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Day 22: “We are broadcasting live…”

September 7, 2018


We went on the air yesterday.  Some of you may have received a Facebook notice in the middle of your work day about what we were doing here in Room 129.

I had a special group of techie teens in my room in the afternoon to help work on the electronic hurdles of the Holy Land trip I will be taking in a little less than three weeks.  It’s hard to believe, but for the second year I’m going to be treading the historic land of Jesus for ten days.  I’m going to visit the regions of John the Baptist, Joshua, Abraham, David, and even Herod and Caiaphas.

This is the Bible in real-time.  I want to make this a living classroom experience, but I needed help in preparation.  My students came to the rescue.

The classroom was buzzing with energy. We had papers, laptops, and even a Go Pro camera spread across the classroom.  Six students bent over their work with the diligence of an Apollo moonshot; in fact, we even called the room our Houston Space Center for part of the afternoon when we launched the project.

I will be joining Dr. Don Hudson of King University in a teaching venture across Palestine.  Our flight is on September 28th, so starting on the 29th we will be broadcasting via Facebook Live up through October 9th as we enter sites like Bethlehem, Masada, Megiddo, and Capernaum.  If you tune in we will show you – live – all over the Holy Land; you’ll see the dinner of St. Peter’s fish while we are at a restaurant at the Sea of Galilee, the site of the Capernaum synagogue healing by Jesus, a trek through Hezekiah’s Tunnel… well, you’ll get to see numerous sites.

But back to the classroom…

Steve was sketching the hour-by-hour schedule across the whiteboard and calculating the time difference between Jerusalem and Knoxville so that the classes would know exactly up-to-the-minute where we were during the trip. Alec had spread the parts of a used Go Pro camera I had purchased across a table and was taking an inventory of the batteries, boxes and lens parts, patiently explaining each part to me. Susan was writing a report on Megiddo for a website column. Tanya and Mary were creating a Holy Land Facebook page exclusively for this trip – I will be sending out the location so that you might follow us if you wish.

In a sense, you will be able to take the trip in real time as we broadcast.  There is a seven-hour difference between Knoxville and Israel (ex: if it is noon here in Knoxville, it is 7 p.m. in Jerusalem – the whole nation is in one time zone).  We will be travelling to numerous places each day – I mean we will really be all over the place. If you take a look below, you can see how small Israel is compared to some of our states:1



This “compacted region” is a great advantage for our little tour/research group.  We are going to be motoring all over the country and filming numerous times during the day, saving much of our videos in an archive for future editing for textbook work.

“Okay, everybody put down your work,” I said.  “It’s time for a test broadcast.”  The techies all grabbed their phones.  “Nate, head to the football field and see if the broadcast comes in clear on your phone.  Susan, stay here at Mission Control and use your laptop.  Tanya, take the cafeteria area.  Alec, head to the Theater Room…”  We spread out across the campus, ready to start in T minus two minutes…

I walked through the corridors of the school.  “Good afternoon, this is Dr. Brad Zockoll and we are broadcasting live from the hallways of Grace Christian Academy…”

It went off without a hitch.  In fact, we received responses from some friends around the country, quite by mistake – I didn’t realize that everybody on my Facebook friends were being notified.   We received texts from across Knoxville, from eastern Texas, central California, and I believe Dr. Hudson, stationed in Israel, was viewing our practice run.

So now we are ready.

I invite you to view our Holy Land trip as I venture through Caesarea, across Capernaum, into Nazareth, and on the Mount of Olives.  Type in questions as we visit the Bethlehem birthplace of Jesus and the Garden of Gethsemane.  Text your queries – live – as we wade through the Dead Sea, walk through Jericho, and stand at the top of Megiddo and look across the Plain of Esdraelon.

We are trying to make this as much of a living textbook as possible.

I must run to my next class.  I will keep in touch on our progress.

Please pray about this project.  My desire is for my students to study the Bible lands in a whole new way.


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