This is my first time visiting and serving at EFC Phoenix, which is located in the state of Arizona. Rev. Po-Min Wang and wife Eva, along with many coworkers welcomed me with abundant local specialties and traditional Taiwanese cuisine. During the meal, I got to talk to a wonderful couple, Joey and Mei-Jung Chou, who have been with the church since the very beginning, they shared with me the story of how the church got started 34 years ago.
It was August, 1988 when David and Jeany Yang, members of EFC Orange County, moved to Phoenix because of work. After failing to find a local church to worship with their native tongue, through prayers they decided to open their house, which had a large living room, for church gathering. Started with regular Bible studies on Friday nights, which followed by more fellowship over delicious Taiwanese street food, the number of people attending rapidly increased, developing into a fellowship, then dividing into more Bible study groups, finally became what we know today as EFC Phoenix.
One thing worth noting is that due to the lack of resources and manpower during the initial three years of the new church plant, the church was heavily supported by Rev. Susan Chou of EFC Orange County, along with other coworkers, providing spiritual nutrients through various methods, including weekly Bible studies and prayers over the phone, taking turns to visit and support various ministry needs. As the result, the ministry developed rather quickly, campus ministry was established at the local Arizona State University, and the church was also able to purchase land to build their only church building.
The way EFC Phoenix received caring and support from the mother church, EFC Orange County, was much like the early church era in the book of Acts where the Antioch Church supported various gospel locations. When ministries encountered challenges, the mother church would send support to assist, in the case of EFC Orange County, some of the elders and coworkers would drive five hours just to visit the saints in EFC Phoenix.
The way the mother church passionately partnered with the new church plant and the spirit of going that extra mile was an inspiration for EFC Phoenix to continue the evangelistic work in action with passion. After becoming self-sufficient, they also continue to support various mission initiatives of the General Assembly, including short-term missions, Taiwan Prison Ministry, financial support, and so on. It is truly a memorable and inspiring testimony.
The beautiful testimony of EFC Phoenix reminds us of what the Scripture says, “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'” (Romans 10:15)