“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. Therefore, I will hope in Him,” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT).
Though I hope and pray you experienced several blessings this past year, it is likely that you faced challenges, loss, pain or grief. And if you didn’t experience these things in your own life, all you need to do is turn on the news to see, what appears to be, a world in constant turmoil. But, here is one truth I want us all to keep on the horizon as we move forward into the New Year: There is always hope in a new day, where a loving, merciful God has orchestrated a fresh perspective.
In this fallen world, we will always be inundated with the pervasiveness of evil. It is likely that most of us will always struggle to wrap our minds around such incessant headlines. Friend, let us all remember the truth: That God’s heart for you is good. That we always have hope.
We are reminded in Scripture that “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. Therefore, I will hope in Him,” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT).
As we reflect on the past year, and move forward into the next one, let us take a moment to revel in the blessed calling God has given us: As believers, He has called us to share His love and compassion with those around us. For many of us, this calling involves reaching out to international students. One of our staff members shared with us a story that beautifully underscores why we do what we do. She writes:
“On a recent New Year’s Day, I felt industrious after taking down the Christmas tree and decorations, so I began cleaning up a bookshelf haphazardly stuffed with all manner of books. I came across a variety of Bible translations I use and refer to from time to time when looking for a better way to quote or interpret something from God’s Word. It made me so thankful to live in a time when we have access to so many Bible resources. It also made me wonder about the people in the Old Testament who survived with very little of God’s written Word.
So many times throughout the day, the Spirit brings to mind concepts, perspectives, warnings, and promises from God’s Word that help guide and protect us, and give us insight for issues we face. Without that insight and guidance, our lives would not be so different from the international students we serve! Without God’s Word, we would get tossed back and forth, never knowing the best route to take when making decisions. We would go back to and rely on the traditions and teachings of our ancestors and families. We would be limited to what our senses and intellects perceived and learned. Apart from Christ, life is really tough and offers little peace. This awareness filled me with a renewed compassion for the international students we serve, for they need Christ so drastically. Without Him, they will wander through life like a sheep without a shepherd.”
For more than 60 years, we have been sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with students from all over the world. We have helped so many find their Shepherd! And through ISI’s ministry, for the second year in a row, one international student accepted Jesus for every hour of every day of the year!
Truly, it’s been a year of exponential growth and blessing. It’s also been a year of sustained provision. Thanks to God’s grace and your faithfulness, this ministry finished our last Fiscal Year “in the black” for the 11th year in a row. Better still, 75% of our field staff are nearing 90% of support income!
As we begin 2016, I would like to thank all of our supporters, volunteers and staff members for the continued compassion you show to so many international students each year. I also want to encourage all of us to wait on the Lord. In this New Year, let us remember to pray and trust in Him and Him alone. We can always depend on Him.
For More Information
Get deeper into the Word by reading “What it Means to Live as a Christian Following Jesus,” by Dr. Doug Shaw.
Learn more about ISI’s training opportunities by visiting the ISI Training Website.