Jerry Mitchell
Jerry Mitchell is one of our students this year. We are pleased to have him share his story with you of how and why he came to Emmaus. He was the first to apply and be accepted in the Emmaus class of 2017! We are so thankful for his heart to follow where God leads, his humility to listen as God speaks, and his desire to love and serve his fellow students while he's here.

"I ended up coming to the Emmaus School of Biblical Studies (ESBS) through no less than an act of God. I guess you could say that everyone who ends up at a school where all you do is study the Bible for ten months straight is always an act of God, however I completely recognize the work of God in getting me to this school.
I separated from the military during July 2016, where I served for five years. During these five years I was lucky enough to experience traveling the world to many exotic places. During the last of these journeys I ended up being stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Besides the adventure of living in Japan for two years I also had the pleasure of meeting Jon Black, who happened to be the Chaplin of the base chapel. Over the course of many months Jon and I's relationship grew into an amazing friendship and we developed a mentor/mentee connection.  One day, during one of our many get-togethers, Jon began to tell me of this really amazing school that he was on the board of and believed I would be a good fit for. That school happened to be ESBS. I took the next couple of months to pray about this school and eventually discerned that was where God was calling me to in the next chapter of my life. That was a year and a half ago and I can happily say that God is faithful and has brought me to this new place called Oviedo, Florida were ESBS is. It has been a month now since classes started and I can honestly say that I have been blown away by the experience thus far.
The thing that has impacted me the most so far about being here is learning how much I didn't know about my Bible. I grew up in the church. I heard all the stories and probably every sermon that you could imagine. But as the days go on here at ESBS the surprises never cease. God is using the instructors to peel back layer after layer of depth that I never knew the Bible contained. Whether it be looking at the historical context that each passage was written under or "color coding" until every page looks like a rainbow exploded onto it, I have been exposed to the beauty that truly is the Bible.
In a way that I believe only a School of Biblical Studies can do, ESBS has taken this thing I thought I knew so much about, the Bible, and has revealed to me the secrets and underlying truths buried beneath its covers. I can't wait to see what the rest of the school year entails."
S. Elisabeth Comment
Up and Running!
We are so pleased to announce that this Monday, August 15th, we began the tenth year of the Emmaus School of Biblical Studies!

Staff training & prep for student arrival

This is the tenth year of the school's existence, but the first year that we will be running it at Canterbury Retreat & Conference Center!

Tom teaching the importance of having a Biblical worldview

Things have been busy over the last couple of weeks as we have met, discussed different aspects of the school, bought food, set up dorm rooms, and picked up students from the airport. This week we are introducing them to the Inductive Bible Study method through the book of Philemon. Our students are already doing a fantastic job, and we are thoroughly enjoying getting to know them and having them get to know us. We have already seen them reach out to each other and begin to build a Gospel centered community that seeks to encourage each other in their pursuit of God and His will for their lives.

Classroom setup

Next week we will introduce the students to you. We will be taking individual as well as class pictures, so that you can follow along and put faces to the names of the ESBS class of 2017!
S. ElisabethComment
Update on Evan & Upcoming Events
We just wanted to catch everyone up on what we've been up to at Emmaus, what we're working towards, and some exciting upcoming events we have planned!

First of all we'd like to thank everyone who has been and continues to pray for Evan Hays and his wife Roz. Evan has been transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver where he'll remain for another couple of weeks in rehab. He's doing well but still needs your prayers and encouragement as rehab is hard and he has a long road ahead of him.

We've been busy over the past couple of weeks running seminars for different churches. Two weeks ago we ran one for Trey's church, Grace Oviedo, and had a fantastic turn out to study the book of Philemon!

This past Saturday we ran another seminar on the book of Titus for Forge, a local men's Bible study group.

Even though we're all looking forward to this fall when we begin running the school again, it has been such a joy to run these seminars this year and form relationships with the churches in and around Central Florida.

On May 7th we'll be running another seminar on the book of Philemon for high school and college students.
May 15th - May 20th, Dan Dunn (a ministry connection with Venezuela) will be coming down to join us to create videos that will help train pastors and lay-people in churches throughout Latin America. Dan has requested that we help supply our Bible Overview as well as an Inductive Bible Study seminar. Please pray for both of these upcoming events, that they will be fruitful and lead others into a greater understanding of God's Word as well as a deeper relationship with Him.

In other news, we have been getting bunk beds ready for the new student dorms!

Once these are completed we'll be looking for more twin mattresses as well as lamps and other practical things needed to create a comfortable home for our students.

Please continue to pray for our students. We have four accepted, three in the process, and lots of interest. We are still hopeful for 10-15 students total.

Thank you to all who are praying with and for us, and for your continued encouragement and support! We could not do any of this without you!

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Please Pray with us for the Hays
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Dear Friends,

Please be in prayer with us for an ESBS alumni who's been hospitalized yesterday with a serious trauma to his brain.

Evan Hays (ESBS 2011-2012) was rock climbing yesterday outside of Colorado Springs when he took a 20+ foot fall to the ground.  He was admitted to the hospital and put into a medically induced coma to counteract brain swelling.

Evan's condition was stable overnight and this morning Evan was responsive and awake.  This week Evan was in Colorado Springs teaching the books of Kings and Chronicles at the School of Biblical Studies with YWAM Colorado Springs.  Evan and Roz own a cabin rental business in South Dakota, and have their winters/early Spring open for teaching and traveling.  While Evan was an Emmaus student in 2011-12, Roz was on our Emmaus staff full-time.  Since that year they've both spent multiple winters with us on our staff.  They're a huge part of our Emmaus community.

Evan is also currently a teaching pastor with Rimrock Church in downtown Rapid City S.D.  They need our prayers now!  Will you join with us in praying that Evan makes a full recovery.  Also pray for Roz, and for their two children Gibson and Eden.


Kris & Sarah Wise Join Emmaus Ministries!

Tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Kris: My name is Kris Wise. I’m 30. I have a B.A. in Digital Media from the University of Central Florida. I like hiking, camping & gaming. I’m a co-adventurer with my wife Sarah and my son Lincoln.

Sarah: We used to call ourselves monogamous adventurers, but we had to change it when we had Link. My name is Sarah Wise. I have a B.A. in History, B.A. in Public Administration, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from UCF. I also have an Academic Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary with a course focus in Church History. I like reading to the soothing sounds of a Netflix fireplace, baking random midnight cravings, coloring and journaling. The Wise Family is a hub of self-proclaimed nerds. We enjoy Star Trek marathons, dressing up in period costumes for Civil War reenactments, Role Playing games, and international media (aka anime, manga, K-drama, and foreign films).

How did you meet?

Kris: I first met Sarah on Facebook through the old “You should know this person” feature. This was when you had to have a college email to be on Facebook. I didn’t know her but we had a lot of the same friends. I was invited to be on leadership at the Central Florida Wesley Foundation (a UCF Campus Ministry) and noticed that she was actually asked to come to the same leadership retreat. We hit it off and we’ve been adventuring ever since.

Sarah: The very first thing he said to me was “hey, are you the girl in the flower pot on Facebook?” (a reference to my profile picture at the time). We eventually bonded over our mutual love of all things nerdy and the fact that we were leading the same small group at CFL Wesley.

What are your faith stories?

Kris: I grew up in the United Methodist Church. Originally from Alabama, my family later moved to Orlando, FL. I continued to go to a United Methodist Church through high school. Through this time I claimed Christianity with my mouth but my heart still didn’t know what that looked like. Everything changed when I joined Wesley Foundation. I met others who acted as if they had found a hidden treasure and were doing everything to keep it close to their heart.

Sarah: I also come from a church-going family, though my story is a little different. While Kris may have struggled with the application of his faith, I outright denied faith for much of my youth. I was a crusader of atheism even while my family continued going to church. It wasn’t until I was college aged that I came to know God as my Savior and Lord. We met at Wesley at precisely the time when God was doing something profound in both of our lives.

How does your faith affect the way you live your lives?

Kris: Our time at Wesley, radically changed how we lived out our faith. It wasn’t about checking off the right boxes. It was about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, listening to the Holy Spirit and living in authentic relationship with those around me.

Sarah: The key that clicked for both of us was a faith with feet within the context of one-on-one discipleship. Meeting with a mentor, getting in the Word, and applying our faith in tangible ways all changed the trajectory of our lives. After spending five years each at Wesley we were equipped with a robust relationship with Christ and a deep desire to serve God’s Kingdom. Kris and I continued to serve in ministry through local churches, nonprofits and seminary even while asking God the “what next” question.

How did you connect with Emmaus?

Kris: I let Sarah take this one.

Sarah: I actually met Tom at Asbury Seminary when I was giving a lecture about the doctrine of the atonement. At the time, Kris and I had been in a season of intentional prayer and discernment about what God wanted from us. We were prepared to move anywhere in the state, country or world. We were more than shocked to even entertain the idea that God could have something for us right here in our home city. Through that initial meeting with Tom, we eventually came to know the vision of Emmaus and the staff. Pieces clicked, and even in the midst of other job opportunities and career paths, God continued to bring Emmaus to the forefront of our prayers.

Why are you excited to be a part of Emmaus?

Sarah: It is exciting to be able to say, with confidence and assurance, that Emmaus is where God wants us. After months of prayer and discernment we feel that God has clearly answered our “what next” prayer. It is a perfect intersection of our gifts: teaching, discipleship, worship, social marketing and engagement.

Kris: We are excited about the community, the students, and discovering what God has for us in this season of our lives. I believe the Spirit led us to Emmaus for a purpose and I am excited to be a part of whatever that looks like.   

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