Dear Friends and supporters of Holy Land Trust:
This has been a challenging year for many of us. We are living continuous moments of not knowing, stress, confusion, shock, and fear. There is a global pandemic that no one seems to really know how to bring to an end, and instead of unity in the face of such a crisis, we are witnessing growing divisions in our human family. There is growing tension in our streets and neighborhoods as we see racism and fascism grow in numerous countries. We are seeing the greatest strain on people around the world just trying to make ends meet. No one a year ago could have imagined the situation we are living in today.
The beauty in humanity is that we are also seeing something else; a rise in a new understanding of what it means to be human, to connect, to respect, to honor. Many are realizing that materialism and consumerism do not actually bring happiness. Many are having a new appreciation for the simple things in life. Spending time in nature with loved ones, for example, has new meaning and depth. Many of us are also understanding that the ways of the old can no longer sustain us for the future, we need new ways of thinking and engaging.
For several years at Holy Land Trust, we have been engaging in a deep journey of understanding the core essence of our humanity. In a location where violence and oppression are a daily phenomenon, we have not only been asking how to end the occupation, but also asking deep questions about what causes a people group to occupy and suppress another, and what is a future vision for Palestinians and Israelis that can be founded on true justice, freedom, and equality for all.
In the midst of deep fear, violence, mistrust in authority, and resignation, we feel that our time to join others in creating a new paradigm for peace and justice in the Holy Land has come. The rejection of the old and the thirst for something new is greater than it has ever been. What we have been saying about collective fear and trauma of the oppressor and oppressed being seen by others, a vision of peace that transcends political solutions is now being dreamed of by many, the changes in the regional political situation (whether we like it or not), is breaking old paradigms of allyship and old illusions.
We know, feel, and trust that 25 years of our work and struggles as an organization has led us to be ready for this day where we truly see the words of the prophets in seeking justice and mercy come to light, where we hear the word of Jesus of which manifest a Kingdom of love on this land as a real possibility. Your partnership and trust in us over the years have sustained us and our hope, it will continue to do so in such times.
We want you to be a full partner with us in this and we are not asking for much. We ask you and people you know to be part of a new group we are creating that will have direct access to our resources and programs as well as first-hand accounts of what we are engaging in. To sustain our work annually without depending on foreign grants and government funds we need just over USD $150,000. If we are able to get 1,300 of our global friends and their friends to commit to $10 USD a month we are able to do it. If you are able to give more, we will appreciate that as well. Once we reach 300 members, we will launch our web-based group where you will have direct access to our work, webinars, conversations with our staff, local and international engagement, and resources. You will be a partner in our journey and our research and your input and insights will be heard. We will move to become a global family together because we all know that our challenges are truly global as well.
We ask you to consider this offer and if you feel called to share it with others and invite them to this group, feel free to do so, we are more than happy to answer any question that arises.
Sami Awad - Holy Land Trust Founder
Sami Awad, the founder and former executive director of Holy Land Trust, has spent a lifetime working the infield of community development and leadership training.