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Merry Christmas8

Dear ABR Family,                                                                   

I am pleased to take a few moments today to update you on the work and ministry of Associates for Biblical Research, as the Lord’s hand is upon us in these challenging but important times. My comments here will be brief and to the point, and my prayer is that they will be received in a spirit of joy and celebration for the good things God is accomplishing among us. Those of you who know me well understand that transparency is one of my core principles – and transparency is simply the “best policy” when it comes to the ABR family – for those who pray for and financially uphold this ministry.  As we face real and important opportunities and challenges ahead, may the Lord grant us all a spirit of partnership and a shared vision for the incredible value and impact that biblical archaeology can have in our gospel witness to the world in the years ahead.

ABR returns to ancient Shiloh!The ABR Shiloh dig team at work1

As I write the ABR Shiloh excavation team - spread out across the USA and some from other countries - have boarded flights and have met once again in the land of Israel. The crisis caused by the terrorism and barbaric violence of Hamas and the resulting war in Gaza has meant a significant elevation of our security protocols. The team is smaller this year, but our focus and preparations more intense as we trust in the guidance and protection of our God. We are reminded by the Spirit in our ongoing prayers for Israel and for our team that “he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”” (Psalm 91:1-2).

This year, and as always, our team wants to be a very special blessing to each and every person who comes across our path; to encourage those deeply hurting, the confused, the misunderstood, and those struggling to find hope and meaning in the ongoing crisis. The needs are great and well beyond our archaeological purpose, and yet we expect God to do extraordinary things in and through each conversation and through each act of love and kindness that we offer. The presence of the ABR Shiloh dig team will bless and encourage the local Shiloh community and will give them hope that they have not been forgotten. If you have not prayed for the people of Israel and for Palestinian Christians, please take time today to lift them before the throne of the Living God.College Students Uncovering a Socket Stone at Shiloh1

Important objectives for ABR in the months ahead

The ABR ministry is embarking on a number of important objectives as we begin our new fiscal year on July 1st. We have been concerned about several much-needed improvements for the operation and impact of ABR’s outreach for some time and we will now move forward as the Spirit guides us and as He moves His people to give to support these strategic efforts. Our over 50 years of research, publication, and gospel-directed ministry has been guided by our evangelical apologetic mission – the outgrowth of the vision of our founder, Dr. David Livingston. These changes and improvements will allow us to more effectively advance Dr. Livingston’s vision. As we wrap up the 2023-2024 fiscal year, these costly but critical ministry enhancements will be in focus as we prepare to enter the new fiscal year.

  1. In 2024 our website management company closed as a result of a tragic health crisis experienced by the owner and operator of the business. We were given a brief window to move our website processes to a new management company. In the coming fiscal year, we plan a complete, top-to-bottom re-build of our website, adding numerous features that will improve the experience of all those who turn to ABR for biblical, historical, and archaeological study. We are very concerned about the difficulty some have found in navigating the site or in quickly accessing the articles and resources they need. We now have a large library of articles, new videos, podcasts, and other media that we want the ABR family to be able to access with ease when visiting our website. Due to the extensive nature of the project, work will be performed over a 12-month period.  We believe that these changes will be heartily welcomed by the ABR family and all those who turn to ABR for biblical and archaeological scholarship and expertise.

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  2. The ABR home office has for years been operating “on a shoestring” regarding our computer technology, both hardware and software. In 2025 ABR will be purchasing new computers and equipment and will hire an IT company to oversee the set-up and programming required to help our home office operate more effectively and efficiently. These upgrades are long overdue, and greatly needed.

  3. The most important changes for ABR will be the expansion and training of new ABR staff. As many of you know, the past 5 years have seen dramatic growth in ABR’s media outreach - radio, tv, and podcasting, but also in research and publication work. Due to the pressing needs before us, ABR will bring on critically needed new staff in media, publication, and support roles so that we can continue to meet the demands of the anticipated upward trajectory of expanded ministry.

Our current staff is pressing ahead in training and personal development for the future of ABR. Abigail Leavitt and Henry Smith have made great progress on their PhD programs, and Bryan Windle is currently working on his master’s thesis for his degree in biblical archaeology. Dr. Bryant Wood, Dr. Scott Stripling and Dr. Gary Byers have been a constant source of spiritual and scholarly wisdom as our staff increases the output of their research, writing and publishing at a breakneck pace in fulfillment of the ABR mission.

Your support is needed more than ever!

These significant enhancements will transform the way ABR operates and will allow our publications and media resources to reach new audiences more effectively and more efficiently in the years ahead. Today, I’m encouraging everyone to give as generously as possible so that an additional $100,000 can be raised for the projects I have outlined here. As the fiscal year comes to a close and as the Lord prompts your heart, would you please partner with us?

I am grateful for your prayers and support and am excited to see all that the Lord will do in the coming season of ministry before us!

All for Jesus,

Scott Lanser
ABR President

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