villagers in time and no life was lost. This experience made the Kalapara residents see how they do not have to be helpless and resign themselves in face of a disaster – casualties can be prevented through communication, organisation and collaboration.

From disaster relief to disaster prevention

India faces as many disasters as Bangladesh. In July 2004, India’s Bihar State had the worst flooding in 50 years, affecting nearly 10,000 villages and 21 million people. Years of flooding have made Bihar State one of the poorest provinces in India.

CEDAR’s partner EFICOR has over 40 years of disaster relief experience and knows well that many rural communities of Bihar State have for a long time suffered in the vicious circle between disaster and poverty. EFICOR realises from experience that mere provision of disaster relief cannot deliver the affected communities out of their dire straits.

Since 2003, EFICOR has tried to promote community-based disaster management, setting up CDMCs made up of 7-10 resident representatives. They then liaise with the local government to relay the villages’ disaster prevention needs as well as assist in planning the regional disaster prevention strategies. Further, young villagers are organised into five special teams of warning, rescue, first aid, shelter management and relief management. The communities’ disaster prevention and resistance ability is raised through training and regular drills.

Residents of Bihar State at a rescue drill

Facing relentless disasters, the villagers no longer just look after themselves and are not passive victims anymore. Through disaster management and mitigation training, the villagers not only learn to effectively prevent and fight against disasters, they also learn to work with each other and consider other people’s needs. ‘Instead of each person thinking about his/her own needs, the villagers now think about how the community as a whole might benefit. For instance, instead of installing hand-pumps in front of every door-step, villagers now consider installing the hand-pumps in strategic locations realizing that this would help more people during the floods.’ An EFICOR worker says.

From sighing to collective planning

Since 2009, CEDAR has directly started disaster mitigation and management programmes in China’s Yunnan, Hubei and Sichuan etc., giving disaster prevention training to the local communities, churches and schools. Villagers there who had witnessed many disasters often told us, ‘There is not a year without a disaster.’ This shows how they strongly believed that they could not resist disasters coming their way.

Disaster mitigation training aims to break this age-old thinking. During the training the people will usually find possibilities and resources within their own community and assess their potential disaster resistance ability; at the same time they review recent disasters and plot the months and types of frequent occurrences thereby working out feasible disaster prevention strategies.

A Yunnan pastor who attended the training told us, ‘In the workshop we found out that fire hazards were the most frequent in our community and happened a lot at a certain time. So during the dry season we have voluntary rangers watching out for forest fires. Further, since some villagers can only speak local dialects, special volunteers are appointed who would listen to the radio broadcasts during the rainy season and then give early warning of flooding.’

Disasters may be relentless but there is a bond amongst people. We are emotionally touched when we learn of disasters far or near and are often ready to help with relief. But prevention is better than cure, so let us walk with potential victims by taking the earlier step of disaster prevention and mitigation.

Joy at receiving aid, but the fight does not end here.

Related information

Hazard is something natural or manmade that can cause danger, loss or casualty, such as earthquake, flooding, storm, epidemic, war and economic crisis. A hazard itself does not form a disaster; a disaster is caused when hazard is coupled with environmental vulnerability.

Vulnerability is the inability of people to forecast or resist hazards and recover from them due to potential factors which can be economical (unstable livelihood / lack of credit facility), natural (deficiency in natural resources), constructional (flaws in construction designs / building on unstable slopes), personal (illiteracy / marginalised groups / chronic illnesses) and social (social unrest / bad leadership).

Disaster management includes a series of interrelated disaster risk reduction programs: disaster prevention and resistance, post-disaster rescue and recovery, and disaster mitigation. Disaster mitigation composes of long-term actions taken to reduce immediate and potential hazards and vulnerabilities so as to mitigate the impacts of disasters upon the community and the environment; actions include promoting disaster resistance education, improving social and environmental planning and advocating disaster resistance strategies.

This issue


Support CEDAR’s Disaster Management and Mitigation Works

A regular drill taken by post-disaster first aid volunteers

[ ‘SHARE’ Mar-Apr 2014 -Taking Precaution ] STEP INTO THE WORLD


CEDAR is currently carrying out disaster management and mitigation programmes through her partners in China, Bangladesh and India, helping residents of frequent disaster areas to increase their disaster prevention and resistance ability and to reduce potential threats. Programmes include:

  • Providing community representatives with skills enhancement on pre-disaster forecasts, disaster management, evacuation, post-disaster rescue and first aid;
  • Setting up volunteer teams for pre-disaster forecasts, evacuation, post-disaster rescue and first aid;
  • Setting up disaster management committees to assess the communities’ disaster vulnerability and resistance ability, and organise communities to take disaster prevention measures;
  • Sponsoring the improvement of communities’ disaster prevention facilities.

After attending a CEDAR’s disaster prevention training, a teacher from Sichuan says, ‘Apart from adding knowledge on disaster prevention and emergency evacuation, I have also learned how to relay disaster prevention information to my students in daily teaching.’ Now the school has regular evacuation drills, so should disaster come unexpectedly, teachers and students can respond calmly.

Please support CEDAR’s ‘Emergency Relief and Disaster Preparedness Fund’, enabling CEDAR and her global partners to promptly respond to disasters and help impoverished areas carrying out disaster prevention work.

Villagers record time and frequencies of disasters to plan prevention.

Donate Now! Click here.

Other Methods of Payment

  1. Cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
  2. Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
  3. Autopay (only applicable to regular fixed donations), enclosing with a completed Autopay Authorisation Form (Download: WORD or PDF)
  4. Visa/ Master Card

Download Donation Form

Please send a completed Donation Form, enclosing with cheque or pay-in slip, to CEDAR FUND, G.P.O. BOX 3212, HONG KONG.

Donation Form: WORD or PDF

[1] 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.
[2] Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
[3] Please DO NOT fax any donation information.

This issue


Why Sigh and Not Reduce Carbon Emission? | Tiffany

[ ‘SHARE’ Mar-Apr 2014 -Taking Precaution ] TAKING ACTION


Author> Tiffany Lam

When a disaster strikes, everything valuable seems to vanish in a moment. What can man do but sigh? You might think that the photo was taken from a landfill, but it is Basey, a picturesque and fertile land west of the Philippines with a thriving fishing industry.

Human beings seem to be very passive and can do nothing to avoid or control an unforeseen disaster. Disasters happening far-away seem surreal and irrelevant. But is it really true that we have no relation to the disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines in 2013, severe droughts and famines in East African countries in 2011, floods across South Asia in 2010, Africa’s droughts and floods in 2009, and the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008?

Human relationships with God, others and the earth are broken. Immeasurable destruction is caused by selfishness, naivety and greed when human exploit and thoughtlessly develop natural resources. Melting glaciers in the North Pole caused by global warming may take years to affect Hong Kong, but this is a grave matter for people living in low-lying lands. Residents of Basey told us, ‘Super Typhoon Haiyan causes massive destruction. In recent years, we, especially the coastal inhabitants, have been threatened by frequent flooding and what worse is the flood level gets higher every year – a mere “amber rain warning” can mean a rise of water level of over a meter.’

How do Christians respond to ecological imbalance and ever greater hardship of disadvantaged groups? CEDAR is holding her annual Carbon Fast during Lent so that Christians can through meditation and reflection renew their personal life and their relationship with God, individuals, communities and the earth. This year’s theme is ‘Reduce Carbon Emission ~ Share Our Love’, with an objective to show that our action is not merely a virtue or purely for preservation of environment, but should reflect external practice of our internal reflections, our belief turned into action, and real practices to care for our neighbours and faraway people who suffer from climate problems. Dear readers, rather than sighing over natural and manmade disasters, let us take positive action and reduce carbon emission. Carbon Fast 2014 awaits your participation!

‘Carbon Fast’ website:

Tiffany graduated from bible seminary and joined CEDAR last August, taking part in mobilising churches to practise Integral Mission. 

This issue