More Exciting Adventures From The Holy Land Team!

DSC09082Work on our project is moving along.  We have mixed and poured a little over one cement truck’s load of concrete, all by hand! We have about 20′ left of concrete to mix and pour before our footers are complete. I am so impressed with this team. The temperature is well over 100 degrees every day and there is absolutely no shade to be found anywhere on the work site, from trees or clouds. They are doing some tough work and really perfecting those farmer’s tans!!!! Could you please pray about the supplies for the greenhouse itself? They have not been ordered yet, and we are concerned that time will run out for us to complete the project.  

Right before dinner tonight, a large fire broke out in a field next to the school from a discarded, lit cigarette. Our teammates were the first on the scene with buckets full of water and shovels in hand. The fire was out before the fire department arrived. A neighbor stopped by about an hour ago to thank us and to inform us that if we had not been here, the fire would have engulfed the entire mountain side. I am so proud of my mates!!!! Boot Camp didn’t even train them for this, yet they reacted like trained professionals.  Although they returned sooty and smelling of smoke, none were injured or harmed.

Yesterday, we boarded a coach and spent the day exploring some of Israel’s historic sites. Our first stop was Masada. Masada was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001. Its inscription on this prestigious list epitomizes its outstanding universal significance. Masada was the last bastion of Jewish freedom fighters against the Romans; its fall signaled the violent destruction of the kingdom of Judea at the end of the Second Temple period. The tragic event of the last days of the rebels at Masada transformed it into both a Jewish cultural icon and a symbol of humanity’s continuous struggle for freedom from oppression. Built by Herod, king of Judea, Masada was a palatial fortress in the style of ancient Rome. The camps, fortifications, and assault ramp at its base constitute the most complete surviving ancient Roman siege system in the world. Its plateau is 450 meters above the level of the Dead Sea.  Inhabitants and visitors to ancient Masada reached the summit just as we did: by climbing up the Snake Path. The difference in altitude between the bottom of the path and the top is 350 meters. We climbed about 700 stairs on the winding 2 km path to reach the top. Whew!!!!!!  It was tough and hot, but we all made it. The view from the top was worth every loss of breath and every sore muscle we are feeling today. It was incredible. Words can not possibly explain what our eyes saw, and a picture won’t do it justice either,  but I will send one along with this report anyways.   

From Masada, we traveled to En Gedi, an oasis in the desert located on the coast of the Dead Sea. It was here that King David hid during his wanderings in the desert after fleeing from Saul. We hiked the Lower Wadi David, a trail that passed by waterfalls and pools containing lush river vegetation and culminated at David’s Waterfall. We stopped at one of its many natural springs and, in our travel clothes, some of us even went in for a swim!! It was so much fun and a great way to have “natural” air conditioning. Many pictures were snapped to help us remember the moment.

Our next stop was Qumran, the desert location where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Bedouin shepherds happened upon the cave containing the scrolls in 1947. Can you imagine what it must have been like to have uncovered such important, ancient artifacts when all they were looking for was one lost sheep!!????  About a dozen scrolls as well as a myriad of fragments of scrolls of all the books of the Bible were unearthed at Qumran, all except the book of Esther.  Here, a small group of us hiked up a mountain to peek into one of those caves.  It was an “off roading” kind of hiking experience. 🙂

After walking up and down countless mountains and hills, we ended our day at the Dead Sea, in hopes of draining the soreness from our over-worked, tender muscles. We all laughed at our natural ability to float. We had so much fun posing in all sorts of impossible positions, like the “Superman” and the “reading-on-your-side” pose. The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level, making it earth’s lowest elevation on land. It is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, which is why it makes swimming similar to floating. Many of us afforded ourselves the luxury of having a Dead Sea spa treatment by rubbing its mud all over our bodies. We looked like Amazon men and women! Of course, this might be a contributing factor to why we are all glowing today.:)

One last thing I wanted to mention are the shenanigans of the boys in the morning. They have decided to greet Mike each morning in some new and elaborate fashion when he opens their doors to wake them up. The first day, they all hid under their beds to make it seem like they weren’t there. They second day they put on the kippahs (Jewish head coverings) they were given at the Western Wall and were waiting in a line and started bowing down chanting his name repeatedly when Mike opened the door. And today, Mike opened the door to them re-enacting the Biblical scene of Abraham sacrificing Isaac!!!! What will be next, I wonder…????  A sock snowball fight complete with mattress shields????  Boys will be boys I guess.:)    DSC09188 DSC09159 DSC09145 DSC09095 DSC09059 DSC09023


  1. Hi to the Team and to our grandson Joshua!
    Praying hard for the supplies to be delivered and for you all to stay focused.
    Keep your eyes on the prize and do it all for the glory of God.
    Your travels are very exciting. I feel like I’ve been right along with you.
    Very impressed with the extra project of fire fighting. God has surely called you all to do mighty things!
    Thanks for the updates.
    See you soon, Josh . xoxox

  2. You’re in our prayers! Thanks for the updates. =)

  3. You are continually in our thoughts and prayers. We will pray you get your supplies so you can finish! What a blessing to be able to put out that fire! What a fine team of young people! Thanks for the update once again. Be safe! Love, Moriah’s mommy….

  4. Timothy E. Kennelly

    Thanks for the up date. It sounds like you are all performing above and beyond all expectations. We are praying for you. And we are looking forward to your return. I had no idea that Qumran was a tourist site. Ignorance is bliss, I alway thought of Qumran as these inaccessible caves that no one even cared about any more.
    We are praying the supplies get there very soon.


    Tim Kennelly

  5. rich and amy fetterhoff

    Your group must have a fantastic testimony to the local population there as they watch you work together (and put out fires). Praying that you’ll get the supplies you need to finish….. thanks so much for the updates.

  6. Klystia’s dad shared this report with our Shabbat night home group last night. We all were so excited to hear the report and it touch us all. Thank you for sending out the pictures and reports. What valuable life lessons these teens are learning. We continue to lift you up in prayer.

    Klystia’s Grandma Tama

  7. We are keeping the project and all of you in our daily prayers.Wishing we were there. What great sights to see. Way to go team on getting the fire out! Keep up the great work. We know you guys are touching many lives.

  8. Chrissie Kennelly

    Thank you so much for the updates! Praying for y’all!

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