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From Andrew Gih to Hudson

Documenting a Legacy of Adoption and Faith

“I saw your family on television last night!” I was not expecting to hear these words from a coworker who had just come to breakfast at our hotel in Hong Kong where we were attending a conference. A few minutes later, another coworker came and said, “I was browsing channels last night and saw a documentary featuring your family’s adoption of your son.” It was June 2011. How did my family end up on television in Hong Kong?

Pearce family.

About 20 years ago, when speaking at a church in the Los Angeles area, I mentioned that Sandy and I would soon be adopting a boy from China to join the three daughters we had already adopted. Afterwards, a man came up to me and said he was a director who had recently moved to Southern California from Beijing to work for an organization called Education & Culture Foundation (now known as ECF International). Among the materials ECF produces are documentaries that feature individuals and families living out Christian principles. A goal is to have the documentaries shown on cable and satellite television channels in East Asia. The director told me that he was interested in making a documentary featuring my son’s adoption and his integration into an American family.

I traveled to China in March 2003 to pick up our 13-month-old son, whom we named Hudson. When Hudson and I arrived at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and entered the arrival hall, we were greeted by Sandy and our three daughters, by an aunt and uncle, by my parents, and by an ECF film crew. The crew filmed Hudson’s arrival, then came home with us and filmed Hudson’s first night in our family. The film crew returned several times during the next two years to document our family life and Hudson’s adjustment. The 26-minute documentary can be found on my YouTube channel.

The premiere of the documentary was held at ECF’s office in Monterey Park, CA. When I looked into the history of ECF, I was fascinated to discover a connection between ECF and John Song, a former Chinese student who became known as the “Billy Graham of the Chinese-speaking world,” whose story I told in another ChinaSource blog.

Sandy Pearce and Hudson.

John Song met another young revival speaker, 25-year-old Andrew Gih (Ji Zhiwen) in 1931 and they formed the Bethel Worldwide Evangelistic Band based in Shanghai. During the next couple years, they traveled extensively and held more than 1,000 revival meetings in China. Song left the Bethel Worldwide Evangelistic Band in 1933, but Gih continued the work until 1947, when he founded Evangelize China Fellowship in Shanghai. Soon after, Gih moved to Hong Kong and expanded the work of ECF by starting churches, orphanages, schools, and Bible colleges among the Chinese diaspora. ECF moved its headquarters to Los Angeles in 1956, to Pasadena in 1975, and finally to the current building in Monterey Park in 1985. Andrew Gih retired in 1978 and moved to Monterey Park and the new ECF headquarters before passing away in 1985.

Education & Culture Foundation was established in 1998 as a sister organization to ECF, then the two entities joined as ECF International. ECF now has ministries in 13 countries. It was a wonderful testimony of God’s blessing to discover that Hudson’s documentary is helping to fulfill the legacy of Andrew Gih. After watching the documentary, you might want to get an update on Hudson. He is now 21 years old and a junior at California Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA. The positive demeanor and outgoing personality that were evident at a young age have continued to develop, so it should be no surprise that he chose hospitality management as his major and is looking forward to a career in the hospitality industry.

Editor’s note: If you would like to read more about the Pearce family’s adoption journey, please see “A Journey of Captivation and Identity,” published September 18, 2023.

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Image credit: Hudson Documentary, YouTube.
Andy Pearce

Andy Pearce

Andy serves as Director of Church Partnerships for International Students, Inc. He has ten years experience as a high school math teacher and worked for four years as a textbook sales representative. Andy and his wife, Sandy, have welcomed Chinese scholars to California Institute of Technology for more than 20 …View Full Bio

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