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Vol. 11 No. 4
July/August 2007

A. Count His Blessings
B. Global Challenges
C. Praises From All Nations
D. Rich Harvest
E. Global Outreach
F. In Context
G. Doors of Opportunity



A Year of Diamond Jubilee
2007 Theme: Rich Harvest

Great Welcome in Austria and Switzerland


     Dr. Paul Szeto and Dr. Nathan Yeh conducted a 10-day Mission Trip to Austria and Switzerland from June 29 to July 9. All meetings were in German-speaking churches as arranged by Rev. Ulrich Obrist, ECF Representative in Switzerland.
     Pastor Soltau of the Baptist Church in Vienna welcomed the team with great enthusiasm and translated Dr. Szeto's message into German. Elder Schraut, an expert in radio ministry, expressed strong support for the ECF Sponsorship program. The evening meeting near Salzerbad was most exciting because one university graduate wanted to join the ECF teaching team to China immediately. Pastor Torskyi of the church at Bad Ischl has a heart for missions. Before the evening service at his church, he invited Dr. Szeto to a radio station for the recording of a special program on China so that more people can learn about what God is doing in China. Pastor Torskyi was able to do the recording, interviewing, translating into German and playing of the music at the same time. His wife is in the medical field and wants to serve in China. A number of Chinese Christian and business leaders in several places in Austria met with the team and provided great assistance.
     Meetings in Wettingen Baptist Church in Switzerland were filled with joy as Dr. Yeh motivated the congregation in singing to the Lord with many songs. In an evening meeting with several couples near Basel, a friendly discussion on the Christian movement in China generated a strong support for the ECF ministry.
     Please pray that God will lead ECF to a representative in Austria (the third German speaking nation in Europe) in order to help expand the Lord's work through the ECF Global ministries.




 
WHY, DOES GOD NOT CARE?

Dr. Alton A. Gould
Chairman Emeritus

     Several years ago I wrote articles on the subject of prayer for the China Vision magazine. Later these were compiled by Dr. Szeto and published by ECF International as the book The Boundless Power of Prayer which has been used as the basis for internal spiritual growth. It was translated into German and Russian with the addition of several of my personal experiences of answered prayer. The book is being used in several countries by study groups. These past months I experienced the power of prayer in a greater and more gracious manner than what had been written. Bolstered by a huge network of family and friends and the ECF prayer chain, I found a greater assurance and strength than I'd ever known. I know that prayer does change circumstances and people! That God does care!

     The last week of February '07 was a period of winter grandeur. Rushing up my driveway, I slipped on a patch of ice and landed heavily on my back. Unable to move, I tried to call for help. Two passing cars stopped, and men carried me into the house as the ambulance was called. It was late Friday afternoon, specialists were away, and relief doctors were on call. After several X-rays, it was found that I had two severe breaks in the rotary cup of the right hip with two pelvis cracks. I was made comfortable for the weekend until an Orthopedist could check the X-rays the following Monday; when a decision could be made for treatment. He advised, because of the seriousness of the breaks and my age, surgery was not recommended. It would be better to let nature take its course with healing and growth--8 weeks complete bed rest! That would be followed by therapy in a convalescent home where I could be taught to walk, to care for myself, to ascend/descend stairs, and to learn to use a walker and eventually a cane. Result--103 days in 2 hospitals and the convalescent extended care.

     When a terrible tragedy happens, it is hard to understand where God is in all of it. Our confidence in God can take a real knock. One may cry out to ask WHY? Does God know or care? During this time I found for a certainty that prayer does change circumstances and people! When prayer goes up, God's power and grace comes down! To His glory, I testify that during all of those days, never once did I question or ask why. There was no pain at all in the hip--not one moment of discouragements, despair, depression, fault finding (even for hospital food or the loss of modesty) but clinging to the Word as given by a Pastor friend the night of my accident “Be Still and Know”. After weeks of complete bed rest, X-rays showed healing and growth and the Specialist advised convalescent therapy. I was told “its up to you to listen, do and obey or you must leave” (four patients were asked to leave while I was there who felt they could not do exercises or obey). Focused prayer by concerned friends does change circumstances and people bringing healing to body and spirit.

     Lying across from the patient in the next bed, I tried to answer his questions. “Do you really believe God pays attention to every detail of our lives?” Hoping to answer without seeming to preach, I replied, “one Speaker says “are not five sparrows sold for two pennies. Yet not one of them is forgotten by the Creator. Indeed, the very hairs of your head, though few now, are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” He continued, “I suppose you believe everything happens in our lives for a reason. Look at you lying there...you may never walk again; bed ridden for the rest of your life!”

     How to reply? “One could go to extremes with such a belief-like blaming God for what happened to me BUT God is engaged with every significant aspect of our lives. I believe that God knows us from the very moment of conception while we are in our mother's womb until we are laid in the grave. Regardless of what happens, all things do work together for good for people who follow God because He's watching every moment of every day and under all circumstances. God places great value on every human life even though many presume He is detached from their world and thus life is insignificant to Him. Why this happened to me I don't know. I wish that it hadn't. It knocked me and my life and that of my wife and family in a way we never expected, but blame God, or question why, or find fault, NO! It is not mine to question the leadings of God in my life or to ask. Naturally, I wonder, but never to blame--only to realize my own foolishness—to rush and not watch—In one moment I HAD IT!”

     We should never close our minds to the possibilities of what God may do. Some people pray for a miracle—and get one. Some pray for a miracle and get a completely different one. Another prays for miracles that don't happen. Sometimes God does things that amaze us without anyone asking for it. “Thy Will be done”. Once again, I was surprised by the grace and power of God and the power of focused prayer. It is easy to underestimate God and think things have drifted beyond His control. In reality it is our faith that is in short supply, not God! Even when doctors and friends shared stories of others they knew who had similar breaks and never walked again I tried to be still and know! Prayer prevailed and today I am walking again and rejoicing with praise to a God who hears and answers and with thanks for friends who Cared...Shared...Prayed! Ask, WHY? NO! DOES GOD KNOW AND CARE? YES!



 


CHINA
Fruitful Harvest
     Since the dedication of the new church building in Sihui, China in October 2003, this little country church has baptized more than 150 new believers. From a small gathering about 40 believers in the home of a local medical doctor, Christians were greatly blessed by God to reach out to the local community and as a result, the entire church experienced a fruitful harvest. Sunday worship services now are well over 250.
     With the Christian Leader Training Scholarship donated by Mrs. Dorcas Szeto who was born in Sihui, for this growing church, youth leader Miss Liu, a factory worker has accepted a call from the Lord to enter seminary for training. She will be a dynamic leader for the church. Under the leadership of Pastor He, Sihui Christian Church expects to grow and to have even greater harvests in years to come


USA
ECF International Chapel Blessed by God
     A Church Planting Committee of four has been praying with Dr. Szeto for several months asking God for vision, wisdom and strength to plant a church in Monterey Park in order to meet the spiritual needs of new comers from China, especially the intellectuals. A small worship service was started on Feb. 4. with 17 attending. On April 8, God blessed the Easter service with 65 worshippers. On May 13, more than 100 came to the Mother's Day Sunday service and witnessed 7 new Christians being baptized. Dr. Szeto also dedicated Franklin Qu, a 5 year old boy after his parents John and Jane Qu were baptized at the glorious Easter service.
     Now, a Ministry Council has been formed to plan for future growth of this dedicated congregation. Please pray for the leaders of ECF International Chapel.







URGENT NEED FOR A PIANO.
PLEASE HELP!

ECF is in need of a piano for Sunday worship and music concert.
If you have a baby grand piano which is not in use and wish to donate to ECF for such an important ministry, please contact Dr. Paul Szeto or Kate Reyes at (626)288-8828. We will come to your home for pick up and ECF will provide a tax deductible receipt for the love gift.
Please help us to reach out to the needy Chinese community with God's love through these programs.


GCC Produces DVDs
"Fruitful Harvest"
"Touching Lives with Love"
     The ECF Global Communication Center has produced two beautiful and informative DVDs:

     (1) Touching Lives with Love - a 10 minute DVD to showcase the opportunity available to help the needy children in India, Macau, the Philippines and the Bible students in Thailand.

     (2) Fruitful Harvest - a 30 minute DVD to tell the exciting story of a country church in China, growing from a small group meeting in a house of a medical doctor to a large congregation with a beautiful church.



 


PRAISES FROM ALL NATIONS

Sixty Years: Sharing God's Love.      Great Wall: Singing His Grace.


May 26, 2007
Beijing: Setting mission strategy
     Thirty one delegates coming from eleven countries participated at the 8th ECF International Council to map out future mission plans and strategies. Dr. Harold Lane, Council Chairman, and Dr. Paul Szeto, ECF President, presided over the session with fruitful resolutions.




May 27, 2007
Beijing: Worshipping together
     Delegation worshipped together at the 8:00 a.m. morning service at the Asbury Church. There were over 3,000 in the congregation and many worshipped through watching a closed-circuit television screen in the courtyard.




May 28, 2007
Shanghai: Sharing mission visions
     Dr. Harold Lane and Dr. Paul Szeto led the delegation in prayer and vision sharing to formulate plans for future projects and programs in spreading the Gospel to all nations.




May 29, 2007
Shanghai: Dedication of wide screen monitor to New City High School
     Delegations representing brothers and sisters in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Germany, Thailand, the Philippines, India, Hong Kong, Macau, Cambodia, and South Africa, presented a wide screen monitor to New City High School which locates adjacent to the first orphanage ECF established in 1947.




May 29, 2007
Shanghai: Love Gift to the Elderly
     Representing a donor from Northern Ireland, Rev. John Gault presented a love gift of 8 hospital beds to the Home for the Elderly in Shanghai. Such a timely gift brought tears of joy with thanksgiving to our Lord.




 


PHILIPPINES
Vacation Bible School with Great Success
     Mrs. Ditas Leonardo, ECF Co-worker in the Philippines, reported that 132 children attended VBS this year (May 7-12) under the theme: SUPERHERO –“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13). Many received awards for faithful contribution.




INDIA
120 New Beds For Needy Children in India
     We are most grateful for the help of Dr. Karen Kaigler-Walker, ECF treasurer and her husband, Mr. Bud Walker in raising the $4,000 for the Grace Home in India. Many generous donors contributed this great amount for the ECF ministry among the needy children. ECF sent the total amount raised to India and 120 new beds were made for the children and staff. This love gift from America also provided some repairs at the kitchen. Pastor Dumpala reported that great joy came upon this large family. Children are very happy to sleep on their new beds. Thank God for our donors who saw the need and responded with love.




HONG KONG/MACAU
Mr. Eddie Chan was ordained into Gospel Ministry
     Mr. Eddie Chan has served in the Hong Kong/Macau ECF ministry for ten years. He accepted the call from the Lord to be ordained in order to provide greater Christian services in Asia. The Ordination Council included Rev. Paul Szeto, Rev. Samuel Lo, Rev. Nathan Yeh and Rev. W.Y. Yeung. Following the ordination service, a banquet took place at Hotel Royal with 150 people to celebrate the 60th Anniversary for the founding of ECF.
     The Sunday service on June 3, 2007 at the ECF Grace Community Chapel in Macau not only witnessed the ordination of Rev. Eddie Chan but also the exciting commitment of 6 new believers who were baptized by Dr. Paul Szeto in the same worship service. This little congregation is growing in number with great spiritual blessings from the Lord.




 
CHINA
English Teaching Team to China
     Mr. John Ho, Director of Education & Culture Foundation in USA, departed for China with four English experts to conduct a Creative English Conversation Classes at the YWCA of Hangzhou (July 20 to Aug. 5). A special class will be offered to local church pastors. This teaching team includes: Molly Chang serves as Master Teacher this year. She has 23 years of teaching experience in public and private schools. This is her 6th time on the ECF teaching team. Francisco Gamboa received two masters degrees in theology and psychology. Currently he is working toward his PhD. In psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Doreen Szeto earned her M.A. in International Studies and a M.A. in TESOL. She has rich experience in teaching including one Summer at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Deke Wilkins has served in the ECF Team to Urumqi and is now enrolled in Peking University to study intensive Chinese.
     Please support this team with your prayer and love gift.






 
Viet Nam
Exploring Opportunities in Central Viet Nam
Ralph S. Carlson


     May 25 through 30, I was blessed to meet old friends and make new friends in the ECF International 60th anniversary meetings in Beijing and Shanghai. Then, as other ECF board members went on to Macau for the ordination of the Rev. Eddie Chan, I flew to Viet Nam to explore possibilities of ECF resuming aid work in Viet Nam, where our last activity was completed in 1999 in Dong Nai Province in the South.

     May 31 through June 4, Mr. Hai Huynh hosted me in Da Nang, the major city in Quang Nam Province in Central Viet Nam. I first met Hai as he completed his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (and met his wife, Teresa) at Azusa Pacific University a few years ago. He most graciously assisted me in Da Nang with hotel and meal arrangements, transportation, and translation when my rusty Viet Namese language skills faltered. Hai and Teresa operate Fisher's SuperKids English Center in Da Nang, teaching English courses for children from preschool through high school. Hai followed up on referrals to government and education officials, and arranged contacts with heads of other aid agencies currently working in Da Nang and the surrounding area. He also saw me to one of his home church's Sunday morning services, and later to the Da Nang International Fellowship's service and potluck where I met, for a second time, aid workers from several nations who are working with the poor, the disabled, the deaf, or in programs to support the local medical, community development and education systems. They reported that, in recent years, with younger administrators coming into government and the Communist Party, it has grown easier for foreigners to conduct development projects in Da Nang and Quang Nam Province.

     Monday, June 4, we traveled about an hour south of Da Nang to meet with the Chairman of the Thang Binh District Peoples Committee, Mr. An, and education official. They reported that their district alone needs to renovate or build new 447 classrooms in their system of preschools, primary schools and middle schools. Many aid agencies are at work in the area, but the needs of the people certainly are far greater than the current government and non-government organizations can meet. Mr. An and others showed us one middle school with three classrooms recently renovated, but fourteen still remaining in dire need of repair.

     Central Viet Nam is the poorest sector of the nation, and Quang Nam and Quang Tri Provinces are the neediest provinces in the central region. Hai's assistant, Simon, reported that many in his home area of Thang Binh complete only a few grades of schooling, and the agricultural economy leaves many with little hope of improvement in their lives. The area has only a few high schools, and many who attend a high school must either commute for an hour or more on foot or by bicycle, or find room and board somewhere near the high school during the school week and visit home on weekends.

     Once ECF International has completed some projects in Da Nang and/or Thang Binh District, it will be easier to expand to projects in Quang Tri Province, not only the poorest province, but the one most heavily ravaged by bombing, defoliant spraying, and artillery exchanges in the “American War” of 1961-1975.

     The trip to Viet Nam was very rewarding in many ways. I thank Dr. Szeto and the Executive Committee for allowing me to make this trip. I pray that, as ECF begins with a modest project and expands its work, many lives will be bettered for the sake of God’s Kingdom.



 
Medical Service in China

     Dr. Anson Yew, Dr. Christine Szeto Yew of Southern California, Dr. Andrew Cheng of New York joined together with five doctors from Hangzhou, arrived in Lin-On, a small city in China, to provide special medical service to about 60 needy patients. Local government officials gave them a warm welcome in the newly built community center. ECF is working with Rev. Deng, Chairman of Christian Social Service in China, to develop an urgently needed Medical Mobile Project in order to provide the needed service in the villages.




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