What Is the Emmaus Gift Fund?
The Emmaus Gift Fund is a love offering for emerging Emmaus Ministries communities around the world, providing support to these communities and to their regional representatives. Currently, there are seven emerging communities: Kenya, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Poland, and Bulgaria. It takes three to five years to develop a community outside of the United States, and it typically costs $80,000.
How It Began
During the International Advisory Committee meeting in 2007, Emmaus leaders from every region of the world began The Walk to Emmaus Gift Fund. They recognized that emerging communities in some parts of the world needed additional support to train and transport leaders and to secure resources to launch their first Emmaus walks. The Gift Fund makes it possible for pilgrims everywhere to invite the world to a closer journey with Christ.
From its beginnings in 1978, when the first Walk to Emmaus—then known as Cursillos—was held in Nashville, Tennessee, there was a vision for people around the world to experience this fourth day movement and to hear the call to be the hands and feet of Christ in their churches, families, cities, and villages. By 2000, Emmaus included communities in countries around the globe.
What It Means to Give
Over the years, we have seen that existing communities are strengthened and energized when they help new communities emerge. One of the known signs of a healthy Emmaus community is its involvement in growing new communities. The excitement that builds encourages community growth, not just in numbers, but also spiritual growth in God’s grace. As with church congregations, when people work to build ministries in new places, they are mobilized to increase participation in local activities as well.
The global growth of The Walk to Emmaus would not be possible without the hands-on work of existing communities whose generous pilgrims host future leaders of new communities in their walks and travel to serve in various roles during the launch phase of those new communities. Right now, interest in The Walk to Emmaus—and the need for financial support—is especially great in places like Central Africa and South America.
For a new community to emerge, clergy and lay leaders are first invited to participate in a Walk with a healthy, established community; oftentimes, the closest community is an ocean away. The expense of such travel—and the cost of resources—is beyond reach for people in many parts of the world. At least 20 individuals (10 men and 10 women) need to have participated in a Walk in order to later lead a successful Walk in their home country.