A Word from the Director of ABR
Dear ABR family,
Recently, ABR’s fiscal year was concluded at the end of June and we took the opportunity to reflect back on the previous 12 months to assess the extraordinary challenges and blessings that our Lord had set before us during that time. Each one of you reading this was affected by the arrival of the coronavirus, followed by waves of social and political unrest that continues to this day. Some faced overwhelming financial difficulties as businesses closed and the lives of many were turned upside down. Others were directly impacted by the virus as family members, especially the elderly, faced frightening health issues. Families were separated as social distancing rules and other regulations severely limited travel. My brother-in-law, in leadership a large mission agency in Africa, was detained for almost 3 months in the country of South Africa! Indeed, our lives on planet earth have been a whirlwind of change, with blessings and challenges.
ABR was faced with the cancellation of our 2020 excavation at Shiloh and our normal tours before and after the dig. Our annual banquet was also cancelled. These important events in the life of ABR were setbacks, but they were not a cause of discouragement. The Holy Spirit encouraged our hearts and directed us to use the time He had given us to do research, to write, and to take on other strategic activities that have needed attention. Probably the biggest project before us has been the writing of our two-volume Khirbet el-Maqatir (KeM) Final Reports, providing the detailed presentation of our discoveries and conclusions from our many years of excavations at KeM. We believe that the site requirements demanded by Scripture were strongly fulfilled at KeM and the archaeological evidence discovered there further affirmed our contention that the site is the Conquest city of Ai.
Strategically, ABR has brought on other part-time staff members to expand our outreach through social media (Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and to improve our publishing outreach with Bible and Spade magazine, our monthly electronic newsletter, and our weekly “breaking news” archaeological updates on our website. With our friends at WBPH TV we will complete our 100th Digging for Truth episode in the weeks ahead, with the goal of creating scores of new shows throughout the next year.
The ABR staff is working with great intensity to contribute to the important research questions and discussions taking place in biblical and archaeological scholarship. ABR continues to engage in many of the largest, and most important apologetic issues of our day: Creation, the Conquest of Joshua, the Exodus, and the authority of the Bible. Please pray for the ABR staff that they may continue to have significant impact with the key players in biblical archaeology and would continue to have a seat at “the table of ideas”. Our desire is to have real and lasting kingdom impact at the intersection of biblical studies and the science of archaeology.
In all these things we are happy to report significant growth. ABR’s membership grew at its strongest pace ever in this past year. Subscriptions to Bible and Spade continue to increase. Our new Instagram account is connecting with hundreds of high school and college students. Financial support for ABR has been strong in the past 12 months, allowing us to end our fiscal year in a sound and healthy position. With our expanded projects we have expanded our staff and the hours needed to face these new demands. I am grateful that the ABR family has supported us strongly and that we press into 2021 with energy and joy to face the challenges ahead.
So, we celebrate God’s blessings in all of the difficulties, and I want to thank each one of you in the ABR family for standing with us. Thank you for praying and for giving so generously so that we can continue moving forward, courageously declaring to the world that God has spoken and His holy Word can be fully trusted. We look forward to all He will do in the challenging days ahead, and we will pray that we will be waiting, watching, and working until Jesus returns for us.
For the Joy set before us,
Pray for the ABR team as we prepare to return to dig at Shiloh in the spring of 2021!