Somehow 2021 feels like a particularly new year for me after a challenging 2020. I was so excited I got up early—at 5:30—on the New Year’s Day! I am looking forward to the differences the new year may bring. At the same time, COVID-19 is still a real threat. I know we might feel a bit apprehensive about the unknown because so much lies beyond our control. However, have we ever been truly in control of anything?

I felt God speaking to me a few days ago when I was reading a devotion by Oswald Chambers where he was commenting on Abraham’s faith in the Book of Hebrews 11:8: “He went out, not knowing where he was going.” Chambers says:

Have you been “out” in this way? If so, there is no logical answer possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is, “What do you expect to do?” You don’t know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing . . . Each morning you wake, it is to be a “going out,” building in confidence on God.

What was true of Abraham then is also true of us today. We don’t know what the new year will bring, but we know God will lead us and that we also need to step out in faith in ministry. I’m sure we all have asked these good questions: As we see the tension between the US and China, will Chinese students and scholars continue to come to the US? How would that impact our ministry?

These are the questions our leadership team has wrestled with. They have been in our discussion and prayers. We believe for the foreseeable future, God will continue to bring Chinese students to America, despite some bumps here and there. We believe he wants us to stay the course and stay faithful to the ministry he has called us to.

As believers, our hearts and minds are always open to how God will work. However, we don’t need to speculate how God might lead COM in 10 or 20 years. We just need to follow him and step out in faith each morning and each year. It’s humbling to acknowledge that God does not need to consult us and get our approval for his plan for us. I think this Bible passage speaks to us today:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13–16)

I pray that God’s grace will be sufficient for you in the new year! Let's step out in faith, trusting in the God who holds the future.

-- Daniel Su, COM President

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