“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
(Updated on 30th August,2019)
Many countries in South Asia have been inundated during the monsoon season this year. Although the rain has eased up in some of the hardest stricken areas and water levels have subsided, up to 22 July, over 650 people had been killed and over 10 million had been displaced. In light of the severity of the disaster, CEDAR provided a grant of US$60,000 (around HK$470,000) to our Christian partners in India, Bangladesh and Nepal to provide emergency relief to the victims in the region. CEDAR would like to ask all of you for donations to support disaster victims to overcome the adversity.
(Starry sky in a Thai-Myanmar border town)
(CEDAR’s note: The writer, Dr Ho Shun Yee, joined CEDAR’s Exposure Trip to the Thai-Myanmar border towns and the northern regions in Thailand at the end of last year. In this article, Dr Ho shares her experience and thoughts about the tour. CEDAR will host another in-depth tour to Bangladesh to visit the poverty-stricken communities. For more information, please visit: http://cedarfund.org/trip/)
In mid-December 2018, more than ten of us from CEDAR arrived at the Thai-Myanmar border – a place that turned out to be quite different from the land of orchids, Thai silk, massages and water fights that most people would have in mind when the place is mentioned. There were cloud-shrouded mountains and singing streams, but what we heard was a song of a thousand sorrows from the border towns. Yet, in a way, it was also a song of hope.
(CEDAR’s Project Officer Pui Shan visits a Rohingya family in Cox’s Bazar. The mother, who gave birth to a newborn baby, heard about infant vaccination service during regular household visit conducted by community health workers.)
While strolling through a muddy and dusty field, CEDAR’s Project Officer Pui Shan saw rows of tents sitting next to each other that were simply built by timber and canvas.
There is an uneven distribution of food in the world. There is a huge amount of surplus food in the rich countries that are thrown away every day. In the report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN published in 2011, 1/3 of food fit for human consumption was wasted away, totaling 1.3 billion tonnes. But in the poor countries, many people struggle to have enough food, or suffer from under-nutrition.
[ePrayer – Pray for CAR]
Recent conflict has left thousands dead and 800,000 people homeless in Central African Republic (CAR), while 250,000 fled to neighbouring countries–Cameroon, Chad, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than half the population, about 2.5 million people, are in urgent need of food, water, sanitation and healthcare.
The latest chapter in CAR’s history of violence dated its cause in December 2012, when Seleka – a coalition of predominantly Muslim rebel forces – was formed, and it eventually brought the president Francois Bozizé down from power in March 2013. Under the governance of Michel Djotodia, who is the leader of Seleka claimng himself the President of CAR between March 2013 to January 2014, rebellion and waves of lawlessness are seen, and in the absence of police and other state security forces, the largely Christian population in villages across the north has to form self-defence units called ‘anti-balaka’.
A lady seeking refuge in a Catholic sanctuary told her story, that Seleka forces came and razed her entire village, murdering her husband, slashing other family members with a machete and killing five of her neighbours. However, the self-defence units are no less vicious that the former rebels. ‘The anti-balaka came and attacked our house at 5am. They caught my husband on the veranda and sliced him on the head, the side, and the back with a machete when holding him’, another lady added.
A new interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza, was elected in January 2014 and has called on all sides to show their support for the interim administration by laying down their arms.
Tearfund UK, a member of Integral Alliance*, told us that the needs are just overwhelming. ‘The people are trying to survive from these horrific experiences against the historical context of very high vulnerability due to chronic poverty, marginalisation, neglect and exploitation. Needs for clean water and sanitation, healthcare, food security, shelter and protection are real and immense. Trauma is widespread thus psycho-social needs are huge given the recent gratuitous violence. There is and will be a need for peace-building and reconciliation at all levels of this now deeply fractured society, pointing to a need for long term engagement for real change and transformation.’ [Tearfund UK(1), Tearfund UK(2), IRIN(1), IRIN(2), IRIN(3),]
Meditate on Scriptures:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ Matthew 6:9b-10
If you were born in the midst of war and conflict, and if you witnessed, even suffered from violence and cruelty, would you stay or go?
If you hear about the devastations caused by warfires and are told about the dire state where the masses there are in, will you do something or not?
We often pray, ‘May your kingdom come!’ but have we prepared ourselves to participate in this heavenly project? Let us continue praying, ‘May your kingdom come’ but at the same time prepare ourselves to participate in it, in prayer as well as action!
Pray for CAR:
- Pray for Catherine Samba-Panza, the new Interim President of CAR, for wisdom, protection, perseverance and a good team around her as she starts working for peace.
- Pray that the women and girls would be kept safe, especially those who are vulnerable to sexual assaults, those who staying in their homes, and those who are now living with thousands of others in the refugee camps.
- Pray for security, insight, wisdom and deep peace to the frontline workers of Tearfund UK and other aid agencies in the midst of crisis.
- Pray that the international community will keep its promise to ensure the continuation of humanitarian and peacekeeping work in CAR, so that the vulnerable can be protected and peace be restored.
* Integral Alliance is a global alliance comprising of 19 Christian relief and development agencies, working together to deliver a more effective response to poverty worldwide. CEDAR is one of the member agencies.