Friday, December 30, 2011


We are back safe and sound from a great week spending time with family and friends in Iowa and Minnesota.  We made a last minute decision to travel through the night after a few family members started getting ill.

Driving through the night allowed to me to reflect on how blessed we are to have such a wonderful support system of family and friends.  This journey of ours to the ministry has been full of God’s goodness and grace and one of the greatest evidences of that is the enduring support of family and friends.  Not only did spending time with them again remind us of that, but also all the Christmas cards and words of encouragement that we’ve received during the holiday season.  As we tell people so often, we feel truly blessed.

Speaking of being blessed, I’ve been blessed with an unique travel opportunity that I don’t think I’ve mentioned on this blog before, although many of you may already know about it.  On January 4th, I’m departing from Chicago to travel to Istanbul, Turkey where I will begin a two-week biblical study tour of Turkey and Greece. 

I’m going as part of a New Testament course along with about twenty other students from the seminary.  Our guide will be Dr. Jeff Weima who teaches New Testament courses.  We will be visiting the sites of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, following the routes of some of Paul’s missionary journeys, and seeing other important sites of the ancient world.

I’m very excited about this trip and I’m confident that it will enhance my ministry later on as well as increase my knowledge of and appreciation for the historical contexts in which the Bible was originally inspired. 

I am not very excited about leaving behind my wife and children for two weeks.  I very grateful to Jessica for her support in allowing me to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Even while it will be any exciting two weeks for me, it will undoubtedly be an exhausting two weeks for her.   Her mother is planning to come and stay at our house for at least part of the time, and the wives of some of my travel companions are already planning some get-togethers while were gone!  Indeed, blessings continue to abound in our lives.

So please remember me and my family in your prayers the next few weeks.  Pray for safety in travel for our trip, patience and strength for Jessica and that the kids will behave well. 

I can’t wait to share everything I’ve learned with you all after I get back!


Beth TenHaken said...

God's blessings to you, Michael. We know that you will be blessed by taking this trip and you will continue to be a blessing to others.
We love you, Dad and Mom

Kerri said...

Michael we are looking forward to seeing your pictures and reading of your experiences during the trip. I am sure that this trip will open the scriptures to you in a whole new light!
Kerri and Adam