March 2017
NOTE:  We have recently been asked if we have an official Blossoming Rose Facebook Page that we moderate.  The answer is “Yes.”  Our official Blossoming Rose Facebook Page is, and we will be posting to that page only.  It is accessible to everyone without being a member.  While there are other Facebook Groups named Blossoming Rose, we do not post to or moderate any other Facebook Pages or Groups at this time. Thank you.
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.
In this newsletter, we are excited to send you brief descriptions of some of the projects that were either begun or completed last month at Biblical Tamar Park.  Our February volunteers accomplished an enormous amount of work on projects.  Many of the descriptions are in the form of pictures.  Next month we will expand on some of the human-interest stories pertaining to events at the Park in February and March.  Visible progress is always such an encouragement.  Thanks to everyone who made this possible.

Picture of DeWayne & Lexie Coxon taken by Paul Lagno.
We will provide information and pictures in the April Newsletter for the Madsen/Ernst tour, Tabor/Nichols tour, and the Pennington/Alewine tour. 
The planning of tours to Israel for 2017-2018 is both time consuming and a bit complex. Tour schedules need to be set early so that hotels, buses, and guides can be booked and groups can be scheduled to visit Biblical Tamar Park as well as touring Israel. And most groups want to visit Israel in the cooler seasons, limiting the times of years when there are optimal temperatures.  
Meeting with people, who have an interest in Biblical Tamar Park, is also a growing need for us to do.  That is why I spent March 16-18, “on the road” visiting with seven different groups in these three states.

My day started early on Thursday, leaving Cedar Springs for meetings in Chicago.  Then Friday started with an early breakfast with Gary Madsen and Diane Ernst who had just returned from Israel last month, having led a successful tour out of Wisconsin.
Breakfast was followed by lunch with Pat De Groot, Jim Crumley (two of our regular staff at Tamar and recently married) along with Father V, priest of Prince of Peace Church in Green Bay (pictured on the right).  That evening Pat, Jim, and I had dinner with Tony Pichler, the Director of the St. Norbert Center for Spirituality in De Pere, Wisconsin.  

Early on Saturday, I had breakfast with Floyd and Ginny Taylor and Gail Fick in Wisconsin and then my final lunch was with US Board members, Greg and Kathy Bekes in Escanaba, Michigan.  A long drive home followed, with a day of rest awaiting me. 
Floyd and Ginny Taylor and Gail Fick
Greg Bekes, DeWayne Coxon, and Kathy Bekes
Dear DeWayne,

Thank you for sending me your annual letter and the kind note included.  Yes, I did have a very positive experience in Israel on the tour!  I think of it every day and hope to be able to return in the near future.  Blessing Israel is very high on my list of priorities.  I so very much enjoyed my stay at Tamar Park and I understand your delight in being there. It is very intriguing and peaceful.  I’d love to return and help with “whatever” as a volunteer.
It looks like Blossoming Rose has a well-rounded program and I’d like to become a regular supporter.  I would like to “Sponsor a Room” as a start.  I will also be checking out your website for more tour information too.  Perhaps you can send me a copy of your October Newsletter for details?  Thanks!
Yours Truly,
Jeanne H.
Manton, MI
Hello Dr. Coxon,
I am honored to write to you.  I do not know anyone who has been to the Land of Israel as many times as you have.  WOW! Well, keep yourself safe in Israel and here is my love offering.
God Bless you,
Michelle G.
Madera, CA
Dear DeWayne,
First, I want to thank you for your faithfulness and all of the countless hours you have poured into the Park.  So many people have been touched so deeply by being able to spend time there, working, praying and whatever.  I was sorry to hear about John Dreyer passing in January.  He did a great deal of work there.  He and I were together there in 2009, for a long period of time.
I had spoken with Alan in December as we both share the same birthday in December. We spoke about the possibility of my traveling to Israel to volunteer this fall while he is managing the Park.  I have put this in the Lord’s capable hands. I would love to go there and work again.
I have forwarded a credit card donation which the Lord has placed upon my heart. I hope that Rob and his family and Lexie and you are all faring well this winter.  I pray for Israel in these confusing times.  Stay well and be blessed.
Bill W.
The largest number of members attended this Board meeting than any other Board meeting in Israel in past years.  Pictured are members from left to right seated:  Dr. DeWayne Coxon, Attorney Larry Dub, Shoshana Harrari, and Mica Harrari.  Standing left to right:  Don Smith, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Lexie Coxon, Accountant Hadassah Karne Re’em, Dr. Ruby Karne Re’em and Rob Coxon.
We were hosted in a small side room at the Piccolino restaurant in downtown Jerusalem.  The members enjoyed a fine nutritious lunch before covering their two-hour agenda.  Business was accomplished and fellowship was enjoyed.  (Maxine Smith took the picture of the Board and then later in the Board meeting, she was elected to the Board.)
Two organizations have partnered with Blossoming Rose to undertake projects that would not only fulfill the mission and vision of Blossoming Rose, but are also important to their organizations.  There have been articles in past Newsletters about the work of Paul and Joyce Lagno, which was funded by the Lundquist Foundation.  Their project was to build an outdoor model Tabernacle at the Moses Historical Site, which they accomplished in 2016.  After installing an acrylic covering, it was discovered that it was not adequate to avoid being damaged by dirt from sand storms, rain, and sun.  So, last month they, with the help of four talented Polish carpenters – Daniel I, Michal S, Michal T, and Pawel K– friends of Paul and Joyce, built a beautiful pavilion over the Tabernacle with side walls covered with educational banners.  This was a great and exciting accomplishment.  Pictured inside the Pavilion is Paul Lagno speaking to a group of volunteers.
The second organization, The Good Land, led by Lloyd Willard, executive director, and Lance Cantley, director, is working on a long-term and extensive project to “green the desert,” which has been a major part of the responsibilities of Blossoming Rose.  Through the years, Blossoming Rose has planted over a thousand trees and you have seen many pictures in our newsletters.  Last month you saw the whole process of picking our olives and having them processed.
Lloyd is an engineer, who is experienced in agronomy, and his interest has been to find places where he can experiment with certain principles for irrigating desert trees and plants in a much less costly way.  Last month was their second visit to Biblical Tamar Park, pertaining to this project, where they determined that the Park would be a good place to use their expertise and financial resources to move forward in “greening the desert” in a substantial way.  Last month, they along with two assistants, Paul and Mike, planted thirty trees, with irrigation lines, on the west boundary of the Park.  

For $100 you can “Plant A Tree.”  Donations of $100 per tree will pay for the tree and the preparation and planting fees. It will also pay for the cost of the water and fertilizer for one year. Plaques for tree donors will be placed in the dining commons along with past donors.

Biblical Tamar Park has boundaries totaling over one mile. Spacing the trees thirty foot apart would require approximately 200 trees to complete this project. The trees would only be planted as the funds are raised in keeping with the Park policy of “no debt.”

For $25 you can “Adopt Two Trees.”  Donations of $25 for two trees will cover the cost of watering and trimming two out of a thousand trees for one year.  A framed certificate will be placed in the dining commons with a list of names of the people who donate for the annual care of the trees for 2017 and for each subsequent year that donations are made.

Note:  Currently there are brass plaques in the dining hall for everyone, who in past years, donated money for a tree to be planted at the Park.


We all knew that our Abrahamic Historical Site needed a goat’s hair Bedouin tent to simulate the dwelling that Abraham and Sarah lived in just to the north of us.  The tent had to be open in the front and placed on strong poles to withstand the desert winds.

Our Bedouin friend, Mohammed, brought two ladies to the Park with huge needles to make repairs on the tent while it was laid out on the ground.  They did a wonderful job because they had experience.

Today it is all framed in with the proper support and it will blend in nicely in the grove near the Tabernacle of Moses.  It will be the starting point where visitors will stop to pick up our Park brochure, written in both Hebrew and English, to guide them to each historic site.

Pictured in front of the tent are from left to right:  Supervisor Andy Kuffer, Ty Henderson, Bill Hawes and Don Smith.  A special thanks to Victoria Brogdon for her contribution for the tent.

You who have walked the dusty paths of Tamar, from one historic site to another, know that there has been no way to avoid the dust in the dry season and the clay mud in the wet season. It was through the generosity of the Lundquist Foundation (and Paul and Joyce Lagno), who also made the upgrade on the Moses Tabernacle possible, that a six-foot wide path from the new parking lot to the historic sites became a reality.
While many of us were working on the details of upgrading the Park, our Park Supervisor, Andy Kuffer, was spending his time directing the driver of the bobcat front end loader as to how and where to lay the special stone for the paths.  Now we can walk without fear of ruining our shoes through much of the Park.  More paths will be installed during this year.
How many times have we walked into the Sukkah, really tired, and collapsed on the sofas only to realize that they had been soaked by rain because the roof was only netting.  Sometimes we were just too tired to jump up.
Those days are over.  We can now stand or sit in the Sukkah, as the rain falls, and keep completely dry and happy sitting in front of the wood fire. The new roof is an ultraviolet blue, a composite of plastic and fiberglass that has a long life.  This, too, is a gift from the Lundquist Foundation as well as the gift of building it from Ty Henderson and the Polish men accompanying Paul and Joyce Lagno.
In addition to the volunteers mentioned in other articles, we send a huge thank you to Joyce Lagno, who served as the head cook for 23 people.  She prepared most of the meals. Maxine Smith and I cooked some meals and Maxine did the dishes for nearly every meal – not a job that others coveted.  Ty Henderson, who recently agreed to serve as Projects Manager, shared responsibilities with Rob Coxon, who together participated in working on many projects.  We are very grateful for Ty Henderson’s willingness to serve in this capacity.
Bill Hawes and Laura Boyke were already at the Park serving as long term volunteers.  Laura’s help in housekeeping and Bill’s cooking skills and outdoor work were greatly appreciated.  Kathy Bekes and Pam Jaso were there for the umpteenth time working on the hard stuff – archaeology.  Don Smith and Lexie Coxon tried their hands on a few assignments and DeWayne Coxon did his usual morning to night tasks.  (Lexie hadn’t seen the Park for 27 years.)
Two ladies from Israel, Iris and Sarah, drove in to help out several days, bringing fresh vegetables from local farmers and assisting in the kitchen and doing some housekeeping.

Inside the Pavilion are 23 volunteers, Lexie Coxon on the right.
Last October we announced our Sponsor-a-Room program and we are excited to announce that five rooms have been sponsored.  The first room, even before we published the program, was sponsored by United Israel World Union.  Dr. James Tabor and his wife, Lori Woodall, decorated the room with an Israeli theme. 
Since then, Don and Maxine Smith, site sponsors and board members of BR Israel, sponsored two rooms 13 A & B, Cynthia Hillson, president of Precious Oils and long term volunteer at Tamar, sponsored Room 8, and Jeanne Housler, sponsored room 11C.  Jeanne just wrote the following in a letter to Blossoming Rose, “It’s so exciting to know there’s a place waiting for me there at Tamar.”
Below is a summary description of the Program.  In addition, there is a Business Plan with more details and an Agreement, which is basically a hand-shake, since it can be discontinued by the sponsor at any time.  If you are interested in having a copy of the Business Plan and Agreement, please email
There are twenty-five guest rooms at Biblical Tamar Park.  Most rooms have twin beds.

A person, a group, or an organization can become a sponsor of one or more rooms. The fees, responsibilities, and privileges are broadly outlined below.  Privileges and responsibilities are outlined in the Business Plan.  Specific personal details will be described in an Agreement.
The annual fee to become a sponsor is $1,500.
This fee will be used to continue to upgrade housing facilities and other buildings necessary for the function of the Park, as well as the costs involved with security, support services and staffing.
Broad Privileges:  (See details in Business Plan
  1. The sponsor’s name (or couple’s names) will be on the door and inside the room.
  2. The sponsor may use the room several days each year without charge.
  3. Discounted meals.
Responsibilities:  (See details in Business Plan)
  1. The Sponsor, and its representatives, shall follow all policies and procedures outlined in the Business Plan, the Agreement, all relevant manuals, and the Blossoming Rose Position Paper.
  2. Sponsors shall maintain their sponsored room when they visit the Park.  The BTP staff will maintain the room in the absence of the Sponsor.
by Andy Kuffer
The weather here is like summer in Michigan, except for the humidity which is very low here at 20%.  It seems like such a long time ago when I wrote about the heavy rains that came when I first got here.
So much has been accomplished in such a short time.  Yet even with God all time is relevant – for 1,000 years is as a day and a day as 1,000 years.  One day, time will just be “rolled up like a scroll.”  I witnessed the wonderful structure built over the Tabernacle display and the screen prints with pictures and scriptures.  Thanks to the Lundquist Foundation, Paul Lagno and his Polish crew. 
Paul and his crew had just departed when five buses filled with Israeli eighth graders pulled in and filled the new Pavilion to hear their teacher explain what was there.

Along with the Blossoming Rose crew came Ty Henderson.  I can remember seeing Ty the first couple mornings just going full speed ahead by 7 am, even before breakfast and his first cup of coffee.  I think it was the third morning when I asked him if he’s always like a one-man army.  While he was here he laid two new floors in caravans, laid out and set the poles for the Abrahamic tent, tore off the old roof of the Sukkah, and installed a new roof, as well as lots of other things.  He had some help, of course, but he was the wheels that the train rolled on.  Kudos bro!
We also need to give a special shout out to the Polish crew.  They not only built the Pavilion over the Tabernacle, they put up a new fire box flu in the Sukkah and helped with the new roof on the Sukkah.  A couple days later we enjoyed a nice barbeque over the fire while it was pouring outside.  We stayed dry and the meal was fantastic.

We were also grateful for the archaeology work of Kathy and Pam, the greening of the desert by Lloyd and Lance, and the routines of all the other volunteers.  Serving tour groups and meeting wonderful people are also a special part of being here.
The development of Biblical Tamar Park has been in the making for a long, long time.  As the scriptures suggest, there is a time for planting and a time for harvest.  Here at the Park there is also a time for building and a time for rejoicing.  Come and rejoice with us in this special place. 
by Alan Vanderkolk
Shalom from Israel Everyone,
I just wanted to say thanks for your prayers.  The flight and entry into Israel was really smooth.  I really felt the Lord had prepared the way.  On the plane, I sat by some Christian farmers from Iowa who were going on a tour. 
At the passport control, when the young man asked me where I was going, I told him Tamar Park in the Arava. He let me know he had been there and that it was a lovely place.  That was very encouraging.  It was dark when I arrived here a couple of hours ago, but those staying here say everything is looking and going well.  The next day, I went back to the airport to welcome a Blossoming Rose tour group, with Dr. James Tabor and Ross Nichols, coming to visit.  So, I am hitting the ground running.  Blessings to you all.
Please join us for one more major archaeology dig November 5-10, 2017, to explore the inside of the Gates of Solomon.  More details next month.
Please contact Dr. DeWayne A. Coxon by phone at 616-901-4153 or by email at 
Upcoming  2017 Tours

March 19 – 30 ~ Pennington/Alewine

May 1 – 14 ~ Long/GBC

October 22 - November 3 ~ Young/Clayton

October 25 - November 3 ~ Fr. Paul Stewart

November 8 - 18 ~ Father Dan Viertel/DeGroot

November 12 - 21 ~ Torluemke/Shahan/Johnson

2018 Tours

March 8 - 17 ~ St. Norbet Abbey/Pichler             


(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