By Bonnie Brown, Special to ASSIST News Service
HENDERSON, NEVADA (ANS – December 4, 2016) — It was the end of 2006 and I was nursing a broken heart. I needed a good diversion. Enter the real “Indiana Jones”. Many years ago, I heard Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel talk about a man, like Indiana Jones, who was searching for Biblical Artifacts, and I learned he was scheduled to be a guest speaker at my church in Nevada, so I drove five hours early one Sunday morning to hear Bob Cornuke speak.
After the riveting service, I met his wife, Terry, in the church foyer and asked her if he ever took anyone along on his adventures. She told me about his upcoming trip to Ethiopia and I signed up on the spot. I had no idea why I was going, but it sounded like an unforgettable escapade which is exactly what it turned out to be.
I met up in Cairo with a group of fifteen strangers. We visited Egypt trying to fathom the complicatedness of the pyramids. We waded through the crowded treasures of the Egyptian Museum. Bob led us and prepared us as we got to know each other and him. I started to form an opinion of this man on that trip that has blossomed through ten years of great friendship and ministry on many projects.
He has gone to Ethiopia annually for about twenty years and is quite respected in the country, especially in Axum. (There is now a school named after him). In a small church, St Mary, in this obscure, unvisited town, a very old monk, “The Guardian” watches over “The Ark of the Covenant”. At least that’s what the Ethiopian people and Bob believe. He traced its route after leaving the Temple in Jerusalem through Egypt, Elephantine Island, Tana Kirkos and finally to rest in St Mary of Zion Church.
It is a fascinating story that he lays out in his book and DVD “In Search of the Lost Ark of the Covenant”. (http://www.baseinstitute.org/).
No one is allowed to see the Ark except the Guardian. His is a lifelong commitment and he grooms the next in line to take over before he dies. I got to meet him. He smiled a big smile through the gate and threw holy water on me. What a job!
I was honored to go to Tana Kirkos Island and meet the monks there. At that time, only a few women had ever been allowed to go there. They trusted Bob and made exceptions for his friends. Sort of. The women had to sit on a big piece of leather that the monk threw down on the dirt while the men went off to learn from Bob where he believes the Ark once dwelt.
Not satisfied to just sit there and, even through a language barrier, I made friends with the monk guarding us and he let us look at the relics that were held about 10 feet away in an old shed. Housed there were implements that were indicative of the blood sacrifices done in the Temple. There was a bowl for the blood, meat forks, and a 1700-year-old book written in Geez with drawings. It was telling the story of how the Ark got there and it talked about Jesus and his mother.
This trip was exciting in many ways. We saw the church at Lalibela, which is an engineering marvel. We visited a church that meets in a cave with a waterfall in front of it. The floor was sand and there were shelves all around the back that were filled with skeletons of Jews that hid there during the Holocaust. We visited an orphanage and were able to give them some help including buying them a cow so they could have milk. At the end, we went to Sharm El Sheikh where Bob taught us about the real Mt. Sinai. (Another story)
In the ten years, I’ve known Bob Cornuke it has been one exciting adventure after another. He is one of a kind and one of my favorite brothers in Christ. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for him next.
Photo captions: 1) Bob teaching on Tana Kirkos Island. 2) The “Guardian of the Ark” Axum, Ethiopia. 3) Bonnie on Tana Kirkos with one of the monks and the 1700-year-old book. 4) Bob teaching in Sharm El Sheikh. 5) Bonnie in front of St Mary of Zion Church, Axum, Ethiopia. 5) Bonnie and Mike Donahue (former PR executive for McDonalds Corp) at the Egyptian Pyramids.
About the writer: Bonnie Brown is the author of “Giigle”, a humorous account of massaging Google into a fortune. She runs a private foundation dedicated to loving those that Jesus died for. She travels on adventures with the real “Indiana Jones”, Bob Cornuke, helping him uncover Biblical artifacts. She has lived a long, meaningful 44 years of serving God. She has started a Christian School, spoken on the occult, children’s toys, and the school voucher system. She worked at a winery, ran a messenger service and was a masseuse. She is a businesswoman, mom and grandmother and is currently waiting on God to give her the next adventure.
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