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Vol. 13 No. 3
May-Jun 2009


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



 
VERY DIFFERENT NEWS
Dr. Paul C.C. Szeto


     During our recent mission trip to China in March, I received two different news about two old friends related to Yale: James H. Taylor III and Gary Locke.

James H. Taylor III
     I was so blessed to have Dr. James Taylor III as a personal friend and school mate at Yale in the late 1960s. My wife Dorcas and his wife Leone were both serving at the Yale Divinity Library. Our children Tedd and Christine; the Taylor children Amelia, Signe and Jamie, played together a lot, and both families were richly blessed by God in those formative years of our life commitment to Global Missions.

     Last year while passing through Hong Kong, we had dinner with James and Leone. This year, we arrived in Hong Kong around midnight on March 21 and just missed the opportunity to see James Taylor on this earth by one day. From our conversation with Jamie, we are comforted by his strong faith in the Lord that his father is now in a much better place with the Lord.

     To many in the Christian circle, Dr. Taylor was a dynamic leader with a deep passion for global missions. Six generations linked up with the gospel ministry related to the Chinese people. For others, Dr. Taylor was a great Bible teacher with spiritual wisdom. In 1970, he founded the China Evangelical Seminary in Taipei. In 1980, he became the General Director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship in Singapore. In 1993, he formed the Medical Services International in Hong Kong providing direct service to China.

     Because of his scholarship and influence, four honorary doctorate degrees have been granted to him in recent years. To me, Dr. Taylor has always been and continues to be my comrade in the Lord. I will see him again soon.



Gary Locke

     After my studies at Yale in 1971, I returned to Seattle Chinese Baptist Church serving as their Senior Pastor. Gary Locke, together with his parents and sisters, were all involved with this 75-year-old church in Chinatown. I had the privilege of baptizing Gary at this church while he was attending Yale Law School.

     Today, we are most thankful to God that Gary Faye Locke was selected by President Obama as the 36th United States Secretary of Commerce, assuming office on March 26, 2009 and sworn in by President Obama on May 1, 2009.

     Mr. Locke has a long history of dynamic and successful political life. In 1993, he made history by becoming the first Chinese-American to be elected into King County's County Executive. In 1996, he became the State Governor of Washington and served two terms.

     After leaving office, Mr. Locke joined a large law firm in Seattle and continued his service in their China and governmental-relations practice groups.

     I left Seattle about 30 years ago. But every time I return to Seattle, Gary always gives me a warm welcome and friendly embrace when we meet. We will continue to pray for him as we always pray for America.


 
MIRACLES OF THE MASTER
"When the water blushed"

Dr. Harold E. Lane


     The story is told of John Wesley that he was once required to pass an examination in which he had to write an essay about the miracle at Cana's wedding. Nonplussed, frustrated, mentally paralyzed the student sat at his desk motionless. When the time was swiftly running out, desperately and with a stroke of inspirational genius, he took his pen and wrote, "The water looked at Jesus and blushed."

     The Scripture which depicts these miracles at the beginning of Jesus ministry is John 2:1-11. At the third day, Jesus honored an unknown couple by accepting an invitation to be present at their wedding. Jesus' mother, Mary, was also in attendance. It was she who brought the lack of wine to Jesus' attention. There had been no miracles performed by the Lord up to this time. Mary had thirty years of experience with her son and recognized His unusual abilities. When she requested Jesus' assistance, He reminded her that "His time had not yet come." Nevertheless, Mary told the servants to follow His instructions completely.

     There were six water pots of stone standing near the door. The custom of Jesus' day required the washing of hands. Reference to this is found in Matthew 15:1- 2. Each of the pots would contain between 18 and 27 gallons. At this point they were empty, indicating a large gathering at the wedding. The servants filled the water pots to the brim. Jesus then told the servants to draw out some and take it to the emcee of the banquet. A question arises: Did Jesus change the water in all the pots? He certainly could have. Some feel He changed only enough to care for the circumstances. When the master tasted the wine he was delighted. He congratulates the bridegroom, commenting that the usual practice was to make available to the guest a cheaper wine as the festivities were drawing down. In this case the choice wine was now being made available.

     The wine which Jesus provided was superior to the best the host had supplied. There are three symbols to be noted here:

          1. The Savior desires to meet human need.

          2. The servants are the instruments used to further the divine purpose.

          3. The supply is not exhausted since the wine came from a well and not from the limited water pots of stone.

          During the rest of Jesus' ministry, many miracles were to be performed. Here st the first, the Lord and His disciples take part in a happy event. His presence and power make this a blessed event.

Exciting Growth at the ECF International Chapel
     In two short years, the spiritual growth of the ECF International Chapel has been exciting. This is a special outreach ministry among the new comers from China. About 30-40 attend the Sunday worship. Three special fellowship groups have been organized. At the third baptism on Mother's Day (May 10, 2009), two new members were baptized. Mr. Junliang Guan is a pharmacist from Guangdong and Mr. Xun Yu has just received his Master's degree in Mass Communication at the University of Wyoming. Both are active leaders of this growing congregation in Monterey Park.




 
CHINA
Senior Citizen Home in Changde City, Hunan Province
     This Home was opened in 1995 under the joint effort of ECF and the Changde City government. There have been obvious improvements in facilities and programs since its establishment. On March 26, Dr. and Mrs. Paul Szeto together with the City's Foreign Affairs Chief, Ms. Hua Chen, brought in fruits, food items and drinks for the 55 senior citizens living in the Home. The oldest resident is 98 years old and enjoys good health. They had a blessed gathering with singing and sharing.



Earthquake Relief
     Last year, ECF provided US$5000 for earthquake relief in China through China Christian Council.
     Rev. Eddie Chan, ECF Representative from Hong Kong, visited Sichuan in April with the help of Professor Ma. They discussed further cooperation for earthquake victims through a local church.



MACAU
Sharing God's Love
     March 22 was an exciting day in Macau! In the morning, Dr. Szeto preached at the ECF Grace Community Chapel and baptized Ms. Sio Lai Chen. Later, in response to a request from the newly-built Four Seasons Hotel in Taipa, Macau, Dr. and Mrs. Szeto presented 100 bilingual Bibles to Ms. Jennifer Cheong, the Guest Relations Manager. The Bibles will be placed in the hotel's guestrooms.



CAMBODIA
ECF Computer Center making an impact
     Certificates of Completion were awarded to the students at the ECF Computer Center on April 4th. According to the graduates, the computer courses have been a blessing. They build a good foundation for university-bound students; while for those who are employed, the classes have helped them in their jobs.



INDIA
Grace Home Orphans sending their thanks
     The children received new school bags in preparation for the new school year. They were overjoyed; excitedly clutched the bags close to their hearts and lovingly proclaimed their thanks to ECF and their generous sponsors!



USA
Double Blessing Celebration
     To give thanks for the salvation of our Lord and the support of the community, a special gathering is scheduled at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 6, at the ECF Global Communication Center in Monterey Park for the completion of the T.V. Series, "The Sound of Life", and the production of the second combined issue of "Global Rainbow". Admission is free to the public. DVDs produced by ECF with English and Chinese subtitles will be distributed at the event free of charge.





 
HONG KONG
Messengers of Life

     Mr. James Chu has been a successful entrepreneur in Hong Kong and China. He had launched about 1,000 McDonald's restaurants in China and earned the title, "The Farther of Chinese McDonald's". But the sudden discovery of a brain tumor at the peak of his profession nearly destroyed his life. With prayers, his miraculous healing led him to establish "The Messengers of Life" ministry----- sharing the eternal bread of Jesus Christ around the world. Mr. Chu invited Dr. & Mrs. Paul Szeto to speak to the ministry's Board members and friends in Hong Kong on March 23. Dr. Szeto presented a set of 13 DVDs entitled, "The Sound Of Life", to Mr. Chu with the hope that this new series will be aired in Hong Kong when the Chinese Sub-titles are done.


HANGZHOU, CHINA
Chongyi Church

     On March 29, 2009, Rev. Joseph Gu, Pastor of the Chongyi Church in Hangzhou, China, invited Dr. Szeto to speak at the Sunday morning worship. This is the largest church in China today, 6,000 attend each Sunday with about 1,000 in the weekly Tuesday night Youth Service. When Franklin Graham preached at this church last Mother's Day, about 12,000 came to hear him. Last year, ECF sent a medical team to Hangzhou joining with nine medical doctors from this church to provide free medical services in local communities. ECF will continue to partner with the Chongyi Church for future medical services.


USA
China Scholarship for Woodbury University

     For several years, ECF had been in partnership with Woodbury University in Burbank, CA, for a very successful educational program in China. ECF provided scholarships for students and faculty from Woodbury to visit Zhejiang University in Hangzhou for exchange programs. This year, Dr. Karen Kaigler-Walker in the School of Business recommended Miss Claudia K. Ukonu, a second year Marketing major student, as the recipient of the China Scholarship. The group will be in China in the month of May. Prof. Anthony Chan, ECF Treasurer, presents scholarship to Miss Ukonu.




 
Terrorism in Asia: Religious Conflict in India, Part II

Dr. Ralph S. Carlson


     India is commonly mentioned as "the world's largest democracy." In 2009, national and state elections for parliament have been held in five phases, with polling underway in various state groupings on April 16, April 23, April 30, May 7, and May 13. As of the writing of this article, the election results have not been determined. However, the attitudes of Maoist and Marxist groups have been made clear.

     Weeks ahead of the voting, rebel groups called for people in the districts they controlled to boycott the elections, with some even threatening to cut off the fingers of those who voted and left the polls with ink-markings used to prevent multiple voting. As polls opened in the first phase of the election, seventeen election officials and members of security forces guarding polling places were killed by Maoist insurgents. In the state of Jharkand during the election weeks, a conference center was blown up, eight trucks convoying election materials were torched and a driver was killed, and a train carrying 500 passengers was hijacked for four hours by 250 rebels, according to a report carried by the London Telegraph.

     Early in 2009, Christian leaders of all denominations in India convened "national consultations" on a "Christian Approach" to the elections. An extensive report on the discussions of evangelical, Pentecostal, All-India-Christian Council, Catholic and other Christian group leaders is carried on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India website. The report calls for Christians to vote and vote wisely. For decades after India gained independence from Great Britain, the Congress Party dominated Indian politics at the state and national levels. However, in the 1990's, the power of the Congress party waned as many regional and ethnic political parties arose, several among them being Hindu ultra-nationalist.

     In the states where Hindu nationalist parties have been elected to district and state offices and have become the majority parties, harassment and persecution of Christians has broken out periodically, sometimes with the complicity of police and government officials. In an article posted on Compass Direct News website on May 1, 2009, the writer quotes Dr. John Dayal, secretary general of the All-India Christian Council: "What is at stake now, as never before, is the stability and consistency of India's constitutional institutions in their response to critical situations, their zeal to correct wrongs and their commitment to the welfare of the weakest and the lowest." As Christians are 2.3% of India’s estimated 1.2 billion population, and as many Christians are "tribals" or are "Dalits" (formerly known as "untouchables" in the Hindu system of social castes) many are doubly "minority" in the current social and political environment. Thus, Christian leaders look for election of candidates from those political parties that call for protection of the rights of the minorities in the administration of district, state and national government policies.

     Various sources estimate the Maoist groups control from 150 to 200 of India's 600-plus districts, particularly in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkand and Bihar. The London Telegraph article refers to the Maoist-controlled districts as locales where it is the rebel groups managing the governmental functions of taxation and administration of laws and policies because the established state is essentially "non-functioning." In some of the especially poor sectors, Christians who have been isolated or driven from their homes outright by Hindu extremists lack support from local officials in attempts to regain their property and also are caught between rebel groups pressuring the Christians to join the rebel cause and resist oppression and security forces who may accuse the Christians of supporting the rebels.

     Pray for India, for its political leadership and its stability. Pray for justice for the poor and oppressed in Indian society, and for relief for those Christians persecuted and displaced by extremists with misdirected zeal for their particular views of the world.

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



 
Teaching English in China, Summer 2009
Team A: Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province
     Date: July 4 to 19, 2009
     Place: The 42nd Middle School
     Subject taught: Western Teaching Methodology
     Team Members: Molly Chang (Irvine, California)
                               Deke Wilkins (Drexel, Missouri)
                               Rachel Shackleford (ECF Staff/Coordinator)



Molly Chang                       Deke Wilkins                 Rachel Shackleford


Team B: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
     Date: July 19 to August 2, 2009
     Places: Zhejiang Theological Seminary
                  Hangzhou School District
                  Hangzhou Y.W.C.A
     Subjects taught: English Terms and Usage in Church Program
                                Western Teaching Methodology
                                English Conversation
     Team members: Sherry Thompson (Canyon Country, California)
                               Deke Wilkins (Drexel, Missouri)
                               Walter Kwok (Plano, Texas)
                               Kimberly Doyle (Carrollton, Texas)
                               Susan Nash (Austin, Texas)
                               Rebecca Alvidrez (Redlands, California)
                               Rachel Shackleford (ECF Staff/Coordinator)



Sherry Thompson                 Deke Wilkins                Walter Kwok


Kimberly Doyle                 Susan Nash                Rebecca Alvidrez


Please support these teams in your prayers.
You may send donations to: ECF International, 437 S. Garfield Ave., Monterey Park, CA 91754, U.S.A. (Please specify: E.T.China 2009)


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