1st June 2018
Dear Friends of CEDAR,
Have you ever experienced any instability in life?
From 2004 to 2011, my family somehow lived a life of nomads, as we had to move home for four times within seven years. Such frequent house-moves didn’t render us the luxury of settling down in the new environment. We felt like sojourners. Though this was not a pleasant experience, I saw it as a blessing from God, as it allowed me to get a taste of what the displaced people face.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are over 65.6 million displaced people worldwide today. This number is reaching record high. CEDAR has been helping refugees. In last few years, we have stepped up our refugee response in different parts of the world, like Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Bangladesh.
“Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9) This is the law God kept reminding the Israelites after they left Egypt. Literally, this and similar verses (such as Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:10, 33-34; and Titus 1:8) speak of believers’ duty in caring for the displaced people or sojourners. However, the message also revealed a phonemenon that men tended to fall in the trap of becoming the oppressor after being oppressed. There were plenty examples in human history, and terrorism was one. Today, there is a popular Cantonese saying called “glass heart” (meaning people who are highly sentimental and will get hurt easily). This “glass heart” condition is often one of the results of suffering from a long period of oppression; and overtime, it might develop into feud and hatred. To avoid falling into this trap, the key is forgiveness. Forgiveness brings peace. And peace is essential in resolving refugee displacement.
On top of financial support, the displaced people also need us to voice out for them in bringing about forgiveness and peace. 20th June is International Refugee Day. Let’s remember them in our prayers and speak for them in whatever opportunity God gives us!