Like a whetstone that sharpens our “Gospel-memory”, the animals at Magdala are a wonderful attraction that help remind the visitors of evangelical verses as they walk through the archaeological park. Donkeys, hens, sheep, camels, goats and a dog make up Magdala’s on-site Gospel Farm.
Our Magdala volunteers have been cleaning, feeding, and befriending these animals for more than two years and it has become one of the most sought after chores on their weekly work list.
Pilgrims and visitors have come and gone, but the Gospel Farm has remained and the Gospel animals have grown. Just as the volunteers learn many new things, so do the animals! This month we called in Mr. Saeed (Arabic for “happy”), an expert camel trainer from Nazareth. Our male camel (two years old) and our female camel (one and a half) are receiving professional preparation to be friendly additions to the pilgrim experience. Not only that, but Mr. Saeed has become an example of patience and steadfastness in work, teaching the volunteers a lifelong lesson.
The living Gospel Farm has become “user friendly”. How many verses of the Gospel relating to animals can you remember? Come to Magdala to sharpen your memory!
You are also invited to Magdala for a culinary experience.
Living in the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history and culture also means living the land where Jesus walked, smelling the scents and savoring the tastes that Magdala has to offer. Last week for the first time in Magdala’s history we collected the olives from our olive trees. The olive trees are a talent that our Lord has given us; they produced tenfold! We were able to press more than 50 liters of high quality oil out of the olives, which we will bottle and make available to our visitors.
The Gospel Farm and the Magdala olive oil are just two more reasons to come and live the Magdala experience.