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Vol. 16 No.1
Jan/Feb 2012


A. Higher Vision
B. Mission Partnership
C. Global Challenges
D. Love in Action
E. Kingdom Openings



 
In Christ - New Year and New Things
By Dr. Paul Szeto
     By God's grace, we have entered into a new year with faith.
     One verse of scripture that came to me on the first day of 2012 was:
     "Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come." (II Corinthians 5:17)

     I want to report to you that in this new year, ECF has welcomed into our global ministry three new things.

     First, there is a new orphanage facility in Macau - We have been a partner with the Macau Government, especially the Social Welfare Department, for more than 50 years. Our Board members, dedicated staff and many donors have given what we can to help the needy children in Macau, leading them to Christ for a new life in this small home of love, providing a good education for a better future with good jobs after they leave the orphanage, and encouraging them to return to serve at the orphanage and at the Grace Chapel.

     Second, new Christians joined the Body of Christ - I baptized and welcomed a number of new believers and transfer members into both the Grace Chapel in Macau and the International Chapel in Monterey Park, California. It was so exciting to see lives changed by our Lord Jesus Christ.

     Third, a new publication by a Board members - One new book : "Waiting to Say Amen" was published by Dr. Ralph S. Carlson who teaches English linguistics, literature and creative writing at Azusa Pacific University and who has served with the ECF Board for many years. He has also led our English Teaching Teams to China for our Special Summer Programs. The poems in this collection reflect the spiritual impacts and physical challenges for any believer. Victory can be claimed in Christ.

     We have also produced new 2012 Calendars, and new DVDs. If you wish to receive these new items, please contact us and we will send them to you as our love gift to you for the Chinese New Year.








 
ECF Global Ministry for 2012
1. Historic Celebration :
       Develop effective programs for the 65th Anniversary Celebration for the founding of ECF.

2. TV Programs :
       Continue to promote "The Sound of Life" --- TV program with 13 DVDs.

3. New Prayer Partners :
       Expand ECF mailing list world-wide for greater support, especially in the USA.

4. International Chapel :
       Encourage membership growth to 50 in the New Year.

5. Strengthen International Partners :
       Develop stronger working relationships with partners in Macau, India, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.

6. ECF International Council :
       Encourage supporting countries to invite new members into their boards and committees and expand the sponsorship programs.

7. Missions Promotion :
       Continue to work with mission partners for various preaching, training and evangelistic meetings in ECF related countries.

8. New Mission Field :
       Continue to explore the possibility of starting new work in South America.

9. Dr. J. Edwin Orr Revival Center :
       Partner with Fuller Theological Seminary and other churches and institutions to promote various programs.

10. Investment and Property Policy :
       Appoint a special committee to improve the management of investment and property management policies.

11. Christian Publication :
       Maintain the current level of Christian publication ministry.

12. DVD Production :
       Work on the DVD production of the revival ministry of Dr. J. Edwin Orr in relation to the current Revival Center activities.

13. Leadership Training :
       Develop programs in cooperation with church leaders in China and in Hong Kong through the ECF Foundation in Hong Kong.

14. New Leaders :
       Invite more new leaders for the ECF Global ministry and develop a better future.

15. Prayer Support :
       Continue the prayer support network through various means.



New Year Greetings from all ECF Board Members


 
Macau
Praise God for all the Provision
     The third annual "Run of Hope" fundraising walkathon, sponsored by the Macau Four Season Hotel, was successfully accomplished on November 6, 2011. All twenty four children from the Orphanage participated with great joy and excitement. Ten were assigned to work with others on the field and fifteen were runners and walkers. It was a fun day for all the children.

     Another exciting event for the Orphanage in November was that the relocation to the new facility was finished smoothly with everyone in the Orphanage helping in moving. The new facility was fully equipped with all the new furniture and more living space and activity area. Everyone was so thankful for this wonderful arrangement.

     On November 27, 2011, three new believers were baptized by Dr. Szeto during the Sunday service at the Grace Community Chapel. During the service, the congregation also celebrated the completion of the Chapel renovation. They all gave thanks to God for the beautiful place to worship.







USA
Celebration and Baptism Sundays
     ECF International Chapel celebrated Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December. On Thanksgiving Sunday, November 20, the congregation had a very touching sharing time during the Sunday service. They all witnessed with thankful hearts for the wonderful things that God has done in their lives.

     On Christmas Sunday, December 25, the Chapel not only celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, but also held a baptismal service. Dr. Szeto baptized three new believers and welcomed two new members by transfer. The Chapel is growing steadily with the hard working of the committed board members





India
Effective Outreach
     In celebration of Children's Day, special events were organized for the children in both homes. There were competitions in singing, drawing and games. Special Christmas and New Year parties were also held. The children enjoyed the food and gifts that were provided for them. Lovingly, they send their thanks to their sponsors for the continued support and prayers.



Philippines
Children send their thanks
     The sponsored children of Caingin and Balagtas received food baskets and new clothes courtesy of their sponsors for Christmas. They also had a joint Christmas party where the children and their families had a wonderful time eating, playing games, and celebrating together. The children send their heartfelt thanks for the gifts and support that ECF and the sponsors generously gave.



Hong Kong
"The Sound of Life" Re-broadcast
     In partnership with The Media Evangelism Ltd. in Hong Kong, "The Sound of Life", a TV production with 13 DVDs with Chinese sub-title, produced by our Global Communication Center, was first presented in three TV stations in year 2010 and then in year 2011. This series will be re-broadcasted again this year in Hong Kong at different time slots. It is our plan to promote this meaningful TV production in different countries and places, so that more people will benefit from it.





 
Equip God's Faithful Servants in China
     To train better Christian leaders for God's kingdom has always been the high vision of the ECF Global Ministry. Following the week-long training conference last June for the theological librarians in China, five seminaries received special supports from China Christian Council to raise the enrollment status by increasing the library collections. With support from our Missions Partners -- Azusa Pacific University and several pastors -- Mrs. Dorcas Szeto, our Education Consultant, collected 2,000 excellent theological books in the English language and donated to Zhejiang Theological Seminary in Hangzhou, China. All 48 boxes of donated books cleared custom and reached the seminary around Christmas.

     During the special visit by our ECF team led by Dr. Harold Lane in October to the seminary library, the ECF Board decided to donate some up-to-date electronic equipments in order to improve the image and service of the library. Rev. S.B. Lou, Vice President of the seminary, reported that even the Depute Provincial Governor came to inspect and praise this new development for the library.

     We are deeply grateful for those who responded to this urgent need by donating excellent theological books so that more Christian leaders in China can be trained for greater service all throughout China.


Rev. Lou with ECF Team



Let's Come and Declare God's Power!

By Dr. Ralph S. Carlson


     For this first issue of Global Vision for 2012, Dr. Szeto invited me to comment on my publication of the thirty-six poems constituting Waiting To Say Amen. All but two of the poems have appeared in literary magazines over the last couple of decades. Many of the poem stem from personal experience or from the situations of others around me. Some quieter "nature poems" provide relief between harsher narratives.

     The four poems "Of Gatherings", "Of Martyring", Of Cloistering", and "Of Pilgrimage" use a blend of Old Testament imagery and imagery of traditional Western Christianity. The "speaker" of the poems reports views of the inside of religious institutions. As a preacher's kid raised in "low church" Protestant faith and practice, I experienced times of fervant devotion that yielded spiritual growth and Christian community as well as conflicts and power struggles that led people to leave churches and/or abandon their faith altogether. In my graduate school years, my wife and I belonged to a fellowship group that grew with joys and clashes into a new church plant. Concurrently, in the university environmant, I observed a number of women colleagues gathering in support of one another and subsequently clashing, in turns, over who really was a "true feminist." Though I am not a Roman Catholic, in the poems, I have used the structures of formal traditional churches as the images illustrating the tensions between individual spiritual quest and group or institutional demands for conformity.

     The source of the four "Diagnosis" poems is the sequence of stories my older daughter told of a college roommate whose first bout with cancer came when she was sixteen. With much treatment and a couple remissions, the young woman did get through about a year of college classwork before the final recurrence of cancer.

     Other poems in the book are near-documentary episodes from the thirty-two months my mother was in full-time care with complications of diabetes and progressive decline with Alzheimer's disease. It is fair to ask why I would, in particular, include a poem that has a retired minister cursing at his caregivers. Indeed, why publish such a collection at all?

     In assembling the collection, I have relied on premises in the Psalms. Our scriptural heritage includes injunctions to praise and rejoice, but slao models the permission we have to cry out in our own human suffering. Psalm 10:17 (NIV) "You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry..." Often, when our family visited my mother, I was not only gripped by her steady losses of language and sight and memory, but also by the physical impairments and dementia of the dozens of others in the facility with her. Pastors, missionaries, and their wives, so many who had served the Lord in the USA and/or abroad for decades, who had given so much for others - was this their reward, to lay helpless in diapers, waiting for someone to feed them or to wheelchair them out to a sunny patio for a half hour? Psalm 71:18 (NIV) "Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come."

     Others have approached "the problem of pain" in prose, giving devotional, theological and philosophical views pointing toward explanation. With the poems in Waiting To Say Amen, I present the reader with episodes of people in their very human realities, not overtly preaching, but implicitly reaching out to the "Author and Finisher of our faith", to "the kingdom not of this world."

     The book in print is available from the Azusa Pacific University Bookstore, from Lulu.com, BarneandNoble.com, and Amazon.com; download is available from Lulu.com, Barnes and Noble or iTunes Books.





 
ECF Thanksgiving and Christmas Celebrations
     The ECF staff celebrated Thanksgiving at the headquarters with a potluck lunch. Together, they gave thanks for the abundant blessings from God. For Christmas, they enjoyed a scrumptious buffet at the Trinity Restaurant and played a gift-exchange game. Mr. Anthony Chan (ECF Treasurer) and family joined the party. On behalf of ECF, he presented each staff member a Christmas gift which was graciously appreciated.





ECF Participated at APU's Global Vision Week
     On November 2 & 3, ECF participated at Azusa Pacific University's Global Vision Week to promote ECF's English Teaching Summer program in China to the APU community. While on campus, Ms. Rachel Shackleford (Program coordinator) and Mrs. Kate Reyes (ECF Operations Manager) spoke in one of the classes giving them a chance to share more about ECF's work in China and to interact with the students on a more personal level.

2012 Summer English Teaching Program in China
     ECF invites you to join its short-term 2012 Summer English Teaching Mission Teams to China this July. Applications are now available for those who are interested. For further information, please visit our website at www.ecfinternational.org.



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