We are amazed and encouraged not only with the increasing number of people visiting the Garden Tomb, but by the stories we hear of people blessed, and lives changed as they encounter the risen Lord Jesus in the garden. Over the last 2 years we have seen extraordinary growth in numbers: from 238,000 in 2016 to 325,000 in 2017; and an estimated 400,000 by the end of 2018.
New Gardens and New Pathways provide better access round the garden
Work has continued on various improvements and projects around the garden. Here is some of the work that has been completed this year:
- Volunteer Apartments: increasing numbers means more volunteers, so we have built 2 new apartments on site.
- A new Security Fence has been installed around the Garden Tomb site adjoining the lane and the cemetery. The fence was given free of charge by a South African Company.
- The Offices and Administrative Centre have been renovated, along with the Israeli Guides room and the Communion Kitchen
The new perimiter fence above the tomb
The Installation of Outdoor Lighting has provided a wonderful new experience for people visiting after dark. As well as evening tours the lighting has enabled us to host 10 events so far this year, with 2 more planned before Christmas. More events are planned for next year – including a second performance of “Handel’s Messiah”
A renewed focus: seeking the face of the Lord for more of His Kingdom
Prayer has always been central to the ministry of the Garden Tomb – from the regular prayer support of Garden Tomb Friends around the world, to daily prayer times at the garden. As visitor numbers have increased we have set our hearts on seeking the Lord for greater anointing to meet the needs of all who come. We meet every morning at 7:35 for 25 minutes to read scriptures, share testimonies; and pray for the Presence and Power of the Lord to touch the lives of all who visit.
Here is a testimony from one of our team: “Today I took a local man from Ramallah around the garden. First I explained about the garden, then the tomb; then we went up to Skull Hill platform. After my explanation, he said: “I can see now in a vision what you just explained”. Then I explained to him the meaning of the crucifixion. He sat down and started to sob. I left him at the Skull Hill platform and came back to the office. On his way out, I asked him what did he feel, he said “I had an encounter with God”. I asked him if he wanted a Gospel, he said yes and accepted it”.
Please continue to pray with us that every day the Lord will bring salvation to all who visit the Garden Tomb.
Prayer points for the coming weeks:
1. Strength Health and Energy for our team of staff and volunteers.
2. More of the tangible sense of the Lord’s Presence – bringing Salvation to the people, and Glory to the Name of Jesus.
3. The Management and Leadership Team: Steve Bridge, Kieran Ryan, Phillip Ben-Shmuel, Matilda Touma, Nellie Spaander, Simon Sa’ad, Chin-Won (who will be married to Hannah on 14th October!); and Rula Sader – who joins the team as our CFO at the beginning of November.
4. Peace and Safety in Jerusalem, particularly around the garden
John 12: 31-32 (Jesus said): “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself”
For more information about the Garden Tomb visit our website: www.gardentomb.com
Blessings from Jerusalem:
Steve and Sue Bridge