When you think of deserts, you might not think of lush green areas or abundant crops. However, this is what My Olive Tree is doing in the Negev Desert. Why? This is a significant area in Israel, both because of its size and its potential.
My Olive Tree is part of a pioneering mission that sees beneath the dry surface. We see a diverse landscape that is highlighted with archeological sites, modern technology, and an abundance of natural beauty. As water supplies have developed, agriculture begins to thrive and vineyards are planted, making the desert bloom.
“I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.”—Amos 9:14
The Negev Desert covers about half of Israel’s existing land mass. This massive area’s hidden potential was realized by kibbutz farmers in Sde Boker and by Israeli’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, and continues today as technologies such as water development and solar energy are utilized in the Negev.
David Ben-Gurion’s Vision…
Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, proclaimed, “We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel!” on May 14th, 1948.
Prior to statehood, Ben-Gurion was persistent about the Negev Desert being part of the Jewish state. His vision was to see the desert rejuvenated, that it became a place for the Jewish people to inhabit and cultivate the land.
“It is in the Negev that the people of Israel will be tested… for only with a united effort of volunteering people and a planning and implementing State will we accomplish the great mission of populating the wilderness and bringing it to flourish. The effort will determine the fate of the State of Israel and the standing of our people in the history of mankind.”—David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion’s vision continues and is in fact becoming a reality through agriculture, technologies, and even through tourism of the Negev landscape.
Israel’s reputation of innovation continues as research and development efforts look to the Negev Desert to provide solar energy and power in the near future.
“A collaborative project between BrightSource Energy, General Electric (GE), and NOY Infrastructure & Energy Investment Fund aims to build the world's fifth largest solar thermal power station (the Megalim) in Israel's Negev Desert.
“The centerpiece of the project will be the Ashalim tower, the world's tallest solar tower, which will soar 820 feet into the desert sky. Encircling the main tower will be 50,000 mirrors, called heliostats, to focus the sun's rays.
“The Israeli Ministry of Finance approved a 4 billion NIS funding agreement in July 2015 to move the Ashalim solar field project forward. The entire Megalim complex is expected to be operational by mid-2018.”[i]
Through vision, innovation, and technology, the Negev Desert will bloom and be healed! This frontier can be seen as a blank canvas with untapped potential.
Will you join our vision and be a part of pioneering this frontier? My Olive Tree steps out in faith, knowing the promise of the Promised Land, and looks forward to blessings in 2018.
We are upon Israel’s 70th anniversary. Help to celebrate this time of protection and completeness as you consider becoming a part of innovation and restoration this coming year.
[i]http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/solar-energy-sector-in-israel Jewish Virtual Library