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Vol. 14 No. 6
Nov/Dec 2010


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



 
God's Work continues to Grow in China!

     Dr. and Mrs. Szeto's visit to China in October was a real blessing to the Gospel ministry.

     While in Shanghai, they presented 50 blankets to the Home for the Aged which was established about 20 years ago with a love gift from ECF supporters. Dr. Szeto shared God's love in a personal way through his own testimony which gave comfort and encouragement to all residents and staff.

     They also visited the Headquarters of the National China Christian Council and presented two sets of "Dynamic Christian Partnership" -- six DVDs on the historic documentary featuring the cooperation between Christian leaders both in China and in America which included all four growing churches being filmed by our Global Communication Center and the China Bible Exhibitions in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York City.

     While in Hangzhou, Dr. Szeto preached at an ordination service at the newly rebuilt Celestial Water Church, located next to the John Leighton Stuart Museum on Jesus Lane. This church was started by Rev. and Mrs. Stuart of the American Presbyterian Mission. Their son John was born in Hangzhou and later served as the US Ambassador to China from 1946 through 1949.

     Rev. Philip Dumpala from India, along with 36 pastors, was invited to attend a Leadership Conference in Ames, Iowa, sponsored by BILD International in October. He visited the ECF Headquarters on Nov. 8 and shared his urgent needs among the poor children in India. The 95 children in his Grace Home are in need of support.

     Our orphanage in Macau with 24 children is also in need of more sponsors. If you want to partner with ECF to change a child's life with God's love, please contact us to become a sponsor. A small monthly love gift of $25 will bless a needy child deeply.



 
Miracles Happen Everyday
Shared by Helen De Simone
Recorded by Kate Reyes




     I was born in China to missionary parents in the town of Da Ming Fu, Hebei. Mother and Father were called to plant churches and my twin brother and I and a sister who is two years younger, lived in China until I was 17 years old. There, we studied at a boarding school in Chi Fu that was run by the China Inland Mission.

     Two years before going home, and to prepare us for our lives in the States, Mother and Father sent us to the Pyeng Yang Foreign School in Korea. It was the same boarding school that Ruth Bell Graham attended; and there she started, I recall, a morning devotion and prayer group for the students.

     It was a struggle to leave our parents. But God had given our parents a promise in Matthew 19:29 -- "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."

     At the last year of our high school life in Korea, the Japanese-Chinese War had ravaged China and the possibility for our parents to leave grew dim. All communications were cut. Faced with such uncertainties, we prayed and prayed and asked God for enlightenment. Meanwhile, Mother and Father were fervently praying in China, too.

     One Sunday morning, as Father was getting ready to preach at his church in Kuang Fu, a Japanese officer came in through the back door. Gripped with fear, the congregation remained still as they watched the man walk towards the church organ. The Officer sat down and started playing, surprisingly, the hymn, "Amazing Grace." The people were stricken with awe!

     After Father preached, the Officer approached him and shared that he was a Christian and eager to meet other believers. He then explained that he had been called back to Japan through Korea. An answered prayer! Mother and Father knew exactly what the Officer could do. They asked him to stop at Pyongyong and deliver a letter for us. In it, we were told to go to Tianjin after graduation and to stay with friends until our parents arrived. After a long wait, my parents finally arrived in Tianjin. By God's grace, together we sailed home to America as a family. Truly, this was a mircle in the midst of war and hopelessness!

     Five years ago, I had to undergo surgery and almost died. Because of the anesthesia, I had to be given oxygen. However, the amount administered to me was over the limit, destroying the alveoli, which are tiny air sacs in my lungs. As a result, my blood oxygen is really low and it has been necessary to have the oxygen tank with me wherever I go. However, because it is readily available and I have access to the tank any time I need it, I almost take it for granted.

     I am blessed because even though I have to live with it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, God has enabled me to stay active. Having this oxygen is a miracle because without it I would just be confined to one place with little to no activity. But with my portable tank that I put in my walker, I am able to drive, do my own grocery shopping, attend church, and go on long drives, particularly to visit my daughter in San Francisco.

     For some, living with a tank of oxygen is more of an inconvenience. However, God has used my need for oxygen for His glory. Even at almost 90 years old, I am still teaching Sunday school at my local church. Also, the tank has been a point of contact for others and, at times, gives me a chance to share how it has blessed me in many ways.

     Although what happened during surgery was unfortunate, I have realized that there are still many reasons why God has kept me alive. Everyday, God sustains me and gives me a new breath of life through my oxygen tank. And by His grace, I hope to continue serving Him for His glory and praise.


 
Missions Outreach in Germany and Switzerland

Faithful Missions Partners
     Members of the ECF Boards in Germany and Switzerland are very committed in gospel outreach programs. They invited Dr. Szeto to hold meetings in various churches, schools and senior homes from Oct. 24 to Nov. 7. All messages had to be translated into German. Young professionals are very interested in our teaching programs in China.



Exciting Worship Experience
     For the Sunday worship service at the church in Frankenhardt-Oberspeltach, Pastor Eva Kruger invited two Chinese musicians from Hong Kong to present special music which deeply touched many hearts. Students in several schools enjoyed the personal testimony of Dr. Szeto and expressed their interest in China and the Chinese church. Some wanted to join the English Team to go to China for the English Summer Camp in order to help Chinese students speak better English.



Chinese Missions Feast
     The China Mission Night at Muttenz, Switzerland was a great success. Mrs. Maya Obrist with her two daughters prepared a special Chinese meal for this event. All enjoyed the great fellowship and gave strong support for the ECF Mission Programs in China.





MACAU
Good Fellowship in Christ
     On August 30, an annual revival meeting for the Orphanage was held at the Grace Chapel. This is to prepare all the children before the starting of the new school year. The message from Rev. Wai Ki Lo encouraged both the children and the staff to have faith when facing daily tasks. In early October, the Orphanage and Grace Chapel welcomed the congregation from Sihui Christian Church which led by Mr. Lee. The two groups had wonderful fellowship with each other.



PHILIPPINES
ECF Children Ministry Expansion
     The ECF Children's Ministry in the Philippines has expanded its outreach to more needy children in the communities of Caingin and Balagtas, Bulacan. ECF hopes to bring not only practical help to these underprivileged kids but most of all, to share the good news of Jesus Christ. If you would like to become a sponsor, please see the back cover for more information.



THAILAND
Books Donated to the New Library
     The new building project is in progress for the Bethel Bible Institute in northern Thailand. A new library will be constructed and more good books needed for the students. ECF Board decided to donate about 4000 books from the Chinese Resource Center. The shipment has already arrived in Thailand. Please keep praying for the needs of this project.





 
WINTER BLANKETS FOR SENIORS IN SHANGHAI
     Dr. and Mrs. Szeto visited the Home for the Aged in Shanghai on October 23 and presented 50 winter blankets donated by ECF supporters. The oldest resident of this home is now 93 years of age. As they shared God's love together, all were thankful to the love and support of ECF for the last 20 years. This Home has received many awards from the City for the excellent performance in Senior Services. Mr. Ma, the Superintendent, has reached retirement age but has been asked by the government to stay for another term so that the expanded program can be fuller implemented to serve up to 65 residents in this beautiful Home. ECF will continue to support this community program with God's love.



LEADERSHIP TRAINING WITH SPIRITUAL BOOKS
     The Annual Board meeting of the ECF Education & Culture Foundation in Hong Kong took place on Oct. 29 with four Board members attending. An exciting report was received from Rev. Eddie Chan. He visited Chengdu, Sichuan earthquake area, offering support from ECF. On behalf of the Board, he donated RMB 10,000 to Sihui Christian Church for the support of the Pastoral Lives Allowance Fund. Also, a love gift of RMB 1,000 was given to Kaiping Christian Church for library software. The special new program: "Leadership Training with Spiritual Books" was most successful. Over 100 Christian leaders had been equipped to assist the pastors in church growth. For the New Year, the Board decided to expand this program to several cities in China so that more leaders can be trained for greater service in God's kingdom





 
MACAU, Part III

By Dr. Ralph S. Carlson


     Macau today is probably the most densely populated urban territory on earth, having over 567,000 people living and working on roughly 11 square miles of land. About 50% of the population is Buddhist, 15% are Roman Catholic, and 35% are "Other" (which includes both non-believers and Protestants).

     While international trade made Macau a primary port in Asia in prior centuries, Hong Kong has long since surpassed Macau as the major seaport on the southern coast of China. And while import-export operations are still significant in Macau’s economy, tourism has become very important, with numerous gambling casinos drawing billions in investments and millions of tourists annually. An estimated 21 million tourists visited Macau in 2009, roughly half of them from China, and most drawn to gamble.

     Among the attractions for tourists in Macau are the many historic churches. In fact, the most common landmark included on travel brochures is the ornate facade of a Roman Catholic church. Each church standing today in Macau represents a unique strand of the twists and turns of religious, economic and political history.

St. Paul's Mater Dei/Mother of God Church

     Jesuits arrived in Macau in 1563, quickly establishing a school that grew into the first western university in Asia and a chapel that was replaced by St. Paul's Mother of God Church, constructed 1587-1602. The side walls of the church were built of wood and an adobe mixture of mud, straw and seashells. The grand facade detail work was carved by Jesuit monks exiled from Japan. The facade includes statues of Jesus, Mary and four saints, and is termed a fine blend of east and west, as the design includes chrysanthemums, representing Japanese culture, and guarding lions, a typical Chinese motif. In its time, St. Paul's was the largest church in Asia, and the jewel in the complex of buildings that was the Jesuit St. Paul's College. Political conflicts within Catholic Europe led to suppression of the Jesuit order, and Jesuits were expelled from Portugal in 1759, and from Macau in 1762. The college complex was taken over by the Portuguese military, though the cathedral remained an active church. However, in 1835, a kitchen fire in the complex led to destruction of all but the cathedral south facade, which has become Macau's signal tourist attraction.

Morrison Chapel/Macau Protestant Chapel

     On the Morrison Chapel website, Betty Jean Lofland recounts a brief history of the property and the interdenominational faith community.

     In 1821, the British East India Company was allowed to purchase land for a cemetery and chapel for Protestants in Macau. In 1834, the company lost exclusive trading rights in Macau, and the British government formed a board of trustees including members from Germany, The Netherlands, and the USA to oversee the chapel and property. When the chapel was renovated in 1922, it was required to be behind a high wall, thus not visible from the street. Among those interred in the cemetery are missionary Robert Morrison, whose career as missionary and bible translator and publisher was summarized in Part II of this series of articles.

     During World War II, services at Morrison Chapel were conducted by Deaconess Florence Li Tim Oi of Hong Kong. Her diligence in service led to her becoming the first woman to be ordained in the Anglican Communion worldwide.

     The Anglican Diocese of Hong Kong and Macau continues to conduct the services at Morrison Chapel. A visitor presently can attend worship at 9 AM and 11 AM on Sundays.

     For information on ECF Chapel services in Macau, or to direct support to the ECF Children's Home or to the Computer Training Center in Macau, contact Kate Reyes at ECF Headquarters.





 
Global Vision Week
     ECF was among 45 organizations that participated at Azusa Pacific University's "Missionaries on the Walk" held on November 3-5, 2010. It was an opportunity to promote ECF's short-term Summer English Teaching Mission in China to the students. Many came to the booth asking about details and how they can take part in the meaningful program. If you would like to join the Teams for 2011, please visit our website at www.ecfinternational.org.



Sponsorship Program
     Did you know that for as little as 85 cents a day, you can provide warm beds, nutritious food, a good education, vocational and practical skills training as well as spiritual guidance for each sponsored child? Through the ECF Sponsorship ministry, you can make a difference in the life of a child in India, Macau or the Philippines.

     Becoming a sponsor is as easy as contacting the ECF International Headquarters and telling them of your desire to be a partner in this ministry. A photograph and personal information sheet of the child will be sent to you. There is no legal responsibility involved. You support your child with your love, prayers, and gifts.

     Interested in this life-giving, life-changing ministry? Then simply fill-out the form and send it to ECF International, Attention: Sponsorship. For more info, contact Mrs. Kate Reyes, Sponsorship Manager or visit our our website:www.ecfinternational.org.



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