“The gospel . . . is the power of God that brings salvation.” Romans 1:16
Faith for the Future
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. By faith Abel, Abraham, Moses…
Having taken on the role of the Executive Director of CBM the last two months, I must say that these words speak to me powerfully. CBM is in the midst of pivoting from not only being a camp ministry/ church planting ministry in North America to becoming a global missions agency. It is certainly a leap of faith. There is nothing concrete presently that we can point to say this change of direction will be blessed by God, or that CBM will be as relevant and influential the next 60 years as it has been in the last 60. We are nonetheless encouraged to move forward by the author of Hebrews to pursue faith and be inspired by stories of faith.
Definition of Faith:
As CBM plans and prepares for our 1st ever Short Term Missions Trip to China and Taiwan, I sometimes catch myself asking – Will this really happen? – We have never done it before! Will anyone actually join us? Will all the details work out for the local partners? Yet we step out in faith, knowing that the “assurance of things hoped for” and “the conviction of things not seen” does not come from our own abilities, nor wishful thinking, but the reality of having been called by our loving Father in participation of His Work. At CBM, we are convicted by the historic moment of development of Christianity in China, and we want to connect, channel, and leverage the rich legacy of CBM to be part of this movement. We hope to send many on Short Term Mission trips to places all over China, sponsor mid- to long- term missionaries working in China, assist the local church planting movements and mobilize Asian Americans to be part of this exciting journey. We can be assured of what we hope for and things not yet realized because we know that His gospel is moving powerfully there, and we want to grow spiritually as we participate in His work there.
Encouraged to Faith by a Cloud of Witnesses:
The rich legacy of CBM has been such an encouragement to me. In my first 2 months, I have had the honor to speak at Chinese Grace, Bay Area Bible Church, and Maranatha. We have also connected with pastors and leaders such as Pastor Alvin Louie, Pastor Steve Wong from Fellowship Bible and Pastor Henry Tam from SF Bible. These opportunities have helped connect me with the “Cloud of Witnesses,” those who have stepped out “in faith” so that CBM camp ministries and churches can be established, renewed and expanded. I am simply in awe of the influence and generations of mentoring that have taken place in CBM’s legacy. I am honored just to get to know their stories, the difficulties, the struggles when Chinese Americans needed such a gathering, and the courage for Pastor Sen and those who followed him to create that space in the English-speaking Bible Churches around the Bay Area.
It is a story of sacrifice, courage and endurance. They certainly have run the race that our Lord set before them. How can we not be inspired and encouraged by their stories as we embark to meet the needs of growing Chinese Christianity. May God encourage and empower us through CBM’s Cloud of Witnesses, and let us run the “Race that he has set before us” with endurance. As we fix our eyes on Christ and follow His call faithfully, let our faith be renewed and encouraged.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:1