By Guy Cohen
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in
truth." (3 John 1:4)
Guy and Tali with their children
Raising our children as believers can be challenging. We long for them to
put their trust in the Lord, yet they do not want to appear different in
the eyes of friends and peers. This natural desire is in conflict with
being as light and salt in the world. Often our children can feel
embarrassed or even ashamed of the Jewish Messiah while living among His
people who largely reject Him.
The Apostle Paul did not always embrace Yeshua wholeheartedly. In fact, he
started out rabidly antagonistic. Then on the way to Damascus Paul had a
revelation. He saw the Lord, and his whole life changed. He stopped
persecuting Yeshua's followers and embraced the message of Messiah,
proclaiming, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah which is
salvation for everyone" (Romans 1:16). Our children are in need of
this same revelation.
Local congregations here in Israel need strengthening in order to be
effective in the midst of the traditional Jewish world we inhabit. Our
children attend schools full of children from families to whom the
revelation of Yeshua has not yet come. One day a teacher taught my
son's class about the Christian religion and its founder
"Yeshu". When my son heard the name she used, he raised his hand, received
permission to speak and then explained that this word "Yeshu" (without
the "a" at the end), is actually a curse that some rabbis centuries
ago spoke concerning Yeshua. It is an acronym that stands for "May His
name and memory be blotted out." The teacher was surprised. She did not
know that this was not His real name but rather a derogatory reference.
She immediately began using our Lord's real name.
Brothers and sisters, our children are in a tight spot. At home
they receive the identity of the Messiah, but at school they want to be
like all their friends, not weird and strange. None of us wants to be
rejected, especially not children. Israeli children from believing
families are a tiny minority in their schools if not alone in the whole
school. Furthermore, many of our children have not yet received a deep
revelation of Messiah, and there is an enemy who is constantly attacking
and trying to prevent our children's from growing in their faith.
For the last four years, one afternoon a week, we have gathered children
from believing families all around the Western Galilee into our
Congregational facility at Harvest of Asher in Akko. We provide fellowship
for these kids from different congregations, arranging transportation,
even from distant towns. Each child chooses two activities out of the six
we offer. Then at the end we give them with a warm meal and return them to
their homes with a full stomach and a satisfied heart.
As we continue this activity our present space is limited. We need to
expand for the good of the next generation, "the generation of those
who seek Him, who seek [God's] face" (Psalm 24:6). A partial
solution has been opening more classrooms in another congregational
facility. This ministry is growing. There is a great need for the children
of believing families to have regular, weekly fellowship with the wider
body of children from believing communities. Some of the club activities
are guitar and singing lessons. The children have then served elderly
Holocaust survivors by singing and praising the Lord with music they have
Our musician children blessing Holocaust
Our long term goal is to establish a Messianic school which will
provide a strong academic and scriptural foundation for our children.
Please pray with us, that this vision which God has placed in our hearts,
will come to pass. We are contending for their lives, to see our
children walk in the truth.