January 2018
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.
Here in Michigan, at the Blossoming Rose offices, tours are being organized for 2018 and 2019 and projects are being planned for the volunteer work experiences at Tamar Park. Weekly committee meetings occur between the Blossoming Rose administrators, project managers and the Tamar Supervisor so that supplies and materials can be purchased in advance of the arrival of volunteers.

The Executive Director is also closing the books for 2017 and preparing the Balance Sheet and Income Statement for the Board of Trustees. The contributions for 2017 set a new record which has made it possible to meet goals at a faster pace. Everyone is grateful to all who made 2017 the best year yet.
The Tabernacle of Moses, at Tamar, was begun in 2015. The generosity of the Bible Students Worldwide and the Lundquist Foundation of Florida made all the progress possible. The project also includes planting spice and herb trees and bushes surrounding the Tabernacle.
Last week, on January 18, we met with members from the Bible Students in Michigan and Illinois to discuss the completion of the tree planting project for the Moses Site and the parking needs for tourist busses driving to the east part of the Park. We want visitors to park closer to the first two historical sites so that they can develop a better understanding of the history and sequence of occupations at Tamar Park.

The support of the Bible Students from the United States and Poland is deeply appreciated. Pictured above from left to right: George Wilmot, Ken Osterman, DeWayne Coxon, Paul Lagno, and Bud Elve.
Dear DeWayne,
(an excerpt)

I was excited to hear from you and to know that you are still working on your vision for Biblical Tamar Park. I keep up with BTP developments through the Newsletter and Facebook.

I support you and admire your focused and dedicated work, especially the part of your mission that provides evidence-based education for all people no matter their religious beliefs or cultural background.

Being retired now, my budget is closely controlled. Please accept my donation to go towards planting trees, the tractor, or educational programs. I hope to see you and Don, and perhaps others at BTP in the not-too-distant future.

Your Friend,
George G.
Charlotte, N.C.
Hi DeWayne,

Please accept my apology for not sending my donation, but the past months have been very difficult, both with Dennis’s illness and death and my operations. I am feeling great now and so blessed, although my heart is broken. Denny was such a good and giving man and many honored him at his funeral.

My gift this month is to be used for planting a tree in his name. He had hoped to go to Israel with me one day. And, thank you for your kind words of sympathy! I so appreciated them.

I loved the pictures and stories of the people working at the Park.
With Blessings and Love,
Sylvia B.
Oshkosh, WI
Dear Friends of Blossoming Rose,

It was in March 2008, that we visited Israel. The highlight was visiting Tamar Park. At that time, we met DeWayne Coxon. We were the couple on that Catholic tour who were not Catholic.

We are now both 97 years old and have taken many trips throughout the world. But, we still consider the trip to Israel as the best. We are enclosing a donation for the continued work at Tamar. Thank you so much again and we both send our best wishes.

Ralph and Harriet S.
Winchester, WI
Dear DeWayne and All,

I have so enjoyed reading the Newsletter and seeing the progress and wonderful people who are making it happen. It makes me so eager to return and see it again in person. Being a gardener, I’m especially interested in seeing the desert bloom and watching all the plantings take off. I pray for your success in that as well as in making new discoveries and promoting them.
As we watch the news events concerning Israel, it is even more imperative to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” I pray your plans for 2018 in the Park will go unhindered by political and regional strife. 

May God bless you,
Jeanne H.
Manton, MI
If you have visited Tamar Park, you are aware of the limitations in housing. Old caravans, owned by the Pearlmutter family, were purchased by Blossoming Rose many years ago. Upgrades were made through the years, but if you visited for the first time recently, you might wonder if improvements had ever been made, especially if you were in the caravan with rooms 5A & B and 6A & B.
Thanks to a grant from Jack and Louise Scholtus, major renovations will be made to the four rooms in this caravan. They have only been considered livable by the most dedicated volunteers and visitors. These were people who loved the peace and beauty of the desert and could close their eyes when they went inside. Starting early next month, this caravan will have four new bathrooms, newly remodeled bedrooms and a new roof.
Other projects include building a new laundry room, building fourteen new bed frames to replace the old box springs, sealing the camel trough, putting green netting material over the Islamic Historical Site, along with a host of small repairs and projects. Greening the desert is an ongoing project and will continue throughout 2018. The process for planting and/or adopting trees have been outlined in past Newsletters. You may email Jodi at jcoxon@blossomingrose.org for more information.
The remodeling of the caravan project has been assigned to the capable hands of Larry Borntrager and all projects are overseen by our skilled Project Manager, Ty Henderson.

Cooking for the February volunteers will be Cynthia Hillson, pictured left, who specializes in essential oils and herbs.
Last month in our Newsletter, we announced a new program to honor or memorialize a loved one who has passed on. A few people through the years have shared the pain they have experienced as they have grieved for someone they loved. These conversations have taken place at the Park where discussions ensued about memorializing them at the Park. This has been done for many by planting trees in their names and placing their names on the wall in the dining room.

So often, the person who has passed has loved being at Biblical Tamar Park, or their family has loved being there. It is a peaceful place in the desert where it is easy to spend time in meditations and contemplations.

With that in mind, it was decided to build ten more sanctuaries in addition to the two already there. These twelve will be named after the twelve tribes, dropping Levi and Joseph, and adding Ephriam and Manasseh . (Ephraim has been reserved at this time.)
Unlike the annual fees for Site Sponsors and Room Sponsors, there will be a one-time fee of $3,000. There is a simple one-page Agreement with an attached map of the Park. The sanctuaries have been located on the map among the mature trees.  The picture shows one of the existing sanctuaries.  A cement marker will be placed in the ground and an eighteen by twelve-inch plaque will be screwed to the marker. The plaque will have an engraved face, name, and up to twenty-five words chosen by the person establishing the sanctuary.

If you are interested, we can send you the Agreement for your review. Please email lcoxon@blossomingrose.org.
Blossoming Rose has had a USA Board since the 1980s and an Israel Board since the early 2000s. In our November Newsletter, we wrote about the passing of George Van Der Kooi, who had served on the USA Board for over two decades. We thought back to the passing of two former Board members, Mrs. Burnell Booko and Mrs. Sylvia Longfield, who had served as secretary for several years.

We have decided to recognize them and their years of service by placing a plaque in one of the buildings at the Park. We will do that this fall when we and many volunteers go back to work.

Needs a Co-Sponsor
Through the years, seven historic sites have been developed at Biblical Tamar Park for educational purposes. They are the Abrahamic Site, Moses Site, Israelite Site, Roman/Christian Site, Islamic Site, British Site, and Israeli Site. All of them represent periods of time in history and all, but one, are fully sponsored.

One co-sponsor is needed for The Abrahamic Historical Site. Supporting documents include a Program, a Business Plan, and an Agreement that can be emailed to you. There are benefits and privileges for being a Site Sponsor and they are detailed in these documents. There is an annual fee of $5,000. You may request copies of these documents by emailing lcoxon@blossomingrose.org .

If you would prefer to be the single sponsor for this Historic Site, the current co-sponsor is agreeable to that. The annual fee is $10,000.

The December Newsletter was dedicated to thanking contributors and volunteers for their support of Biblical Tamar Park. It was the best year in the history of Blossoming Rose and for that we are extremely thankful. The staff and volunteers have been persistent for many years to accomplish the biblical/educational goals that were set long ago.

One late contribution in 2017 put Barry and Audrey Miller in the $1,000 and up category. We thank them and all others listed in that category last month.
In addition, our faithful independent contractor and Lead Supervisor, Alan Vanderkolk, received contributions from his personal friends, family, and partners, through Blossoming Rose, for his support. He spends six months as supervisor at the Park and works part-time for Blossoming Rose during the other six months.

Contributing towards the sponsorship of a long-term volunteer has always been a provision offered by Blossoming Rose. To learn more about that, you can email DeWayne at dcoxon@blossomingrose.org .
Several years ago, Molly Miessner, the South African representative for Campus Crusade for Christ, led a prayer ministry team to Israel and they chose Tamar as their southern location for their group. They have returned every year since. It has been the privilege of many Blossoming Rose volunteers to be in the Park while the South Africans were visiting.
The leader of the prayer delegation in 2017, was Phillis Britz. She said, “Tamar is a peaceful place and it is a place where one can hear the voice of God. Just as Jesus had withdrawn to the wilderness, so did we. Every day that we spent in the Park was a blessing. Words cannot describe the view of the land from Prayer Mountain with the sun rising over the mountains of Edom in the east. The Park is a jewel! Thank you for opening the Park to intercessors. Thank you for the hospitality of the volunteers who were working there. We slept and ate well. Viktoria and Nancy spoiled us with good food. We will return. And I pray blessings on Blossoming Rose.”
by Pat DeGroot
There isn't a sound to be heard except the west wind blowing through the trees. It's 73 degrees and the sun is heading toward the mountains in the west. Today is Sunday and we are enjoying it.

Jim and I arrived at approximately 1am last Sunday , January 7. We were so happy to walk the long passages in the Tel Aviv airport, even to stand in the long lines at passport control. We were here. Jim got a cart and we went on the hunt for our luggage. No luck. We had arrived, but it had not. Monday afternoon we drove Vik and her friend back to Tel Aviv. By that time, my clothes hardly needed me inside them to be up and walking around. Luckily, I had that spare set of underwear in my carry-on that we are always told to take. After an extra hour at the airport, we left with  all  our luggage! 
The week has been quiet, in more ways than one. Our beautiful variety of birds have flown south to Africa. There are just a few here, flitting about. In the summer, we loved to watch them as we ate our meals in the small kitchen. We haven't been able to find the bird book to identify these hearty winter dwellers.

Every morning I check the temp. It's usually around 53 at 7am and gets up to the 70s around noon. I brought all short sleeve tops, one sweater and a light jacket. I've been cold, but the air conditioners can also be used for heat. That's nice. It certainly is much better than Wisconsin!
Another difference between summer and winter is the number of visitors to the Park. We have had as many as three buses at a time stopping during the day. Yesterday, I thought half of Israel was here at noon. There must have been twenty cars and the families all converged on our picnic tables for lunch. Nahmer, our yellow lab, loves that. He wanders among the visitors and, of course, gets hand-outs! Tomorrow we have someone coming to stay for two weeks. He uses the time to write. His name is Sharon, accent on the last syllable.
Yesterday was Shabbat. We went to Be'er Sheva on a mission to price out 15 new mattresses and stop at Ace Hardware to check if they sold lumber, plywood and wall board. One of the volunteers is coming in early February to completely renovate one of the caravans in the lower part of the Park. Surprisingly, we found two locations for the mattresses, one being Ace...but no building materials. We picked up a few items at the Russian grocery store .  
We are safe and settling in. Jet lag is receding. We are starting to get into a routine. Good news...so far, no snakes and no scorpions.
Love and blessings,

Note: Pat loves to write about birds, so if you enjoy birds too, you will love Emily Dickinson’s poem that begins…. “These are the days when birds come back, a very few, a bird or two, to take a backward look. These are the days when skies resume, the old, old sophistries of June, a blue and gold mistake…." (You can look it up.)
Upcoming 2018 Tours
February 18 - 22 Volunteer Work Experience
February 20 - March 3 ~ Stewart
February 20 - March 3 ~ Grace Bible Church/Nichols
March 2 - 13 ~ Tabor/Nichols
March 25 - April 5 ~ Alewine/Pennington  
October 7 - 19 ~ Young/Clayton
October 21 - November 2 ~ Young/Clayton
November 4 - 8 Volunteer work Experience

(One hundred percent of the gross proceeds will be used to bless Israel)
This attractive 54 page coloring book is on-sale for three for $5 plus $2 shipping.

For 4 - 10 copies, $1.50 each with total shipping at $4. 

If you wish to place an order, please email us directly at  dcoxon@blossomingrose.org . 

Designed by Historical Site sponsor, Leona Benson.
Blossoming Rose, P.O. Box X, Cedar Springs, MI 49319
  616-696-3435 | 616-696-8280