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Vol. 13 No. 2
Mar-Apr 2009


A. Higher Vision
B. Christian Dynamics
C. Global Challenges
D. Love in Action
E. In Context
F. Mission Opportunities



 
Higher Vision
Dr. Paul C.C. Szeto

     The ECF Global Communication Center has produced a TV series with 13 programs. Under a new name, “The Sound of Life,” this television documentary series features the struggle and success of the Chinese people and Chinese Americans around the world.

     The series begins with the program from the Great Wall of China, a special commemoration of 60 years celebration of Evangelize China Fellowship. Another program features two very gifted Chinese Cadets at the West Point Military Academy. Other programs focus on caring for needy orphans and on adopted children from China. Two programs focus on Bible publication in China and the recent Bible Exhibition held in America. Both Billy Graham and former president Jimmy Carter gave strong support to all three exhibitions in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York City. Three programs share tales of successful Christians and their life impact in the world. Four programs feature the dynamic growing churches in modern China. These true reports capture the real life of millions Chinese Christians who are enjoying new freedom of religion in China. When Franklin Graham was invited to preach at the Chongyi Church in Hangzhou on Mother’s Day in 2008, over 12,000 came to the Sunday worship.

     We are looking for sponsors who would partner with us in putting this series on TV. Please pray for this exciting ministry in this new year. Your Easter gift will help us to move ahead!



Please Pray for Dr. Paul Szeto

March
18    ECF Thailand Committee in Bangkok, Thailand
19    ECF Children’s ministry 13th Anniversary in the Philippines
21    Commencement for Bethel Bible Institute in Thailand
22    Sunday Worship with baptism at Grace Chapel in Macau
23    Meeting with “Messengers of Life” Board in Hong Kong
24    ECF Foundation Board in Hong Kong
26    Senior Home Celebration in Changde, Hunan Province, China
28    YWCA, Zhejiang University and Seminary in Hangzhou, China
29    Preaching at Hangzhou Chongyi Church in China
30    Ground-Breaking Ceremony for Senior Home in Hangzhou, China

April
12    ECF International Chapel, Easter worship with baptism, in Monterey Park, CA
24    ECF Executive Council in Monterey Park, CA

May
3    Chinese Zion Baptist Church in Eagle Rock, CA
9    APU Commencement in Azusa, CA
14-15   APU Board of Trustees in Azusa, CA
17    ECF International Chapel in Monterey Park, CA
22-26   TV programs in Dallas, TX


 
PARABLES TO LIVE BY
Parables and Prayer

Dr. Harold E. Lane


     Jesus did much teaching concerning prayer by way of parable. The Book of Luke is recognized as the New Testament’s paramount gospel of prayer and praise. It is laced with examples of prayer and its function through narrative and parable.

     The 18th chapter of Luke illustrates this point clearly. In verses one through eight, the focus is upon persistence in prayer. The disciples of Jesus often were impatient when their requests weren’t fulfilled immediately. The parable of the persistent widow carried the encouragement to not give up if at first one was unsuccessful. The judge who cared nothing for God or men was pressured to take action. The unjust judge is put into comparison with the just and loving God. The lesson here is that one should not give up but pray continually.

     The second prayer parable in this passage is a prayer for justification. The Pharisee was filled with self-righteous praise. He says in essence “thank you that I’m better than others.” He details his qualities and takes notice of the “inferior” tax collector. He prays a prayer that was no prayer.

     The third lesson is a prayer of humility. This is the prayer of the penitent publican or tax collector. Both he and the self-righteous man went to the same place at the same time for the same purpose. Both stood as was the Jewish custom. Both addressed God and both spoke of themselves. The tax collector stood at a distance (not worthy) and would not look up. He beat on his breast (a sign of guilt) and prayed God to “have mercy on me, a sinner” — confession and repentance.

     In Matt. 6:1-4; 5-8 we read of a prayer of generosity. It deals with giving to the needy. Do not announce as the hypocrites to be honored by men. The follow up in verses 5-8 deals with the subject in relationship to prayer. Ones private prayer life is not for the public but for God’s ear alone. Many words and babbling do not impress the Lord.

          A fourth parable dealing with prayer is found in Matt. 25:1-15. This is the parable of the ten virgins -- five wise and prepared; five foolish and unprepared. The foolish found themselves without adequate oil. They prayed “give us oil and open the door for us.” The prayer of those who made little effort to be ready for the bridegroom’s coming met with the words “I don’t know you.” Theirs was a prayer of futility.

In A Manor of Speaking
     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.

     Free copies of this book and the DVD "Crusader For Christ" can be obtained by contacting the ECF Headquarters.




 
USA
THE ECF INTERNATIONAL CHAPEL
     The International Chapel has grown steadily with committed members attending Sunday worship services. Dr. Paul Szeto, Dr. Nathan Yeh, Dr. Meilin Chen, Rev. James Tai and Mr. John Ho share on the pulpit. The women and youth also take charge of special Sunday worship services on special occasions.

     Please pray for the growth and the mission of the International Chapel in spreading the gospel of Christ to people in the greater Los Angeles area.

The Life Fellowship
     Every Thursday evening the Mandarin-speaking members and friends gather at the ECF Headquarters for in depth Bible study. Attendees share openly their inspirations and experiences on the Bible verses they have studied and prayed together for guidance and revival.



The Living Water Fellowship
     In view of the needs of the Cantonese speaking members in the congregation, The Living Water Fellowship is organized to meet on a monthly basis for spiritual enrichment. Friends in the local communities are also invited to join for fellowship and mutual support. The first gathering is scheduled in the afternoon on March 7 at Dr. and Mrs. Paul Szeto’s residence with a fellowship dinner.



MACAU
Rejoicing together
     Through the generous donation of a sponsor, the children and staff of the ECF Macau Orphanage spent the day at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort on March 1, 2009. The children were so excited; enjoying all the rides and shows at the park. It was a very happy day for all!



PHILIPPINES
Reaching out to the Youth
     On Saturday mornings, the sponsored children and the youth in the community gather at the terrace of the Caingin Church for morning fellowship and a simple breakfast with the Pastor Nicolas and youth leaders. There, the children learn about the Bible and how to pray. Also, they talk candidly about their concerns and their achievements, as well as their prayer requests and urgent needs. Praise God that, through this outreach, many of the youth are learning about Jesus and staying off the streets and away from trouble.



ECF is a Blessing to Me
Rev Bernardo
     First and foremost, I want to thank God for giving me the privilege to be a part of the ECF family. I thank God for ECF, whom He used as an instrument to be a helping hand for me and my family. Also, I thank you, the ECF staff and sponsors, for the good things that you have done for me; for the aid that you have given me. I benefited a lot from them. Thank you for giving me a hand as I journey through life. You have helped me financially. Thank you for the goods and most especially for the school supplies, including the uniform and shoes. Because of those, I am confident to go to school and very excited to use them.

     In my school, I am able to study well, and with God’s grace, I am a part of the top students in our school. Also, I thank you for I have grown more mature spiritually. Because of the Bible you gave to me, I am able to know how God works in my life and how He really loves me. My family, also, becomes closer to God through the weekly bible study. I also have joined our church’s youth ministry. Instead of going with other friends, I choose the CCBC youth as my peers because I know that they abide in Christ. And I think, through joining with them I could grow more and more mature in my spiritual life.

     I have also learned to use my knowledge in serving God, like my knowledge in computer. Truly, I am really, really thankful to God for the blessings that He showered me, for the ECF ministry that have always been a blessing in my life.”





 
In Memory of Dr. Henry Hsu
World’s Sports Giant and God’s Faithful Servant
Dr. Paul Szeto

     Dr. Henry Hsu has completed his 98-year earthly journey: he went to be with the Lord on February 3, 2009 in the City of Taipei, Taiwan.

     In the global Christian community, Henry Hsu was highly respected as Elder Hsu because he has been a strong brother in the Lord and a great supporter for the ministry of Evangelize China Fellowship for over 50 years. In 1949, after Dr. Andrew Gih’s great crusade in Hong Kong with many converts, Dr. Hsu helped to establish the first ECF church in that city. While my father, the Rev. Fai Szeto, was the Senior Pastor of the ECF Canaan Church in Hong Kong, Dr. Henry Hsu served as an Elder for many years. They also worked very closely for the establishment of the Holy Word Girls College, providing the urgently needed education for many Chinese young people.

     When I was elected President of ECF in 1980, Dr. Hsu gave me his strong personal support by serving as a member of the ECF Council of Reference, together with God’s servants such as Billy Graham and several others. In 1984, during the International Olympics in Los Angeles, Dr. and Mrs. Hsu came to speak at the ECF Seniors Outreach Gathering and blessed hundreds of people. The Hsu family, including his dear wife, Amy, and their son David, and daughters Angela and Christine, are generous givers for the Lord’s ministries around the world. The Hsu’s Legacy of Love will continue to live on eternally. The Hsu family has been very successful in business including the establishment of the Fortuna Hotel in Hong Kong; the Taipei Fortuna Hotel in Taiwan and the Los Angeles Airport Hilton and Towers in America.

     For millions people in the sports-world, Henry Hsu was a Sports Giant. As a teenager, he won many medals in basket ball, volley ball, soccer, swimming, water polo and track. His greatest accomplishment was his contribution to The International Olympic Committee as a highly respected member; plus his tireless effort in the re-instatement of his National Olympic Committee to full status with the I.O.C.

     Richard W. Pound, an influential member of the I.O.C. remembered Henry Hsu with these words: “I shall always remember the courage, the strength and the dignity with which Henry fought for what he believed. These are the qualities that make men great.” Frederick J. Ruegsegger, another member of I.O.C. remembered him, saying: “Henry gave his full support to Avery Brundage, the unique and great leader of the sports-world of the 20th century…..He is always on the scene of action, be it in Rome, Teheran, Tokyo, Chicago, Moscow, Athens or so many other places during the many years I had the honor of knowing him.” Dr. Hsu went to Beijing for the International Olympic in 2008. Even though he became sick, he stayed until the end of the entire event.

     Dr. Hsu always put God’s love into human actions. During the Sino-Japanese war, Admiral Chak Chan’s boat was attacked near Hong Kong. Henry Hsu, as Chan’s assistant in the Navy, carried the wounded Admiral on his back, swam for several hours to safety and also wisely saved five British torpedo boats with many officers on board. For this he received the medal of the Order of the British Empire from King George VI of England. Later, as President of the Red Cross Society of Republic of China, he played a good role in rebuilding of communication and relief efforts across the Taiwan Straits.

     Dr. Hsu was bestowed several honorary degrees, including the Doctor of Humanities degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts; and the Doctor of Laws degree from Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.

     I thank God for Elder Hsu's fruitful life. I look forward to meet him again in the presence of our risen Lord.







 
Terrorism in Asia: Religious Conflict in India

Dr. Ralph S. Carlson


     Christianity in India has deep roots, as summarized in this column in an earlier issue. Orthodox churches trace their origins to the ministry of St. Thomas in the First Century. Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations have worked in India for several centuries. Still, the dominant religion in India is Hinduism (80%), and Buddhism, Islam, Christianity (2.3%), and other faiths are minority traditions. During the centuries of British control of India, many groups and movements formed to oppose the British “Raj” or imperial regime. In the Twentieth Century, two Hindu Nationalist movements gained particularly wide support, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteers Organization or RSS) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council or VHP), both of which have paramilitary wings, and both of which decry Western cultural influences in Indian society that disrupt the customs of the caste system.

     While the Indian national constitution and the state constitutions assert that India shall be a pluralistic society, radical Hindu nationalists have succeeded in several states in passing legislation forbidding “forced” or “induced” conversion from one religion to another, and requiring an official approval of any conversion. Radical Hindu activists may then, as one form of harassment, file complaints against Christian clergy or lay leaders for “conversion activities.” An Indian Christian couple that operated Christian day schools in three towns was so charged because children in their schools were taught bible stories and Christian prayers. No children of other faiths were “asked” or “told” to become Christian, but the very use of Christian materials was raised as an “illegal coercion.”

     Sporadically over the years, radical Hindu elements have physically attacked Muslims and Christians. In Orissa State in August of 2008, a Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati was assassinated. A Maoist revolutionary group claimed credit for the killing. However, Hindu extremists attributed the death to Christians, and raised mobs to attack churches, schools, training centers, as well as homes, businesses and vehicles of local believers. In successive waves of violence in Orissa State and elsewhere, more than sixty Christian clergy and laity were killed in the months of August through December 2008, hundreds were injured, and thousands were driven out of their villages, their homes ransacked or burned. Thousands were told that, to return to their homes, they must convert to Hindu tradition.

     The All India Christian Council (www.aiccindia.org) web site reports that the organization formed in 1998 “to protect and serve the Christian community, minorities, and the oppressed castes. The AICC is a coalition of thousands of Indian denominations, organizations, and lay leaders.” Articles detailing persecution of Christians over several recent years are available on the web site. Similar reports are available on the Catholic site AsiaNews.it, and include mention of others’ suffering as well. An article posted September 3, 2008 on violence in Orissa state includes … ”On Monday, the Baptist church in Durgaprasad, the Catholic church in Chadiapally, and both the Baptist and Catholic churches in Balligada were set on fire and destroyed.” The Evangelical Covenant Church website ( http://www.covchurch.org/cov/news/ ) carries in its archives two stories on attacks on Hindustani Covenant Churches and their parishioners, and the murder of a Hindustani Covenant pastor.

     Though anti-Christian violence has broken out in six Indian states, including Andhra Pradesh, the location of the ECF-supported Grace Home in Guntur, thus far Pastor Dumpala has not reported any such oppression. Let us pray for an end to the violence, and for growth in true freedom in India. Christian and interfaith groups (including moderate Muslim and Hindu leaders) have responded to the violence with days of prayer and fasting. A statement from Youth With A Mission is typical and parallels the remarks of a Catholic priest who was badly beaten by radicals: Indian Christians are “responding to the situation with an attitude of forgiveness to the perpetrators and assistance to the victims.”

(To sponsor a child at Grace Home, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India, contact Kate Reyes at ECF Headquarters.)



 
Sharing God's Word
     Dr. Paul Szeto has been invited to preach at the Chongyi Church in Hangzhou, on March 29, 2009. This is now the largest church in China. When Franklin Graham preached at the church last Mother’s Day, about 12,000 came to hear him. The Youth Fellowship on Tuesday often attracts over 1200 people.

Medical Service to the Needy
     In partnership with medical doctors from the Chongyi Church, Christian physicians from America and other countries can serve as partners to provide medical services to the needy.

Teaching English
     For several years, ECF in partnership with YWCA and the Zhejiang Seminary, has sent teams of language experts and university students to teach English to local student and seminarians. Great fellowship was developed. This summer two teams will go to Hangzhou for teaching.



Teaching English in China, Summer 2009
Teacher Team 1: Shijiazhuang (near Beijing), Hebei. July 4 to July 19
Teacher Team 2: Hangzhou, Zhejiang. July 18 to August 2
Student Team: Hangzhou, Zhejiang and Wusu, Xinjiang. July 18 to August 19
Please contact ECF Program Director, Mr. John Ho at johnho@ecfdn.org or visit our website (ecfinternational.org) for more information.




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