The Consolation of Israel
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.’” Luke 2:25-32
Simeon, a devout Jew, was looking for the prophesied Messiah. In the above passage, Luke refers to the Messiah as the “consolation of Israel.” The Messiah was to come and console, or comfort, Israel. Fortunately, Simeon, unlike many of the Jews, recognized Jesus as the coming Messiah and had the opportunity to worship Him. He also proclaimed that the Messiah was not only for Israel but also for the Gentiles. Anna and I desire to share this good news with the people of Togo! Just like us, the Togolese need to hear that they can find comfort and hope through Jesus. Many Togolese have never heard the name of Jesus before and are hungry to hear more. We long to be able to share this hope with them so that they may praise God as Simeon did so long ago!
Anna and I will be married in Grand Rapids, MI on January 7, 2017. We can’t believe that it’s less than two weeks away!! We have been (and still are) busy with the many details necessary for a wedding. We are thankful for the many family and friends who have pitched in to help us plan this special day. We have also enjoyed being back in the U.S. and having the chance to celebrate the holidays with family. We spent Thanksgiving with Mike’s family and Christmas with Anna’s family.
2017 is looking to be another busy year for us. Our main focus will be pre-field ministry which is a time for us to raise the necessary financial support required to return to Togo. We are looking for churches and individuals who would like to hear about our ministry in Togo. We would love to share with you! There are several additional ABWE training sessions we are required to attend before leaving for the field. These training sessions will help prepare us for ministry in Togo. Our goal is to leave for language school by August 2017. Will you please pray that the Lord will meet our financial needs and that we can complete all the necessary requirements by this coming fall?
Mike will continue with his online master’s degree courses for at least another semester. We are thankful for the benefits he receives through the GI Bill which makes earning this degree possible. We are also thankful for the opportunity for Mike to earn this nursing degree through Cedarville University where all classes are taught from a Biblical worldview. Mike is looking forward to getting involved in nurse education at the Hospital of Hope.