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Vol. 10 No. 3
May/June 2006

A. Doors of Opportunity
B. Global Challenges
C. Mission Challenges
D. In Context
E. Love in Action
F. Global Prayer Focus


 
GOD'S PASSION ........ OUR CONCERN ?
Dr. Alton A. Gould
Chairman Emeritus
     For me as a youth, the missionary hymns of the early century stirred a vision and a desire to be used by God. The youthful prophet Isaiah, when hearing the call of God, replied, "Here am I, send me. "Saul of Tarsus lying on the dusty Damascus road cried out "Lord, what will you have me to do," The answer came, "it shall be told you what you must do" (Acts 9:6 KJV).

     God's Passion is that all people on the earth would know of Him, and that He will be exalted among the nations. Exalted in the earth! (Ps. 46; Is. 45)

     Nations were shocked with the destruction of Pearl Harbor when over 2400 were killed or the tragic gas leak in Bhopal, India which took over 10,000 lives. The whole world was in chaos with the World Trade Center bombing which brought sadness to around 2800 homes. Such disasters are unforgettable and unforgivable, but when we realize that 52,800 die daily without hope and without Christ, the loving heart of God is broken as He sees the lost: His Passion is that all would know and praise Him. What is our concern? What can we do about it? Heeding the Master's last request, our ECF Watchword is - EVANGELIZE!

     P.J. Owens, a school teacher, wrote the stirring words of "JESUS SAVES" for a missionary service. Boys and girls in the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar and Macau know about Jesus and have an opportunity to accept Him because so many care and share. The heart of the Christian Gospel is a person, not a church or a system of doctrinal interpretation. To evangelize is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ - His birth, death, resurrection as the reigning Lord. James McGranahan was inspired to write the words to "Go Ye Into All The World" which was widely used as a missionary challenge in great crusades of our Lord's final request "to go into all the world and share the good news with all creation." So many settle down in the comforts and security of church routines. Worldwide evangelization will become a reality only when God's Spirit renews the Christian personally with a vision and passion for the needs of a lost world to go and share ... to "evangelize"; to have a concern to reach out in love.

     Reginald Heber, who died ministering as a missionary in India, penned the message of how large the Lord's harvest field when he wrote "THE WORLD IS OUR MISSION." The noted writer John Oxenham wrote a script for a pageant delivered at a missions conference entitled "In Christ there is no east or west. " One clear teaching of God's Word is that the gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any race or culture. In the past, sad to say, missionary endeavors often imposed "western" culture on others while spreading the gospel, often putting national believers in bondage to another culture rather than to Christ and the Scriptures alone. Exposure and Evangelism are the two primary facets of ECF ministries: EXPOSURE to the world's heartache and EVANGELISM presenting Jesus Christ as the answer to that need.

     Truly, "we've a story to tell, a song to sing, a message to give; a Saviour to show." John Falconer expressed it thus: "I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out or inspire others to burn it out in lands filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light and for people who have never seen that Light or heard the Message. " This is the mandate of ECF INTERNATIONAL.

     Samuel Wolcott had a burning zeal for the spread of the Gospel and the spiritual needs of the world. A missionary to Syria, and challenged by the motto of the YMCA, "Christ for the World and the world for Christ" wrote "Christ for the world we sing " praying that Christians would have a worldwide vision for the entire world. The task facing us to evangelize our world presents a staggering challenge. Several billions are living on planet earth with about 2/3 still to be reached with over 1/3 destitute, lacking the basic necessities for survival.

     The ministry of ECF is to "proclaim to every people, tongue and nation that God in whom they live and move is love: a ministry of loving concern "to bind the bruised and broken, to work, to weep, to beat the burden of a weary world." May this thought move us from lethargy to evangelize wherever our paths may lead. "I have made you a light to the nations that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth ." (Acts 13:47) This is the mandate of ECF ... to bring salvation to the nations. Children in India hear the Gospel and get the opportunity for better living conditions, food, and an education because of ECF childcare sponsorship. The question: When are we going to stop talking about missions and do it?

     REACHING THE LOST - GOD'S PASSION .... IS IT OUR CONCERN ?




 
China Bible Exhibition
40 Million Bibles already Printed and Distributed in China ... still growing!
    The Grand Opening Ceremony of the China Bible Ministry Exhibition took place on April 27 (Thursday) 6:00pm at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, south of the City of Los Angeles, California. The Rev. Dr. Cao Shengjie, President of the China Christian Council together with Dr. Robert H. Schuller, Founder of the Crystal Cathedral, officiated the historic Opening Ceremony. Joining the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony were: Dr. Sterling Huston of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Dr. Jon Wallace, President of Azusa Pacific University; Mr. Michael Chang of The Chang Family Foundation; Mr. Bill Bogaard, Mayor of Pasadena; Ms. Betty Chu, Mayor of Monterey Park; Mr. Bill Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Orange County; Mr. Jianyong Jiang, SARA, Beijing, China; and Mr. Zhong Jian-hua, Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles.

    With the theme "A Lamp to my Feet, A Light to My Path," the exhibition is intended to foster understanding and dialogue between China and the U.S. As Bishop K.H. Ting, a leader in the Chinese Church says: "The Bible Unites Us." The exhibit conveys this theme through a variety of Bibles, extensive photographs, cultural objects, multimedia presentations, artistic works, traditional Chinese paintings, and cultural dances.

    Supporting the U.S. exhibitions is a group of dear friends of China including former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, Mrs. Ruth Bell Graham, Dr. Richard Mouw, Dr. Robert H. Schuller, Rev. Rick Warren, Dr. Michael Whyte, and a large group of Christian leaders.

    ECF International, under the leadership of its President, Dr. Paul Szeto, is part of the Host Committee in Southern California. ECF is responsible for all publicity and media relations of the entire event. Fourteen Chinese newspapers plus the L.A. Times and the San Diego Union Tribune covered this exhibition with extensive coverage and beautiful photos. Several TV and radio stations interviewed Rev. Cao and provided informative reporting. Thousands of people visited the exhibition and enjoyed the cultural performances, ethnic minority singing and dances.

    A Special "News Report Book" which contains all newspaper clippings of this exhibition was presented to Rev. Cao by Dr. Paul Szeto together with two DVD documentaries, produced especially for the historic event by the ECF Global Communication Center. Five thousand copies each of the DVDs were distributed as free gifts to all visitors to the exhibition. (Anyone who wishes to receive a set of these informative DVDs, please write to ECF International for remaining free copies.)

    May 2, 2006 was the "Enjoy China Friendship" Day sponsored by ECF. Hundred of visitors came throughout the day and the evening program was packed with supporters from various churches. The Witness Ministry Team under the directorship of Dr. Theodore Szeto performed with Special Music.

    This Bible exhibition has moved to Atlanta for a second show from May 19-24, 2006. Mr. Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President, is a great supporter of the exhibition in Atlanta and will officiate the Opening Ceremony. Then, the exhibition will travel to New York City for the third and final show from June 5-12, 2006. The TV Team from ECF's GCC will cover both events in Atlanta and New York City.

    For more information, visit www.bibleexhibition.org or call ECF International at 626/288-8828.



Rev. Cao welcomed by Dr. Schuller               Dr. Szeto with Michael Chang,
                                                                Rev. Ben Chan and Dr. Fred Messick


Ribbon cutting ceremony at the Crystal Cathedral


Ethnic Minority dancers from Yuennan, China         "Enjoy China Friendship" Day            
                                                                 sponsored by ECF


 

ENGLISH TRAINING PROGRAMS IN CHINA
Hangzhou, Zhejiang
     Two Mission Teams will be sent to Hangzhou YWCA to offer Creative English Conversation Classes to 60 village English teachers, ministers and middle school students. Team "A" runs from July 22 to August 6. Dr. Theodore Szeto is the leader of this team. Its members are Joanna Szeto, Maureen Durso and Molly Chang. Team "B" led by Donald Merkel with four members, namely, Sally Merkel, Sarah Dallman, Wesley Ong and Faye Ong, continues teaching the class from August 5 to 20.



Shijiazhuang, Hebei
     Under the leadership of ECF staff, John Ho and Rebecca Alvidrez, four university students from the U.S., Deke Wilkins, Michael Howell, Christina Fung, and Alex Wen, and two university students from the United Kingdom, Emily Henry and Julie Smith will travel to Shijiazhuang to hold English Conversation Summer Camp for 250 high school students at the 42nd Middle School from July 6 to 24.

     Please pray for these challenging missions. May the Gospel be heard and His name be glorified.



LOVE NEVER ENDS
     "Love Never Ends" is a series of TV Documentaries on the Church in China that focuses on six areas of Christian Body Life: Church Worship, Bible Ministry, Literature Publications, Social Service, Sacred Music, and Women's Ministry. It is a cooperative project between the Global Communication Center of ECF International in the USA and the China Christian Council/TSPM in China.

     The primary purpose of this partnership is to show the world that God continues to love China and the Chinese people despite the political, social, and cultural changes over the years. This is a "Faith Project" as each documentary is produced by faith, trusting God to provide all the wisdom and needs. So far, two DVDs have been produced: Number One is "A Lamp to my Feet, A Light to my Path." It is about the dynamic growth of the Church in China together with the rapid publication of the Bible. Number Two is "Shanghai Praise" which tells about the Moore Memorial Church, a famous church in Shanghai that has impacted China for over 130 years.

     If you would like to receive a copy of the Series, free of charge, please contact ECF International at 626/288-8828 or by email at info@ecfinternational.org. For more information, visit our website at www.ecfinternational.org.




 
R.S. Carlson




     With a population of nearly 65 million people, Thailand, earlier known as Siam, is the one Southeast Asian nation never controlled by a Western power. Thailand's history as an independent kingdom dates back to the thirteenth century. During World War II, Thailand cooperated with Japanese Imperial forces, but at war's end, established good relations with the West. A constitutional monarchy since 1932, Thailand has a parliamentary form of government. Though the king is officially a figurehead, he and the royal family are very deeply revered, and in certain times of political crisis in recent decades, prime ministers have deferred to the directives of the king.

     Approximately 75% of the population are ethnic Thai, 14% are ethnic Chinese, and another 11% are minorities related to the many groups in neighboring nations. In the border areas are Viet Namese, Khmer, Lao, Hmong, Akha, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Mon, Bru and many other peoples. Given conflict within Myanmar, roughly 120,000 ethnic Karen live in refugee camps just inside the Thai/Myanmar border.

     About 94.5% of the Thai population follows the Theravada Buddhist tradition, and about 4.5%, largely in the three southernmost provinces, are Muslim. Catholic and Protestant Christians and other faiths such as Hindu, Sikh and Jain together make up about 1%. Among the minority groups in the hill country, many are Buddhist or Animist, worshipping spirits as did their ancestors, though among the Karen, who responded to the evangelistic work of Adoniram Judson in Burma in the 19th century, about 25% identify with some variety of Christian denomination - Adventist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Church of God, Roman Catholic, et. al.

     While, a few decades past, the northern corner of Thailand was part of "The Golden Triangle" notorious for production of heroin poppies, international efforts to suppress the drug trade in that region has reduced the flow of narcotics. Illict drug production has not been eliminated, but presently, other parts of the world now outstrip Thailand in drug and marijuana production. Some "drug lords" have shifted to methamphetamine production.

     Other social problems drawing attention of governments, human rights groups and mission agencies are the spread of AIDS and the trafficking of women and children in the "sex industry," as the exploited poor from the rural areas struggle to survive while a substantial middle class and upper class in the larger towns and cities enjoy one of the better standards of living in Asia. An estimated 560,000 persons are HIV positive. Only in recent years have the USA and other Western nations begun to prosecute a few of their own citizens for travel to Thailand and other countries for purposes of sexual exploitation of children.

     ECF supports the Bethel Bible Institute in Thailand, where men and women of various backgrounds are taught Bible and a curriculum in Thai and Chinese to prepare them for Christian ministry in the towns and villages of one of the most challenging regions for Christian missions. Some graduates will go to work in their home areas, while others are called to serve in places new to them. Some will minister in Thailand, while others will carry the gospel message into regions foreigners are unlikely - or forbidden - to go. Most give their lives in service to people struggling to survive one day at a time. For more information about sponsoring a student at Bethel Bible Institute, contact Kate Reyes at ECF headquarters.





 

TOUCH A LIFE WITH GOD'S LOVE


     Make a difference in the life of a child in Macau, Philippines or India by becoming a Sponsor through the ECF Sponsorship Ministry. For as little as US$25.00 per child, you can provide warm beds, nutritious food, a good education, vocational and practical skills training as well spiritual guidance for each sponsored child.
     Becoming a sponsor is as easy as contacting the ECF International Headquarters and telling them of your desire to be a partner in this meaningful ministry. A photograph and personal information sheet of the child will be sent to you. Remember that there is no legal responsibility involved. You support your child by your love, prayers, and gifts.
     If you would like to be a partner and see lives transformed, then join the ECF International Sponsorship Ministry. Simply fill-out the bottom part of this form and send it to ECF International, 437 S. Garfield Ave. Monterey Park, CA 91754 USA Attention: Sponsorship Ministry.

I would like to sponsor a child from: _____ India _____ Macau _______ Philippines
(Please check all that apply)
Monthly US$25_______ Quarterly US$75_______ Yearly US$300 _______

Contact Information
Name _______________________________________________
Address _____________________________ City___________________
State__________ Zip__________ Country _________________________

For further information, please contact Mrs. Kate Reyes, Sponsorship Manager
ECF International Headquarters
437 S. Garfield Ave., Monterey Park, CA 91754
Also, visit our website at www.ecfinternational.org.





We are in urgent need of 25 new sponsors in 2006.
If you want to help a needy child, become a sponsor and touch a life with God's love.
Please contact Kate Reyes at the ECF Headquarters.


 
Please pray for Dr. Szeto and the ECF Team

May 18     Board of Trustees, Azusa Pacific University.

May 19     Opening Ceremony, China Bible Exhibition at Atlanta with Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President officiating.

June 5     Opening Ceremony, China Bible Exhibition in New York City.

June 11     Eagle Rock, Zion Chinese Baptist Church.

July 7-17     Mission Germany
           9     Auferstehungskirche, St. Johann-Lonsingen
           9     St. Georgskirche, Johann-Gaechingen
         12     Konfirmandenunterricht, Gemeindehaus
         13     ECF Board in Germany
         14     Freikirchl. Gemeinde, Karlsruhe
         15     Landesmissionfest, Foehrenberghalle, Muensingen-Dottingen
         16     Landesmissionfest, Kirche
                Contact in Germany: Rev. Gerd Pauschert

July 7-24     ECF Teaching team (ten university students, led by Mr. John Ho) to a Special English Summer Camp at Shijiazhuang, China

July 24-29     ECF TV team led by Dr. Paul Szeto and Dr. Karen Walker to Shanghai and Hangzhou for filming a documentary on The Impact of Christian Women in China

July 24 to Aug. 18     ECF Teaching team (8 Specialists led by Dr. Tedd Szeto) to Hangzhou for a 4-week English training for young professionals and Christian workers from churches.

Aug. 13     Eagle Rock, Zion Chinese Baptist Church

Aug. 27     Atherton Baptist Home


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