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Vol. 10 No. 4
July/August 2006

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


 
WE CARE! DO YOU?
Dr. Alton A. Gould
Chairman Emeritus
The man was half dead.
     He'd been robbed, beaten senseless, stripped naked and left in a ditch to die. But he was lucky, or at least he thought so, because not long after he was mugged, a man came down the road and heard his cries for help. . . BUT the would-be rescuer evidently had a change of heart because he crossed the road and kept right on walking. HE DIDN'T WANT TO GET INVOLVED.

     Then another man came within earshot, but he did the same thing as the first. He pretended not to see, know, feel the need of the naked, moaning man lying in the ditch.

     FINALLY, another man - came along. Stopped! Looked! Saw a need! And cared! Seeing with his eyes he felt with his heart. Because he cared, he gave the bruised and bleeding man first aid, found him a place to stay, gave him some money to replace what was stolen, and then promised to check in on him in a few days and give him more money as needed.

     Does this story sound familiar to you? It should. Jesus told it, and it's recorded in Luke's Gospel - the story of the Good Samaritan. I tell it again to refresh your mind because many children, the aged, students, hundreds are lying 'along the road' waiting, needing a Good Samaritan right now. Lost! Alone! Hungry! Hopeless! Terrified! They are VICTIMS just as surely as that bruised, bloodied and naked man in Jesus' parable.

     When Jesus saw people in need, His heart was moved with compassion.

     This is the ministry of ECF International throughout our world as supported by compassionate friends -- church building and evangelism, schools and evangelism, seminaries and evangelism, orphans and hostels and evangelism, the sick and the needy and evangelism, literature and evangelism, the market and evangelism. In short, wherever there are people, there is our ministry. We must be there to work for God today.

     Our aim must be to get the light into every dark corner of the earth, for Jesus said:"I AM the LIGHT OF THE WORLD". May it be said of the peoples served by ECF ministries that "the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." As individuals and as an organization "we must see Christ under two forms. We must see Him in the Communion, as bread, and we must see Him in the slums and on the streets, as the broken bodies of forgotten and neglected people" (Teresa of India).

     Again, when Jesus saw need, His heart was MOVED WITH COMPASSION. Christ's ministry to the poor and needy went beyond those who were in social and physical poverty. It also spoke to ultimate poverty, separation from God. Christ's life is a paradigm for our own and ECF's compassion ministries. Thus in addressing felt needs we are able to gain acceptance as a recognized entity and are permitted to work and share in areas that we could not enter if we were sharing in a church-affiliated ministry. We have found that ministries of compassion have opened doors to spiritual ministry.

     At least a billion people in our world -- that's one out of 6 on planet earth -- with the majority living in Asia, will live and die without having an opportunity to know Jesus. Millions more are nearly as insulated from the gospel, That's the reason why we care, and why you ought to care and to ask "what is my responsibility"?

     Jesus was moved by His love for God, His love of people and His passion to reach a lost world. ECF reaches out in Jesus' Name to set hearts afire. WE CARE! DO YOU?




 
MISSION GERMANY
July 6-16, 2006
     "Mission Germany" was a ten day preaching trip arranged by Rev. Gerd Pauschert, ECF Chairman in Germany, about a year ago. Scheduled were a total of ten meetings in schools, churches and conferences, especially those related to the Evangelical Districts in Southern Germany. According to the latest report, the membership of all 23 districts within the Evangelical Churches in Germany is 25.6 million. Hannover (rank #1) has 3.1 Million and Wuerttemberg (rank #5), where the 2006 Missionfest took place, has 2.3 million.

Rush! Rush!
     My busy schedule started on Sunday July 9 with morning worship services in two different places. As soon as Pastor Weber pronounced the benediction at the 9 a.m. service at Lonsingen, we had to rush by car to the 10 a.m. worship at Gaechingen just in time for him to give the invocation while the church bells rang. He is young and energetic. I can see "German Precision" in full demonstration in him. My short message on II Corinthians 5:17 "The New Creation" was welcomed by both congregations .

Chinese Food
     Next day, I was so glad that Rev. & Mrs. Obrist, ECF Representative in Switzerland, were so kind as to drive for more than two hours from Basel to come to see me. Rev. & Mrs. Pauschert of Germany suggested that we should have Chinese food at the Shanghai restaurant at Villingen-Schwenningen, a beautiful walled city at least 1,000 years old. We enjoyed our time of fellowship and discussed plans for future expansion into another German speaking country -- Austria.

Rich Exchange
     Tuesday morning was an exciting time with about 100 students at a local school. These young people love to learn how to speak the Chinese language. Some even wanted to write Chinese characters. In addition to sharing what God is doing in Asia, especially in China through ECF, I answered about 100 questions. The Director of this school is very supportive of cross-cultural studies and exchanges. All the teachers I met spoke good English. What a rich and wonderful exchange.

Old Memories
     Seven years ago, I had a great reception at the church at Daaden where Rev. Rudolf Steege was the pastor. Returning this time after driving about four hours from St. Johann, I was welcomed by two new pastors -- Pastor Armin Rosen and Pastor Michael Seim. My PowerPoint presentation provided excellent information on ECF's worldwide ministries. I preached from Acts 6:4-8 "The Word of God Increased." Having dinner with an old friend Mr. Hartmut Tielmann who had served as mayor for a number of years, was a heart warming experience. I also visited both houses where Rev. Pauschert had lived as a child in this beautiful community. Old memories testify that God is faithful in all changes of human life.

God's Plan
     Pastor Weber gave me the opportunity to share my personal testimony to his confirmation class on Wednesday afternoon. It was an emotional time for me as I recalled God's plan unfolded in my own life -- changing a refugee boy from China into a Gospel warrior for Jesus Christ around the world. It was also a joy for me to help the young people to re-confirm and to explore God's plan in each of their lives. Obviously, this group has great leaders. One led a devotion with depth, and the other prayed with strong faith. At the end, all lighted candles on the floor indicating their firm commitment to the Lordship of Christ.

Unexpected Opportunity
     Thursday was the only day I did not have a meeting. Rev. & Mrs. Pauschert took me to a nearby village -- Bad Urach where medieval architecture and hot springs can be found. Since we were the only early customers at the Lotus restaurant, I was able to talk with this young family from China. Their son and daughter are doing well in school while keeping up their Chinese language and culture at home. They were so excited to learn that I will be going to Hangzhou, not too far from their village in China, in just a few days after my preaching in Germany. They shared with me many deep feelings of their new life in a town without any Chinese people.

Beautiful View
     Schoenblick in German means "beautiful view". Before I spoke to a large group of adults (with many from East Germany) at Schoenblick Conference Ground at Schwaebisch-Gmuend, I met with all ECF German Board members (Rev. & Mrs. Pauschert, Dr. Hans Weber, Ms. Angelika Lenz, Mr. Michael Weller and Mr. Dieter Gudjons, together with Mr. & Mrs. Karl Heinritz) for an afternoon tea and shared plans on the ECF 60th Anniversary Celebration in 2007. Before the evening meeting, I encountered about 700 young people coming in many buses from various churches to a Christian camp at Schoenblick. Since President George W. Bush's photo with that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared on the front pages of all German newspapers that morning, our conversation turned from missions to politics. They told me that Bush would have a rugged summit with the G8 meeting in St. Petersburg. They also wanted to make sure I know that China is not a member of the G8; but President Hu Jintao is expected to come for a meeting with other world leaders because Russian president Vladimir Putin is a good friend of Hu. With their encouragement and that of Mr. Harald Kubitza, I preached on "The Love of Christ" (Romans 8:35-37) to the large group following a great dinner.

High Point
     The climax of this trip was the Missionfest at Muensingen. Under the theme "Living Unity & Colorful Diversity" the conference began Saturday with an International Banquet. I participated in a panel on "Church and Society" with speakers coming from Kenya, Brazil, Holland, South Africa, China, USA, Sudan and Germany. Sunday morning, I delivered a message on "Greater Works for God" (John 14:12-14) at the Ennabeuren church. People are extremely interested in the ECF mission programs. The evening closing ceremony held at the large Alenberg Hall attracted over 1,000 people. The local choir with 100 voices provided inspirational music. Scriptures were read in four languages: German, Chinese, English and Kiswahili. Rev. Geoffrey Mwihardi from Kenya and Bishop Frank July of Wuerttenbegr gave the message based Ephesians 4:15. Both stressed Christian unity. It was such a joy for me to have fellowship with both leaders. I presented the DVDs produced by our Global Communication Center to Bishop July who expressed strong interest in the ECF missionary programs.

     God truly blessed this mission trip to Germany. To Him be the glory!



 

Cambodia

     The FICC-ECF Computer Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia continues to help many young people who come to the church. Under the leadership of Pastor Kang Phal Daracheat, this center is reaching out to the local community with God's love and practical training for a better future.



Philippines

     Despite the heat of the summer in the Philippines, Mrs. Ditas Leonardo worked hard with the children with the ECF program. They received school bags and supplies for a new school term. A. Bernardo (PH-45) was baptized by Pastor Nicolas on April 13. ECF is working closely with the local church in order to help the needy children in the church community.



Macau

     Sinleng Tong in the ECF Macau Orphanage has been selected as the recipient of the ECF Outstanding Youth Award for the year 2006. She has been playing the piano for the Macau Grace Chapel every Sunday for about a year and is a good student at school. This award will bring her to Los Angeles for two-weeks where she will share with the ECF Board members and supporters how she serves the Lord so effectively in the music ministry. She will also have an opportunity to improve her music skill. ECF Board members will host her for the two weeks.





 
R.S. Carlson




     When thinking of India, Westerners may readily think of certain famous people and places - Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, The Taj Mahal - or the fact that India has a population of over a billion people.

     Geographically, the Indian subcontinent is washed by the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea. "Indian Ocean" applies to the open waters south of India and Sri Lanka. India has land borders with Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, China ands Pakistan - and India is home to nearly half a million refugees from old and current conflicts in various neighboring countries.

     With China, India presently has one of the more dynamic economies in Asia. Farming methods range from traditional cultivation of crops by hand and use of farm animals to modern agribusiness large-scale farming. Business and trade styles range from traditional handcrafts to petrochemical, mining, manufacturing and computer industries. Still, approximately 25% of the people live below the national "poverty line." Overpopulation, industrial & agricultural pollution, deforestation, drought and the recent tsunami all contribute to many health problems in the nation, and an estimated 5 million people suffer with HIV/AIDS.

     Politically, India is a parliamentary democracy - the world's largest. The nation consists of 38 states or territories. The constitution recognizes 22 languages, with Hindi being a dominant "official" language, and Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sanskrit; and Hindustani also used by millions of speakers. English is a very widely-used second language. Indian schools actually give instruction in 58 different languages. By ethnicity, over 70% of the people are of Indo-Aryan stock, about 25% are Dravidian, and about 5% are of Asiatic origins. Historically, archeological evidence points to civilization in the Indus Valley as far back as 5000 BC. Over the millennia various groups influenced the Indo-Aryan cultures through trade and conquest, including the Arab civilizations (8th century), the Turkish (12th century), and the European (circa 16th century till the 20th century). The British took control in the 1800s. Independence came to India in 1947.

     Western Protestant Christians often are aware that India is roughly 80% Hindu, 13% Muslim, 2% Sikh, 2% Christian and about 2% "other." They may forget that Buddhism, so dominant in several other Asian nations, began in India in the 6th century BC. They may know of certain current mission work in India by Protestants, and by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity established by the late Mother Theresa. They might be surprised, however, to learn that Indian Orthodox (also known as Malankara Orthodox or St. Thomas Churches) groups trace their origins to the First Century AD ministry of the Apostle Thomas. Portuguese Roman Catholic priests first worked in India in 1600; Danish/German Lutherans began missions in 1705, Baptists in 1793, Methodists in 1817, and other Protestant groups also began work in the 19th and 20th centuries.

     ECF International contributes to the support of children at the Grace Home in Guntur, southeast of Hyderabad. To sponsor a child in India, contact Kate Reyes at ECF headquarters in Monterey Park, CA.

     For additional information sources on the internet, begin with http://indiaimage.nic.in/ and http://indiansaga.com/languages/index.html





 

English Teaching Team to China


Families and friends at Los Angeles Airport bidding farewell to six team members (from L to R): John Ho, Christina Wei-Lin Fung, Gabriel Chi-heng Chiu, Deke Edward Wilkins, Rebecca Anne Alvidrez, and Michael Joseph Howell with prayers for a successful mission to China.



Dr. Harold Lane, Chairman of ECF International, commissions 4 members of the English Teaching Mission Team to China at the First Baptist Church of Pasadena.





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

July
7-17     Mission Germany

24-27     TV Team in China

27-29     Property Gift Ceremony, China

30     Baptism in Macau ECF Grace Chapel

August
6     First Baptist Church, Pasadena

13     Chinese Zion Baptist Church, Eagle Rock

27     Atherton Baptist Home, Alhambra

September
17     Chinese Church, Upland

28-29     Board of Trustees, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa

October
8     Chinese Zion Baptist Church, Eagle Rock

15    Bread of Life Church, Torrance

20-25     ECF TV Team to China

November
3-6     Chinese Baptist Church, 110th Anniversary Ceremony and Mission Conference, Seattle

December
10     Chinese Zion Baptist Church, Eagle Rock

15-16     ECF Executive Council

28-30     ECF University Student Winter Retreat, Big Bear Lake


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