In His earthly days Jesus the Word became flesh and travelled through towns and villages; with love, grace and truth He preached the good news of the heavenly kingdom, healed the sick and had compassion on the lonely and despondent. As Christ’s disciples, we also ought to read both the bible and the newspaper (quoting John Stott), so that while we seek to understand the Truth we may also keep our eyes open to the world’s needs.
Over the past few years CEDAR has sought to facilitate ‘show and tell’ where, through practice and participation, believers reflect on the question of ‘walking with the poor’ and learn about ‘words become flesh’. In this issue of Voice some students and believers who joined our ‘show and tell’ events tell us how each experience has sown a seed that has brought changes to their lives.
We do not have one single poverty relief formula for dealing with impoverishment and disasters. CEDAR staff Lawton believes that help for the poor may be more appropriate if development projects are modified according to each individual community’s unique situation.
A concern for the poor begins with a compassionate heart, and walking with the poor requires a lifetime of learning and practising.
Author> Ho Man Leung, Lawton, Assistant to Chief Executive
I joined CEDAR five years ago after graduating from theological school in 2008.
Actually, CEDAR was not a stranger to me. In the 1990s while I was working as a lawyer I began receiving CEDAR’s newsletters and got to know this Christian poverty relief agency – not a large scale one but actively doing meaningful ministry! I recall years ago the severe winter in Qinghai killed a large number of livestock, and responding to CEDAR’s call for help I and my then young daughters donated towards buying some yaks for the local farmers. This was both an expression of our loving care for the victims and my way to set an example for my children!
Since I started working at CEDAR, I got to know the organisation’s work and ethos better. I discovered that many development concepts are behind the poverty relief works. For example, the sustainability of a project means that we need to help the poor in such a way that ultimately they become self-sufficient. However, locations differ in circumstances, economy, culture, environment, communication and government policy, and these may prevent a project from achieving its goal and in the end some needs are unmet. Should a poverty relief project be stopped because it fails to meet a target or should adjustments be made according to regional factors? Obviously the latter will bring more appropriate help to the poor!
Under good governance, it would be proper to follow set standards and systems, and projects that fail to meet targets should be terminated. We see in the news how government departments also determine whether matters are handled correctly according to procedural proper. In a grand system such as one operated in the government, ‘procedural proper’ may be an appropriate standard, but on second thought I feel that there is insufficiency in ‘procedural proper’. Procedures are set to handle matters better with the hope of meeting targets. If the system is faulty, then even strict adherence to it will not lead to expected results. Some flexibility that is aimed towards the target will prevent confusing means with ends!
Directors and staff at CEDAR also pay attention to the requirements of good governance. Let us always have the presence of the Lord’s Spirit, to maintain the standards of good governance and live out our God-given vision and mission in our ministry!