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Vol. 15 No.3
May/Jun 2011


A. Higher Vision
B. Life Transformed
C. Global Challenges
D. Love in Action
E. Kingdom Openings
F. Mission Opportunities



 
The Joy in Great Partnership
Dr. Paul Szeto

     For the last 30 years of serving the Lord in various ministries through ECF, I have been truly blessed with the real joy in great partnership with so many faithful servants of God at home and in the Mission Fields.

     Looking back at the ministry of our first quarter, I can witness again the Lord has blessed me with great partners in the Mission Fields.

     Hong Kong - My friendship with Mr. Stephen Leung dates back to the 1950s in a small church in Hong Kong where my father was the pastor. Now, as a Board member of ECF, Stephen and his wife, Susan, have been deeply committed in the ministry. They are very busy with their business in China and in Hong Kong. Still, every time I have visited Hong Kong, he was able to reschedule his time for important meetings and has handled God's work with wisdom.

     Macau - The ECF Orphanage in Macau has been cared for by the Social Welfare Department for the last 30 years through the help of Director Yip. This year, a new Director was appointed by the government. I am most grateful to Mr. Kong-lo Iong, the newly appointed Director for meeting with me as soon as I arrived Macau in March. He gave me Christian advice and is committed to provide help to our children.

     Thailand - My 30-year partnership with Dr. Kok-hui Tan, Chairman of the Bethel Bible Institute in Thailand, has been a real blessing to me and to my family. Under his leadership, all Board members in Thailand are generous givers for God's work. They not only built a new campus a few years ago, but now they also are building a new library. Our Board in the USA responded with a large gift of 4,000 copies of good Christian books. I am deeply grateful to his daughter, Ping, who helped to transport all 4,000 books to Thailand from Los Angeles.






PLEASE PRAY FOR DR. SZETO

MAY
       1    ECF International Chapel, M.P., CA
       5    National Day of Prayer at Royal Oaks Manor, Bradbury, CA.
12-13    Board of Trustees, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA.
     28    Advisory Council, Camarillo Springs, CA.

JUNE
       4    Team Orientation - Teaching in China, M.P., CA
       5    ECF International Chapel, M.P., CA
       7    News Conference - Medical Outreach with Dr. Sun, M.P., CA
     12    Dedication of Dr. J. Edwin Orr Revival Center, M.P. CA
17-19    Macau Grace Chapel - Father's Day Worship
20-23    Nanjing Union Theological Seminary Library Training Conference
23-24    Beijing: discuss with SARA on Bible Exhibition in Washington DC this year
25-26    Sunday Preaching at Hangzhou, China
27-29    Hong Kong: Foundation meeting on Mission Strategy

JULY
       3    ECF International Chapel, M.P., CA
     31    Zion Chinese Baptist Church, Eagle Rock, CA


 
The 60th National Day of Prayer

     This year, the 60th National Day of Prayer, sponsored by Royal Oaks Manor and Bradbury Oaks took place at the Bradbury Campus. Based on Psalm 91:2, the theme was: A Mighty Fortress is Our God.

     Ms. Ethel Whitson, Chair of the Spiritual Life Committee, offered the Invocation. Great singing came from the congregation. Dr. Harold Lane, Chaplain, shared a moving message on "Prayer and humility." Those who brought greetings included Mrs. Melody Mitchell, Executive Director, and Dr. Paul Szeto from ECF. Several offered special prayers, especially for the military personnel. At the end, Dr. Lane led the entire group to offer the Special Prayer written by Joni Eareckson Tada, Honorary Chairperson of the 2011 National Day of Prayer. It was a moving experience for many who attended.

  
        (L to R) Dr. Paul Szeto, Ethel Whitson & Dr. Harold Lane

Dedication of the Dr. J. Edwin Orr Revival Center


     June 12, 2011, Pentecost Sunday, will be an exciting day for the historic dedication of The Dr. J. Edwin Orr Revival Center to take place at the ECF International Headquarters in Monterey Park. Dr. Doug McConnell, Provost of Fuller Theological Seminary, will bring a short message. Dr. Mark Stanton, Provost of Azusa Pacific University, will offer the Prayer of Dedication. Mrs. Carol Orr together with her family will cut the ribbon. A fellowship dinner will be served. ECF will provide more details on the programs and activities of this center in the coming days with all who are interested in spiritual revival.




 
PHILIPPINES
15th Anniversary of the Children's Ministry
     This year marks the 15th Anniversary of the ECF Children's Ministry in the Philippines. Through the support of countless sponsors, ECF has touched the lives of many underprivileged children; giving them practical as well as spiritual assistance.

     Last Easter, each sponsored child received a gift as an encouragement from their sponsors. They all send their thanks with joyful hearts.



INDIA
Summer Outing held for the Children
     The school year has ended, and the children of the Grace Home are now enjoying their summer break. They were treated to a special group outing at a local amusement park where they swam, rode different rides, and enjoyed a wonderful meal together.





MACAU
An Exciting April at the Macau Orphanage
     April was a busy month at the Orphanage. Volunteers from several organizations came and conducted various activities for the children and also took them for outdoor programs. Ten members from the "Reformatory for the Youth" were invited to give a special seminar. They encouraged the children to live a good life, to be good students and forsake bad habits.

     Thanks to the helping hand of the Macau Social Welfare Department; the Orphanage will be able to move to a new, larger place this fall. The staff is busy making arrangements for the relocation. Everyone in the Orphanage is very excited.



USA
Celebrate Easter and Mothers Day
     On the 24th of April, ECF International Chapel celebrated Easter with a special Sunday worship program. Brother John Qu, Chairman of the committee, shared on the message "The Hope and The Mission of Resurrection". After Sunday service, a picnic was held at a park nearby with all sorts of activities. The children were so excited to participate in the egg hunt and, for them, this was a first time experience. Every family prepared their specialties to share, and everyone enjoyed the good food.

     On Sunday May 8th, the Mothers Day, International Chapel invited four mothers to share their testimonies during the Sunday service. Sisters Li-Qin Sun, Jane He, Hung Chai and Dorcas Szeto shared the blessings that they have received from God with joyful hearts. All the lovely children presented a wonderful song and blessed all the mothers with beautiful carnations. Little Franklin Qu also played a beautiful piano solo.

     Starting the year 2011, under the leadership of Jack Zou, Ministry Intern, with the support and cooperation of all the committee members, International Chapel grew steadily. Bible study and Sunday school were held every Friday evening and Sunday morning respectively. Due to the increase of the children in attendance, a Sunday Bible reading class and a children's choir were also started. Thank God for all His blessings upon the Chapel.







New DVD Produced by Global Communication Center
     "A Life of Amazing Grace" is a new DVD released by the ECF Global Communication Center this Spring. It is the witness of Dr. Paul Szeto in his life of service for the Gospel ministry. This production is also an act of appreciation from the ECF Board to Dr. Szeto for his 30 years of faithful service with ECF's global ministry, thanking him as "A Good News Communicator; A Great Team Player; and A Global Bridge Builder." This DVD is free for anyone who requests it.





 
CHINA
Special Librarians Training Conference in Nanjing



Mrs. Dorcas Szeto

     Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (NUTS) is a national seminary of Chinese Protestant Churches. For nearly 60 years, since it's re-establishment, this seminary focused on training pastoral workers, theological teachers and researchers. For these many decades, "Spirit, Virtue, Knowledge, Health and Community" have been the five aspects of focus.

     As the society is changing rapidly, the seminary is facing new challenges in theological education. This year, a special Training Conference is organized by NUTS for librarians and library staff coming from all 21 seminaries and Bible Schools all throughout China. About 50 librarians and related staff will come to this special training conference on the new campus in Nanjing. Several professional librarians from China, the USA, Hong Kong and other areas have been invited to participate and to provide special and new programs and materials.

     Mrs. Dorcas Szeto has been invited to take part from June 20-23 sharing her professional expertise and experience in cataloging and library management. She has served as a professional librarian at Yale University, the University of Washington, and Azusa Pacific University. Over the years, with support from ECF, she has been helping the library at NUTS in the areas of automation and special collections.


New Campus of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary




 
Viet Nam

By Dr. Ralph S. Carlson


     Recently, my wife Ruth and I drove from Southern California to Cody, Wyoming, for the graduation of a friend from a registered nursing program. During our days on the road, crossing semi-desert and desert at low altitudes, ascending through canyons and mountain passes, traversing high plains under skies clear and cloudy, we often felt the effects of wind - headwind, tailwind, crosswind, and the buffeting wind of large trucks and SUVs passing our compact sedan.

     Time and again, seeing the wind combing forests in the mountains, or the sage in the lowlands, and often feeling wind’s effects on our line of travel, I thought of Christ's words in John 3:8, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the spirit." (NIV). So too, I contemplated the varied glimpses I have had directly and indirectly of the Spirit of God at work in the world, particularly in Asia.

     My first glimpses of any Asian religious culture came during my "all-expense-paid-one-year-vacation in sunny Southeast Asia" as I sometimes describe my time with the US Army in Viet Nam. When convoyed from one base to another, I saw Buddhist shrines and temples along or near the roadways, and sometimes Catholic and Protestant churches, though I had no opportunity to worship in a civilian church. Three times in the autumn of 1970, I participated in English conversation classes arranged by an American Army chaplain at a Catholic girls' school near the city of Hue.

     From press reports of post-1975 controls imposed by the Ha Noi government, and from stories of refugee friends resettled in California in the 1980s, I knew all religious groups long endured much oppression, then were gradually given more leeway to conduct worship services in public. In January of 1996, an aid agency took three of us professors from Azusa Pacific University to Viet Nam to discuss the possibility of joint graduate programs in English, Business, and Organizational Leadership with university officials in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, and then with Ministry of Education officials in Ha Noi. During the Da Nang visit, some of our exploratory meetings were cancelled to open time for local officials to meet with a French government delegation offering 100% funding for expanded French language programs. In the summer of 1996, Dr. Richard Slimbach led a team of master's candidates From Azusa Pacific University's graduate program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages to conduct an intensive English workshop for teachers of English in the Da Nang area. For quite a while, it seemed nothing more came of the January discussions, though contacts eventually led to ECF work in Viet Nam.

     The Sunday we were in Da Nang in 1996, our Viet Namese emigre team leaders took us to a small Protestant church. We were welcomed by the pastor, and our team leader gave a brief greeting and explained the purpose of our visit. At the front of the sanctuary, a low, white picket fence separated the platform from the congregation. On the pulpit side of the sanctuary were two doors to the outside. The pastor and any lay people involved with announcements or special music remained on the congregation's side of the fence during the service. For the sermon, the pastor left the main floor via the door in front of the pulpit and returned via the door a few steps higher and behind the pulpit. Only he was authorized to speak, and the sermon had to be given from the pulpit behind the fence.

     During fellowship after the service we learned that another Viet Namese emigre visitor in September of 1995 had spoken from his seat for ten minutes and then had spent months in prison for "unauthorized religious activity." The pastor reported that only weeks before our visit, he had received the first authorized printing of 100,000 bibles from a press in Ho Chi Minh City, and he was negotiating with the government for a second printing, half of which would be shared with the authorized Roman Catholic archdiocese of Da Nang. For several years post-1975, many churches had been closed, and parishioners had been forced to burn their bibles in the streets. Some had kept bibles buried in their gardens, occasionally unearthing them in order to hand-copy passages to memorize and share with other believers. In January 1996, though, Christians were once again permitted to have bibles and use them openly.

     In further contrast, when I visited Da Nang for ECF in 2007, I worshipped both at an English language International chapel and at a Viet Namese Protestant church. The Viet Namese church had a new campus, possibly five times larger than the one I visited in 1996. The sanctuary was equipped with an up-to-date sound system. No fencing separated platform from the sanctuary main floor. Laity spoke from the platform for announcements and scripture readings, and elders gathered on the platform to receive communion elements to serve the congregation. Across the courtyard from the church building rose a four-story education and administration building. The Sunday school and week-night activities for youth and adults were listed in the bulletin.

     In Viet Nam and other Asian nations, the political climates may still not be what North American Christians wish for, and my two anecdotes of observations in Viet Nam relate to external signs of change, but whether the political winds for believers are adverse or favorable, the Spirit of God always has been and always will be at work.

     To contribute to ECF scholarship programs in Viet Nam, contact ECF Headquarters.



 
2011 Summer Teaching Program in China

     This summer, ECF is sending 12 English experts and teachers to Hangzhou and Kaiping, China for the English Teaching Program.

Hangzhou Team A
Date: July 18 to 29, 2011
Place: 1. Hangzhou YWCA
               Student Class
               Teach English Conversation to junior high students
               1 classes with 20 students

           2. Hangzhou School District
               Teacher Class
               Teach Western Teaching Methodology
               1 class with 15 high school English teachers

               Student Class
               Teach English Conversation to high school students
               2 classes with 20 students each

Hangzhou Team B
Date: July 11 to August 5, 2011
Place: Zhejiang Theological Seminary
               Teach English Terms and Usage in Church Program
               1 class with 20 pastors and seminarians

Master Teacher: Molly Chang
Team Members: Alexandre Bundrant, Eric Chiang, Janna Gray, Aranda Koch, Krista Maron, Vanessa Raisch, Winston Wang
Facilitator: Kate Reyes

Kaiping Team
Date: July 18 to 29, 2011
Place: Jiaolun Middle School, Kaiping
               Teacher class
               Teach Western Teaching Methodology
               2 classes with 20 Local English Teachers each

Master Teacher: Jenny Lew
Team Members: Judith Braddon, Henry Lin, Harry McMaster
Facilitator: Min Szeto

Please remember all the team members in your prayers as they prepare for this teaching program. We also need your financial support in this program due to the increase of the travel expenses. Please send your love gift to ECF International and specify for E.T.China 2011.


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