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Vol. 13 No. 4
Jul-Aug 2009


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



 
Thank God for Partners
Dr. Paul Szeto


Community Partners:
     For the last 25 years, ECF has been truly blessed with so many supportive partners in the community outreach programs. Our ECF Headquarters is located about two blocks from the City Hall of Monterey Park. Many programs have been co-sponsored with the city and have been held at the City Hall Council Chambers and blessed by the mayor and members of the City Council. This year, our new mayor, Mitchell Ing, was inaugurated on May 2, 2009 with several hundred people attending. With the support of the City Council, Mayor Ing, a committed Christian and a dynamic community leader, re-established the Council Meeting Invocation program. On May 20th, I was invited to offer the invocation at 7pm together with a formal Pledge of Allegiance and Flag Salute. Over the years, our cooperation with and our support for the city have provided us with many opportunities to serve the people. This partnership not only has demonstrated the real freedom of religion in America; but also has encouraged all peoples to live in harmony and to strive for a better life together.

Leadership Partners:
     In my 28 years of service at ECF, I am most grateful for the leaders coming from all the fields where ECF has established Christian programs. Mr. Kok-hui Tan (Thawesak Mahachavaroj) Chairman of the ECF Committee in Thailand is one of these great partners. On May 16, 2009, Mr. Tan received the Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, USA. Over the years, he has provided great leadership to the Maitrichit Chinese Baptist Church in Bangkok; to the Church of Christ in Thailand; to the Governing Board of Bangkok Christian Hospitals, and to the ECF Bethel Bible Institute in Thailand. We are thankful to the Lord for him, his dear wife, and his children for all their contribution to theological training of future leaders in God's Kingdom.

Missions Partners:
     ECF's missionary programs have experienced true blessings, and great successes are due to the Missions Partners in many countries. This August, with the help of Rev. John Gault in Northern Ireland and Pastor Steve Divall of England, the following meetings have been arranged so that I can share what God is doing in China with great blessings.

August
  9    Bread of Life Church in Torrence, CA
16    International Chapel in Monterey Park, CA
23    (Morning) Carryduff Baptist Church, Northern Ireland
23    (Evening) Dromore Baptist Church in Northern Ireland
24    ECF Committee Meeting in Larne, Northern Ireland
25    Ballymena Baptist Church in Northern Ireland
26    Larne Baptist Church in Northern Ireland
27    Castlereagh Baptist Church in Northern Ireland
30    St. Helen's Church in London, England

     Please continue to pray for the growing ministry of ECF. Thank you for your partnership in the Lord.


 
MIRACLES OF THE MASTER
Beyond Medical Science

Dr. Harold E. Lane


     As Jesus' earthly ministry began, following the changing of the water to wine, there was a quiet period of overt miracles. He traveled to Samaria and was there for two days. During the time following His first miracle, He drove the money changers out of the temple; He met with Nicodemus, went to the Judean countryside with His disciples and baptized large numbers; and finally ministered to the Samarian woman at the well. Though Jesus prophesied miraculous acts such as the resurrection, He did not use that method of communication of His divinity until He returned to Galilee. His next miracle is found in John 4:46-54.

     One might have expected that Jesus would not receive an exuberant welcome since He was returning to His home territory in Galilee. (See John 4:43-44). Jesus had caught the attention of the crowd while at Jerusalem, celebrating the Passover feast. It is back at Cana of Galilee where His first miracle was performed that Jesus projects his Divinity by miracle. Why? In verse 48, Jesus gives the answer. "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, you will never believe." The town of Cana was situated to the southwest of the Sea of Galilee, not far from the city of Nazareth. Capernaum was about 17-20 miles away. News could travel fast. The nobleman, here noted, was related in some way to the king or the royal household. His son was very ill and nigh unto death. Every home in the vicinity had heard of Jesus and the wedding miracle. Since the nobleman was wealthy, the son undoubtedly had received the best medical attention but without avail. The son lay sick at Capernaum. Without going to the son or laying hands on him, Jesus promised the father his son would live.

     The time of the son's improvement is the seventh hour or approximately one hour after midday. It has been suggested that the father did not leave for home immediately but remained to hear more of Jesus' teaching. He probably was riding a horse and could have been home in three or four hours. The nobleman believed the word of Jesus. This was faith in action. As he was returning home the NEXT DAY, the servants met him with the news of the son's miraculous healing. Undoubtedly, the servants wondered why their master was taking so long in returning. His faith was fulfilled; he believed. The Scripture points out that, not only did the father believe, but so did his whole household. Formerly, Jesus changed the water; in this instance He changed lives. The power of Jesus surpassed even the medical science of that time.

Triple Blessings celebration for Dr. and Mrs. Harold Lane
     The ECF Board of Directors, led by Dr. Paul Szeto, hosted a Thanksgiving banquet in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Harold Lane, ECF Chairman, on June 4th at the ECF Headquarters in Monterey Park, CA. It was to celebrate "Triple Blessings":
     (1) the publishing of Dr. Lane's first book "In a Manor of Speaking";
     (2) the establishment of the Pastoral Assistantship at Sihui Christian Church in China in Dr. & Mrs. Lane's names; and
     (3) the 80th birthday of Dr. Lane.

     More than 60 guests attended, including residents from Royal Oaks Manor where Dr. Lane serves as Chaplain; friends from First Baptist Church of Pasadena where Dr. Lane served as Senior Pastor for 17 years; as well as family and colleagues.

     Their daughter, Mrs. Nancy Jelinek flew back for the celebration and shared a warm message.




 
CHINA
Shijiazhuang Team in China
     Team A (Shijiazhuang Team) arrived in Beijing, China on July 4, 2009 and kicked off this year's ECF English Teaching Mission Trip. They met with Mr. Hua-ling Xue, from the Ministry of Education in China, his wife and daughter, and Miss Julie Smith, who has participated twice in the ECF English missions and is now studying Mandarin at the Beijing University. Comprised of Mrs. Molly Chang (Master Teacher and 7th year team member), Mr. Deke Wilkins (5th year team member) and Miss Rachel Shackleford (2nd year and Coordinator for ECF), the team will be teaching "Western Teaching Methodology" to about 90 school teachers at the 42nd Middle School in Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China. Meanwhile, Team B (Hangzhou Team) is scheduled to arrive in China on July 19, 2009.



USA
ECF International Chapel Big Bear Retreat
     Thank God for a wonderful celebration at the ECF Big Bear Retreat House on July 4th commemorating the US Independence Day. Thirty-four church members and friends attended the Retreat. Hiking and outdoor BBQ were enjoyed during the two-day celebration. Everyone enjoyed the firework on July 4th and was deeply touched by the worship message, "The Kingdom of God", delivered by the Chapel's new ministerial staff member, Rev. Yanghai Jin. Many also shared their testimonies and praised God for His grace and blessings upon the congregation.



CAMBODIA
Spring Retreat and Baptism
     ECF has joined hands with the Faith in Christ Church in Phnom Penh to organize English and Computer Training Classes for many years. Through these educational programs, many young people and adults have had the opportunity to be trained for better careers and to receive the Salvation of Jesus Christ. The Church held the Spring Retreat on May 16 and a baptism on the next day. There were nine new converts from the English and Computer Center, their parents and people in the community being baptized.





CHINA/MACAU
Sihui Christian Church Adds 70 New Members
     About five years ago, ECF provided a love gift to rebuild the Sihui Christian Church, in a small town of Guangdong province, China, where Mrs. Dorcas Szeto was born. Last October, when we revisited the church, the membership had grown from 60 to nearly 450 in just five short years. God truly blessed the dedicated Christians in this growing community. On August 2, this year, 70 new Christians will receive baptism. Rev. Eddie Chan of Hong Kong will lead a group of believers from our Macau Chapel and orphanage to sing in the Sunday morning worship.



VIETNAM
SuperKids Summer Camp
     Mr. & Mrs. Hai Huynh, ECF Representatives in Vietnam, hosted a "SuperKids Summer Camp" for the first time on Saturday, June 27, 2009 at the Da Nang city park. It was a day of fun and fellowship with different activities such as making balloon animals, juggling, arts and crafts, and different games. Everyone loved playing baseball! God blessed the day with good weather and all the plans went smoothly.



PHILIPPINES
Rejoice in His Faithfulness
     Dr. and Mrs. Paul Szeto, together with the sponsored children and their families and the community, gathered at the Caingin Baptist Church to celebrate the 13th Anniversary of the ECF Children's Center. The anniversary theme, "Rejoice in His Faithfulness," resonated throughout the program which included praise and worship; testimonies from the sponsored families, and sharing from Mrs. Dorcas Szeto. Dr. Paul Szeto encouraged the congregation with a meaningful message on the "ABCs for Living."





 
Dedicated Missions Partnership
Dorcas C. Szeto

     Twenty years ago, when I started to assist ECF for the recruitment of English experts to teach in China, the greatest challenge was to find truly dedicated partners for the Gospel missions of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today, looking back, I am deeply grateful for God's rich blessings on this enriching program in China with the strong commitment coming from several hundred devoted Missions Partners.

     Last May, I accompanied my husband, Paul, to Dallas for a special mission trip. I had the joy of meeting with three team members of the ECF English Teaching Team that will be going to Hangzhou.

     Mr. Walter Kwok is a Pharmacist from Plano, Texas who has more than thirty years of professional experience. He is certified by the Red Cross and has taught TESL. Dr. Kimberly Doyle is a Clinical Neuropsychologist from Carollton, Texas and has medical and hospital experience for many years. Her husband is also a medical doctor who has joined mission teams for Gospel outreach. Mrs. Susan Nash is a Social Worker from Austin, Texas. She has rich experience in family relations and teaching.

     I was deeply impressed and blessed by the mutual sharing. We worshiped at the First Baptist Church of Richardson, and Paul spoke at the Sunday school class. Mr. & Mrs. Kwok planned a BBQ luncheon for the teaching team and we had a wonderful time of fellowship.

     Together with team members from the Los Angeles area, Miss Rebecca Alvidrez and Mrs. Sherry Thompson, Master Teacher of the team, Team B (Hangzhou Team) will leave for China on July 17 and meet with Team A on the 19th. Together, they will be teaching at the YWCA and two local schools in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

     During the trip, we visited the Day Star TV Network in Dallas. Ms. Laura Myers, Program Director, welcomed us warmly and expressed her interest in the TV series "The Sound of Life" which is produced by our Global Communication Center. We hope that these 13 TV documentaries featuring the struggle and success of the Chinese and Chinese Americans around the world will be aired soon.

     We were also invited to a Chinese dinner by Mr. & Mrs. Johnny Dow Young. We first met Mr. Young at the Chongyi Church in Hangzhou about two years ago during the filming of "Heaven On Earth". Pastor Joseph Gu shared with us that the new pipe organ was donated by the Young family. Their love for the Lord and for this largest church in China has touched many lives.

     Praise the Lord for the exciting challenges of His mission. Also, thank God for all these dedicated partners in His Great Commission.


Team A


Team B

Thank God for His Grace
Xun Yu

     May 10, 2009 is a wonderful and memorable day in my life. I was baptized by Rev. Paul Szeto at the First Baptist Church in Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California. God is so gracious that He shows me the way to follow Him! Through Brother John Qu's introduction and Rev. Szeto's nurture, I eventually found the way to follow the Lord. With the strength from God, uncertainty has disappeared from my life. My heart is filled with peace and happiness. I know that God has touched my soul.

     Before I found the Lord, the aim of my life was unclear. Like most people who do not know God, I was zealous in the pursuit of fame and money, and I believe that is what life is all about. Since I joined the congregation of the ECF International Chapel, God has relaxed my body, pacified my heart, strengthened my soul and exhilarated my life. I was thrilled to make the decision to follow the Lord. God's strength has enriched my life and purified my soul. With God's grace and blessings, I believe the road ahead will be bright and my life will be full of peace and purpose!

The Birth of a New Life
Junliang Guan

     Embracing the eagerness for a new life, I received baptism from Rev. Paul Szeto on May 10, 2009. At that special moment, I was totally overwhelmed with emotion and excitement.

     In September of 2007 I immigrated to the U.S.. I was a senior pharmacist in China and an atheist. I used to deny the supreme authority of God. Now that I have received the salvation of Jesus Christ, I will consider God's love first in all my actions. I came to the International Chapel six months ago. The singing has touched me and my anxiety has been clamed by the care and love Christian brothers and sisters bestowed upon each other. During Bible study sessions, I have found the peace at heart which I have been seeking for in a long time.

     Once I decided to let go and let God, my life and things around me started to change for the better. Though my English ability is rather limited, I was permitted to attend classes related to my profession and I have received good grades. My elder daughter has also made good grades and was placed at the top of her class. I can truly witness that when we let God take control of our lives, anxiety will diminish and difficulties will turn into blessings.


Dr. Szeto (L to R) Xun Yu and Junliang Guan




 
Mission in Alaska
Dr. Ralph Carlson
     Dr. Ralph Carlson and his wife Ruth, express their deep gratitude for ECF support of their short-term mission, a spring semester teaching sabbatical (January-May 2009) as faculty-in-residence at Alaska Christian College in Soldotna, Alaska. The bible school, begun in the 2000-2001 school year, serves primarily native youth from northwestern Alaskan villages, and is dedicated to leading young people into whole-life discipleship. Dr. Carlson taught a general writing course and a creative writing course needed in the curriculum as part of ACC's candidacy for accreditation as a two-year institution by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Several current ACC students were grandchildren or great grandchildren of families with whom Dr. Carlson's missionary parents had worked in the past. Upon their return to Southern California, Dr. Carlson will continue to teach at Azusa Pacific University and to serve as Executive Secretary at ECF.


Prof. Anthony Chan, ECF Treasurer, presenting a love gift to Dr. & Mrs. Carlson





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