September 2017
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.
Blossoming Rose is privileged to have an educated and very active board. Two of our board members are Gregory Bekes, and his wife, Kathy, who live in Escanaba, Michigan. Greg teaches courses in law and ethics at Lake Superior University. One of his classes, for the past two years, has been involved in working with our staff on a new marketing plan, including website ideas and design. The student leader of this program was Steven Lippold and we want to thank him and all the students for their work on this project.
This year, the class did a complete study of our website and presented us with an excellent review. We have used several of their recommendations to upgrade our website.
Greg and Kathy are site sponsors at Tamar Park and Kathy has been a leader in our archaeology digs at Tamar since 1986.
Dear Dr. Coxon,
Thank you for your email and the very interesting materials that helped me to get to know Biblical Tamar Park and Blossoming Rose. I was delighted visiting Tamar, on the one hand because it is really a great archaeological spot, on the other, because of my friendship with Pat and Jim who were taking care of the Park while I visited.
Congratulations for the good job that you are doing there. I hope God will bless all of your decisions and plans. I will be more than happy to bring my students to Tamar for a visit next summer.
Fr. Peotr Z
Beersheva, Israel
Dear Dr. Coxon,
This is one of the hardest letters we have ever written. All of our lives we have been happiest when helping or giving to others. As a result, we have tended to give more than save. Now, we find ourselves with health issues and escalating expenses while our income remains the same. So, we need to cut back on support money to organizations that we love like Blossoming Rose. We still love your mission to Israel and hope to help you again. We will keep you in our prayers and trust God to give you and Blossoming Rose even greater blessings!
Your Friends,
Bruce and Harriette
Hello Jodi,
I would like to order four of your children’s coloring books. I am not sure how you want me to pay for them. Please let me know and I will do it right away.
Thanks for offering these.
Kathy K.
San Marcos, Ca.
Hi DeWayne,
(A letter from Michael Robinaugh, BR Board member)
I am sending you these pictures of Sue and my first trip to Israel and our first dig. Sue had three little ones at home and it was challenging. The touring and the dig laid the groundwork for me to    return four more times. Sue is returning in November for the first time since 1989.
You may remember that this was one of the first digs at Tamar, at least on the upper portion of the tel. We started with a flat piece of ground moving the dirt away. We uncovered the walls of a fortress. As we dug down the walls came up. We had a great week, with an update every night from the archaeologists, on their latest thoughts on what we were uncovering.
Michael R.
Grand Rapids, MI
Dear Curator,
Shalom. Enclosed please find a donation of….for upkeep, general maintenance and improvements related to the Moses Tabernacle Exhibit at Biblical Tamar Park.
Since the Park is committed to sharing the pre-Roman history of the area and the experiences of the people of Israel, we are hopeful that Marie Lundquist’s work will provide a legacy of remembrance of history and faith.
Thank you for your care of this irreplaceable model of the Lundquist Tabernacle of Moses.
Carmela L,
Casselberry, Fl.
Tour: January 15-25, 2018
It was in the early years of the new century, 2000, that Rev. Paul Stewart was introduced to me. Soon after that, he and several students from the Community of the Crucified One in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, were dispatched to Israel to visit and pray about assisting Blossoming Rose in the newly named Biblical Tamar Park. To the many people who have travelled to Israel with me in the early years, this site was also known as Kibbutz Ir Ovot.
The Community did send its students to Israel to maintain Park security, including watching over unexcavated artifacts, restoring housing facilities, and watering the trees and shrubs we had planted. It was a pioneering time and, from their efforts, our plans developed. Many remember that Darick and Kate Beishir later became the Park managers, little Chava was born, and development of the Park was underway.
Pastor Stewart visited Tamar several times, led groups, and encouraged the CCO to support financially through the years. He will now lead another tour group to Israel on January 15-25, 2018.
While this tour will take the participants to most of the well known historic and religious sites, there will also be an emphasis on Pastor Stewart’s Biblical interest in the Hebraic roots of the Church. In his current studies he has earned several certificates in Hebraic Roots Studies.
This tour will be guided by an Orthodox Jew who is known for building bridges between people of faith. He speaks worldwide on the Hebraic roots underpinning Christianity, holds dual citizenship between the USA and Israel and is articulate in the unifying faiths of the two religions: Judaism and Christianity.
You will find this tour a great educational and spiritual blessing while making new friendships for the future. 
Michael Robinaugh, a Blossoming Rose board member, wrote to me and said that Sue and he went to Israel with me in 1989. They are returning to Israel, together, for the first time this November, 28 years after they participated in our archaeology dig at Tamar. Michael has been back several times, with his children, to dig. When Sue goes back, she will see some dramatic differences in the “tel.”
Dr. Rudolph Cohen (pictured here), then the Deputy Director of what is now the Israel Antiquities Authority, was a driving force behind the dig. I sat with him in Jerusalem when he shared the Jewish history of Tamar stating to me that Tamar had the longest continuous presence of Jews of any city in all of Israel. He also said that there would come a day when more Jews would visit Tamar than Masada. I was astounded to hear him make those statements over 25 years ago. We had only found the upper levels of walls then, and had made no real significant discoveries. 
Through the next ten years, with hundreds of Russian immigrants assisting Blossoming Rose volunteers at Tamar, Cohen’s predictions came true. Under the desert sands we discovered the foundations and artifacts of the earliest Jewish presence in the holy Land. Some historians believe that Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, lived in Tamar - one of the “desert cities” given to him by Joshua, after the conquest of Hebron.
Two of Dr. Cohen’s assistants, Yigal Israel and Shikki Lender, continued uncovering the city as the years went by. Dr. Israel was instrumental in recommending Blossoming Rose to become the Curator of the tel. This eventually led to the development of the “Seven Historic Sites” which became focal points for an educational theme at the Park.
Several years ago, an artist friend of mine, Sharon Ruane, went to Israel with me and returned to paint her famous drawing of the “Arches of Israel,” a collection of the ancient arches she saw as we toured the country. Many of our friends received the prints of that painting and we have one in our office.
An idea to capture different scenes at Biblical Tamar Park has lingered in my mind as we progress in the excavation and development of the Park. I suggested these ideas to a few artist friends, including Peggy Sanders, who consented to draw contemporary pictures of sites in the Arava around Tamar. She wrote to me a year ago and said, “I wanted to send you these paintings of mine as thanks for the work you are doing for my trip to Israel." (Peggy did go last year and now she is painting different scenes in the Park for future generations to enjoy.) Trish Enderton, who has already painted at the Park, will be returning in November to do more paintings. One of our supervisors, Pat DeGroot, left her mark in many of the guest rooms with her watercolors. A few other artists have also agreed to draw what they see in the Park. We will decorate the bedrooms and public places in the Park with their paintings. We are thankful to Kate Beishir who painted and left many beautiful pictures during her long term stay at the Park.

by Shemuel Sharvit
My wife, Rivka, and I are enjoying the privilege of living in the land of Israel and are soaking up the spiritual blessings that it affords. We were talking about the peacefulness and unity we felt at Biblical Tamar Park. So, when I saw you there in your work clothes and gloves, I understood where the peace and unity we felt was coming from. Bringing people from different places and backgrounds and forging a cohesive work force is no simple task. My compliments to you and your staff at Blossoming Rose for a job well done.
Now, moving away from our personal experience at Tamar Park, I wish to shift the subject to one that comes from an orthodox Jew visiting the displays that you and the volunteers set up to reflect the influence of the Jewish people on that area. Although I recognize the value of all seven historical periods represented by the Park, the three that represent the Jewish historical involvement are more emotionally and spiritually meaningful to me. If you can overlook my biases for a moment, I would like to share why I think that they are so important to the Jewish people of today. First, it gives a real-time physical experience to what we read in the Bible. It can bring Jews, who visit there, a new reality about the founding of the nation and a teachable moment for adults as well as children. I am certain you already know this and that you designed these exhibits to perform that task. I’m only hoping that you will be able to expose your wealth of knowledge to Jews in Israel, as well as those visiting from abroad. It’s that important.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who, over the years, have made Biblical Tamar Park possible. Three times a day in the Jewish prayers we quote this verse from Deuteronomy 6:5 “You shall love Hashem your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources.” Our resources are as much a part of our spiritual life as our soul and heart. Our resources, which our sages say is our money, are an example and extension of the abilities and talents that G-d placed in your heart and soul. So, when you give money to
Blossoming Rose, you are also sending your soul and heart with it. So, when I look at what is going on at Biblical Tamar Park, what I am seeing is actually the hearts and souls of the people who are giving of their resources to make it happen.
You are not only causing the desert to bloom but you are also investing in the establishment of an important educational center for the Jewish people. In 1990, Russia started to allow Jews from the former Soviet Union to immigrate to Israel. Thank G-d for the hundreds of thousands that have come. But the vast majority have little or no knowledge of their connection to the history and heritage of the Jewish people. Also, because the majority of the households in Israel are secular, their children are raised with little access to the Bible and the origins of the Jewish people. So, your children and grandchildren are probably more familiar with who Avraham was than most Jewish children living in Israel. Is it possible that Blossoming Rose’s efforts at Biblical Tamar Park could be used by G-d as an outreach center to connect Jewish children to their spiritual heritage? The faith of Avraham is an inspiration to peoples all over the world.
Every bed is full November 5- 9, for our concentrated fall volunteer work experience at Tamar. What a blessing! All of our 55 beds will be filled with people who share a common love for the Arava. Many others are working before and after this special week as longer term volunteers. We will be digging between the Solomonic gates, hopefully finding evidence of the people who lived at Tamar before Abraham passed that way. This will be the first major dig in several years and Dr. Tali Erickson (pictured here) will be in charge.
Another emphasis will be the continued planting of trees on the parameters of the Park property. This was started in February and the water lines and measurements are all completed. Several people are going specifically to plant the trees and to work with Dr. Elaine Soloway and other Israeli experts.
You will remember that the Abrahamic Bedouin tent was purchased and the site prepared for the stretching of the tent in February. Now the pavilion cover, to protect it from the ultraviolet sun’s rays, will be constructed in November and the furnishings will be placed in the tent. This will complete several years of planning for this historic site.
Many of us have hoped for some new equipment at Tamar, having rebuilt and overhauled our old tractor for many years. This November we will all be at the Park to take ownership of our “dream” tractor. It will have a front-end bucket and four wheel drive, with added attachments such as a backhoe unit, posthole digger, back blade, and brush hog. We are so thankful for this addition to the Park and we thank all those who gave towards its purchase. We still have one final payment of $9,000 that we need to make so consider this in your “Year-End” giving please.
There are several other Park projects that we will update you on in the October newsletter.
by Kay Rose Bunton
I had a personal emergency in my family which prevented me from traveling to Israel until September and so Alan agree to come a month earlier than usual and I took over for him while he was on a short trip. It is wonderful to be back at Biblical Tamar Park. In a few days, we’re expecting ten guests from the Netherlands who, for the past several years, have been hosting a conference at the Park for a week before traveling throughout Israel. 
A highlight of mine in the past two weeks was my lunch meeting with Levite Reuven Prager. Not only is he responsible for restoring the custom of donating the Holy Half Shekel after nearly 2,000 years of cessation, but he is also credited with restoring the ancient custom of biblical weddings where the bride wears a “Jerusalem of Gold” crown. Many Jewish couples in Israel are choosing to marry ‘the Levitical old fashion biblical way’ under Prager’s guidance. 

Finally, a special friend of BTP invited Alan and me to her home for a Shabbat meal. It was a time for fellowship, friendship and food! Lea is an orthodox Jewess who I’ve known for more than 25 years. On past occasions, Lea has spent a few days volunteering at the Park. Her slain son, is a national military hero, so every time she visits the Park she is escorted in an IDF military vehicle. Her rabbinical Ukrainian husband of 34 years died shortly before she lost her only son. Today, Leah’s tears of sorrow have been replaced with tears of joy with the birth of her first grandchild, Lavid, who was born on the same day as her husband’s passing. Precious Lavid is a fourth generation Holocaust survivor and Alan had the privilege of meeting the parents for the first time. It was my honor to become the child’s god-mother. What a blessing!
Next month another friend of BTP, Moshe, has secured tickets for Alan and me to visit the President of Israel’s residence! What a joy it is to be back in the Promised Land where open doors and miracles have become the norm.
by Alan Vanderkolk
My friend and mentor, Rev. Earl Pickard, and two other men from Kansas, joined me here in Israel for twelve days. I have assisted Earl for several years in organized prayer efforts. We spent four days in the desert, while based at Biblical Tamar Park, four days in Jerusalem, and the last four days in the Galilee. This was a prayer journey focused on the many anniversaries that are converging during this season connected to Biblical Israel, the Nation of Israel, the People of Israel, and the God of Israel.
We drove to several key sites in Israel to pray. It was a very strategic and significant time together. It had been a few years since we had a prayer journey like this and it was good to be together again. 
As I write this there is a group from the Netherlands at Tamar. They have been coming regularly the last number of years as part of their yearly prayer and teaching tour through Israel. One of the Dutch ladies came early to help prepare for this group and to make it a special experience for them. That has been very nice. 
We also welcomed a new long-term volunteer today from North Carolina. Tomorrow begins the Fall Feasts here in Israel with the celebration of the New Year. It is a great time to be in the Land. Shalom from Israel.
Upcoming 2017 Tours
October 22 - November 3 ~ Young/Clayton
November 2 - 12 ~ Volunteers
November 8 - 19 ~ DeGroot
November 12 - 21 ~ Torluemke
2018 Tours
January 15 - 25 ~ Stewart
February 11 - 22 ~ Elijah Tour/Parks
February 20 - March 3 ~ Grace Bible Church/Nichols
March 2 - 13 ~ Tabor/Nichols
March 8 - 17 ~ St. Norbet Abbey/Pichler
March 14 - 25 ~ Brethren/Lagno
March 25 - April 5 ~ Alewine/Pennington  
October 7 - 19 ~ Young/Clayton    

(One hundred percent of the gross proceeds will be used to bless Israel)
This attractive 54 page coloring book is on-sale for $3 each plus $2 shipping. For 4 - 10 copies, total shipping is $4. 
If you wish to place an order, please email us directly at . 

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