February 2018
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.
After weeks of working out the details for spring tours, reserving buses and hotels, and organizing willing volunteers to do major projects at the Park, the day of February 14 finally arrived, and we flew out of Grand Rapids and other cities on our way to Tel Aviv. There we either met a bus or rented a car and headed for Tamar. (It usually takes about 24 hours from the time we walk out our doors at home until we pull in to Tamar Park.) 

Once we arrived at the Park, we were welcomed by those who had gone on ahead of us to begin work on projects, purchase groceries, and prepare meals. After a much-needed rest, we began the work that we describe in this newsletter.
Good Morning from Italy.

I am Valery, 53 years old, and with my husband we have visited Israel a few times and we love Biblical Tamar Park.

I am interested to serve as a volunteer for one month or more at Tamar. I have experience in the kitchen and also I can help in housekeeping. We are planning on coming in March and can help you with the work at Biblical Tamar Park.

Alan Vanderkolk is our friend and he has visited us in Italy. Please let me know so I can finish the application to be a volunteer worker.

Valeria T.
Rome, Italy
Hello Rob,

I wanted to introduce you to our good friends YouHu and Yariv. They have many friends from China and they are organizing tours here in Israel. They have both visited Tamar Park and are interested in connecting with Blossoming Rose to arrange for their tours to stay there, periodically throughout the year.

They will contact you directly as I gave them your email address.

Helen S.
Adkins, TX
To Blossoming Rose,

I wanted to forward this check for $100 to Blossoming Rose on behalf of Gladys M. I was speaking at a church concerning the ongoing good work that is being done at Biblical Tamar Park, and also about my past involvement. After the speaking engagement, I received this donation in the mail and thought it best to forward it to Blossoming Rose in the hope that it would help with your continued success in the Park.

I, personally, want to thank you very much for the past opportunities I have enjoyed at Biblical Tamar Park and look forward to the future of events originating out of the Arava. I pray that your long-held commitment to that area of the Arava bear even more fruit, and that you enjoy much success.

Lance C
Charlotte, NC
Hi DeWayne,

Thanks for your note. I am looking forward to being with you in February. I’m sure we will talk more during the time we are together in the Park.

I want to do the “Precious Oils” tour after Passover in April 2019. Spring is such a wonderful time to be in the Land.

I am glad you liked my books. As far as the sequel to the Esther book, it will be titled “The Healing Rose: The Rest of the Story of Queen Esther’s Purification.” That book is what brought me to Tamar to write “at a quiet place” in March 2014. Perhaps this year I will find time to complete it as well as another book called “All the Trees of Frankincense.”

Talk to you soon!
Cynthia H.
Troutman, NC
Over a month ago, one of our Jewish farmers at a neighboring Moshav visited our Park Supervisor, Alan Vanderkolk, and began talking to him about date palms. It seems that the farmer had a problem with too few male date palm trees and too many female trees. He asked if we would be interested in trading some of our many male date palms for some female trees and, in addition, he would have his work crew also trim back our trees that our volunteers often do not have the time to do.

It is against Israeli law to transport plant life into the Arava (where Biblical Tamar Park is located), from other places in Israel because of the possibility of disease and insect infestation. Female Madjool date palm trees are worth about $100 each and we were very thankful to make this trade. These dates are some of the largest and most expensive dates to purchase.

Alan’s farmer friend agreed to remove the male trees, plant the female trees, and clean out the untrimmed branches from the other trees. It was a good deal for both of us.
We first visited Tamar (Kibbutz Ir Ovot) in the summer of 1984. I had never been in such a hot place before, but we listened to Simha Pearlmutter’s story and decided to assist in his agricultural projects. Two years later, we had planted large fields of tomatoes, eggplant and cucumbers.

One of the few redeeming factors was that during this time we had discovered the mile-deep miracle well near the Kibbutz with the healing waters and we dug a small pool to hold its water. We used large stones that were scattered all over the hill at Ir Ovot, not knowing they were dated to the Roman times. There was no thought of archaeology activity when we first went to help plant fields all those years ago.
Now, 32 years later we just went back and retrieved our Roman stones to use in the Park. The pipe from which we drew water is now capped and there is no more free water. But, we are still free to wander in the desert.

This old picture from July 1986 is of our volunteers relaxing in the pool that we dug by hand and the second picture is of Ty Henderson.  
The annual Blossoming Rose Israel Board meeting was held on February 22 in Jerusalem. They enjoyed a nice lunch together and discussed the business of Biblical Tamar Park for a couple hours.  Seated, starting with DeWayne Coxon and moving left, are Rob Coxon, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Ruby Karne-Re’em, Accountant Hadassah Karne-Re’em, Karen Dub, Shoshanna Harrari, Micah Harrari, and Attorney Larry Dub.
Remodeling a Caravan
The largest project was the remodeling of a four bedroom / four bathroom caravan. Larry Borntrager, who had arrived at the Park two weeks earlier, purchased many of the materials that would be needed for this large renovation. Ty Henderson, who headed up the project, along with Larry Borntrager, spent many hours working on this project with help from Don Long, Steve Cummings, and Rob Coxon.  Pictured from left to right are Ty Henderson, Larry Borntrager and Don Long.
Building New Laundry Room
Jack Crusan, headed up the job of building a new laundry room. His trusted assistants were Paul Stewart, and Ken Osterman. The old laundry room was too small and open to flies and other critters. This new, enclosed laundry room will seem like a luxury in the desert to those who have labored through the years to do the laundry. Pictured from left to right are Ken, Jack, & Paul.
Other Projects
1.        Lockable cabinets were purchased, assembled, and put in the rooms that now have sponsors. Name plaques were placed on the doors of sponsored rooms and on the dining hall wall for those who planted trees.
2.        Artists have painted murals and canvases to be placed in rooms and in the Sukkah over the years. This month the artist was Sharon Ruane who is pictured here working on a painting. Pat DeGroot, the current Supervisor, has also painted canvases for caravans and they are working to get them hung in various buildings and rooms.  Two of Sharon’s paintings are pictured here.
3.       A cement slab was poured at the site of the first sponsored Sanctuary where a brass plaque will be placed with a picture, name, dates of birth and death, and script in honor and as a memorial for a young man whose parents are involved with United Israel World Union and Blossoming Rose. There will be twelve memorial Sanctuaries named after the twelve tribes of Israel. This first site is Ephraim.
4.        Since January 1, 2018, ten rooms have been sponsored. These sponsors are greatly appreciated because, along with Site Sponsors, they provide the funds that are necessary for the preservation and continued development of the Park. As a result of these donors, the projects shown in this newsletter were possible. Last year, 2017, and so far this year, the donations have kept the monthly bills paid and have covered the cost of these projects. (Other caravans are also in desperate need of remodeling. It takes money and skilled volunteers.)
5.        Kathy Bekes and Pam Jaso, two of our most faithful volunteers, continued to preserve the ancient walls of the archaeology sites. The tuck pointing that they do while they are at the Park for several weeks each year is a very important part of preservation and restoration.  Pictured is Archaeologist Yoram Haimi, with his two favorite assistants, Kathy and Pam.
6.       Pastor James Bugg and his grandson, Brandon, visited the Park again after many years. Jim, and his wife, Marilyn, who is now deceased, were integral to the development of the Park for many years. They served together in leadership roles at the Park for several months during difficult times years ago. During this visit, they planted three trees – in honor of three relatives.   Pictured are James Bugg and his grandson, Brandon, planting a tree and James on tractor.
7.  Years ago, members of the Community of the Crucified One, a church in Pennsylvania, became involved at the Park. Darick and Kate Beishir were members there when they served as Supervisors several years ago. Other volunteers from that group served at a time when recruiting volunteers was not an easy task. They stood in the gap when they were greatly needed. Not only did the Community meet those needs, but they have supported regularly for a long time and are now becoming involved again. They cleaned and reorganized one of the rooms in a caravan that has been used for prayer and study.
We continue to marvel about the wonderful volunteers that have served at Biblical Tamar Park keeping everything organized and flowing smoothly. Pat DeGroot, our current supervisor, was assisted by her sister, Mary Ver Haag, in housekeeping to prepare all bedrooms, bathrooms, and the dining hall for the volunteers who would need them. Jim Crumley, Pat’s husband, provided many services from driving to the airport to pick up volunteers, to building bedframes for new mattresses. Cynthia Hillson, who wrote one of the letters above, was the lead cook, with Kathy Crusan assisting. Their wonderful meals kept the volunteers well-nourished and ready for more work or ready to sleep.   Pictured are Pam Wright & Kylie Trewhella, Kyle Trewhella on tractor, and the carpenters from Poland.
Once again, a large group of adults and children from Poland arrived at the Park during this work week. They stepped in to serve wherever they were needed. Their children loved being with Artist, Sharon Ruane, and they loved the playground. This is the same Polish group who helped Paul and Joyce Lagno build the Moses Site last year. Thank you everyone very much. Pictured are volunteers at Moses Site and their children on the playground.
Note: We have more pictures of volunteers that we are saving for the March issue of the Newsletter, including the Faith and Works Tour and the Israel Today and Forever Tour.
by Pat DeGroot
Last night, between February 12 and 13, I woke up to the sound of a gentle rain on the roof. This rainy season has been too dry. The weeds are about the only green popping up. Since I've been supervisor here only during the hot summer months, I keep looking and waiting for the light green of spring, flowers and song birds. None of that is apparent. The night rain was lulling me to sleep but creating mud in all the low spots around the Park.
There are eight of us here now tackling jobs in our own specialties. Jim Crumley spent many hours gutting the caravan housing #5 & #6. "You can see forever" from one end to the other. Now, Larry Borntrager, Ty Henderson and Don Long have begun their work of rebuilding the insides to four double rooms each with its own bathroom. This morning the wood was delivered to build a deck facing the inner court. This will be a fantastic improvement.
Along with the arrival of the three men, Cynthia Hillson arrived to do the cooking. For the last three weeks, Mary Ver Haag, my sister, has been treating us to gourmet dining. What she could create out of nothing was amazing. Sharon Ruane has been functioning as the resident artist. She has created a glorious mural on the three panels of the north wall of the sukkah! Wait until you see it!
One of my jobs, as Supervisor, is to keep everybody from "injuring" themselves in their zeal to do all of this work. With the imminent arrival of more volunteers, Mary and I are preparing rooms and beds. Soon I'll be painting the fifteen beds Jim, my husband, is now building to replace the old round legged beds. And then, there's the computer work which has been and continues to be very challenging. With the lovely rain last night, our power went off and on throughout the morning – one of the challenges!

What continues to amaze me is how this place, this holy place, constantly attracts the best of God's people. Yes, we are all wounded, but we are all, also in process, trying to listen to God's leading and obeying to the best of our ability. What a blessing to be amongst God's good people in God's holy land.
For information on how to serve as a volunteer, you can email Jodi Coxon and/or DeWayne Coxon to obtain a Volunteer Manual.

For information on how to register for a tour and/or to view tour itineraries, you can go to the Blossoming Rose website at www.blossomingrose.org .

For information on how to sponsor one of the Seven Historical Sites (there is one available), or to sponsor a room, or a sanctuary, or to plant or adopt a tree, you can write to Lexie Coxon at lcoxon@blossomingrose.org .

To donate to Blossoming Rose, you can click on this DONATE BUTTON.
Upcoming 2018 Tours
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