“We are ‘doing gospel’, not only ‘spreading gospel’. Through our witness indeed, more people can receive the bread of life from the Lord through food assistance,” said by the representative of the Church on The Rock Yan Shing Church
(Theit Theit Shwee sewing face masks made by cloth [photo from CEDAR’s partner])
“Kacha…Kacha…” Theit Theit Shwee, a woman from the slum area of Myanmar, sat in front of a sewing machine and sewed the fabric. She carefully wrapped the two white bands and sewed them with the fabric and finished making a three-layer cloth mask. This has been her daily job, making cloth masks with other women in the community center of CEDAR’s partner.
[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2019 ] LEARN A LITTLE MORE
Written by: Edward Lai
The pandemic makes us realise the importance of having a sound medical system, which does not only require sufficient medical personnel, but also a stable supply of medicine.
Lebanon has been identified as a priority country in the United Nations’ COVID-19 GlobalHumanitarian Response Plan.
As the country that has the highest per capita proportion of refugees in the world, Lebanon has taken in 1.5 million Syrian and 200,000 Palestinian refugees, who currently make up more than 30% of the country population. The exponential growth of refugees in Lebanon has put the already fragile medical system under pressure. The outbreak of COVID-19 further places enormous burden on its medical services, brining them to the verge of collapse.
|The World Health Organisation has warned that COVID-19 may never go away. This means that there may not be an end to the fight against this disease. If that is the case, how can we adapt the strategies of our international poverty relief programmes to make them more effective in helping the destitute? Do we need to change the economic development pattern which has long been taken as “normal”? As part of the Christian community, how should we continue to care for the poor and defend their dignity?|
Medical workers treated the sick after putting on their personal protective equipment (Photo from CEDAR’s partner)
“For poor places, [the spread of COVID-19] implies calamity.”
‘The Next Calamity’, The Economist, 28th March
Globalisation has made it impossible for any one country to avoid the risk of being affected by contagious diseases. When there is a pandemic, developed countries can still make use of their resources to procure pandemic prevention materials. They can also utilise their financial reserves to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on their medical systems and economies.
For many poor and densely populated developing countries, their medical systems were already vulnerable even before the pandemic and there had always been a lack of social welfare. When this pandemic of the century strikes, its impact on societies and people’s livelihoods are disastrous, as noted by the Economist.
The reality is that the first sign of disaster has already appeared.
Collection of face masks, photo taken at CEDAR’s office
Not long prior to the crucifixion of Jesus, He taught a parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). It was about staying alert and preparing well for the return of the Lord. Just looking at this parable literally, I wonder why the five foolish virgins did not bring along a little more oil. Certainly, parable is a parable, the key is the main message and not the details.
In reality, waiting can be an almost endless thing. Taking the recent global spread of the novel coronavirus as an example, at the time of writing, it is still not clear when it is likely to come to an end. In the face of this situations, people can easily get stressful or even depressed as we do not see any light in the tunnel. In the story of ten virgins, they fell asleep due to long waiting times. Indeed, we could easily drift off if we just sit there and wait. Hence, how can we stay awake and enthusiastic?