The early days in Nazareth
In the early 1960’s the first Emmaus correspondence courses in Arabic were introduced by an American Christian worker, Harry L. Medrow, who served the Lord in the assembly in Nazareth and in the Holy Land. The courses were delivered by hand to the relatively few students. Mr. Medrow died in 1964 and so the work of Emmaus stopped for 11 years. It was revived in 1975 by George Khalil, a young believer from the Nazareth Brethren Assembly, when 2000 copies of the two courses “One God, One Way” and “What the Bible Teaches” were printed. These were distributed through the mail to towns and villages all over Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. As a result thousands of young people and adults enrolled and studied the courses. EBS continued to develop new Bible courses, new publications of Christian books, teaching aids, leaflets and cassettes all in the Arabic language. Courses and other materials reached more than 50,000 homes. The records of all the participants were kept in the main office in Nazareth, and many were visited personally. As a result a number of different house meetings and churches were planted in various towns and villages.
The ministry expands
From 1980 to 1984 EBS ran a mobile library in the form of a small bus, which traveled around Galilee and the West Bank and Gaza offering a wide selection of books. It was staffed by two young men, one local and one from overseas. EBS opened a bookshop in the centre of Nazareth from 1990 until 1994. Tens of thousands of Bibles in many languages were distributed over the four years to locals and people of many different faiths as they passed through Nazareth. Many Bibles are still being distributed today, even though the shop is no longer functioning.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s Emmaus organized many follow-up conferences for students and young adults as well as teaching conferences on how to reach people from other faiths with the Gospel. Many of God’s servants and church leaders in the Holy Land today began their journey of faith through the EBS courses and proceeded to grow and develop their spiritual life.
Courses by internet
In 2003 the first Emmaus courses in Arabic were made available online and www.lifeismore.netbecame the first website to publish Christian books online in Arabic. The multimedia website enables visitors to download books, study the courses, articles, messages and radio programs and Christian music. In 2018 a multilingual Emmaus application for phone and tablet was launched and Arabic was one of the first languages to be added to this. It is now the most popular way to study the courses.