A New Season: continued growth
Last year was the busiest year in the history of the Garden Tomb, with about 325,000 people touring the garden and viewing the empty tomb. As we start a New Year the signs are that numbers will continue to increase, at least through the winter and spring.
Consequently we will be opening the garden to visitors from 8am until 8pm, Monday to Saturday, from the last week of February.
The Almond Trees in the garden are starting to blossom, hinting at the approach of spring. However, warm weather is a long way off and in January it was often cold wet and windy. This doesn’t seem to deter the tour groups, with over 20,000 people visiting during the first month of the year.
This is about a 50% increase on January 2017, and points to busy months ahead. Unfortunately a number of volunteers have had to cancel or postpone their visits due to ill health. Please pray for John Hooper and Bob Lillyman, both recovering from operations and both hoping to return to the garden later in the year.
Garden Tomb Volunteers and Staff
Bertil + Gun Vik, Alison Laing and Linda Andreasson have just finished their time at the garden, and returned home at the end of January.
Ron + Cindy Youde, Ellie Youde, and James + Joan Schafer are with us until March. They will be joined by Catarina Sherman on 1 Feb, Omer + Debora Thomassetti on 6th, Boyd Huff on 8, and Maureen Hodges on 17th.
Peter and Yvonne Attwood arrive on 20th February and will be with us for a year.
As well as guiding, Peter will be helping us design and launch a new on-line bookings system; and Yvonne will be helping guide Indonesian and Malaysian groups, as well as serving in the shop.
New Garden Lighting
At the end of last year we received funding from a government department to purchase new lighting in the garden. This has now been installed in the Tomb Area, the Olive Grove, the Dell and the Wine Press. This has greatly enhansed the visual impact of the garden, and makes it a very attractive venue
for evening tours and events all year round.
Join us in praying for:
- The Volunteer Team: Ron + Cindy Youde and Ellie, James + Joan Schafer, Catarina Sherman, Cesar and Joao. They will be joined soon by Omer + Debora Thomassetti, Boyd Huff, Maureen Hodges and Peter + Yvonne Attwood.
- The Local Staff: due to increasing numbers of visitors we are taking on additional Reception and Shop staff. We want to recruit people who are excited about the ministry of the Garden Tomb, and have the skills and experience we need.
- Please pray particularly for the Management Team: Kieran [Logistics Manager], Phillip [Operations Manager], Chin-Won [Business and Finance Manager], Nellie + Matilda [Shop Managers]; and the Director, Stephen Bridge.
- Transformed lives: that people will encounter the Risen Christ in the Garden and at the Empty Tomb.
- Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and for the people of the land – particularly the believers in Israel and the West Bank.
1 Timothy 1:17 “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen”.
Blessings from Jerusalem!