As Lent is coming to an end this year, it’s our hope to have aided you in the journey of loving God, one another, and the land with this “Reconciling with the Land” ePrayer series, through the promotion of mindful uses of resources and ending our habits that would exploit the environment God has given us. However, taking care of the land is not a festive activity! We shall never neglect the consequences of our actions on the environment at any given time, no matter how busy we might be. Our partner, SATHI, and the slum community in Bangladesh, set an example for us in loving the land daily.
It is not hard to imagine the squalid environment in the slums where trash, sewage, and odour are prevalent and detrimental to the people’s livelihoods and health. We support SATHI’s community project in a slum in Dhaka. Through training grassroots leaders, the project helps empower the poor to improve their living condition and become self-sufficient. One of the project focus is to improve the living environment of the community with practical actions that include:
- Each household contributes 20 Taka (HK$2) per month to hire trash dumping services;
- Youths are responsible for cleaning the community once per quarter;
- The use of plastic bags is discouraged;
- Community is in contact with the city council to help keep sewage system unclogged;
It is touching to see the residents in the slum working together for a better environment. Although they struggle to provide for their family of seven (the average household size of the community) and earn a meagre income, they recognise the importance of taking care of the environment and choose to collaboratively improve community hygiene with what they have.
SATHI and the slum community’s example is a reminder to us who live in Hong Kong and work day and night for a living. Although we are often swarmed with obligations, the responsibility to reconcile with the land is a Godly mission, an inevitable part of a believer’s life. Living condition is not an excuse for any of us to run away from fulfilling this mission.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Luke 16:10-13)
This passage reminds us that we should not put following God’s way below the pursuit of wealth, that we should instead infuse in every aspect of our lives the mission given by Him and stay faithful to it. We pray that everyone of us could make the mission to Reconcile with the Land a part of his/her life.
You might have been too busy to read the previous ePrayers in the series or to follow the suggested actions. This week, we encourage you to:
- Set aside a time within the week to pray for your love for God, for each other, and for the land;
- Reflect on the suggested actions that you carried out in the past few weeks and see if there’s anything you could improve on;
- Revisit the past few ePrayers and cement in you the mission to Reconcile with the Land.
We encourage you to take ownership of the problem and donate to CEDAR and its partners in Asia and Africa who faithfully bring about the reconciliation of the land through eco-friendly agricultural projects and community hygiene projects.
Dear Heavenly Father, thanks for reminding us through Your words and the works of SATHI and the people in the slum, that we should not neglect Your mission because of our busyness. Pray that you would create in us a heart that seeks reconciliation, so that we would be God-loving, people-loving, and land-loving models in every aspect of our lives.
We pray for your blessings upon SATHI’s work as CEDAR is supporting their project in another slum which helps the crowded small community to set up earthquake and fire alert and response system. We pray that the project could lead the younger generation by empowering them to exercise their rights, and pray that they would grow in their wisdom, their accountability to the community, and their positive communications with their elders. We pray that the young generation could lead the community as a whole to improve their livelihoods.