FOTONNA NEWSLETTER – December 16, 2020

Daoud and Jihan and the entire Nassar family would love to hear from all of you.  A Post Card – not a letter – sent to the following address with a Christmas greeting or even just a note of support would be an uplifting gesture from each of you.  The cost of a Post Card from the U.S. to any country is $1.20.

Tent of Nations

Nassar Family

St. Peter’s Cross Road 1

Nahalin

Palestine via Israel

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Christmas Greetings from Daoud:

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the little town of Bethlehem, where the “word became flesh.”

As we approach the end of the year 2020, we start to think back remembering the unpleasant events that left the world grieving, especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and its rapid outbreak, which managed to spread alarming concerns on many different levels.

In these difficult and uncertain times, we may find ourselves losing hope as we continue to live in fear and despair, unsure of what might happen next.  We are left with many questions but no answers, the pressure is increasing, and the hope for a positive change is decreasing; however, at Christmas time, we shall find hope in the birth of our savior Jesus Christ bringing light to the darkness of this world.

More than 2000 years ago, the shepherds were watching over their flocks in the darkness and obscurity of the night.  The angel of the Lord appeared to them and said, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great Joy that will be for all people.”  The shepherds were afraid and probably wondering how could there be good news of great joy in the darkness and oppression they were living, but they decided to take actions and become part of God’s plan.  They left everything behind and went on a trip wrought with danger to meet the baby born king in the manger of the little town of Bethlehem.

Today, we are invited to be like the shepherds who were guided by strong faith and were able to see the invisible.  Let us walk in faith, become witnesses, and carry the message of God to all nations.  Let us be bearers of hope in the midst of despair, and constantly remind ourselves that, “The people walking in darkness have seen great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isaiah, 9:2). 

Dear friends, let us live in the spirit of Christmas and be fulfilled with joy and hope as we prepare to celebrate the new coming of light to our lands, homes and hearts – the light that overcomes the darkness and brings justice and peace to our world.

Thank you for walking with us on our long journey for justice, for keeping us and the Tent of Nations in your prayers, and for your support and solidarity.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year 2021, full of faith, love and hope.

With many blessings and salaam,

Daoud Nassar and Family

Tent of Nations

People building Bridges

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Farm Update:

The Nassar family will be undergoing several court hearings throughout the rest of December.  We will be updating you on the results in January 2021, so please be ready to act if it is needed.  We are hopeful that things will be settled in the family’s favor, however, and we will be able to celebrate with them at that time.

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Simulcast Christmas Service:

Please click on the link below to join in on a simulcast presentation on December 19, 2020 – 10:00 AM (EST).  The service will be broadcast from Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem and The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. 

https://www.diopa.org/events/christmas-lesson-and-carols-simulcast-with-bethlehem.

Looking Forward with Hope:

There are some very good reasons for us to be looking into the future of Tent of Nations with optimism, curiosity and commitment.

  1. Tour groups may be able to replace their delayed plans from 2020 into 2021 opportunities based on the vaccination options before us.
  2. Daoud may be able to travel to the U.S. once again – most likely in fall 2021.
  3. Successful Virtual Zoom sessions were used to replace in-person presentations by Daoud:
  4. Charlie Lewis’s tour group – 25 in attendance – 10/3/20;
  5. Canadian Friends of Sabeel – 120 in attendance – 11/7/20; and,
  6. Kairos Puget Sound – 75 in attendance – 12/5/20.
  7. A wonderful group from Iowa has been working on a “TON of Hope Children’s Book Project” for over a year.  Their idea is to work up a creative curriculum for use during the Children’s Summer Camp, provide volunteers to apply the curriculum, and foster ideas from the children in writing, art, drama, etc. to include in the book itself.  We will keep you posted; just pray that volunteers can travel safely this coming July for the 2021 Camp.
  8. As always, generous donors have helped finance Daoud’s Peace Projects for 2020; our issue has been getting funds to Daoud because of the Covid-19 outbreak, however.  We are working on that right now, and it may not be until sometime in 2021 that funds actually find their way into Daoud’s hands.  We will keep you posted.
  9. Within that context, we have also been able to give aid to a couple of other special organizations that have been supportive of TON.  Bshara Nassar (Daoud’s nephew) has established the Museum for the Palestinian People (MPP) in D.C.; Eyewitness Palestine (EP), supportive over many years, has taken its groups to visit TON on their twice-a-year tours; and, Growing Palestine is a group headed up by Nadia Itraish (a member of our Steering Committee) which supports five Palestinian farmers who are familiar with Daoud and who are all engaged in organic farming and supporting native and heirloom seed production and protection.  Each of these groups has also been hard hit by the pandemic, and so our “passing on” gifts have been very much appreciated.  These gifts are seen as “one-time-only” donations provided due to unusually dire needs arising during 2020.
  10. Funds have been raised as “Matching Grant” money for the film From the Ground Up that is being worked on as we speak.  We are hoping that approvals are in place and final editing may be ready sometime by mid-2021 at the latest.
  11. The Nassar family has been able to stay safe and well through these trying times; pray that it remains so.

Over the last six months, there have certainly been many obstacles to justice being served that have been thrown up as roadblocks.  Perseverance being the name of the game, however, has enabled the family to forge ahead and stay afloat.  Your prayers – and your continued financial and spiritual support – are going to be needed as much as ever this coming year.  We will continue to keep you updated.  We simply ask you to “Keep the Faith.”

From our FOTONNA Team – have a safe and blessed holiday season.  May 2021 be a year that sees Justice, Equality, Faith, Love and Hope guiding us in our daily lives!

Stay Safe!!

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