Guy Cohen and wife Tali

Harvest of Asher Congregation leader
Tents of Mercy Network
 
 
"Akko boasts the best natural harbor in Israel and served throughout much of history as one of the most strategic cities in the world - a central axis point connecting East and West, Asia and the Mediterranean."






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Harvest of Asher Congregation opens its doors to all who live in Akko and the surrounding region. Due to the city's contested history, one can often feel a certain heaviness upon its residents. The Lord invites all who are thirsty, weary and heavy laden to come to Him, and He will give them rest."
 
 

Strategic Access to Galilee and Israel

Harvest of Asher Congregation is located in the ancient city of Akko in northern Israel. Jutting into the Mediterranean Sea, Akko boasts the best natural harbor in Israel and served throughout much of history as one of the most strategic cities in the world - a central axis point connecting East and West, Asia and the Mediterranean. Numerous empires fought for possession of this key access city into the northern heartland of Israel and major land routes of the Near East. This article gives context and background regarding the city and the spiritual/human dynamics with which the Messianic congregation there interacts today.

The city of Akko is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world, starting about 5000 years ago. Among those who ruled it were: Phoenecia, ancient Israel, Tyre, Greece, Persia, Egypt, Rome, the Byzantine Empire, Mamluk Muslims, Crusaders, Ottoman Turkey, Britain, and now modern Israel.

The fortified city of Akko is mentioned in the Bible several times, first in Judges 1:31 as belonging to the territory of Asher. Israel was not able to conquer it at the time of Joshua. Later King David conquered additional areas of the Promised Land, including Akko. His son, Solomon, inherited the kingdom and built the temple in partnership with Hiram, king of Tyre. In exchange for Hiram's help, Solomon gave him 20 cities including Akko.

Akko is referred to in the New Testament in Acts 21:7 under the name Ptolemais. The Apostle Paul entered the city by way of the sea and met with believing brothers there.

It was from Akko, in the year 67 A.D., that Roman generals Vespasian and Titus staged their attack on the Great Revolt. The battles continued from there through the Galilee and eventually culminated in the tragic seige of Jerusalem prophesied by Yeshua in Luke 19:41-44.

King Richard the Lionheart also came to Akko, and made it the capital of the crusader kingdom in the Holy Land in lieu of Jerusalem, which he failed to conquer. Many times throughout history, controlling Akko was the key to defending Jerusalem. Control of Akko dictated control of the bay coast line now called the "Krayot" where the Tents of Mercy mother congregation is located. The Jezre'el Valley curves past Nazareth and Megiddo ("Armageddon") ending at this same bay. So we see a future connection with Armageddon and the events leading to the conquering return of King Yeshua. This gives us additional motivation to embrace the challenge of spiritually preparing the way of the Lord in this strategic city.

Jewish - Arab Coexistence and Akko Today

When the modern state of Israel was established in 1948, there was much tension between Jews and Arabs in Akko. Since that time, relations between the two communities have steadily improved, resulting in the formation of joint cultural and business ventures. Remarkably, now there are some neighborhoods which have integrated populations of Jews and Arabs. Today Akko is one of the few cities in Israel inhabited by large numbers of both Jews and Arabs.

There is still some tension and distrust which occasionally erupts in episodes of violence, as happened 5 years ago, when hundreds of young Arabs took to the streets with clubs, destroying cars and property. However, in general, most of the Arab and Jewish populations of Akko desire to live in peaceful coexistence. The local tourist economy has prospered in recent years due to the many Christian, Bahai, Muslim and Jewish visitors.

Harvest of Asher Congregation opens its doors to all who live in Akko and the surrounding region. Due to the city';s contested history, one can often feel a certain heaviness upon its residents. The Lord invites all who are thirsty, weary and heavy laden to come to Him, and He will give them rest.

Our place as believers is to proclaim freedom for the captives through prayer and intercession. We seek to share the good news through friendship and a helping hand to the needy. This includes serving the local population via a soup kitchen, humanitarian aid, and pro-life ministries. We also seek to strengthen our congregants by teaching the Word, establishing foundations of faith and creating vibrant children's programs. We appreciate your prayers for all the peoples of this strategic city.

By Guy Cohen
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Comments
Comments:
07:51 01Jan14 LM -
Thank you for sharing the history of this city and your role there! It's such a strategic place for your witness of Yeshua's reign to emanate out from. May God increase those who hear and believe!

09:08 01Jan14 Frank Onofrio -
Excellent short article! I did not remember reading about Akko in the Bible.

  -- Guy Cohen replies: This city has so long a history and so many stories, many books have been written about it. It was not easy to shrink and write this article(with the editor's help); thank you for your encouragement. Some time in the future when you are here, you are welcome to come and visit the congregation.

12:29 01Jan14 Marie Yunker -
Great article. Thanks for the historical context of the city in which Harvest of Asher ministers. It's encouraging to know there is a growing unity among all peoples there - may His love continue to light the way.

  -- Guy Cohen replies: Thank you for the lovely word, it is on our heart to share the Lords work here in Acco and gain prayers for us. Please know that you are welcome to visit Harvest of Asher.'

14:51 01Jan14 RGK -
Wish we had known about Harvest of Asher in 2012 as we visited the city twice! We love the ancient city and to fellowship with G-d's people would have been an incredible blessing!

  -- It is never too late, next time you know that there is a fellowship who would welcome you in love :-) Please write me to us when you are here and I will send you our address. replies:

07:55 07Jan14 Kristine Graybill -
I've been there twice and am coming again in March. Would love to fellowship with you. Akko holds a special place in my heart - my husband proposed to me on our 25th anniversary there along the coast line. May many find their "true love" Yeshua there.

  -- Guy Cohen replies: Please know that you are welcome to join our Friday service in March. Do let me know when and I will send you our address.


Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: Israel, Occupation & International Law
Daniel Juster's article in French: Israel, Occupation & Loi Internationale
Eitan Shishkoff: The Question ... Reflections on Mortality
Tents of Mercy: Congregational Life Cycle Events Gallery
Asher Intrater: Faithful
Asher Intrater and Cody: Cultural and Ethnic Developments