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Vol. 12 No. 2
Mar-Apr 2008

A. Count His Blessings
B. Global Challenges
C. Global Outreach
D. In Context


GROWING WITH JOY


Joyful News from ECF


     1. Teaching English in China --- our Education & Culture Foundation has been invited again this year to send two teams of English Experts to China for special training. One team of 5 members will go to Shijazhung June 26 - July 14 for the training of English teachers. The other team of 6 members will go to Hangzhou July 5-20 for the training of three groups: (1) English teachers; (2) High School students; and (3) Chinese pastors. Thank God for such great opportunities.

     2. Rebuilding Church #10 in China --- Dr. Paul Szeto met with Chinese Christian leaders in Guiyang, Guizhou Province and worked out the plan to rebuild a local church for this poor community. This project could begin this Summer. Ask God to provide the needed funds for this meaningful project.

     3. First Anniversary For ECF International Chapel --- April 6, 2008 was a glorious day to welcome six new Christian believers through baptism at the ECF International Chapel in Monterey Park. We are most grateful for the Pastor and people of the First Baptist Church of Pasadena who allow us to use their baptistry for this occasion. This little congregation started about a year ago. Now a total of 13 new believers had been baptized with 12 transfer members and 2 children being dedicated.

     Please pray for our ministry and share our joy in the Lord.


New Christian believers through baptism
(from left to right) Jun Li, Yanyau Xu, Ke Jiang, Dr. Szeto, Yolinda Qu, Junli Zhang, Taifeng Cao



 
"GROWING WITH JOY" IN ASIA

Dr. Alton A. Gould
Chairman Emeritus

     ECF International has taken the theme "Growing with Joy" for its 2008 outreach challenge. Currently the ministry embraces ten countries in Asia including India. Diverse and unique, these countries all present opportunity unlimited. There are unstable governments, civil strife, persecution and geographical constraints. But one thing is certain - enormous spiritual needs remain.

     More than half of the world's population live here with less than 10% knowing about the Lord Jesus Christ. Hinduism, Buddhism and the Islamic faith are widely embraced in the region. For many, poverty is part of their daily life. There are no easy answers to the pressing needs of the people.

     ECF's Vision of seeing transformed lives and the development projects to assist has not changed. The old axiom that "it's better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish" is one of the great principles of missionary work. Development is a new venture for ECF outreach. For this, training classes with computers have opened as well as training in self-help projects. Child care with evangelism has been in the forefront of our endeavors. Development reaches into communities and homes in need, creating opportunities to serve and to introduce people to the gospel. It has proven the primary way to penetrate an area, showing love and concern, creating tools to help people develop not only individual ways to provide livelihood, but also in community outreach using the local church, orphanage, clinic, school or home for the elderly as the center of activity.

     ECF integrates sharing the gospel into its ministries. Whether giving medical care to the suffering, caring for the aged, feeding the hungry, housing and clothing the orphan, educating the youth, ECF always works in some way to share the Good News.

     Turn your eyes and thoughts towards INDIA, the birthplace of Hinduism and Buddhism with 12% Muslim and only 2.3 % Christian. Here people worship thousands of gods, but the younger generation desperately needs to meet the one TRUE GOD. Don't stop there! Check out Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

     In the children's program in the Philippines and the children's homes in Macau and India, your ECF representatives minister to needy children. In India, especially, many wait to be sponsored. Sharing love with compassion through monthly sponsorship of a child can have a tremendous impact. Compassion brings HOPE . It starts with ONE child and can reach out to embrace a community.

     GROWING WITH JOY IN ASIA. What is needed for ECF to fulfill its vision? Keeping the vision as a priority is the first step. The resolve to fulfill the vision with God's power via creative means is next. But one cannot do it alone. Strength remains in partnership, in Growing together with joy. That is why ECF Partners (churches, institutions and people from around the world) who pray and provide support for the ministries are appreciated and valued.

     During 2008, the ECF ministry theme is "Growing with Joy", reaching out with love, touching lives, homes and countries throughout Asia. Together, serving with joy, to see growth and development in all ministries; we remain WORKERS TOGETHER AND WITH GOD, WITH JOYFUL ANTICIPATION OF A RICH HARVEST.



 


MACAU
NEW MEMBERS AT ECF GRACE COMMUNITY CHAPEL
     On Palm Sunday, March 16th, Rev. Eddie Chan of Hong Kong led the worship at the ECF Grace Community Chapel in Macau. Dr. Paul Szeto baptized Wing-hong Leung, Wing-man Hui (two children from the ECF orphanage) and Woon-tei Wong at the Sunday Morning worship. Mr. Min Szeto, ECF Administration Director, shared the message. Mr. Stephen Leung, member of the ECF Board, encouraged the new believers. A special choir from the orphanage provided excellent music. This little chapel keeps growing every year. Praise the Lord!




CHINA
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES FROM NEEDY FAMILIES TO CONTINUE UNIVERSITY STUDIES
     The Education and Culture Foundation under ECF Global Ministries established a Scholarship Fund in October of 2006 to assist high school graduates of Wusu #1 Middle School in Xianjiang Province who come from needy families to continue their education in universities. The Fund offers two students a scholarship of US$1,500 each paying for their university tuitions for four years. This Fund is handled by a special designated account with the Department of Education in Wusu and distributed to the students on an annual basis. The first two scholarships were distributed on October 12, 2006 on Wusu School campus by John Ho, ECF's Director of Program, and his wife, Annie. The relative of the recipients received the Award Certificates on their behalf. John and Annie will travel to Wusu on April 29, 2008 to officiate the Scholarship Distribution Ceremony for the two new recipients of school year 2007.

     To make donations to this Scholarship Fund, please call ECF at (626)288-8828 Ext.18 or e-mail johnho@ecfdn.org




CHINA
TRAINING GOD'S SERVANT
     ECF has set up the "Prof. Dorcas Szeto Minister Training Scholarship" in Sihui Christian Church to encourage brothers and sisters to devote their lives in the Lord's ministry. Mrs. Szeto, Professor Emeritus, Azusa Pacific University, USA, together with ECF coworkers Rev. Eddie Chan and Ms. Bing-Mui Yu from Macau, officiated the First Scholarship Distribution Ceremony on February 4, 2007 to seminary student, Miss Mui-Ying Lau, at the Sihui Church. On January 22, 2008, Rev. Eddie Chan on behalf of ECF distributed the second round of Scholarship to Miss Lau for her continuation of seminary trainings. The event was witnessed by Minister He and Moderator Lee. Miss Lau gave a testimony on the calling she received from the Lord.




PHILIPPINES
CHILDREN'S CENTER RECEIVES NEW COMPUTER FROM ECF
     ECF International has provided a new computer for the Children's Center in the Philippines. Mrs. Ditas Leonardo, ECF worker, is delighted as she can now communicate with the ECF Headquarters easily. Also, the sponsored children are thankful as they now have a computer to use for some school projects and homework. It truly is a blessing for all!




USA
ECF INTERNATIONAL CHAPEL CELEBRATED THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY
     Under the leadership of Dr. Paul Szeto, Ministers David Gong, Shi-Li Kwok and Yong-Ying Hu, the ECF International Chapel is growing in membership during its first year of establishment. The worship attendance has increased to thirty in average. Their evangelistic activities have reached out to the Chinese communities in the San Gabriel Valley areas in greater Los Angeles. The Youth Fellowship is energetic in running programs in Bible studies, group discussions, music and outreaching activities.

     The Chapel celebrated its First Anniversary on Sunday, April 6, 2008, at The First Baptist Church of Pasadena with a baptism. Six new members received baptism and another five committed their transference to the Chapel. Lydia Guo, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Zhongfei Guo was dedicated in the same service. A dinner was held at the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Paul Szeto ending the day long celebration in joyful Christian fellowship.




 
THE 105 YEAR OLD CHURCH IN KUNMING, CHINA
STILL GROWING!
     The Trinity International Church in Kunming was started in 1903 by China Inland Mission. Believers had gone through many changes over this past century. The building was burned down in 1966 and later demolished in 1997. However, with the help of the local government and the Christian Council, this faithful congregation received a new property in the heart of this Capital of Yunnan to build a new church. The 8-story building was dedicated on December 11, 2004.

     Dr. Paul Szeto together with the TV team (Mr. Min Szeto, Mr. Steven Zhang) from ECF Global Communication Center, visited this glorious church March 20-23 and completed the documentary of this new church. The Good Friday meeting was conducted with a sacred concert with about 1,000 attending. In a special Saturday afternoon meeting, Dr. Szeto prayed for the 156 new believers as they were baptized by Pastor Jin.

     Easter worship took place at the mountain top church about 100 miles west of Kunming. This is a Miao Ethnic Minority Church. In a 3-hour-long worship, Dr. Szeto preached a short Easter message; Pastor Wang baptized 36 new believers, and six choirs sang. Following this glorious worship experience, about 800 people enjoyed a feast with all kinds of ethnic food and warm fellowship.

     Yunnan Province has a population of 42 million, with at least 26 ethnic minority groups.

     All churches have been growing rapidly in recent years. Bible translation for minority groups is the top priority for China Christian Council. The entire 5th floor of the Trinity International Church is dedicated for this ministry. Under the leaderships of Rev. Wen-Liang Yu and Rev. Chung-Ming Li on the provincial level, scholars from around the world are working together for bringing the word of God to all people.





 
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Ralph S. Carlson


     In Cambodia, also known as Kampuchea, our ECF representative is Pastor Kang Pal Da Ra Cheat of the Faith in Christ Church in Phnom Penh, the capital city of the nation. Most of us meeting our soft-spoken colleague at the ECF Sixtieth Anniversary activities in Beijing and Shanghai last summer simply addressed him as "Pastor Kang."

     ECF's joint ministry with Pastor Kang is a computer institute in which youth both from the church and from the community at large can be trained for a certificate in technology and move on to employment in the modern economy. Naturally, as a Christian service program, the institute gives opportunity for bible study and Christian fellowship in addition to technical training.

     But in what environs does Pastor Kang live and work? At roughly 11.5 degrees above the equator, Phnom Penh has a tropical climate, seeing low temperatures (Fahrenheit) in the 50's on occasion, but averaging in the 70's, with the usual high temperatures averaging in the mid-90's. The rainy season lasts from May to October, with heavy monsoon activity common in September and October. The city lies at the confluence of the Bassac, Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers, and has numerous canals which were developed during the French colonial period, thus the humidity in the city is often nearly as high as the temperatures.

     During the Viet Nam war era, the population of Phnom Penh rose to two million as people from the countryside near the Viet Nam border, fled military raids and bombing when US and South Viet Namese forces attempted to counter North Viet Namese and Viet Cong units' activity in Cambodia and Laos. Subsequently, with the Khmer Rouge forces rising to power and restructuring the society as almost fully agrarian, the city was almost emptied, and an estimated 1.5 million of the nation's population died under the Khmer Rouge regime.

     In the 1990's, political strife diminished and the national economy stabilized. Phnom Penh, a commercial center with much French Colonial architecture and significant Angkor-heritage temples and shrines in and near the city, profited from increasing tourism for its own cultural treasures, and as way station for the tens of thousands traveling to the ancient temple complex to the northeast, Angkor Wat.

     Global Vision readers with Internet access can view pictures of Phnom Penh and Cambodia on a web site labeled "Photo tour of Cambodia (Kampuchea)" at http://www.caingram.info/Cambodia.htm



Love in Action





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