Here’s another in our series of reflections from participants in the Jezreel Expedition archaeological dig traveling with Campbell University Divinity School / Nurturing Faith Experiences.
Dale Belvin is a 2009 graduate of CUDS. For the past seven years, he has been pastor of Mount Zion Original Freewill Baptist Church in Bayboro, whose good folks raised funds to help him pay for the trip. He will be soon transitioning to the Rose of Sharon Freewill Baptist Church in Bear Grass, NC, near Williamston. Dale has made the most of this experience. Here are some of his thoughts.
From the first day until now, this has been both an academic experience and a spiritual experience. It is academic because I have learned so much. I have learned about Israel and Jerusalem in biblical times as well as modern day Israel. I have learned some of the finer details about some of my favorite biblical stories like David fighting Goliath and some of the traditions around the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I have learned a great deal about Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age living. It is a spiritual experience because this is the land of the Bible. Nearly every city, town, village, landmark, mountain, or area has significance. I have found the work of excavating to be very spiritual as we have gotten into the dirt and put in a good day’s work.