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Vol. 12 No. 6
Nov-Dec 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

     The greatest joy for ECF this year is to have Dr. Harold Lane's book, “In A Manor of Speaking” published in Hong Kong and to establish a Pastoral Support Fund at the Sihui Christian Church in China in honor of the Lanes for their dynamic pastoral leadership for decades.

     This new book by Dr. Lane is a study of two scriptural counterparts, specifically the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament and the Beatitudes of the New Testament. Thanks to Mrs. Ethel Whitson for her assistance in the book's preparation. This new book is dedicated to Dr. Lane's faithful and beloved wife, Dee. Free copies of this book and the DVD "Crusader For Christ" can be obtained by contacting the ECF Headquarters.

     ECF provided $10,000 (RMB) for the Pastoral Support Fund in order to help the growing church in Sihui, China. ECF assisted in the rebuilding of this countryside church about five years ago. At that time, membership was about 80. Today, this church has grown to about 400. On October 12, Dr. Lane spoke in the Sunday worship, encouraging all Chinese believers to love the Lord and to continue reaching out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

     We are also thankful to Dr. Lane who will contribute articles for our Global Vision. Please pray for Dr. and Mrs. Lane.

“Creative Educational Methodologies”
Dr. Harold Lane
     One of the most important issues in today's world is education. People everywhere are concerned with gaining knowledge. It stands to reason that those who given the responsibility of instruction must be well prepared to assume the task. Education and Culture Foundation in partnership with Evangelize China Fellowship has been working in a number of areas to achieve Christian Education in the Untied States as well as China. For instance, a program has been instituted at Fuller Theological Seminary in the name of Dr. Paul C.C. Szeto that enables international students to come to U.S. for study as well as making available resources for professors and teachers from the seminary to go abroad to strengthen their abilities in the teaching profession. A similar program has been established at Azusa Pacific University for advanced education. Another instance of the great interest of the Foundation can be seen in the effort put forth each year by E.C.F. in sending qualified teachers to China to teach English to Chinese instructors as well as students. For approximately six weeks each year an experienced group lives with the students in China and shares their expertise both culturally and spiritually.

     Since we have found our spiritual lives in the person of Jesus, it makes sense that we look to Him as the best source for determining methods of teaching. Jesus often taught with parables. One of the simplest definition of a parable is “An earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” In addition to teaching with parable, another methods He used was that of miracle. How often the performance of a miracle teach Jesus' followers as well as others a very valuable lesson. Yet another form of teaching that Jesus used which is often overlooked was that of silence. We will share with our readers of Global Vision around the world with the following articles showing how the Lord made great insight into the lives of people by the use of silence. Is it possible that we can find ways of using these methods in our own efforts to teach others the beauty of following the Savior?


 
Alton and Phyllis Gould --
-- God's Blessings to ECF


     On October 30, on behalf of the ECF Board, Dr. & Mrs. Szeto visited the Goulds at their new retirement residence in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada. They had a good time of sharing God's rich blessings that had come upon them over the years.

     Dr. Gould baptized the Szetos in Hong Kong while they were still in high school. Dr. Gould first served as Chairman for the ECF in Canada. After his retirement as Senior pastor of Wesley Chapel in Toronto, he served as ECF Minister-at-large for several years. He preached throughout Asia, Europe and North America for global missions. He was elected Chairman of ECF International in 1987 and received the honor of Chairman Emeritus in 1997 after serving ten fruitful years.

     Back in 1988, Dr. Gould began to write for the ECF News & Global Vision, ECF's magazine in English Readers around the world enjoy his articles for the last twenty years. ECF published four books for Dr. Gould: The Abundant Life (1987);The Boundless Power of Prayer (1991) Gebet Kenut Keine Grenzen (German 1992) ;and At Every Ben of the Road (1997)

     ECF also produced a DVD “Ambassador of Love” which is a documentary of the life and ministry of Dr. and Mrs. Gould. We are most grateful for the life long friendship and fellowship with the Goulds. Please continue to remember them in your prayers.

     Both books and DVD are free for those who would request them by contacting the ECF Headquarters.


Collegiate Heights Retirement Residence


 


MACAU / PHILIPPINES
God's Love and Joy in their Hearts
Kate Reyes
     From October 9 to 16, 2008, Mr. Ambrose Leong, ECF Assistant Office Managerf for Publications and I had the opportunity to visit the ECF Sponsorship fields in Macau and the Philippines. Even though it was a short Mission trip, it was a blessing to spend time with the sponsored children in both countries. The children and staff were all so gracious; showering us with much love and hospitality.

     Our first stop was Macau, where we visited the ECF Orphanage and ate dinner with the children and staff. There, I interacted with the children, encouraging them to converse with me in English. I was impressed as many of them knew English well. They were all friendly and well-behaved, but some were also shy and hid from me. The children told me that the Orphanage is a good place to be and they were happy living there.

     During dinner, Mr. Un-tap Ieong, the Orphanage Superintendent, and I discussed the sponsorship ministry with Ambrose as translator. He shared that the Orphanage houses 24 children, the youngest being 6 years old. The House mothers assist the children in different ways -- with their education, social and physical well-being and most importantly, in their spiritual walk. Weekly group Bible studies and devotionals are held at the Orphanage and everyone worships at the Grace Chapel on Sundays. In fact, some of the children are in the Church choir

     On Saturday, October 12, together with the ECF USA delegation: Dr. & Mrs. Paul Szeto, Dr. & Mrs. Harold Lane, Dr. Nathan Yeh, Mr. Ambrose Leong, and I participated in the 55th Anniversary banquet of the ECF Macau Orphanage at the Hotel Royal. More than 150 guests from the USA, Macau and Hong Kong celebrated this historic occasion.

     Throughout the evening, the children serenaded and entertained their guests. It was impressive because they really practiced and prepared for this special event. Aside from the children, Dr. Yeh, Ms. Yu and Mrs. Cheung lent their voices as well in singing Gospel Song and Chinese Opera. Awards were given to the workers for their years of dedication and hard work. To close the night, Dr. Szeto delivered a short speech, while Dr. Lane gave the Benediction.

     Picture taking followed to commemorate the evening's events. I recognized a few faces, children who once lived in the Orphanage, and now grown. It was great to see them; to see that they have not forgotten their roots and where they came from.

     The next morning, we arrived at the Orphanage around 8am for the Sunday morning worship service. Dr. Nathan Yeh, ECF Board member, preached on “Happiness, Joy and Counting your blessings” based on Philippians 4. The children eagerly listened to Dr. Yeh and responded to him with enthusiasm. The Children's choir also sang a hymn of praise during the service.

     After worship, we bid goodbye to everyone in Macau and then flew to the Philippines, the second leg of our trip.

     Mrs. Ditas Leonardo, ECF Sponsorship Worker, and her husband, Larry, Pastor and Mrs. Rod Nicolas, Caingin Christian Baptist Church Pastor, and Chris, came to welcome us that evening. During dinner, Ditas and I discussed about the Philippine sponsorship program as well as the itinerary for our short visit. An important component of the trip was to see two young women who were once recipients of the Sponsorship Ministry as well as spend time with the children.

     It was a rainy Tuesday morning when we arrived at Bulacan. Ditas and Larry, Pastor Rod and his wife, Lucille, Juancho and Imelda San Luis (the church's Treasurer), and many others welcomed us.

     After lunch and a short meeting, we visited former ECF Sponsorship recipients, Rowena Ruetas and Rose Ann Nicolas for a brief interview. With bright smiles on their faces, they shared that, “being a part of the ECF Sponsorship Ministry was truly life-changing. The support opened many doors; allowing them to continue their education and most of all, having a closer relationship with God.” As a result, these young ladies have graduated from 2-year college programs, are working and serving at the church. They send their heartfelt thanks to all the sponsors.

     Our afternoon in Bulacan was filled with thanksgiving, singing, dancing, and lots of smiles and laughter. The Gospel message presented in “mime” moved the audience to tears. Sponsorship recipients and their mothers shared testimonies about their experiences in the ECF Sponsorship Ministry. A special surprise was when the children read letters and cards that they made to welcome us to the Philippines. To close the evening, Pastor Rod led the children in singing Christmas carols in Tagalog, the local language. Many were surprised when they heard me singing with them!

     Though it had been a long day, we left Bulacan with our hearts filled with thanksgiving and encouragement! Despite the harshness of life in the Philippines, smiles, laughter, and God’s love glowed from the faces of the children -- evidences of true joy in their hearts!

     Praise God for the opportunity to have shared with the children of Macau and the Philippines. We truly felt loved by all of them. Most of all, I thank the Lord for the privilege of serving Him through the ECF Sponsorship Ministry -- where children’s lives and futures are changed.




CAMBODIA
Bible: for teaching English and Computers
     The FICC-ECF Computer Center in Phnom Penh started another session of Computer classes. Microsoft Office Applications (MS-Word, Excel and Access) as well Adobe Photoshop and Typing are being offered this semester. Aside from these, English workshops are also conducted for the students. As a means of an outreach, the Center developed an English book using Bible verses and stories. It is a 3-in-1 book, incorporating Grammar, Conversation and Bible stories. Not only are the students learning practical skills, they are also increasing in their knowledge of the Word of God.




INDIA
Youth Enjoyed Retreat
     The children of Grace Orphanage enjoyed a Youth retreat last August 2nd. Special programs such as short dramas and action songs were presented by the children. On August 15th, the children celebrated the Independence Day of India participating in the flag hoisting and singing national songs.

     The Agape Institute of Multi-media is running well though it needs to upgrade its software. The village youth continue to come to the school eagerly wanting to learn computers.




 
Join the ECF
2009 English Teaching Program in China
     Starting in 1988, ECF International sent English Teacher Training Teams to Shanghai, Changde, Kaiping, Hangzhou, Urumqi and Shijiazhuang. Over 1400 school teachers, doctors, nurses, pastors and young professionals were benefited.

     In 2009, we will send three English Teaching Teams to Shijiazhuang, Hangzhou and Kaiping. The dates set for Shijiazhuang and Hangzhou are July 4 to 19 and July 18 to August 2, 2009 respectively. The date for Kaiping is still yet to be determined.

     Besides Teachers team, we will also send one Students Team for English Student Summer Camp. It will be a four week program at Hangzhou and WuSu (near Urumqi) from July 18 to August 19, 2009.

     If you or your church would like to participate in these programs, please send an email to Mr. John Ho, Director of Program, at johnho@ecfdn.org or call our office. All update information will be posted in our website: www.ecfinternational.org.



Support the Ministries of ECF
Dear Members of the Board,

     In our continuing effort to honor our parents, the Rev. and Mrs. Fai Szeto and to support the ministries of ECF, we plan to make an annual contribute to the Memorial Fund established in their names. We wish that ECF will use this contribution for educational purposes.

     Please find attached checks in the sum of $2,000 our contribution for this year. Future contribution will be made in November of each year.

     May God Continue to bless you and your ministries for His glory!

In Christ,
Esther Ho, Grace Chin, Annie Cheng


Dr. Szeto accepting donation from his sisters




 
Terrorism in Asia: The Philippines
Ralph S. Carlson

     While Americans celebrated the 2008 Thanksgiving holiday, the major international news stories came from Mumbai, India. Terror squads of a group previously unknown to the public attacked ten locations with guns, bombs and grenades. Among the targets were two major hotels, a train station, and a Jewish center. The political goals of the group, Deccan Mujahedeen, as of the time of this writing, were not yet clear, the death toll was approaching two hundred and the tally of wounded was approaching three hundred. Apparently, the radical Islamic group wished to attack Westerners and Jews, though many victims were Indian citizens of Mumbai. And though the tragic events holding the world's attention at the moment occurred in India, many countries in Asia are dealing with insurgents with a variety of political and religious credos. In this issue, focus falls on the Philippines. Focus on India will come in a subsequent issue.

     The Philippines is termed Asia's only Christian nation. Among the population of more than 96 million, eighty percent are Roman Catholic, and another ten percent are Protestant. Five percent are Muslim. The Muslim population lives predominantly in five provinces in the south – two on Mindanao, and others on smaller islands including Basilan and Jolo. Historically, the Muslim minority has been at odds with Christian central governments, whether in colonial times or in the decades of independence since 1946. In the 1970s, the Moro National Liberation Front arose to fight for autonomy for the predominantly Muslim southern region. Given differences of opinion on goals and tactics, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and, later, Abu Sayaf (Bearers of the Sword) split from the MNLF. Abu Sayaf, in 2001, captured American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham and held them over a year till attacked by Philippine military forces in 2002. In the crossfire, Martin was killed and Gracia was wounded.

     In 1996, under agreement with the central government in Manila, an Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao was formed. Still, disputes over land use in the south, some radicals' aims for independence rather than autonomy, and some militants' visions of an Islamic state uniting the island nations of Pacific Asia have kept conflict going into the present day. Among the million Philippine workers in the Middle East, some have converted to Islam, and a few of the converts have embraced the militant anti-Western ideology of Al-Quaeda. In addition to the factions in the south, operatives of the Indonesian-based Jemaah Islamiyah, have functioned in the north, as have smaller groups of converts, the Raja Solaimi Movement and the Balik Islam (“Return to Islam”). Among the attacks made by radicals, the greatest loss of life came in the bombing and sinking of the SuperFerry 14, which claimed 116 lives in 2004. In 2007, a car bomb damaged a section of the Philippine National Assembly building in Manila.

     Realistically, among the Muslim population of about five million, only a few thousand are active, armed militants, and the various factions only sometimes agree on common religious or political goals, but the sporadic bombings and shootings take lives of innocent people and foment fear among the populace.

     Given the long term challenges Philippine citizens face in overcoming poverty in many areas, living with the possibility of terrorist attacks along with the seasonal risks of typhoons and flooding can only increase anxiety in daily life.

     Pray for ECF representative Merceditas Leonardo who works with families in Bulacan, north of Manila, and an area this year battered by typhoons and extensive flooding. Pray that she and those she works with may remain strong in their labors to overcome the effects of the winds and floods. Further, may they be kept safe from any violence that might erupt in the future, mindful of the words of II Timothy 1:7 (NIV) “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love…” And surely, the love of God is a better agent for change in human lives than are bullets, bombs, and warped religious dogmas.



 
Touching the World with Her Heart
     Miss Xiaohui Ma, China's renowned Erhu virtuoso, was the first recipient of the Paul & Dorcas Szeto International Scholarship at Azusa Pacific University this year. She was welcomed by Dr. Duane Funderburk, Dean, School of Music, to APU in October as a Scholar in Residence.

     Raised in an academic family and graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, she enjoys her encounter with gifted people in various institutions of higher education. As Director of the Shanghai Xiaohui Art Center and the Cultural Ambassador for the 2010 World-Exposition to be held in Shanghai, China, she travels the world for her global concerts and for China. Xiaohui Ma is most recognized in the United States for her haunting Erhu duet with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma in the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” Oscar-winning film soundtrack.

     She has collaborated with world-famous orchestras in more than 200 concert, including the Berlin Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuania State Symphony Orchertra, the National Symphony Orchestra in France, and at internationally-known venus such as theKennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.; and New York's Carnegie Weill Recotal Hall. On October 18, she performed with cellist Prof. Johnathan Thomson from Azusa Pacific University, at the ECF TV Studio for the 4th Anniversary Celebration of the Global Rainbow Magazine and the Global Communication Center. Following a performance at Columbia University, Miss Ma performed with pianist Prof. Joel Clifft from APU at the United Nations in New York City on Nov. 14. She received extensive American and Chinese media coverage for this historic performance.

     As a Christian musician, Xiaohui Ma has a moving testimony and is touching the world with her heart through the beautiful music from her Chinese two-stringed violin, the Erhu. The ECF Global Communication Center has produced a DVD which presents a glimpse at the early life journey of Xiaohui Ma. Free copies can be obtained by contacting the ECF Headquarters.





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