By Jayna Richardson
FamilyLife’s vision of “Every home a godly home” is reaching further globally than ever before. With the launch of the new Arabic FamilyLife website, www.arabfamilylife.com, families throughout the Arabic-speaking world now have access to free, biblical materials to strengthen their marriages and learn about Jesus.
At a recent leadership conference in the Middle East, FamilyLife representatives Jim and Judy Burrows gave copies of The Art of Marriage® (AOM) and The Art of Parenting® (AOP) workbooks in Arabic to leaders from 30 countries throughout the Middle East. These books are legally published in Egypt and contain QR codes that take users to the Arabic-subtitled AOM and AOP videos on the website. After spending a few days going through these materials for themselves, the couples made commitments to invest in their own marriages and/or to use these materials for outreach in their own countries. One country director within Cru (FamilyLife’s parent organization) said that he is stepping down from his role to do FamilyLife in his region near the Holy Land full-time with his wife.
Jim and Judy Burrows headed next to Cairo, where they heard how Cru staff in Egypt had set up a booth at the Cairo book fair to help spread the word about FamilyLife’s materials as well as other Christian resources. The Cairo Book Fair is the largest book fair in the world with 3.6 million attending this year and over 2,000 venders. Cru Egypt Publishing had a great location with their 36-meter booth. Many shoppers from the majority religious group visited the booth and bought Bibles and books, including AOM and AOP (which were the #2 and #3 bestselling items from the booth).
Because Cru Egypt Publishing is a legal entity, they can ship and distribute books throughout the Middle East. The AOM and AOP workbooks will be available at upcoming book fairs in multiple countries. The publisher also had to send six boxes of AOM and AOP books to the Egyptian government for the protection of the copyright. Who knows what impact those books will have on the marriages and families of government leaders!
While in Cairo, Jim and Judy Burrows led an Art of Marriage retreat for couples. Because half of the audience were non-believers, this was an opportunity to introduce several couples to the gospel and to God’s power for marriage. For the believers in attendance, this was a chance for them to learn how to organize their own Art of Marriage event. Half of the attendees signed up to join an AOM small group following the event.
Jim and Judy also introduced volunteers in Egypt to FamilyLife’s Art of Parenting resource and HomeBuilders Bible studies for couples (available free on arabfamilylife.com).
Only God knows how these resources will be used in the Middle East and beyond. As many Arabic speakers are growing in their curiosity about Jesus, we trust that God will put these resources in the right places at the right times to reach people who are hungry for hope and truth.