Since last sending out a newsletter, the Tabernacle has been hit by a flash flood on 25th October 2015. We were warned that a storm was coming but no one ever imagined that it would bring so much water. This is early in the season and there is still the rest of winter to live though.
The storm started with high winds quickly followed by rain. What fell in Timna Park was probably not enough to cause such a big flood; it was added to by all the rain from the mountains surrounding the park. In our video library there are a series of videos that record the progression from wind storm to flood.
The flood washed out the ramp and under the Altar as well as undermining the Washbasin which broke into pieces when it fell. It washed out the ground from several of the courtyard bases and left rubble and vegetation caught against all objects in the path of the water.
For the first week we operated with everything in the courtyard broken but in place. A week later we had a study group stayed overnight and they helped to remove the front and North side courtyard curtains, poles and bases. Then another small group and other visitors to Eilat came to continue clean up, dig out the stakes, put aside the remaining poles, bases and tops. And to take down the shade out the front.
Then The Lord sent 4 dedicated young people from Denmark who worked tirelessly for a week, cleaning out the storage caravan that had been under water for over 2 weeks while the park pumped the water out of the area, (The Park had all their workshops and a vehicle under water in the same area), taking off the old “Tachash” and coloured curtains, painting the outside of the building, putting up the new “linen” curtains that had been ready for many months, and finally helping with putting up the repaired “Tachash”. They never complained but kept on and accomplished much while I was able to keep up with the tourists coming to see the Tabernacle. They rolled out the wet muddy material to dry before they left. I’m hoping to get it washed so I can complete making a new Holy Place curtain to match the new entry curtains (that now also need washing!).
The big grader came without warning to smooth the ground but as the Altar was still in place, it went around it and left it standing in it’s half washed out position. On the day the “Tachash” was put up, we moved the Altar. Now the courtyard and entrance are bare and open; we are missing a lot of ground and are waiting for more soil to be supplied, leveled and compacted. Then we can start to rebuild.
It has been an interesting 3 weeks and the reactions of the leaders of 3 of the Christian groups that visited during this time have stood out to me personally.
All groups, of course, were shocked at what they saw. The reaction of the leaders of the first group was to ask why they weren’t told as they could have decided to not come and then spend extra time swimming in the Dead Sea. But they decided to stay and do the tour because they said they knew the message was worth it. They also afterwards gave a sizable donation to the Tabernacle project.
The second group came when even the building was naked and the workers were struggling to put up the “Tachash”. They asked to help but I told them they were guests and paid to come for the tour. They kept asking to help and on the 3rd time I turned around and saw the workers struggling with the weight so I said “Yes”. Immediately 5 men ran up the ladder to help grab the rope and others ran under the material to help the workers hold it up. (I ran to get my phone to video, so you can see a snippet of their heroic efforts in the video gallery).
The third group came 2 days later when the building was looking pristine; newly painted, with new “Linen” curtains and bright golden Cherub angels; a repaired “Tachash” covering and everything in it’s place inside. The tour guide informed me they were keen students and were studying the Tabernacle. Just as I finished the introduction, the tour guide came and asked if everything was alright in the building and I assured him that it was. He then went right on to say that the leaders had decided there was nothing to see and they wanted their money back. So I stopped the tour and some of the group apologized. As I went to clear more rocks and watched them go I was struck that in our nakedness and distress they took back what they had given. The money was more important than the message. I was reminded that the Lord will always supply through another way but I was saddened that they would miss out on a blessing God had prepared for them.
Later I was reminded of the 3 sons of Noah and their reaction to their father’s nakedness; just like these 3 groups. By the way, in these 3 weeks we have had over 50 groups come (and many private people) and only one group has walked away. Some have complained, and I understand, it is VERY disappointing after coming all this way. I did try ringing the travel companies but all I got through to said they were coming anyway. This flood is what is called ‘an act of God’ so take it up with Him. Actually, speaking seriously, I see that this flood has swept away good and bad. We needed to deal with some electrical issues, the front coloured curtain, the back and North side courtyard curtains, and other things, including spiritual. I mentioned this to a visitor and she said she had sensed the very same thing and prayed with me. The very first group to visit after the flood also prayed with me and said to expect God to surprise us with what He does about the situation we are in. AMEN. And He has and will. For example, a pastor rang a friend of mine and asked if he needed help in Eilat; he passed them onto me and we got these 4 great Danish young people for a week. The group that dropped their tour temporarily to rush in and help physically exactly at the very moment they were needed. I will continue to wait expectantly for God to work His wonders for this project and in my life.
This has been such a personal challenge and reminder of God’s promise that if I will do as He asks, He will take care of me in provision and with all the great and precious promises. He covenanted through the blood of Messiah to do this. Am I more concerned about the money or the message? Also the devastation of the flooded caravan full of mud where we had to throw out so many ruined precious items including 6 boxes I had stored there personally. How much at home is stored that will never be used again and in my life spiritually; how many old ways that are NOT God’s ways am I hanging onto that need cleaning out?
I need to relax and commit myself to God’s timing and a lot of the time that’s hard to do when I see the unfinished work and need to rely on others who are also hard pressed to clear up the Park’s devastation. Please pray that those of us who work here will have courage, endurance, strength, health, as well as patience and ALL the other gifts of the Spirit. Also please pray that everything will be done in the right order and with all excellence for the glory of God.
Thank you for your continuing interest and prayers for the Tabernacle project, Alimae Berean.