We just finished the first of two weeks of excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir, Israel. While I am generally not a good sleeper, it has not been even that good here. But I didn’t come to Israel to sleep!
We stay at a wonderful place developed and operated by Finnish Christians and Jewish believers in Jesus. I have been here for 9 years, but this year I’ve had a bit of room trouble (not roommate trouble, see upcoming blog about Juergen). We were in 3 different rooms in 5 nights – because of the very, very, very strong smell of methane gas in our first room (not my fault!). I understand they want me to move again tomorrow night! All the time, God is good.
Either way, I still have to get up at 3:45 AM for breakfast at 4:00. We leave at 5 AM and are on the site working before 6:00. We have a 10:30 AM lunch break and stop work at 2:00. Back at dig headquarters I sit with the square supervisors to analyze the pottery that was cleaned from yesterday’s dig.
After pottery, we have been doing a little side work – excavating a Byzantine pottery kiln right there at our dig HQ. I have wanted to do this for years and we decided to do it this year as part of a research project we are doing on local clay sources around Jerusalem.
Sometimes I get cleaned up for dinner, sometimes I don’t (and have to sit by myself!). Then we have evening lectures – I am always the moderator and gave two of the lectures, myself, this week. Usually in bed before 10 PM, we hit the ground running at 3:45 the next day. All the time, God is good.
I am writing this on Saturday – my only free day these 2 weeks – and I got 8 hours of good sleep last night. Man, I love what I am doing and all the time.
God is very good!
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director