Participants on the Campbell University Divinity School/Nurturing Faith Experiences Jezreel Dig team have much to share about their thoughts and experiences. My two previous posts included thoughts from six participants: here are three more who benefitted in some way from scholarship assistance.

Rick Hollings is a retired psychologist and graduate of Campbell’s Divinity School, with an intense interest in Israel.

Rick prepares to move a wheelbarrow of dirt: a frequent task.

This is my fifth trip to Israel since 2009. It has been unique, as the intent this time was to work at an archaeological dig. The experience has enabled each participant to gain firsthand, intimate knowledge of what is involved in participating in an ongoing excavation. It was enhanced by having taken Dr. Cartledge’s course on the archaeology of ancient Israel. 

The experience was further enhanced by working with two renowned archaeologists and their staff. We became part of the excavation team, performing a variety of tasks, including helping to clear debris, to help identify various aspects of the excavation, and sorting through dirt to locate fragments of bone, pottery, flint, and occasional artifacts, some of which will be used to paint a picture of the inhabitants of this area thousands of years ago. 

The experience was also enhanced by the opportunity to interact with individuals from London, Evansville, IN, and North Carolina. I particularly appreciate the chance to get to know members of our group, to hear their stories, and to make friendships that will go beyond the two weeks we have together in this amazing country.

David Brantley left the world of business to become a full-time student at CUDS. He is a proud father and grandfather who enjoys travel and checking off his bucket list.

This archaeological experience has been nothing short of exceptional! I came with Campbell University Divinity School on a study tour in 2017, but the practical experience of participating in an actual dig has not only been an experience of a lifetime, but has provided insights into Canaanite, Israelite, and even Roman history that will surely assist my ministry in the future. 

David works with a heavy hoe-like tool called a turia.

I have also appreciated the instruction and insight of Norma Franklin during our tour of Megiddo, which was very instructive, not only from a historical/archaeological perspective, but also from a prophetic viewpoint as well. 

Finally I would like to personally thank those donors who made this trip possible through their generosity and prayers that have enabled this blessing for education and ministry. 

Ryan (right) helping Phillippe Guillaume bring down a surface by removing soil.

Ryan Craddock is a counselor at a halfway house in Dunn, NC and a student at CUDS. He has a special concern for helping homeless or otherwise disenfranchised people connect with their communities to begin anew with a sense of renewal and hope.

When we began this adventure, archaeology was little more to me than a means to an end. Getting to Israel was the goal and I would have washed camels for weeks to reach it. Digging in the dirt to gain a glimpse into ancient humanity seemed like an upgrade.
My main desire was to step into the scenery of the stories I love, that formed my faith, ancient tales that have shaped the world. I was quickly immersed in a place  where the past meets the present, and where people from all nations, faith traditions and ideologies converge to experience and discover something uniquely human and deeply personal.
 For me, the whole trip is like an excavation of the soul.  With some work, guidance and gracious assistance from others, stone and soil are cleared away to reveal ancient realities and bring new insight. One thing I discovered is that archeology is fascinating. I am very grateful for all who have blessed us with the opportunity to learn and grow here. 


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