Simeon’s First Birthday With Jesus
Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
February 19, 2004



I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no-one can fathom. (Ps 145:1-3)

Had somebody recorded Simeons words tonight, we would have a psalm of praise longer than Psalm 119. Simeon just kept praising the Lord, even preaching about His goodness and faithfulness and grace and love  hardly anybody else got to talk :-) Thats why I chose Davids words from Psalm 145 to start this email sharing with you about Simeons special birthday celebration tonight.

Emmanuel came at 8 p.m., and half an hour later I went to get Simeon. I had put my table and chairs on the balcony, where its a little cooler (34°C/93°F in my apartment at night). Since there are no cakes or ways of making a cake, I was planning on making Grießkoch  something Austrian (the closest would be milk-rice). Emmanuel and Simeon were talking while I prepared the dessert. They both liked it, and Simeon told us that he hadnt celebrated at all. But he was so blessed that Emmanuel had come all the way for him, that I had prepared the dessert, and that we were sharing the meal together (out of one bowl). He started praising the Lord then. Then I went to get the collection of birthday wishes Ive received from you guys for him. I had translated them in the afternoon  and its still not too late if you still wanna write. Simeon was overwhelmed when he saw all the wishes and blessings, some really touching him deeply. I told him that we werent just three celebrating him tonight, but many, many more who couldnt be here. He read one after the other slowly, interrupting from time to time to praise the Lord, and start preaching ;-) When he was done, he was so moved, so blessed. I jokingly said that he couldn’t take any more gifts, maybe I should keep the one I still have until Christmas. I gave him some time to recover and finally went to get it. All night I had been so excited, like a little girl, hardly being able to await seeing him open it and seeing his reaction to the New Testament in his mother tongue. He very slowly opened it, guessing it would be a song book. He finally held the Bible in his hand and slowly read the words in his mother tongue on the front cover. I asked him to open it and read something to us. He opened it and read two lines. Then he was so overcome, he had to stop. For the first time I saw him speechless and at any moment I expected to see tears. This is my mother tongue, he finally said. And he started praising God again, and saying what a special night this was. He had been said that he couldnt afford giving a party and inviting people, but he said that was a birthday hed never forget. And even more, he solemnly declared that tonight, once again, in a new way, he was consecrating himself completely to the Lord and to that which He has prepared for him. He said this night would mark a new beginning. I later jokingly said whether that included being able to get up Sunday mornings, since he has let me down several times when I have wanted to take him to church with me.

So, as you can see it was a very special evening, and I have never seen Simeon so full of joy. Just two days ago, he didnt come to my English class because, in his words, he wasnt well psychologically. Emmanuel is also battling a lot. He has a number of physical problems, and he hates being in Bamako (his first year in the capital). He was pretty down tonight and asked at the end, whether he could stop by tomorrow to talk to me. In fact, I have been having a burden for him for the past two weeks or so. Would you please pray for him and for the meeting tomorrow, that God would give me His wisdom and His words, and that His life would flow through me.

The three of us are quite a trio  three people all battling discouragement, yet chosen of God to be the light of the world, to be a light in Mali. I have had some wise counsel from Gods people that was rather discouraging. Nobody has to tell me that I cant do anything, I know that full well.

But, nobody can tell me that God cant do it. Nothing is impossible for God! And He will receive even greater glory if He can work through people like us! Right now, it all seems like a dead end street. Yet, I know, that when I reach the end of the street, there will be a door the Lord is leading me towards right now. It might be dark now, I might not see it, but when the time to step through that door comes&

I have to hold on to the vision, because without vision we have no life. When I look at the circumstances, when I consider the situation, the options, the future ahead, there is no way. Yet, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1). He has said it, and He will do it.

So, please pray that I will keep my eyes on Him, that I take advantage of this time of knowing only Him and spending much time with Him, that I do not lose hope. And also that he will send provision  especially a car  and people to go advance His kingdom in Mali.

Im also praying about this coming summer, when Ill have nearly fourth months to spend in Vienna and in Kansas City. I believe my time in Kansas City is going to be very significant. However, at this point I havent got any means by far to pay for plane tickets.

Good news is that I have a fridge now. A missionary couple sold it to me; I got it on Monday.

Apart from these news, everything else is continuing. Please dont forget my French neighbor and colleague Alice who Im getting closer to and is opening up more for the gospel.

And before I forget it, Simeon asked me pass on his deepest thankfulness for all wishes and prayers, and he prayed that God would give you back much more than what youve given him.

With that, I will leave you for today. May you join with me, Simeon, the great cloud of witnesses and all of Gods created beings and angels in praising the Lord, God Most High, Jehova, Great I AM, King of Kings, Creator of the universe, and yet Brother, Friend, Bridegroom and Lover.

All for HIM,


P.S. I took some pictures tonight  let me know if you would like me to send you one.

Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance. (Ps 2:8)

Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
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  BPE 2165

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