Friday, May 7th at 9:00 a.m. on “Bridges”
By Beth Moore
Those of you who read our virtual Order of Sunday Service may notice in the weekly prayer list the name of the Nassar family. If you did not meet and listen to the story of Daoud Nassar when he visited us in person in 2018, this is an opportunity to be with him virtually on “Bridges”: to learn of his witness and work, and to offer your encouragement for him and the family.
The Nassars are Palestinian Christians farming their family’s ancestral lands — a 100-acre hilltop site situated between Bethlehem and Hebron in the West Bank. The Nassar family land, purchased in 1916 by Daoud Nassar’s grandfather, is surrounded by Jewish settlements on three sides and the Palestinian village of Nahalin on the fourth. It is on the site of the family farm, called Daher’s Vineyard (named for Daoud’s grandfather), that the family decided to establish The Tent of Nations in 2001: an international center for peace and for building bridges between people and the land.
The farm, located in the West Bank in what is called Area C, (and under Israeli Military control) has no access to running water or electricity. Permits to build on or develop the land in area C are seldom, if ever, granted by the Israeli military authorities. The family has been in the Israeli courts since 1991, resisting attempts by the Israeli government to take their land for which they have documents from the Ottoman period proving their ownership.
Approximately 10,000 international visitors come to the Tent of Nations annually, often as part of a Holy Land Pilgrimage. They listen to the witness of this family, their non-violent resistance to the Occupation, and observe their hope in actions which steward their land in sustainable and life giving ways. Longer term volunteers are also welcomed throughout the year to participate in tree planting, harvest camps, a children’s summer camp, and ongoing farm maintenance activities.
Volunteers and visitors to the Tent of Nations have been a strong support for the family’s work and spiritual sustenance. Since the pandemic, these sources of support are no longer present, and physical attacks on the land have been increasing. Whether you have heard the story before, or are not familiar with the journey of this family, we hope you will join us. We will share a brief video visit to the farm, after which Daoud will share a few remarks. The remainder of the time will be an opportunity for you to voice your questions. Sign in by going to “Bridges” here on our website, and scroll down to the area where the classes are listed with their date and time, and then click on the link.