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By Callie Mitchell, SAVED News International Correspondent, Jerusalem, Israel * email@example.com
Living abroad, it is always a blessing to get to spend time with extended family. Israel is home now, but I have lived away from my parents and siblings, nieces and nephews for seven years. It often makes my heart ache, and likewise propels me to want to make the very most of the ministry the Lord has given me in the Land. If the cost is missing out on relationships with people I love, then I want the sacrifice to bring about a fruitful return. For the most part, I think it does, not only here, but also in their lives as well.
This past August, we were blessed to host my dad, Jerry Narron, and his beautiful wife Donna, (Mrs. Narron from Northwest Elementary). A love for Israel grows in their hearts with every visit, and we are blessed to go on some adventures with the kids that we might not otherwise make time to do. On this trip, we spend most of our touring in Jerusalem’s Old City, with a highlight being The Temple Mount Sifting Project.
This is a great experience for tourists and locals alike that allows us to participate with the Antiquities Authority in collecting artifacts originally located on Temple Mount. Even though Temple Mount is under Israeli Sovereignty, in the peace negotiations after the Six Day War when it was captured from Jordan, the Muslim Waqf was given religious authority over the site. Because of this, there have never been any archeological digs on Temple Mount. The Temple Mount Sifting Project is the only way studies of this type have been able to take place.
This came about through somewhat of an archeological tragedy. Years ago, the Waqf decided to illegally build another Mosque in the ruins of Solomon’s Stables on the east side of Temple Mount. In order to do so, they excavated mounds of dirt and rock that had occupied the interior of those spaces for hundreds (and thousands) of years and dumped the dirt into the Kidron Valley, disrupting the historical layering. Two archeology students decided to take samples of the soil and found artifacts from the First and Second Temple Periods among other eras. If this language is new, the first Temple was built during the reign of Solomon, and the second during the reign of the Roman King Herod — also the time Yeshua walked this earth.
The Lord has worked this illegal action by our Muslim neighbors to the good of the nation of Israel, as we now have a growing body of historical evidence that Temple Mount is a Jewish site. It was a blessing for us to connect to such ancient history and truth by sifting through the buckets of dirt. Most interesting to us, Aviel and I found a giant piece of marble flooring from the Second Temple Period, and my dad and Donna found a hand carved button, several hundred years old. This site is definitely worth visiting, and lifting in prayer as we are in a spiritual battle for Temple Mount!