Thursday was our first full day together in Armenia and it has already been an incredible experience. During our initial orientation in Paramus, New Jersey, we communicated the underlying aims of these annual internships. During this internship program, our aim is to encounter, discover and explore. We are here to encounter the important work the AMAA is doing for God’s Kingdom in Armenia; discover our rich ancient Armenian Christian heritage; and explore some of the ways God is moving here in our homeland.
On Thursday, we began the day by meeting with the AMAA Staff in Armenia. We toured the offices and presentations from both Harout Nercessian (AMAA Armenia representative) and Rev. Mgrdich Melkonian (Evangelical Church of Armenia, Senior Pastor). Afterwards, the interns had the opportunity to encounter some of the AMAA’s important programs here in Yerevan. The first was the Avedisyan School and the second was the Shogh Day Care Center.
We were especially touched by the powerful work accomplished at the Shogh Day Care Center. Shogh provides afterschool activities for young students at risk of falling into unhealthy life patterns. In the summers, they hold a special summer school. We were blessed to sit in on some of the art classes and to watch a performance from their dance group! At the Shogh Center, children who have experienced immense trauma are given hope and are encouraged to dream again. God is doing great work there through a group of faithful, patient staff that love and nurture our next generation.
We cannot wait to see what else God is up to here in Armenia! Stay tuned…
Rev. Jeremy Tovmassian
“Every good thing comes to an end.” So did the AMAA 2016 Internship Program (July 5-19), as we said our “good byes” and made our good wishes to each other the night of Monday, July 18 and in the very early hours of Tuesday, July 19. However, as the apostle Paul is “confident that he who began a good work in (us) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 NIV). We share the apostle’s “confidence” and that’ why look forward to cherish every opportunity which God provides us to continue the good work that He began in our lives.
I praise God and thank Him for His traveling mercies. I pray and hope that those who stayed in Armenia (with dance groups, Christian camps and relatives) will also make it safe home soon.
What a wonderful Internship experience this was to each and everyone of us! Let’s hold it dear, and also share it with our family, friends and church family, and stay connected to one another.
I offer my gratitude and thanks to God, the parents, our two wonderful leaders, and to the leaders of the AMAA and Evangelical Churches of Armenia (of Paramus, New Jersey and of Yerevan, Armenia), and to all who helped in planning and organization of this year’s Internship. May God continue to touch and bless our lives so we also touch other people’s lives with God’s grace, love and mercy.
“Interns! Please, remember. “Christianity is a two-way street.” We give, because we have received!”
Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian
We saw God’s breathtaking creation as we saw Mount Ararat and connected further with our motherland.
This morning after breakfast, we headed to Khor Virab and learned the history of St. Gregory. We learned that he was a missionary. He was thrown into a pit by King Drtad III and miraculously survived until the king summoned him to cure him of his madness. Since Gregory succeeded, the king decide to change the state religion to Christianity. We had a chance to climb down into the pit and see where Gregory was held for 13 years. After climbing down to the pit, we hiked to the edge of the Armenian/Turkish border.
Afterwards, we headed to the Ardashad church where the members had prepared a delicious lunch for us. After lunch, we had an opportunity to sing worship songs with the VBS kids and we headed back to the AMAA.
We had a lot of free time today, therefore some of us went to Grand Candy, a popular candy store in Yerevan.
We had a wonderfully prepared dinner with the kids of some of the local pastors. Afterwards, the pastors’ kids of our group had a meeting with the others. They talked about how their lives differ from those who aren’t pastors’ kids, in both good and bad ways.
We ended our day by climbing Cascade and seeing Yerevan’s sparkling lights and of course, taking lots of pictures! (We can’t forget to mention our baghbaghag… we had that too.)
Stefan Balakji and Nareen Babaian
The Interns visit the Musa Dagh Monumen, Zvartnots and Yerablur, and pay their respect to all the heroes who sacrificed their lives to keep our Homeland safe
Today we experienced the power of the Holy Spirit as youth from Armenia, America, Lebanon, and Canada gathered together to worship and have fellowship.
The first place we headed to was the monument in Armavir which is dedicated to the survivors of Musa Dagh. We then headed to Zvartnots where we saw the ruins of the church. We were privileged to hear a few Armenian songs performed by talented locals. Our last stop of the day was Yerablur, where war heroes and martyrs are buried.
In the evening we had a worship service and fellowship with the youth group of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in Yerevan. We discussed the difficulties that teenagers face in this century and in the Armenian Evangelical community. We were reminded that our lives must be centered around God instead of around ourselves. During his talk, Aram Babajanyan shared that many times people think that being a Christian limits our freedom, yet in reality, being a follower of Christ is ultimate freedom.
Talar Haidostian and Christine Maamarbashi