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Vol. 12 No. 3
May-Jun 2008

A. Count His Blessings
B. Global Challenges
C. Global Outreach
D. In Context
E. Love in Action


GROWING WITH JOY


Joyful News from ECF


     1. Love Heals --- The 7.9 magnitude (later revised to 8.0) earthquake in Sichuan, China destroyed many homes and lives. In spite of this tragedy, Christians shared God's love in many ways to different groups in the earthquake areas. This genuine and practical expression of God's love warms the hearts of hurting people. On May 23, 2008, ECF wired a love gift of $20,000 to China Christian Council for the rebuilding of a church in Da-feng, Guizhou ($15,000) and for immediate relief near Chengdu, Sichuan ($5,000). We praise God for the generous love gifts donated by Mrs. Lai-shou Woo of Seattle, Washington and other donations from members of the ECF International Chapel. We will continue to pray for the people in China and to offer future assistance as needed. Please encourage your relatives and friends to give for this great need in China.

     2. Scholarships in China --- Mr. John Ho, ECF Director of Program, presented two scholarships ($1,500 each) to two recipients in Wusu City, Xinjiang Province on April 29, 2008. Mr. Dong Wu is now attending Civil Aviation University of China; and Miss. Jin-feng Yang is now studying at Cultivation and Transportation University. Both gifted students came from very poor families. It was impossible for them to continue their university education without the timely scholarship donated by ECF.

     3. Reach out to university campuses --- Beginning May 1, 2008, Mr. John Feng will serve as our new Director of Campus Ministry. Working with a small but committed group of young leaders from our International Chapel, he will develop a practical Discipleship Program to reach students on several campuses in the Greater Los Angeles areas.

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

Pray for Dr. Paul Szeto

May
3      Commencement Ceremony, Azusa Pacific University
15    Presentation of International Scholarship at APU Board of Trustees Dinner by Dr. Harold Lane
23    News Conference for Earthquake Relief
24    ECF International Chapel in Monterey Park

June
16    ECF Staff Vision Review Conference
20    Seattle Wing Luke Asian Museum
21    Missions Prayer Conference, Seattle Chinese Baptist Church
22    Tacoma Chinese Christian Church
29    ECF International Chapel in Monterey Park

July
4-6   ECF Summer Conference in Big Bear Lake
26    ECF Staff Retreat
27    ECF International Chapel in Monterey Park


 
“WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING ?”

Dr. Alton A. Gould
Chairman Emeritus

     Even though 70 years has passed, I can still hear my mother, with much frustration in her voice ask "A-l-t-o-n, what in the world are you doing?" Always the same answer "N-o-t-h-i-n-g!"

     Memory often brings to mind a special Sunday School teacher I had as a teenager. He owned a small grocery store which kept him very busy, but he always had time to be active in his church's "people ministries" --- evangelism, hospital and nursing home visitation, and relief for the less fortunate. Every Sunday afternoon, after collecting all the "left over" Sunday School papers, he would take a group of boys for hospital visitation with all giving out the papers and talking to patients. Although he had no formal training in ministry, he had a natural ability to connect with people who were in the midst of difficulties. That was his passion --- the sick, the downtrodden and people who were often overlooked. His love service was one that followed the heart of Christ. Jesus looked out over the masses of the forgotten people of the world and had compassion for them (Matthew 9:36-38). He commanded His followers to pray and give that the Heavenly Father would send workers (like Mr. Hughes, my S. S. teacher as well as you and me) to reach out in love to those weighed down with the cares of life. I believe Mr. Hughes became the answer to those prayers and longings in many lives, and we can as well.

     Most of us have little knowledge of many places or people outside our own sphere of experience. If we have relatives in a faraway country, we know something about that place. But by and large, our area of concern is a narrow, circumscribed and fairly local region. We do not know what goes on in remote places and often we don't care. "God so loved" (not just a favorite few but) "the world." It was for the world that Jesus came, for the peoples of the world that He died. He cared! We too must care, for all the world, not just those in it like ourselves. "The larger the world we live in, the larger our lives develop in response"(E. Peterson). Ours must be an all-embracing concern like that of Jesus Himself. We must broaden our horizons ... to look ... to reach out ... to care ... to embrace and love. This is what mission is all about. What in the world are you doing?

     Jesus in Matthew 28 gives us the Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples. In Luke 9 He sends out his 12 disciples and in Luke 10 He appoints 72 and sends them out referencing that "the harvest is plentiful but workers are few, ask the Lord of harvest therefore to send out workers into His harvest field." With your partnership in the gospel, ECF is continuing to follow scripture. Ours is a sending and supporting ministry throughout Asia and our world. I recall times of missionary zeal when people would gather to pray for missions and sing the gospel song, "Send the Light, the precious Gospel Light". How vital the message of the Cross is to a world that is desperate and looking for answers that can only be found by the Light of the Gospel.

     Jesus cared passionately about His mission on earth. He had come to "proclaim good news to the poor ... to proclaim freedom ... to set the oppressed free" and to embody this work permanently in the form of "my church." -- an ambitious undertaking! This was a global revolution -- a world realization. This is the ministry in which ECF is involved -- To reach our world for Christ!

     To be truly "missionary minded" is to believe both Jesus' command to reach the whole world and His promise that power would be given to accomplish the task (Acts 1:8). ECF Founder Dr. Gih and all who have been involved in the ministries were and are compelled by the Spirit to obey our Lord's command to "go ... into all the world, and share the gospel. "ECF INTERNATIONAL is the realization of a corporate dream of Andrew Gih and J. Edwin Orr as well as the present Director Dr. Paul Szeto who had and has the vision to bring Christ to unreached people in Asia and the world. The Lord of the Harvest makes it possible because He wants to see great multitudes from every nation, tribe, people and language reached with the gospel of life.

     WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING? Can you recall the day when mother or a friend, in frustration, asked this question? I would address this thought to you with concern for the peoples of this world. Would your answer be like that which I, as a teenager, gave to mother when asked, NOTHING!

     On behalf of the peoples of this world who look your way...... "What in the world ARE YOU DOING? NOTHING?"



 


CHINA
Franklin Graham in China
     Franklin Graham, President of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse visited China in May. His 10-day trip to China made a great impact in the religious circle. Graham says, "The perception in the West is that evangelism is dead and that the Christian faith is mostly underground in China. The Church here is possibly one of the strongest in all the countries I've visited." One of the highlights of Graham's visit was his historic sermon at the Chung-yi Church in Hangzhou, the largest church in China today. On May 11 (Mother's Day), by the invitation of Rev. Gu, he preached to 12,000 people in this 6,000 seat church. Here are some of his comments: "Through all my travels, this was certainly a moment that will be special to me for the rest of my life," said Graham. "Not only was it significant because of the size of the gathering, but it was the first Mother's Day since the passing of my own mother who was born here in China. I believe, in a way, this was a continuation of her love and passion for the people of this nation." Following Graham's sermon, 1250 people responded to the invition, and Bibles were given out to those who made decisions to follow Jesus Christ.

     In response to the earthquake that killed thousands on May 12 in Sichuan Province, Graham committed a total of $300,000 for immediate relief efforts.


Pastor Joseph Gu with Franklin Graham




USA
Bridging Cultures through Language Training
ECF's Mission Program through Education
     In view of the high demand in English education in China, the Education and Culture Foundation in cooperation with the Chinese government has been organizing Summer Mission English Teaching Teams to China since 1988. Over these last 20 years, 22 teams composed of 110 professional volunteers from the United States and the United Kingdom have been sent. They have covered 10 different localities in China to teach conversational English and teaching methodology to local students, teachers and church pastors. A total of 2,830 participants have been benefited by the positive outlook of the Christian spirit and Western culture.

     Two teams will be sent this summer. One team will be teaching in Shijiazhuang and the other in Hangzhou. John Ho, ECF's Director of Program, will be leading both teams. Team members for Shijiazhuang include Brenda Gulbranson and Sandra Quan. Team to Hangzhou includes Beryl Carpenter, Julie Smith, Rachel Shackleford, Deke Wilkins and John Richards. The Shijiazhuang program runs from June 25 to July 14 and the program at Hangzhou runs from July 4 to 20. Please remember the teams in your prayer. Donations can be sent to ECF with specifications: Summer Teaching Mission.


Shijiazhuang Team


Hangzhou Team

VIETNAM
Scholarships presented for education projects
     Mr. Hai Huynh, ECF Representative in Vietnam is working on an Education Project to support needy students at the Bible Institute in Ho Chi Minh City. Also, special Scholarships will be offered to the children of local pastors to take English courses in Da Nang. Please pray for these projects in Vietnam.






MACAU
God's love shared through Grace Chapel
     Aside from the weekly activities of two Sunday morning worship services, Sunday School for adults and children as well as Thursday evening Bible studies and prayer meetings, the Grace Community Chapel conducted a special one-day Gospel Trip to Zhu Hai, Guangdong Province last April to share God's love to the community. The Chapel is also assisting with the preparations for the upcoming 55th Anniversary of the ECF Macau Orphanage. Praise God for this church with about 50 people faithfully attending every week!




 
HOPE AND JOY IN THE PHILIPPINES
Kate Reyes
     Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is one of the world's largest archipelagoes. Its rich natural resources produce crops such as coconuts and sugar cane. The most commonly spoken languages are Filipino and English.

     With a population of over 90 million, recent statistics show that at least 30 percent live below the poverty level. Many families subsist on a daily income of US$2. This problem is especially significant among the 35 percent of the total population who are children, 14 years old and younger. Unfortunately, because of their poor economic standing, these impoverished children have no real future ahead of them.

     In 1996, in response to the growing need especially among the urban poor, ECF founded the Children's Center in Quezon City, the easternmost suburb of Metro Manila. It began its life-changing, hope-giving ministry in the Payatas community, a garbage dumpsite where refuse from all over the city is deposited.

     Despite the worst living conditions immaginable - limited access to clean water, sewage floating in and around homes, smoke and dirt in the air, around 6,000 people live in, on and around the Payatas dumpsite. Residents support themselves by rummaging through garbage; looking for items to recyle and sell for a few cents. It is not uncommon to see children as young as three years old running up to a garbage truck, hoping to have first pick of the newly dumped trash.

     Seeing the urgency for both practical and spiritual assistance, ECF deployed workers who visited families, taught skills, prayed, and most of all, shared the love and hope of God with the destitute residents, particularly the children. Two centers and a Children's sponsorship program were established; aiding in the provision of food staples, basic health check-ups, education and skills development and Christian and Spiritual reformation.

     With God's help, ECF's programs were successful in helping the Payatas community practically and more importantly, spiritually. Families attended Bible studies and prayer meetings and Sunday worship at the Payatas Center. Many young people found salvation and committed their lives to Jesus Christ. In the midst of unfortunate circumstances, the joy and hope of God were found.

     In 2000, ECF spread God's love and hope to another part of the Philippines --- to Caingin, Bulacan, the 4th most populous province in the country. Home to over 2 million, it is rich in cultural and historical heritage. However, despite its colorful past, Bulacan faces a bleak present. To date, 5.4% of its residents live below the poverty level. Shanties, polluted air, stagnant water, and trash alongside the road are a way of life in this province. In Caingin, whenever typhoon season hits, the river swells up, ravaging everything in its path. But most disheartening of all is seeing young children peddling on the streets to earn extra income for their families. Many are forced to skip their education ending up as street rats with no real future.

     Partnering with a local baptist church, ECF established a Children's Center, offering God's love and hope through practical and spiritual aid to the children. It opened avenues of help for the community offering food assistance, basic medical examinations, vocational and educational training, and Christian and Spiritual reformation.

     Many testify of how the ECF ministry has transformed their lives. One family whose main source of income was an old and dying popcorn cart received assistance from ECF supporters to purchase new equipment . A young girl, once enrolled in the ECF program, has completed her studies from a computer school, ready for a job. A malnourished boy is now healthier because of the food assistance and vitamins that he regularly receives. But more importantly, the children and their families have been given the hope and love of God.

     Bible study fellowships, Sunday worship and prayer meetings are now a way of life for these families. The children and youth actively participate in the Church activities. Many have found salvation in Jesus Christ and committed their lives to Him.

     ECF International has truly made an impact in the Philippines. It has opened doors of opportunities, offering life-changing, hope-giving futures to underprivileged Filipino children and families. Despite depressing conditions and difficulties these people face everyday, their hearts and faces radiate the warmth of God's peace. Hope and Joy in God are evident in their lives. They know that God has not forgotten them because of the generous help and support that they receive from ECF and its supporters.

     You, too, can make a difference and be a part of this ministry. Simply contact ECF at 437 S. Garfield Ave., Monterey Park, CA 91754, Attention: Sponsorship. For more information, visit www.ecfinternational.org.



 
SHANGHAI
Ralph S. Carlson


     The ECF International 60th anniversary meetings in 2007 were convened in both of China's two largest cities – Beijing and Shanghai. Our first sessions were held in Beijing, national capital, major economic center, and host city for the 2008 Olympic Games. The 2007 estimates list Beijing with a population of over 18 million. Our second ECF sessions met in Shanghai, population more than 20 million.

     When my wife and I traveled with ECF International in 1998, we were informed that Shanghai then had over 100 Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets. Such growth has not halted during the past decade.

     For many centuries, Shanghai's location on the East China Sea coast, roughly half way between Hong Kong to the south and Beijing to the north (and inland), near the mouth of the Yangtze River prompted its growth as a center for trade. During the era foreign control of a number of trade centers in China, Shanghai developed a commercial district of foreign banks and trading company offices near the banks of the Huang Po river, an area known as "The Bund," which again, in the present day, is an important commercial and tourist center in the city.

     While Beijing is the seat of China's national government, it has been common for figures who have risen to power in the Communist Party and in the municipal government of Shanghai to move on to positions with the party and/or the national government in Beijing.

     While Mao Tze Dong and his successors maintained a centralized economy with five-year plans for economic development arranged in and administered from Beijing, Shanghai's status was secondary to that of Beijing. However, with the return to a progressively more open market economy and establishment of a thriving stock market in Shanghai, the city has become the primary economic engine for mainland China, nearly on par with Hong Kong which has had more than a century of open market experience and international trade.

     With ongoing economic expansion, Shanghai boasts numerous skyscrapers, most imaginatively lighted at night. For several years, the Pearl of the Orient Television Tower was the world's tallest structure, and though buildings such as Indonesia's Petronas Towers have more recently reached higher, the Pearl Tower remains a major tourist attraction in Shanghai's Pudong district along the Huang Po River. Architects compete to give modern Shanghai's skyline variety in shapes and colors, hence many edifices contrast with the glass-and-steel rectangles one may expect to be the norm in growing cities today.

     In Shanghai, ECF International has direct access to the head offices of the China Christian Council which oversees Protestant church activity across the nation. ECF supports several homes for the elderly in Shanghai, the largest housing some 50 residents. Mr. and Mrs. Zhou of Hangzou maintain contact with the ECF projects in their own city, and also travel to Shanghai to visit the elderly in the ECF-sponsored eldercare sites there.

     Global Vision readers with Internet access can find more facts and figures about Shanghai at sites such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai and http://Shanghai.gov.cn (an official government site).

     Support for the ECF eldercare projects in Shanghai can be directed to the ECF International headquarters office in Monterey Park, California.



 
Building a New church in Da-feng, Guizhou Province, China

     During the most damaging snow storm this January in Guizhou Province, China, thousands became homeless. At least three Christian churches were destroyed in three different locations. Dr. Paul Szeto visited Guiyang, the capital in March and met with Rev. Wen, Chairman of China Christian council in Guizhou, and learned all the details of this urgent need. Upon his return to America, Dr. Szeto got in touch with the CCC Headquarters in Shanghai and discussed the best way to help the Christians in the affected areas. Leaders of CCC reviewed the three proposals submitted by the provincial leaders, and they decided to rebuild the church in Da-feng city. This rebuilding project includes three parts: a worship hall to seat about 150; a small clinic with office space; and a pastoral residence.


Dr. Szeto with Rev. Wen and co-workers in Guiyang


     In response to this urgent need and to the recent earthquake in Sichuan, ECF received love gifts from many concerned supporters. With the major love gift from Mrs. Lai-shou Woo of Seattle, Washington, ECF presented a love gift of $20,000 on May 28, 2008. The fund was wired to China Christian Council in Shanghai designating $15,000 for the rebuilding of a church in Guizhou and $5,000 for earthquake relief in Sichuan. Our love gifts will enable the local Christians to immediately start the rebuilding project and the practical relief work. ECF will continue to cooperate closely with local Christian leaders in China and to provide future gifts when ready.


Presentation of Love Gift for Earthquake Relief


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