Trafficking in Persons Report Downgrades Thailand and Malaysia to Lowest Tier

[ePrayer – Pray for those people vulnerable to human trafficking]


In the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, the U.S. government has downgraded Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela to Tier 3, the lowest ranking of fighting against modern-day slavery. Ironically these 3 countries are among those that promote themselves as modern and fast-developing countries.

The report cites evidence of forced labour and sex trafficking in Malaysia and Thailand. It highlights Malaysia’s problem with migrants from other Asian nations who seek work on farms, factories and construction sites only to be trapped and have their passports taken and wages withheld.

In Thailand, according to the report, there are tens of thousands of migrants from neighboring countries being exploited in the commercial sex industry, on fishing boats, and as domestic servants. This downgrading could cause some multinational companies to reconsider investments in industries accused of using trafficked labour such as fisheries, which is a lucrative business in Thailand (Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of shrimp).

And in Venezuela, women and girls are often lured from poor interior regions to tourist centers with the promise of false job offers. When they arrive, they are often forced into prostitution.

More than 20 million people worldwide are believed to be ensnared in some form of forced labour, according to the International Labour Organisation. [TIP Report, CNN, CNBC]

Meditation on Scriptures:

‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ Proverbs 31:8-9

When we think that human trafficking is far from us, are we aware that the prawns we eat may be caught by the modern slaves working on the fishing boat, the clothes we wear may be sewed by the forced labourers in the factories, and the domestic workers in our society may be treated as slaves and with their wages withheld. They are voiceless and destitute. Will you speak up for them?

Pray for those people vulnerable to human trafficking:

  • Pray that the government of Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela will respond actively to their human trafficking issues;
  • Pray that God will rescue and heal those people who suffer from modern slavery;
  • Pray for good cooperation between nations and international NGOs, and for a comprehensive and feasible strategy to stop human trafficking.


After-quake Development in Yaan, Sichuan

[ePrayer – Pray for the After-quake Development in Yaan Sichuan]

Since April 2013, CEDAR has been responding to the need of quake affected areas in Yaan Sichuan, from dispatching relief materials during the initial stage of emergency relief, to the third phase of post-quake rebuilding that is happening currently. In this May, CEDAR’s staff travelled once again to the quake areas – Chengdu, Yaan, Lushan and Tianquan – to re-assess the need and to follow up on the progress of after-quake development project. Although one full-year has passed, the frontline aid workers continue to serve the quake victims faithfully and with the same enthusiasm. Their heart is not shaken even though the rebuilding seems far to complete.

Uncle Yan and his wife are among the first volunteers in Yuxi village. They have been taking part in the relief work since the very early stage. They live their lives with the victims, helping them to pluck tea leaves and repair their houses. They do all these things without any external help. They share with us, ‘We have gained so much in the last 12 months.’ What Uncle Yan treasures most is the relationship with the villagers that is cultivated with sweat and tears.

The after-quake lives are full of difficulties. The victims need to face many problems, such as repaying the loan for rebuilding their houses, the education need of their children, and the shortage of medical services in the quake areas. The gradual withdrawal of the emergency relief agencies makes things even worse. CEDAR’s partner Genuine Love (Zheng Xuan Gong Yi, ZXGY) is one of the NGOs still rendering service in the quake areas, providing trauma counseling and education service, setting up parents’ self-help groups, taking care of the left-behind children, and visiting sponsored orphans and widows and poor households. Genuine Love aims and prays that not only physical infrastructure is re-built, but the victims regain their hope and faith, eventually restoring the relations with all people around.

In the quake areas, many victims incur a heavy loan in order to rebuild their houses. Unfortunately there are many elderly who are so poor and not qualified for a loan, so reluctantly living with their houses not repaired. They could only use plastic colored sheets or bamboo battens to cover up or support the damages, making them extremely pitiful. The volunteers of Genuine Love have visited them and given them some food, but many of their basic living needs are still unmet and will need close follow-up.

Pray for After-quake Development in Yaan Sichuan:

    1. More human and development resources are needed during the current rehabilitation stage, especially in those places without water, such as Weita, Shifeng and Cizhupo, where further assessments are waiting to be done. May our God provide in His way.
    2. The difficult terrain of Shuangshi Town hinders the rebuilding process and progressof poor households is extremely slow. Pray that God will specially take care of the left-behind elderly and provide for their basic needs.
    3. May God provide and train up more local people to take part in the after-quake development for being self-reliant.
    4. Pray that the school aid project will help many students and youth in continuing their education.

Relief Donation

  • Cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
  • Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
  • Visa/ Master Card (Download donation form)
  • Online donation

(Please mark “Sichuan Yaan Earthquake Relief”)

[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.

Contact Method

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CEDAR’s Relief and Rehabilitation Work in Past:
CEDAR Approach on Relief and Rehabilitation:


Behind Brazil World Cup

[ePrayer – Pray for the impoverished communities in Brazil]


Brazilian street artist Paulo Ito crystallizes Brazillian’s frustration over the World Cup event: A hungry child sits with his eating utensils at the dining table, cries when his plate comes bearing not food but a soccer ball.

All people around the world are earnestly looking forward to the kickoff of Brazil World Cup 2014 on 12 June. However, behind the Event, apart from the subway train strikes that hit the newspaper headline recently, the desperate situation of local slums, ongoing unresolved livelihood issues and corruption seen at all levels demand our attention.

Brazil ranks the world’s seventh biggest economy and is even the biggest one in South America, but ironically is also at the top of the list of income disparity. Local communities have always been suffering from chronic poor education, shortage of medical service, unsafe living environment and corruption. Although in the last 5 years the Brazilian government has continuously increased the expenditure on education, medical care, housing and social assistance, the Brazilians are frustrated at their government spending $13 billion in hosting this year’s World Cup event.

To ensure a safe environment for the World Cup event and its travelers, the Brazilian police has set up a special task force since 2008 to clear up drug trafficking and triad activities in the slums of the major cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Their actions seems effective and the security seems improving, but the drug dealers are in fact still active on the sly. Most slum residents feel even more unsafe with the way how the police uses their power. Police can shoot anyone they suspect, including the civilians and the innocent children.

After the World Cup, Brazil will continue to prepare for her next hosting event, Rio 2016 Olympics. Pray that Brazilian government will actively respond to the basic demands of her people, improve their living conditions and the environment in the slum areas, and seriously attend to the corruption widely seen in the country. [The Financial Times,, The Washington Post]

Meditation on Scriptures:

‘Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labour. He says, “I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.” So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red.’

‘Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?’ declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 22:13-16)

Brazilians love to play soccer, but the slum residents living in dire straits even yearn more for better living condition, better education and safer living environment. May we not forget the need of the marginalised communities in Brazil while we enjoy the tournaments. That is what it means to know the Lord, our God.

Pray for the impoverished communities in Brazil:

  • May Brazilian government respond to the different demands of people on better living and labour rights;
  • Pray for God’s protection and peace to the slum residents;
  • Pray that God will stop the abuse of power by police. Pray that the police will enforce with love and justice.

May God Lead the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Work in Haiti

[ePrayer – Pray for the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project in Haiti]


After the magnitude 7.0 earthquake of 2010 in Haiti, the capital Port-au-Prince faced severe devastation.  Many people moved to other cities for better opportunities or returned to hometowns for re-starting their new lives.  Port-de-Paix, the city located in the northwest region, has seen a large population growth since the earthquake, but is in fact situated in one of the highest earthquake risk areas.

The poor sanitation systems and damaged drainage canals created major hygiene problems leading to the spread of common diseases and even the outbreak of cholera in the fast-growing communities, jeopardizing the lives of many. The unregulated construction of new homes has increased the risk of landslides, flooding and future earthquake fatalities.

Recently, CEDAR’s partner World Concert Haiti (WCH) has been working on a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project in Port-de-Paix and Anse-a-Foleur, both located in the northern region of Haiti.  WCH is retrofitting a school and a church hall into evacuation centres and repairing some damaged canals for improving the water supply and hygiene environment in these places.  More than 50 volunteers are trained in familiarization of early disaster warning system. It’s estimated that 25,000 earthquake and hurricane affected individuals will be benefited from the DRR work in this project.

Pray for the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project in Haiti:

  • Pray for the disaster risk reduction work including construction of flood canal and retrofitting of a school and a church hall into evacuation centres.   
  • May the Lord grant more wisdom to the staff of WCH for smooth negotiation with the government officials concerning the re-development arrangement.
  • May the Lord have mercy on the people in Haiti and provide them with improved living environment. Pray for God’s provisions to those who have lost their homes and those who are still suffering from the damage caused by the earthquake.     

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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.