Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In 1814, Napoleon lost and Paris fell; in 1914, World War I started; it’s now 2014 and humans still have yet to learn from history. There are people being plunged into an abyss of misery and our land is beset by war. From the news and messages circulating on online communication media, people are extremely concerned about the brutalities of ISIS, an extremist Islamic organisation in Iraq. Children and civilians are killed or forced to leave their home in great fear. The world has no idea how to bring this to an end.
The calamities of war are too ghastly for the eyes; the historic Israeli-Palestinian enmity causes endless fire and violence in the Gaza Strip, the investigation of the “shooting down” of Malaysian MH17 has yet to start, the conflicts among countries in the Pacific Ocean over vested interests are increasingly serious along with competition over military strength.
And there are more! An earthquake hit Ludian County in Zhaotong, Yunnan, causing serious damages in the impoverished mountainous area where relief assistance has difficulty to reach; Ebola virus has killed over one thousand lives in Africa….
Our world is full of man-made calamities, natural disasters and plagues. In 2014, when the people of Hong Kong are actively debating whether we should “Occupy Central”, there are countless people on the other side of the world struggling between life and death. Nowadays, we seem to live in an extraordinary era, however, this “extraordinary era” maybe is just a “big chaos” created by the stupidity of human race.
Some of my friends asked me, “Will your coworkers in CEDAR feel frustrated and become insensitive with time?” My view is if we only rely on what is reported on the news to understand our world, we will for sure be inclined to think very negatively. However, one working in the frontline will strongly feel the enormous power in a real life. When one is in a desperate situation, one will surely experience the strength, the moral values and love given by God. God has never forsaken us! After the quake in Ludian County, there is a village head named Mr. Xu leading over 30 farmers to take part in the relief work. He came from Yiliang County, the place hit by a serious earthquake two years ago. At that time CEDAR in partnership with local churches provided relief assistance in Yiliang. Mr. Xu has personally experienced the same difficulty but with love and caring. Today, he devotes himself to help those in need.
The situation in Iraq is desperate with the Yazidis, Christians, Turkmens, Shabaks and Shiite Muslims all being the persecuted targets. Now there are different organisations including Integral Alliance (CEDAR is one of its member agencies) working very hard trying to gather more information from all sources in order to work out a feasible relief plan. We need to keep them in prayers every day, praying that God will make a way for them out of the dark valley.
Let us be a disciple in this extraordinary era and a brave warrior of the Kingdom of God! We ask if you would continue to walk with us, to donate and to pray for our suffering friends in Yunnan, Iraq and other places in the world!
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life… and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life….” (Deuteronomy 30: 19-20)
Your co-worker in Christ,
CHAN Nim Chung