On Sunday, Jan. 28, after a wine and cheese reception, Paula and Todd Endo gave a stimulating presentation to a packed house at the Trinity Episcopal Church reception hall about their 17-day trip to Israel and Palestine. The Endos, whose background includes education, artistry and analysis, are not experts on the region or the political issues, but this trip was their third visit, including one that was a year’s employment in Egypt.
Areas visited were Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nazareth, Bil’in, Jenin, Tent of Nations, Tel Aviv, Sderot and the Gaza border, and passages through Nablus and Ramallah.
Guests from the community were invited to peruse three large tables of photos and mark those of interest to them for the speakers to comment on. Following the initial question and answer session on the photos, the Endos followed with an informative slide presentation on their trip and changes that have occurred over their years of exposure to the region. The discussion presentation offered no political solutions, no advocacy or recruitment toward advocacy, and was not a travelogue or a Holy Land tour.
Topics included the wall dividing Palestine and Israel, numerous checkpoint experiences, Hebron, agriculture, local villages and art and the Tent of Nations experience. Daoud Nasser visited Trinity two years ago and spoke about his family farm and the trials of operating without electricity, water and limited travel access to markets. Paula concluded with one of her writings, a portion of which is below, illustrating the photo of the rock that marks the entrance to the Tent of Nations.
In the face of constant obstacles and opposition
As Daoud Nasser family with volunteers continue building the Tent of Nations center,
Where all people can gather to grow not just grape vines and olive trees,
The possibility of a peaceful and just place to live and flourish
These small separate patches of hope—if supported—and if somehow they can be woven together—
Can create a cloth of strength and beauty,
A fabric and design of possibility,
A vision of a just society,
Hope emerging from the dry ground of despair and—nourished by love
Overcoming the hard choking wire of fear:
A rock and foundation for a better future for all.
We share with Daoud and his family
Whose grandfather founded the farm and passed the deed on to his family
The hope expressed from his memorial stone.
Trinity will be hosting more opportunities to hear local community members on various subject areas over the next several months and welcome the community to attend these free events.
Fran Moore Krebser