Marty Shoub

International Liason
Tents of Mercy Network
 
 
"There has been progress - Tents of Mercy daughter congregation, Katzir Asher (Harvest of Asher) has grown to a community of 100, a building has been purchased, there are ministries to youth, women at risk, a pro-life office and humanitarian aid outreach. But Guy is restless - he can see so many opportunities yet to be grasped, "there is so much work and God is saying, 'be ready, get prepared for the day's ahead'.""

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"For all of Guy's lamenting about not being able to do as much as he would like, here he was doing something well beyond what most of us could ever do. Despite his dissatisfaction about not having the ministry in the place he wanted it, I could see he was exactly in the right place at the right time. The Lord is building the house and Guy, His laborer, is not working in vain."
 
 

Guy Cohen is a man on a mission. Thrust into leadership at a relatively young age, he has been uniquely selected to lead a Messianic work in Akko that had been dormant for centuries. Akko has always played a strategic role in Israel's history - Guy understands that this strategic significance extends beyond Akko's natural harbor and trade route location to the spirit realm. A spiritual breakthrough in Akko would signal an important spiritual beachhead for all of Northern Israel. There has been progress - Tents of Mercy daughter congregation, Katzir Asher (Harvest of Asher) has grown to a community of 100, a building has been purchased, there are ministries to youth, women at risk, a pro-life office and humanitarian aid outreach. But Guy is restless - he can see so many opportunities yet to be grasped, "there is so much work and God is saying, 'be ready, get prepared for the days ahead.'"

"What days?" I asked Guy point blank. He gave me a knowing look and shook his head as if to say, "please don't ask." I pressed him and eventually Guy confided that he is convinced that days of extreme difficulty and war are coming. Guy explained, "In the end we will be victorious but we need to be prepared on a spiritual and physical level, there will be much suffering. We need to intercede according to Ps 83:1, 'Do not hold your peace, and do not be still, O God!' This means constant intercession that God will act, that He will not allow the enemy's taunts to go unchallenged." Though Katzir Asher has been faithfully interceding for Akko and for the region for years, Guy's sense of urgency compels him to do more. For some time now Guy has had a vision for 24/7 prayer in Akko but the manpower required to field that sort of consistent ongoing intercession is a challenge to a group the size of Katzir Asher. Guy summed up the situation this way, "We need more laborers."

Intercession is key but wise leaders also prepare in the "years of plenty" for the days of difficulty ahead. Katzir of Asher has a number of humanitarian aid projects in the city. They have a long standing association with the Akko Community Center for the Blind and continue to support this agency with funds and practical helps. Two years ago Katzir Asher opened a Pro-Life counseling office (See, Oasis, July 09, "A Voice for Those Who Cannot Speak"). Guy informed me that since the office opened, almost 40 babies have been brought to term that would have otherwise been aborted.

The Pro-Life ministry has since expanded into a safe home for women at risk. Last year, Katzir Asher opened an apartment in the city with a capacity to house two women in need. The home is there for women who need a place to stay for the duration of their pregnancy or a shelter for women escaping domestic violence. This much needed resource emerged out of a partnership between Katzir Asher and a church in Japan. The volunteer house manager is a Japanese student studying at an Israeli university. The Japanese church has generously agreed to staff and support this ministry for two years - Guy wonders what will happen when the time expires (Dec 2011). He told me, "There are many things we could do, but we do not have the capacity to hire an Israeli to staff these positions. I would like to see a local woman take over the safe house. I also have a local man who could easily manage a large warehouse but I cannot hire him without paying him a salary - people need to support their families."

As our time together was winding down Guy wanted to show me two other projects. He took me into the small storage locker behind the Pro-Life office. Katzir Asher had just finished a humanitarian aid project and the shelves were pretty sparse. Guy wanted me to take a picture of a cupboard with more empty space in it than either of us would have liked. Guy was wistful, "we need to keep these shelves filled." Next it was off to a soup kitchen downtown. The soup kitchen is run by Orthodox Jews. Katzir Asher has renovated the dining room and washroom facilities at the soup kitchen and provides ongoing financial assistance to the organization.

There is a well established history of Orthodox Jews receiving support from Evangelical Christians but there is very little history of Orthodox and Messianic Jewish partnership. Yet, here was Guy, truly a son of this city, connecting with the Orthodox manager in a way no Evangelical Christian could ever do. As Guy and the manager joked together in Hebrew I could see the familiarity and identification that flows out of someone like Guy, born in Akko and raised in the Orthodox Jewish culture. There may be theological differences between these two men, but it was obvious to me that they were brothers. For all of Guy's lamenting about not being able to do as much as he would like, here he was doing something well beyond what most of us could ever do. Despite his dissatisfaction about not having the ministry in the place he wanted it, I could see he was exactly in the right place at the right time. The Lord is building the house and Guy, His laborer, is not working in vain.

As we were leaving, Guy once again spoke to me about wanting to do more and not knowing how to get beyond their current level of spiritual and physical outreach. As we talked, he recalled how impossible it seemed for Katzir Asher to purchase their own ministry center and yet within a year of the vision, God had done well beyond what Guy could have imagined (See, Oasis, June 08, "Harvest of Asher").

To live in Israel is to live with the constant threat of those who seek our harm. To be a leader in Israel is to live with the weight of the responsibility of preparing others to face that threat with courage, faith and a helping hand in the midst of suffering. Guy is a forerunner of the next generation of native Messianic Israelis. He may not have the resources of leaders in North America, Europe, Korea or Japan, but in God's hands he has something far more valuable - an ease and familiarity in the culture and among his Israeli peers.

Please pray for Guy and Katzir Asher - Guy asked specifically if you could agree with him that God would raise up the funds necessary to hire a warehouse manager. In the end it is not Guy Cohen or any other leader that shoulders the burden. Our Messiah King calls us to be faithful. He is our defense; He is the one who builds the house lest our labor is all in vain. He raises up the laborers for His harvest according to His word and His good pleasure, "That they may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth." (Psalm 83:18)

By Marty Shoub
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Comments:
12:05 07Jul11 J -
This has touched my heart and I would like to be able to send some money to help Guy Cohen with this work of the Lord. It will not be much as I am on a small pension, but it will help and can be multiplied!! So, do I send to the work of Ohalei Rachamim or is there another address?

  -- Marty Shoub replies: As Paul said, "If there is a willing mind, it (a gift to the Lord) is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what one does not have." (II Co 8:12) Please don't think that what you have is too little - our God discerns the thoughts and intent of our hearts. Like Paul, we do not wish you to be burdened so that others may be eased (See, II Co 8:13), but as you give to the Lord out of what you have may He "make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." (II Co 9:8)
You may send your donations through Tents of Mercy with a note indicating your preference to support the work of Katzir Asher. Likewise you can do the same through Tikkun International. You may also send donations via Katzir Asher's own website: www.harvestofasher.org

13:28 07Jul11 Susan St Clair -
What a heart warming article! I am so glad that Jeshua is doing so much in Akko! your article stirred my heart to try and give more. Your labor is not in vain!

21:56 07Jul11 Kay Bieber -
Thank you for a thorough update on Guy and Katzir Asher. I was with you for the Tents of Mercy conference last Fall, and am thrilled to see growth in your outreach and harvest, babies lives redeemed, and a vision for more. Yeshua has truly made a way through Guy to reach the Orthodox.

20:40 20Jul11 Stephen Coulter -
Tents of Mercy has always been before me as a demonstration of Yeshua's provision and calling to take the Gospel to the streets, hedges and highways and compel them to come just like He did, and a demonstration as well of His turning to the disciples and telling them "You give them something to eat" and He meant it ... I see physical food and eternal food "Feed My lambs" working together!

the Lord set an internship and called me to the Streets and His Harvest-Eternal fruit comes from stepping into the needs of people,some that may NEVER hear someone Loves them or that satan has kept convinced have no Value.yet each is created in the Image of God and he desires every one to be saved; ')

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: Forty Years of Marriage
Eitan Shishkoff: The Least of These
Asher Intrater: The Shavuot Pattern
Betty Intrater: Shavuot Diary