It is New Year’s Eve day here in Jordan and we had a very special event today. Dr Steven Collins, the dig’s prime mover and the American co-director of our Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project (TeHEP), the Jordanian co-director Hussein Al-Jarrah and I had breakfast with the Director General of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities at our hotel this morning. Dr, Ziad has only been on the job about 6 months and he has really warmed up to our project. He and his family came to the hotel last night and we had a meeting about the scientific search for Sodom. Then after breakfast this morning, we went out and walked our site from one end to the other (about 1 kilometer) with about 15 stops in between. It was Dr. Ziad’s first visit to the site and he was impressed with what has been found, what is obviously still there to be found and the possibilities for future tourist activity (one of Jordan’s major industries).
Tonight the hotel has a special New Year’s Eve party that I hope I can stay awake for – the food (read desserts here!) will be spectacular. To be here in this beautiful place at this special time with my wife, Gayle, is a real special privilege. Tomorrow morning we will be on the bus by 9 AM to visit an ancient site, with many things in common with ours, in northern Jordan. Then we will swing by and pick up our leaderless tour group coming from Israel. Joel, our guy in Jerusalem, has taken very good care of them while they were in Israel and they will now join our dig team.
I know that 2010 has been a tough year for many of you – yet I hope you have been able to see how God was with you from beginning to end, because He was. But we do get the chance to sort of turn the page with the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. We still have the same God with the same best plan for our lives, so while you may not be feeling like it is all working out as it should, just know that He is still very much in control. You can either fight Him or trust Him about it all, but I strongly recommend the later.
See you next year,
Pastor Gary Byers
PS Joel in Israel directs something called Sourceflix and they do some pretty good video stuff from the Holy Land. Check him out online, if you are interested.