Written by Winnie Fung (Board Member of CEDAR Fund, Academic Head of Lumina College)
‘Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy… Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…’ (Deuteronomy 5:12-14)
[ePrayer – Pray for the poor and marginalised people]
A UN report outlining a new framework to build on the anti-poverty targets known as the MDGs was written to drive five major transformational shifts, including a transition from ‘reducing’ to ‘ending’ extreme poverty, leaving no one behind; putting sustainable development at the core of the development agenda; and forging a new global partnership based on cooperation, equity and human rights. The new framework focuses on assisting the poorest and most marginalised, a disproportionate number of whom are women, and puts reducing disaster risk centre stage in the Post-2015 Development Agenda debate. The report said no one is more vulnerable than people in poverty to face challenges by desertification, deforestation and overfishing and these are less able to cope with floods, storms, and droughts. Natural disasters can pull them into a cycle of debt and illness, to further degradation of the land, and a fall deeper into poverty. [UN News]
Pray for the poor and marginalised people :
Pray for global partnership for achieving anti-poverty targets after 2015;
Pray that people in poverty can be empowered to adapt and cope with natural disasters.
[ “SHARE” Jul-Aug 2012 – What Has Poverty to Do with Me? ] TAKING ACTION
Each visit would make me feel confused and embarrassed about my identity as a Christian.
Every time we meet, Old Man A would ignore all my questions and repeat his same old story; Old Man B is a man of few words and we try constantly to start a new topic of conversation; Old Man C keeps on asking about “Scheme $6000”.
Nothing new ever comes out of the visits and our presence seem to cause annoyance. But when we say goodbye, their response is always, ‘Thank you for visiting today.’
These aged ex street-sleepers may have a past that is too painful to recall, or they may have become awkward with conversations because they rarely talk to strangers, yet deep down they yearn for some attention – they cherish even the most trivial chats for they feel loving care from others.
For me, used to living an ever-changing material life, it has not been easy to adjust quickly to or speak kindly to elderly people living in hardship. I may express willingness with my mouth but feel challenged in my heart. Time passes and the once-poor generation of believers has now become more prosperous and the church is becoming middle-class. Thus when a group of well-off Christians like us get together, invisible walls come up which separate us from the world beyond. When the church is happy to stay within the walls, who will look after the lonely and the helpless in the society?
In contrast, Jesus walked with the marginalised and lived among them. Thus the Word became flesh and lived among us. Yet, when we worship and sing ‘Holy! Holy!’ do we understand why Jesus was born, or know what He did while He was in the world?
I fervently hope one day when a street-sleeper comes into our gathering, we will not be offended by him and reject him for what he wears or how he behaves, because whatever we do for one of the least of these brothers, we do for the Lord.
Since mid-2010, CEDAR joined the Salvation Army in a “street-sleepers visit project”, taking note of the street-sleepers’ needs through regular visits. 28 participants are divided into small groups and regularly visit 15 street-sleepers or former street-sleepers. Willis is one of the participants.
TAKING ACTION introduces CEDAR’s education and advocacy activities in Hong Kong; through participants’ sharing encourages believers to take action and practise their faith.