(Karen Mak, a CEDAR’s Supporter)
Karen, who resides in Australia, always pays a visit to CEDAR’s office whenever she returns to Hong Kong, even for a short stay. Last year, Karen came to the office again with two huge bags of Australian snacks. She chatted with us like chatting with old friends. We jumped at the opportunity and invited her to share with us her reasons of persistent support to CEDAR over the years.
“People in developing countries have very different conditions than those in developed countries. We cannot use methods adopted in developed countries to help those in developing countries,” said Karen.
Although Karen lives in Australia, her heart has always been with ministries of Hong Kong’s organisations. She started supporting CEDAR in the 90’s. Two decades of support to CEDAR’s ministries was out of her identification with the Organisation’s approach in poverty alleviation, she said, “Through providing impoverished communities livestock, agriculture training, and mircro-loans, CEDAR assists them to be self-sustainable. CEDAR enhances communities’ capability and equip them with skills to change their lives.”
Karen believes that God has given each of us necessary talents, ability, and local resources, same applies to the poor. She appreciates CEDAR’s role as a facilitator instead of a giver in poverty alleviation work. She recognises that helping the poor to own livelihood skills and utilise their available resources is the right way to relieve them from poverty in the long run.
In retrospect of her life, Karen did not receive university education, but she grasped and worked very hard on every God-given opportunity, that she earned enough to care for her family and share with neighbours afar. Her generosity is rooted in her understanding of her role as God’s steward: What she owns does not belong to her but God. “God provides people with wealth not for their own enjoyment. He entrusts money and time to us that we have to think how to use them well,” shared Karen.
Karen is right, that everyone shall be a good steward and share our possessions. “When one lives in poverty, he is living in hunger and thirst. And if we merely share the Gospel with him, he will unlikely hear the good news.” Karen believes that when believers serve the poor with faith, the poor can see God’s compassion and love through our acts of faith.
Like what James 2:14-16 writes, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” May our Holy Spirit always reminds us to walk in God’s heart with faith!