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FOTONNA Newsletter October 2022

Update from Daoud Nassar

Dear Friends of Tent of Nations,
Despite the challenges that we are facing, we are blessed with a growing number of international guests and volunteers who have been visiting us. In the first two weeks of September, we had a group of international volunteers who stayed for two weeks and helped picking grapes. This year, we were expecting about 12 tons of grapes, but because of the destruction of about 3000 mature vines, we had a small yield of grapes which we used to make a syrup. Through your generosity, new vines were planted – signs of hope and belief in TON’s future!
Even though we were unable to host the children’s summer camp this year, we have been able to host small groups for a day or two. Young people from Italy, Germany, and Palestine came for weekends, and children from local schools visited the farm to hear our story and connect with the land. The presence of young people and children on the farm lifts our spirits.
We hosted international groups from Europe and United States who came to see and we hope they returned home motivated to tell the TON story.

We continue working to repair the damage to our infrastructure by vandals. There is still a long way to go, but we are determined to keep going and to continue to convert negatives into positives.
For the month of October, we are expecting groups and new volunteers for short and long-term visits. Our highlight for this year will be the olive harvest; there will be 19 participants from European countries and the United States coming to help. The Olive harvest this year will be good if there are no further acts of destruction. So, please send your prayers for a safe and joy-filled harvest.

We were informed in August that the next and hopefully final hearing for the re-registration of our land has been scheduled for October 27th. We covet your prayers for an outcome that recognizes our ownership of these ancestral lands.

(See below for more information about our “Urgent Call for Advocacy Action.”)

Thank you for your continued presence with us on this journey.

With faith, love, and hope,
Daoud Nassar

Director, Tent of Nations
— People Building Bridges —

A Message from the FOTONNA Steering Committee Chair

As political races in the US and Israel near election day, the results of which will have a significant impact on the future of each country, we’re in a similar kind of race with the Nassar family in the work for justice. The long-distance race we’re in has required keeping a steady pace and exerting consistent pressure to bring about the re-registration of the Nassar’s land. Those of us on the FOTONNA Steering Committee are moved by the remarkable stamina and perseverance of Daoud and his family as they take each day in stride, turning every obstacle into an opportunity and every negative into a positive.

Facing daily challenges, Daoud and his family are an inspiration, driven by the words of the Apostle Paul: “Let us never become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Constant delays in court do not diminish their determination. Destructive acts against trees, property, and people do not deter or dissuade. Mounting numbers of demolition orders do not discourage the will of those who won’t be worn down by the wrong, but instead work tirelessly for what’s right. It is an honor to be working alongside Daoud and his family whose spirit never grow weary of doing good.

Our FOTONNA steering committee thanks you, the base of support for TON. Your faithful commitment is invaluable for keeping morale strong. You are a key part of that cloud of witnesses who encourage Daoud and family in this long-distance race where your solidarity bolsters the hope that we will reach that finish line with the Nassar’s, their farm will be re-registered, and they will reap that harvest of justice they so deserve.

Until then, we keep a steady pace and exert consistent pressure through our advocacy opportunities, our prayers, our gifts, and – as four of us from the Steering Committee will have the opportunity to do at the end of this month – our visits to the farm. Thank you for your dedication that never grows weary in doing good!

The Tent of Nations is at a pivotal moment in its history. The FOTONNA team encourages you to:
ADVOCATE for TON (Click here for our Urgent Call for Advocacy Action), and
Send your message of encouragement and love to the Nassars–fuel for them on their road for justice. Mail your postcard to the family at:
Tent of Nations
Nassar Family
St. Peter’s Cross Road
Nahalin
Palestine via Israel

Standing in solidarity with you for all that’s good and right and just,

Charlie Lewis, FOTONNA Steering Committee Chair

Bringing in the Harvest

In many northern climes, the mornings have turned chill, the colors of the trees are changing, and those who work the fields are undertaking the tasks of harvest. Likewise at Tent of Nations, the time of harvest is underway with the Grape Harvest in September and the Olive Harvest in October. Both months are projected to see increasing numbers of visitors and volunteers for the harvest.

During this year, your financial gifts, as well as those of prayer and presence, have buoyed the Nassar family, knowing that they are accompanied by a “cloud of witnesses” who have joined them in their journey toward a more loving and hope-filled world.

In the last months you have supported the Nassars as they:
* cleared the land and re-terraced it after devastating fires and attacks,
* purchased and planted new trees,
* cleaned and repaired areas that had been damaged by vandals, making them available for volunteers who began returning to the farm in May,
* inspired young people from Palestine, the US, and Europe as they visited and worked on the farm. As they witnessed the creativity and perseverance of the Nassar family, they came to understand their own power to effect change in the face of challenges,
* continued the legal battle to protect the family farm from the danger of confiscation,
* brought younger children from local schools to connect them with the land as a source of delight and hope.

Continuing our steadfast presence and witness for justice is what is required of us: whether that be in prayer, presence, or financial gifts. We remain ever grateful for all that you do to stand in solidarity with Tent of Nations and the Nassars.

Beth Moore
FOTONNA Tour Planning and Finance Co-Director


URGENT CALL FOR ADVOCACY ACTION

As Daoud has mentioned in his update above, the next and hopefully final re-registration hearing has been scheduled for October 27, 2022. FOTONNA believes it is important to continue advocating for TON with our elected officials in the next two weeks leading up to the hearing with the Israeli Military Authority. Ask your senators and representative to contact State Department officials and Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC to voice support of the re-registration of the Nassar land.

Click here for the script to guide your phone calls and emails.

Use these links to obtain the contact information for your elected representatives:
· House of Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
· Senate: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm?OrderBy%253Dstate%2526Sort%253DASC

We want to assure you that our work together to bring greater awareness to the Tent of Nations Emergency is bearing fruit, giving comfort and hope to the Nassars. Since most of the communication about TON – the challenges they face, and the ways in which they have chosen to face them – has been done privately, it is difficult to share many details with you.
However, several State Department officials visited the farm and are aware of the Nassar family’s situation. They expressed their support for the Tent of Nations by their presence and attention to the details of the case.

Your advocacy efforts during this critical period will help to shine light on the urgency of the TON re-registration hearing. Re-registration is the final step to confirm the family’s private ownership of the land, thereby ending the risk of its destruction and confiscation.

Thank you for walking on the FOTONNA road with the Nassars!

Beth Moore, FOTONNA Steering Committee Tour Planning and Finance Co-Director
Heidi Saikaly, FOTONNA Steering Committee Communications Co-Director


Volunteers are needed to join the Nassars with harvesting and planting at TON! Visit the www.tentofnations.org website to learn about volunteer expectations, roles, timing, travel, and other details. A first step on the volunteer journey is to complete the application and send it to Daoud.


Thank you! Gifts to FOTONNA are not tax deductible under US tax law, but are all used to support the crucial work of Tent of Nations. Click here for donation information.Your generous prayers, presence, and gifts mean so much to everyone involved with Tent of Nations. Thank you! Gifts to FOTONNA are not tax deductible under US tax law, but are all used to support the crucial work of Tent of Nations.