The holiday season is before us with all of its blessings and joys and with a little busyness and stress mixed in! We hope you will experience the peace and joy of Jesus in this season as you walk as an 'overcomer' in the kingdom of God. It is so important to remember that amidst all the madness around us that our citizenship is in heaven, and that the testings and trials we must experience are only for a season. Let us draw every ounce of joy from the knowledge that Christ has come to this world to bring us life and freedom, and His peace that passes understanding. And may your family gatherings and shared family traditions fill you with the warmth and love from these treasured experiences together.
Dear Friend of ABR,
I write today to ask you to consider helping ABR at this important time of year. Have you wondered what ABR has been up to the past 12 months? Each quarter I try to provide a snapshot of our current activities and accomplishments but at Christmas I try to summarize these things to paint a true picture of how your support has impacted lives. And isn't that what ministry is all about…changed lives? Huge projects, busyness and activity may or may not be ministry but we believe our efforts, under God's sovereign guidance, is producing fruit for Christ's kingdom:
· The ABR Website: When I began my duties as Director of ABR 7 years ago ABR did not have its own independent website. We wanted to reach many more lives with critical biblical and archaeological research, but our average monthly visitors were only around 4,500. Today, websites and social networking is critical, especially if we want to reach younger generations as well to have a more world-wide outreach. I'm happy to report that with our own website in place we now reach upwards of 60,000 visitors per month. Every day we are getting communication from atheists, agnostics, believers, doubters, and seekers, dramatically increasing the daily impact of ABR's ministry to the real needs of people! We have targeted a critical overall upgrade of our current website for 2014: Funds needed for the upgrade: $12,000. We are looking for the critical donations needed from the friends of ABR. Is the Lord calling you to help with this need?
· Biblical Educational Tours: The ABR Biblical Greece Study Tour will take place in just a few months, March 18-29, 2014. ABR is committed to helping believers experience the biblical world firsthand and with scholarly expertise. This tour features ABR staff member, Gordon Franz, and ABR Board President, Robert Sullivan. There is still time for you to join us but the window of opportunity is closing quickly. Call us today if you would like to be a part of this important tour. Details and pricing can be found here on the ABR website.
· The excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir: ABR concluded its most successful dig season ever in May of 2013 with several extraordinary discoveries and with the strongest evidence ever that the lost city of Ai has been found. Some of the details cannot be shared at this time but ABR has planned a press-release in 2014 to share these exciting discoveries.
· The Khirbet el-Maqatir Exhibit at the Dunham Bible Museum at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. Major announcements are just around the corner for this new, exciting exhibit concerning our ongoing excavation in Israel! Your prayers and financial support have been instrumental in helping ABR show to the world that the historical events of Israel's conquest of the Promised Land are true and that Scripture can be trusted.
· The Noah's Ark Symposium at the Institute of Social Sciences at Sirnak University in Sirnak, Turkey: ABR Staff member Gordon Franz was a featured presenter at this important conference concerning the search for Noah's Ark. Also presenting was Rex Geissler, former member of the ABR Board.
· The ABR Curriculum Project: The development of a cutting-edge biblical archaeology curriculum has been a dream and long-term strategic objective of ABR. We are pleased to say that in 2013 we forged ahead with the help of gifted volunteers and our on-site videographer to begin this auspicious project. It will be years in the making, but your gifts and support have helped us begin moving forward. Strong financial support will be needed over the next 3 years as we seek to produce our first two segments of the curriculum series.
There are so many more developments I would love to tell you about but space will not allow me to go into detail. Please keep an eye on the ABR website and in the ABR Newsletter for exciting new developments in the months ahead, and I will be sending new updates very soon.
All of these activities have been made possible because of you. Your prayers and generous financial support are the reason ABR has been growing and moving and having such a powerful impact upon the Body of Christ and those who are seeking the truth.
At this Christmas season, please consider sending your most generous year-end gift to help us continue the work the Lord has called us to do. ABR will send you a free gift for donations of $50 or more made online in the US (see below). Help us make 2014 a year of profound breakthroughs in defense of the word of God in presenting the gospel to a spiritually lost and dying world. Your partnership with ABR will help change lives!
On behalf of the ABR Board and Staff, we wish you a very merry Christmas, and a blessed New Year.
Celebrating our new born King,
Director: Associates for Biblical Research