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 a library of academic resources, 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 were established in various towns and villages because the Word had reached these souls and prepared their hearts to accept the message of the Gospel.
From 1980 to 1984 EBS ran a mobile library in the form of a small bus, which traveled around Galilee and the West Bank 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.
EBS 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. EBS is non-denominational and holds true to the exact teaching of the Bible in all its publications. The teaching is widely accepted and appreciated by most of the Protestant denominations.
To date more than 28 study books for outreach and discipleship and spiritual growth have been published in Arabic by EBS. Seven of these are specifically designed for young people. In 2007, we worked on the translation and publication of 10 more books mainly for outreach and teaching for individuals and groups. We will also produce CDs with books and other supporting materials. Books such as “God’s Answers to Man’s Questions”, and “Final Destiny” as well as gospel leaflets, calendars and cassettes are all aimed to reach people from all religious backgrounds and levels of society and are distributed for free. 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.net became the first website to publish Christian books online in Arabic. The multimedia website enables visitors to download books, courses, articles, messages and radio programes and Christian music. There are about 175+ people currently studying the courses online and the tests can be submitted and corrected online also (more students added every week). The site is reaching Arabs all over the world and there are more than 40,000 visitors every month.
EBS has been registered with the government since 1979 as an “Ottoman institution” and since 1984 as “Amuta” Non-profit Organization. The Board is made up of 8 members from different Assemblies who together make the decisions in order to improve the effectiveness of the ministry.