Current Events Articles: January 2009

An Update from ABR posted by Scott Lanser MA

Dear Friend of ABR,

A few weeks ago, I alerted the ABR family about a serious drop-off in support that was threatening to undermine the strategic activities of ABR.  Many thanks to those of you who responded to this need and who have supported ABR throughout the year.  Since ABR does not receive funds from any government source or from foundations to undergird its ongoing work, we depend on the faithful support of friends like you.  Although my previous communication was alarming, rest assured that we have taken steps to help ABR reposition itself in light of the economic downturn we are facing.

Some of you who are new to ABR contacted me about how you can help in an ongoing way; others asked for more information about our ministry in order to more fully appreciate the scope and impact of ABR’s work.  It was clear that many of our friends have not understood the extraordinary devotion and sacrifices of our staff in fulfilling the calling God has given us.  Did you know that ABR’s scholars are fully supported as missionaries in their role with ABR?  In this way, every dollar you contribute can go directly to support the research projects and outreach activities of ABR.  I am extremely proud of our small administrative staff and our many volunteers whose efficiency and output are nothing short of extraordinary.

If you have been following the updates in our publications and on our website, you have undoubtedly heard that we have been involved in a number of important strategic activities.  First, we have received permission from the Israeli Antiquities Authority to re-open our dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir, in our ongoing investigation to locate biblical Ai.  This search was first begun by Dr. David Livingston, founder of ABR, at Khirbet Nisya, and continues at Khirbet el-Maqatir under the faithful leadership of Dr. Bryant Wood.  Your prayers are coveted at this time, as the current conflict in Israel is seriously threatening the viability of returning to the dig in 2009.  We are grateful that the opportunity is before us, but the timing must come from the Lord.

We continue to do extensive work in the area of Noah’s Ark research.  Two of our scholars, Gordon Franz and Rick Lanser, continue to bring fresh insights and research in the effort to find the location of the Ark.  This has included on-site investigation at Mt. Cudi in Turkey and the ongoing analysis of radar satellite imaging of Mount Ararat.  Dr. Wood continues his quest to locate Mt. Sinai, and has done on-site surveying at Gebel Khashm et-Tarif in Egypt.  Our involvement with the Temple Mount Sifting Project brought great blessing to our team of sifters, under the capable and knowledgeable leadership of Gordon Franz.

Thank you for all your help in making these projects possible.  We continue to ask for your prayers and your support as we press on to fulfill God’s mission for ABR in 2009.

For His Glory,

Scott Lanser

Executive Director


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A Brief History of Intolerance in Modern Cosmology posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

A review of some recent well-documented cases of intolerance in the cosmology field illustrates a common problem in science. Edinburgh Royal Observatory astronomer Michael Hawkins notes that it requires almost suicidal courage to leave the herd and challenge the authority of the astrophysical establishment.

ABR Celebrates its Volunteers with a Special Dinner posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

On December 4, 2008, ABR celebrated its volunteers with our yearly thank you dinner. Volunteers are critical to the long term health and development of the ABR ministry. The evening included a reading from the 7th chapter of Acts and a wonderful message from ABR Executive Director, Scott Lanser. We are so grateful for those who give their time and talents to serve the Lord at ABR. From the ABR staff and board, we extend our deepest gratitude to the ABR volunteers.

In the foreground is ABR founder, Dr. David Livingston and his wife, Esther.

Joanne Felker, wife of Board Member Don Felker, asks Henry Smith: "Don't you know anything about Cypriote Bichrome Ware from the Late Bronze period?" Apparently, Dr. Livingston thought it was quite funny!

Volunteers, left to right, Ann Bitts, Crystal Lopez and Keisha DeLeon. Ann helps with ABR mailings and cooks delicious meals for our annual archaeology conference in Souderton, PA. Crystal and Keisha help serve and clean up at Souderton each year.

George Taylor, left, our risograph printing expert and volunteer, converses with Dr. Bryant Wood and his wife, Faith. Dr. Wood said: "George, there is an odd light coming out of your left eye!"

Remains of Ancient City Found in Egypt posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

An Egyptian-French archaeological team headed by French archaeologist George Castel uncovered the remains of an ancient city dating back to the Middle Kingdom (1665-2061 BC) in Ain Sokhna about 120 km north of Cairo, announced Culture Minister Farouk Hosni.

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