Walk with Myanmar Students Being in Storms

[ePrayer – Pray for Children Ministry in Myanmar]

Hot summer is soon approaching. The children living in the compound of CEDAR’s partner Full Moon were excited one day and expressed their wish to their teacher: ‘We really want to go and play in Chung Thar Beach…’ The teacher is puzzled because it’s a long way journey from Full Moon to Chung Thar Beach and accommodation will be required on the way. Full Moon is operating on tight financial resources and who can afford to pay for all these expenses?

Though the dream of these children cannot be realized, those in grade 8 to 11 will have the opportunity to learn English from the Bible stories during this summer vacation. They will also learn how to grow Roselle, green beans and corns in farms. Part of the harvest will serve as food, and the rest be sold in market. The children will learn how to make a living with their own hands, and also enjoy the fun in farming.

Teachers in Full Moon told us, ‘Each student here has his/her own story that touches people’s hearts…’ The three children in the photo are brothers and sisters of one single family, and are the cyclone victims in 2008. They lost contact with their family and have stayed in Full Moon Compound for six years since then. Only recently that they learnt that their mother is still alive and our partner’s staff is now making all the necessary arrangements so they can see each other at the end of this April. However the mother works in farms and can barely support herself. She is also in the recovery phase of her mental health issues. Thus the 3 children will continue to stay in the compound until fully grown up.

Full Moon experiences God’s providence in spite of their financial constraints all these years. The children in Full Moon Compound also experience God’s healing and comfort in spite of their suffering during childhood. Are you willing to walk with them and experience God’s amazing work together?

‘He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.’ (Deuteronomy 10:18-19) God summoned the Israelites to care for the poor communities with empathy. This is because the Israelites should understand how the poor feel since they were once foreigners in Egypt and thus should know how to walk with the poor. May we learn from them and be willing to walk with those in less advantage than us, give them more of our love and pray harder for them.

CEDAR’s local partner Full Moon, founded in 1997, looks after children and orphans from conflict areas, as well as committed to giving them training so they can become church leaders after grown up and effect changes in their communities. Today many of these children have become teachers, nurses, skilled farmers, technicians and community workers, contributing to the societies using their skills given by their Heavenly Father. 

Pray for Children Ministry in Myanmar:

  • May God provide the hostel with enough uniforms, water-resistance materials and cabinets since there is an increase in the number of students when the new school term starts;
  • Pray for the erection of a door or protection wall in front of the hostel’s library as the library is always badly affected when there are torrential rains;
  • All those volunteers in Full Moon have served for over 15 years and may our Lord continue to strengthen them in the coming days so their commitment will not die off. Also pray for more volunteers in Full Moon so the team will be more resourceful in serving the increasing needs.

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.

Look Forward to Further Food Aid Reform in Future

[ePrayer – Pray for the World]


Efforts to improve the distribution of international food aid amounted to roughly US$2 billion each year by the US Government achieved some successes in the recently enacted Agriculture Act of 2014 – commonly referred to as the Farm Bill – but the food aid mechanism used by the world’s largest donor continues to be driven by the needs of US commercial interests.

The positives are: a pilot project taken in the 2008 Farm Bill aiming to test the feasibility of local and regional procurement of food aid during emergencies has been transformed into a regularised programme that results in $80 million of local and regional procurement (LRP) each year. The new Farm Bill also increases the percentage of funding that can be spent on non-emergency components in the largest food aid programme, Food for Peace, from 13 to 20 percent, so more funds can be spent with cash-based resources or commodities rather than through the much-criticized vehicle of monetised food aid.

These are important developments. But the Farm Bill still fell well short of providing USAID with flexibility to use cash, vouchers or LRP where those would be the most appropriate food assistance tools. The main US food aid programme still remains legislatively restrictive in demanding that commodities be bought in the US and shipped from the US (at least half of the cargo must be on US flag vessels). This causes needless waste and delay without generating much benefit to the US economy.

The modest reforms of the Farm Bill are hopeful intimations of things to come. NGOs trust that this is actually the beginning of a reform conversation.

Meditation on Scriptures:

‘When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.’ Deuteronomy 24: 19-22

Deuteronomy 24 teaches us to leave what remains for the poor. May we follow the teaching of Deuteronomy, to donate, share and care individually or as group for the need of the poor alone.

Pray for the world:

  • May the donor nations and NGOs put the need of the poor and disaster victims as the top priority in allocating the aid resources;
  • Pray that all governments and international aid agencies will continue to collaborate closely together to improve the existing relief and aid operation so more effective and appropriate assistance can be provided to the impoverished and suffered communities.

The Letter from CEDAR | April 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

‘Spitting is disgusting and will be subject to a penalty of HKD 2,000.’ After years of hygiene education, Hong Kong people have learnt the importance of keeping our city clean. Whether it is for promoting health or securing life, or for minimizing the economic loss, or for effective allocation of medical resources, ‘prevention superior than cure’ is the obvious principle behind. Similarly when facing the destructive disasters, there are measures to mitigate and resist the impact and damages caused by natural and human hazards. Ironically, human hazards are usually the most destructive power in a disaster.

Continue reading The Letter from CEDAR | April 2014

Continue to Bring Hope and Transformation to Children in Bangladesh

[ePrayer – Pray for Children Ministry in Bangladesh]


Tanjila Akter, aged 19, is living in a village of Netrokona district, Bangladesh. With limited access of transportation, the literacy rate is relatively low in this area. Though Tanjila’s parents understood the importance of education, her father wanted to pull her out from school after she completed her secondary school education due to tight financial resources in their family. With the help of CEDAR partner PARI, Tanjila successfully convinced her father to allow her for higher education. Under PARI’s Community Adolescent Development Programme (CADP), Tanjila continued her study, sat for the Higher Secondary Certificate Exam, and obtained the highest score GPA 5 (A+) in the examination. She is the only student scored A+ in the college. Everyone is excited and happy with her results.

Tanjila was just one of the successful stories in the villages of Bangladesh. PARI has spent much efforts in the last few years in promoting civil education and it is very encouraging to see some solid change in the mindset of parents, religious leaders and those living in the remote villages. More adolescents including girls are now able to receive education. Through education, adolescents are more aware of the negative impact of early marriage. PARI witnesses a noticeable drop in early marriage cases and thank God for this improving situation.

CEDAR is also concerned about the kids in the slum areas of Dhaka. As families living in the urban slum areas cannot afford to pay for the educational expenses of their children, many kids become illiterate and end up as child labour or street children, being forced into a poverty cycle forever. To tackle this issue, CEDAR supported another partner World Concern Bangladesh to run 20 schools including primary and pre-school education in slum areas and to provide trainings to teachers. The aim is to let these schools self-sustain in the long-run so more children will be benefited.

In early this year many schools in the slum areas of Dhaka were suspended due to political instability before the country election. The political situation has become more stable after the election and schools have restored to normal. To enable more children in Dhaka to receive education, CEDAR has doubled the funding for the slum project this year. We look forward to seeing a better living condition for the kids and their families in the near future.

Pray for Children Ministry in Bangladesh:

  • Give thanks to the Lord that the girls in the villages are empowered and able to receive education, and the number of early marriage cases is gradually reducing.
  • Pray that the adolescents in Bangladesh will be able to continue their studies in a safe environment.
  • Pray for more wisdom granted to our Bangladesh partners so they know how to provide better support to the impoverished groups.
  • May God bless Bangladesh with peace and political stability so that the local churches and organizations can continue their work to help those in need.

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.

Ukraine’s Political Crisis Putting People’s Health at Risk

[ePrayer – Pray for Ukraine]


The deteriorated health of Ukrainians probably get worsened because of the political crisis in the country.

Ukraine, once a Soviet socialist republic, became independent with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ukraine is in a very important strategic position to both Asia and Europe and thus has always been a significant and political base. Russian and American influences are particularly strong in the country. East Ukraine is mostly populated by Russian-speakers who believe in Orthodox Christianity and being in favour of Russia. West Ukraine is mostly populated by pro-European Ukrainian-speakers believing in Roman Catholicism. People staged fierce protests in last November at the President’s refusal to sign an EU association agreement. Deadly street conflicts resulted in multiple deaths in mid February this year.

Ukraine’s prime minister stepped down from power then and a pro-European new government started to rule the country in February. Pro-Russian forces began to gradually take control of the Crimean Peninsula, a Russian military base in South Ukraine. Over 95% of the voters in the Crimean referendum on 16 March support the move to join the Russian Federation and Russia immediately took an action and signed the reunification treaty with Crimea. European Union and United States strongly opposed this and imposed sanctions on Russia afterwards.

Russia, the dominant supplier of natural gas to Ukraine, threatened to withdraw discounts on natural gas from Ukraine in April. This will further weaken Ukraine’s economy and push the country over the brink into bankruptcy. United States, European Union and International Monetary Fund are now considering subsidies for Ukraine. Ukraine’s future is however still uncertain at least until the Presidential elections which will be held on 25 May 2014.

The health of Ukrainians has been profoundly affected by economy and politics. In the 1930s, Stalin’s collectivism of agriculture led to food shortages, and life expectancy in Ukraine fell briefly to record lows of 7 years in men and 11 years in women. World War II and the Stalinist repression in the late 1940s caused further setbacks. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, former Communist countries that developed reasonably functioning democracies see earlier and stronger life expectancy growth than those countries remaining under partly autocratic or partial democratic rule, such as Ukraine where life expectancy see no improvement only until 2005. In a recent analysis that compared the performance of 43 European countries in health policy areas, Ukraine is the worst of all.

Within Ukraine there is a clear east-west gradient, with western regions having lower mortality than eastern regions, suggesting that the Ukrainian health situation is largely determined by cultural backgrounds and positions. More specifically risk factors including smoking, alcohol, and lack of access to good quality health care account for the difference, other than the desperate economic situation. In late 1990s, people lived under absolute poverty in Ukraine rose to more than 30%.

The remedy of Ukrainian health recovery, therefore, is political change: a peaceful transition to full democracy, and the establishment of effective institutions that promote the public good. The outcome of the current struggle will determine whether this will happen or not. The new government in Kyiv needs to tackle money shortage and will likely require funding and support from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, etc. Yet these potential donors might be tempted to prescribe stringent austerity measures which will likely bring bad consequences for the Ukrainians. [TheLancet]

Meditate on Scriptures:

‘Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labour…’ Exodus 1:8-11

The change in a country’s government significantly influences the fate of its people. May God be in ultimate control in these leaders’ tactics, strategies and policies.

Pray for Ukraine:

  • Pray for the presidential elections in Ukraine which will be held on 25 May 2014. May it be an open and fair election, and a president who truly cares about people’s needs will be elected;
  • Pray for wisdom and mercy be given to the new government, that it knows and will be committed to introduce favorable policies for the well-being of its people and deliver the country out from its crisis;
  • Pray for improvement in the country’s health policies and systems, that the health and living of Ukrainians will be improved and protected.