Thursday, August 8th, 2002

Greetings from the north end of the Dead Sea, at Qumran!

We have been digging for four days and already have a number of adventures we can tell.
The first I will start with is we have been unable to establish an e-mail connection until just a few hours ago today. The kibbutz where we are staying would not give any of us outside lines so it has been impossible to establish any communication This has of course put us behind on answering mail as it has been impossible to drive the hour back up to Jerusalem to do E-mail.
Impossible because of the schedule we have to keep.

We are up a little after 4 AM. The team meets by 4:45 AM and we drive to the dig site.
We dig until 8 AM and then head back to the kibbutz for breakfast. We try to be back digging at 9 AM. At noon we head to lunch totally exhausted. We have been hardly able to walk due to sore muscles. After lunch by 12:45 we start staggering to our rooms to get a nap while the heat sores to about 130 degrees. At 4:45 PM we all meet and head up to the dig site. We dig until dark, which is about 8 to 8:15 PM. Everyone is on there own for dinner but by 9:30 everyone seems to have headed to get some more sleep until morning again. 4 AM comes rather early!

We have a small team but a great team! We have dug deeper than we have expected with such a few number of people. We have seen definite provision from the Lord. The first provision was the dig made history on the second day early in the morning.  We made a spectacular discovery. The National Parks Authority was so impressed that they want to save the two Jars and fire pit we found and make a display at the spot for any future tourists. The two Jars and fire pit in its setting is a first at Qumran. So this dig has already made an influence on history. In spite of the excitement of the find we have managed to dig about four meters of sand, gravel and material out of our two sites. The big problem now is the deep anomaly site has edges that are collapsing. Our shoring has not held yet and we are in the process of changing the side supports. Unfortunately this creates a new expense not expected. So we are looking to the Lord for His financial provision to cover rental of what we need. Please pray concerning your help for this.

There is so much more to share but it will need to be saved, as we are very tired. None of us are used to the blister making, bucket moving, drenched in sweat work, in over 120 degree weather. My shirt has salt lines of dried sweat on it. In spite of putting up shade and constantly spraying our selves with water we are slowly cooked. Please pray for the health and stamina of each team member.

We also pray for more help!
Until next time,

Blessings,  --Gary and Debra

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