In millennia past, the city of Yoqne’am (Pronounced Yoke-knee-um) stood as a gate to the Jezreel Valley. It guarded two passes: one from the Mediterranean Sea, and another pass going south through Mount Carmel. This steep hill was a mighty city in biblical times. Joshua allotted the city to the tribe of Zebulon (Joshua 19: 10-11), though the city and the area around it was a Levitical city. Due to its strategic location, it played a significant role in the ancient history of the region.
During the Crusader era (1099 – 1291 AD), a church was established in the city, upon the remains of a more ancient church. The remains of this Crusader church can be seen today on the archeological mound outside the modern city. The OM Israel team explains, as far as they know, this was the last church to exist in Yoqne’am. Nearly 800 years have passed without a church in this city.
Since January 2016 OM Israel has focused on prayer and ministry in this city. According to the field leader, this city is strategic due to its modern population size, its location in the Jezreel Valley, and its historical and spiritual significance as a gateway city to the valley.
The just completed Hope of Israel program focused on several neighborhoods for door-to-door ministry in this Jewish city of Yoqne’am. The following is one story from that outreach.
Answering a knock at his door, Baruch* opened it to find an American man and woman standing nervously before him. Dave and Beth were invited in and offerred a cold drink.
As the two sat in Baruch's living room, his dog jumped all over Beth. The dog wouldn’t stop licking her face; yet this didn’t deter Beth. She recalled imagining the dog was saying, "Thank you for coming! My master needs you! Thank you!"
Baruch shared, "I have been depressed. Yesterday was the first day that I took a walk and prayed. And now here you are." Baruch shared how the visitors were an answer to his prayers.
Beth replied, "Yes. God sent us to you because He heard your prayer. He loves you very much and wants you to know the truth of His love."
Dave shared with Baruch how he had once been oppressed by alcohol, and how God gave him new life through Yeshua (Jesus).
Dave and Beth gave Baruch a New Testament and made plans to visit again.