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The Lord Rules over All

Written by: Clara Chiu (Head of Partnership Development)

I recently heard a story about timelines in my church: A farmer prayed to the Lord for rain; otherwise, his rice harvest would fail due to a lack of water. At the same time, another person was repairing a barn’s roof, and he prayed to the Lord not to rain until the repair was completed. These two people prayed on different timelines of their lives.

Man does not know all, but the Lord does. Eventually, it rained that night after the roof was repaired. The rain did not interfere with the work but irrigated the rice in time. The Lord merged the two timelines to best respond to His children’s needs.

‘He has made everything beautiful in its time…no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

He has made everything beautiful in its time…no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

As CEDAR’s staff, we balance the financial situation of the organisation and the needs of the poor in different countries to allocate resources for disaster relief and community development projects. Our frontline partners submit project proposals to us according to the needs of the impoverished. And CEDAR’s supporters make regular or one-off donations according to their financial capacity. In these three distinct timelines, we plan and act differently according to our circumstances, needs, and the divine calling we receive from the Lord.

Even though we communicate with each other regularly (CEDAR informs our supporters of the news from the front line and conveys supporters’ messages to our local partners), it is challenging to perfectly synchronise the timing of all three parties involved: the impoverished in greatest need, CEDAR’s supporters making donations, and the smooth processing of funds to promptly assist the impoverished. The plan is not always satisfactory: Poor families are hungry, and their children are out of school; CEDAR’s fundraising efforts fall short of expectations, and bank remittances are hindered (the banking system in the countries we serve is often primitive); CEDAR’s regular supporters have reduced or even stopped giving due to immigration, retirement or financial pressures, or people are willing to give, but the amount and time of donation do not meet the immediate needs of the poor.

If our sight stays there, there will be a lot of stress or panic because we are only focused on our timeline. But the Lord rules over all, and He will merge the timelines and gather each’s actions at His best time – to make things beautiful in the Lord’s time.

CEDAR’s financial year begins in July and ends in June of the following year. Our staff start to discuss and prepare the budget for the new financial year around March and April every year. In December, the sixth month of the financial year, the budget is adjusted to align with the actual situation. In the face of the economic downturn, I lowered the budget for the whole year’s donation income in the past December, and even though March is the peak of the donation every year, I also lowered the budget donation amount for that month based on practical considerations.

But the story of timelines encourages me that, while adjusting the budget as it stands, we must not fix our eyes upon our timelines, and the Lord will always do what He wants with His mighty hand to help the poor. Even during challenging times, I have personally witnessed the remarkable provision of the Lord throughout my years of service at CEDAR Fund: when we are most worried about giving, the Lord has a way of touching the hearts of His faithful servants, inspiring them to share in faith and contribute to aiding the poor, regardless of their own financial circumstances.

Thankfully, the Lord does not dislike our ignorance, and despite all the limitations, we can still be instruments of the Lord and participate in His mission to love the poor. We implore you to respond in your timeline to serve the Lord and the poor when the Lord moves you. You are encouraged to join our poverty alleviation team through prayer, donation, and volunteering.

In His time, in His time, He Makes all things beautiful in His time – Hymn ‘In His Time’

In His time, in His time, He Makes all things beautiful in His time.

Hymn ‘In His Time’

May the Lord bless you and make every aspect of your life beautiful.

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  1. CEDAR is an approved charitable institution and trust of a public character under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Please visit Inland Revenue Department website for details.
  2. CEDAR Fund will issue a receipt for a donation of HK$100 or above for tax deduction. For a donation of less than HK$100, please get in touch with us to issue a receipt.
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