We are Called to Apply God’s Vision Through Mission in our Daily Life

The time has come to end our journey as the AMAA Summer Internship 2019 in Armenia. To think what a long way we came from Day 1 and here we are, already on Day 14.

We started our last day together, right after our amazing dinner spent at Ashtaraki Dzor, where night turned into morning at the AMAA’s Center in Yerevan. There was more to celebrate as the clock struck 12:00 A.M. and another cake came out; this time for our intern Talar’s birthday. We sang and cheered her on as some playfully smeared icing on her.

After the second cake was indulged, Badveli Serop led our discussion on lessons learned and what we plan to do upon returning home to help our people in Armenia. As Digin Alina shared one of many Christian lessons, she brought up Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We felt a strong determination to help our brothers and sisters in our mother country, Armenia. As a start, we began by contributing our spending money collectively to raise enough funds to sponsor a child in the Shogh Day Center in Vanadzor, to chip in for the women at the Armenian Evangelical Church of Armenia in Vanadzor, and the women at AMAA’s Center in Yerevan who prepared each meal for us during our visit. We still have more to impact change upon returning home, but one by one and together, we plan to do so as disciples of all nations.

We each thanked our leaders, Badveli Serop and Digin Alina for the time spent planning and coordinating each detail of our trip during their free time and through difficulties that arose throughout, for the time spent reviewing and accepting our applications, communicating regarding details requested, teaching us life lessons and biblical messages, using their entire days to pack activities into our itinerary, to enlighten us of our country by taking us to other cities in Armenia that were in such bad shape you’d think they were villages, the prayers and biblical messages taught, the introductions to pastors, leaders, and staff made, and to the fun parental ways they took care of us. They truly did a remarkable job as leaders. To show a little appreciation, we presented a hand crafted wooden clock with Etchmiadzin carved in front to remind them of the time they spent with us during the AMAA Summer Internship 2019.

We said our good nights and were off to bed until the final morning devotion was taught not too long after.

Digin Alina’s devotion was on the theme of the internship “Your young shall see visions” Acts 2:17. Jesus is calling us for mission. Although we will have problems in this world but His promise is to be with us and His Spirit will pour on us and will give us strength to continue God’s mission. “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31. Therefore, we are called to apply God’s vision through mission in our daily life.2

No matter what family we visited even in the poorest conditions of the real Armenia, God showed us each lessons; lessons to complain less, to never take life and God for Granted, to always put a smile on because there is much to still be grateful for, to work as a team, to be giving, and more. Yes, there will be troubles, but we need to think back about how others are still living today and if they can do it with a good attitude, so can we.

We learned how much the AMAA is doing for the people of Armenia through educational and evangelical programs, through construction and reconstruction of churches, through humanitarian work, through sponsorship of children, and funding in all areas. We thank the donors who help make a difference and who have provided us with the experience and opportunity of this mission trip.

After breakfast, Rev. Serop announced, “The AMAA’s Youth Internship, July 2019, Vision for Mission is accomplished” and prayed.6

Then one by one each intern said good-bye to prepare for their flight back. But, this is not a good bye. This group’s bond is so special, a request was put in for another AMAA Summer Internship continuing where we left off, where more can be done and learned. As Badveli Megerditchian taught us, we will not take God or life for granted. We are in this world for a mission and we will fulfill God’s vision.

Thank you.

Christine Kutlu

We are Called to Help Each Other to Have a Strong, Unified and Successful Mission

We started our last day of our Internship with a devotion led by Dr. Alina – about being together and helping each other through mission. She read and explained Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two is better than one.” She reminded us that Jesus never tried to succeed alone. He always had God and people. Therefore, we need God and we need people in order to have strong and successful mission. Success is the collection of relationships. When Jesus sent the disciples, He sent them two by two.  We should realize that our lives depend on others’ help. Therefore, we are called, not only to help each other, but to uplift each other to have a unified, strong and successful mission.

After breakfast we headed to Ara village, next to Ara Mountain to take with us another beautiful memory of Armenia. When we arrived the local people welcomed us with beautiful smiles and traditional ceremonial songs and dances and of course with a table full of fruits and Armenian treats. We were told the background story of Ara village and their mission – to preserve the Armenian culture and heritage. We picked up cherries and raspberries and later a group of women presented us the Armenian culture and traditions by singing and dancing and at the same time sowing and cultivating the wheat and preparing flour as an Armenian wedding tradition.

They surprised Rev. Serop and Dr. Alina as the King and the Queen, celebrating their 22nd Wedding Anniversary. They also taught us some Armenian traditional songs and dances. It was educational and at the same time so much fun learning from them!

We also visited the place where they prepare lavash. It was amazing to see how much work they put to make that delicious bread. We all tasted the fresh bread and it was indeed an amazing experience.

Later we made our own Armenian dignigs (Puppets) with the help of some of the woman of the village. Then we headed to another place where the villagers prepared another beautiful table with delicious Armenian food, Harissa, which we had with yogurt, tan, lavash, home-made butter and cheese topped with Armenian coffee and sweets. We all enjoyed a typical Armenian village life, a cultural and traditional day of singing, dancing and eating.

In the afternoon we headed to a beautiful restaurant in the nature “Ashtaraki Dzor” where we had dinner and danced Armenian traditional dances. Rev. Serop thanked the AMAA Office in Yerevan, especially Mr. Harout Nercessian, the AMAA Representative in Armenia and Mrs. Anna Ohanyan, as well as Vanadzor Office Director Mrs. Janna Danielyan and all the pastors of Evangelical Church of Armenia, especially Rev. Mgrdich Melkonian and Rev. Hovhaness Hovsepyan for their services.

He presented them the hat of the Internship Program as a token of love and appreciation and then surprised us with a cake specially made with our internship logo on it, “VISION for MISSION.”

It was almost midnight when we returned to our Center for our daily time of reflection.

Truly it was a very long but like the other days, a wonderful day, learning more about our Armenian Culture and Heritage.

We all agreed as one of the interns said, “I am proud that I am Christian and Armenian.”

Serly Purzekian and Zarmig Tashjian

We are Called to have Passion in Our Mission

Today was the last day at Vanadzor and we started our day with a devotion led by Digin Alina.

She read Colossians 3:3 “whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men.” Jesus developed a passion for mission. Passion is power. And while we serve, we are called to serve with all our hearts and with passion. In one word, we are called to be passionate in our studies, work, service, and also help and care for others.

After breakfast Badveli Serop thanked the staff of Vanadzor Church and AMAA Center who served us so graciously.

On our way back to Yerevan, Badveli Serop surprised us with a stop at an Armenian bakery, where we watched how they make lavash bread. Digin Alina served us hot bread, Gata and cookies.

Later on Badveli Serop surprised us again with a stop at the Armenian Alphabet Park. Each of us took a picture in front of the first letter of our names. It was very interesting and uplifting to see the Armenian Alphabet.4

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At the AMAA Center in Yerevan we were so excited that our lunch was the delicious Armenian khorovadz prepared by the ladies of the kitchen. After lunch we headed to Sardarabad. Badveli Serop explained in detail the history and the importance of the Battle of Sardarabad. We took several pictures in front of the monument. We also saw the monument of Aram Manoukian which was just recently placed at Sardarabad.

After visiting the Sardarabad museum we headed to Etchmiadzin Cathedral. Unfortunately we couldn’t enter the Church as it was under construction to be opened in 2020.
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Our next stop was the Moussa Ler Monument. Badveli Serop talked us about the history of Moussa Ler and explained about the importance of its achievement in our history.

Later in the evening we had another surprise at AMAA Center in Yerevan. The dinner was fish – delicious ishkhanatsoug prepared by the ladies of the kitchen.

Today we learned about the battle of Sardarabad and how it was one of the most important battles that Armenia has been through and got its independence on May 28, 1918. We also learned about the history of Moussa Ler and how Rev. Dikran Antreasian played a heroic role in the famous Forty Days of Mousa Dagh battle.

Although it was a long day, but it was exciting and fruitful.

We are so thankful for being part of this internship Program. Many thanks to our leaders and to all those who support this Program and for your prayers.

Please continue with your prayers.

Garni Purzekian and Sarin Tashjian

We are Called to Read the Bible to have Fruitful Mission

We started our 11th day of Internship with our daily morning devotion led by Digin Alina. Her devotion was based on Psalm 119:9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to your word.” She explained how Jesus was knowledgeable of the Scripture and we are called to read the Bible carefully, interpret it correctly and apply it enthusiastically in our daily lives. Therefore we are called to read the Bible to have fruitful mission.

After breakfast, Rev. Serop introduced us to Mrs. Janna Danielyan, the head of AMAA’s Office at Vanadzor. She talked about AMAA’s various services that are offered in Vanadzor with the Evangelical Church of Armenia.

Once again we split into four groups for our daily mission.

GROUP 1 – VBS at Vanadzor Church

The first group went to help with the VBS by preparing the materials for arts and crafts for the children. After lunch the children started to arrive and we were so happy to see two children from one of the families that we visited the day before. One of them was very closed and shy during the visitation. And after one day we were amazed to see them at VBS. When we said Barev Vazken! Vonts es? Lav? (Hello Vazken, how are you? OK?) and we made the ‘Hi-five’, he had a smile on his face and we saw the blessing of God.
After the sketch, the children were separated into groups according to their age for different activities such as arts and crafts, telling stories, sports, etc. Later we all gathered in the Sanctuary for singing, acting and a group picture with the children, staff and the leaders. We really admired on the effort of all the leaders and staff of the Church of Vanadzor, the time spent with the children and the love they shared with them and with us.

GROUP 2 and 3 – Home Visitations

“We visited a woman who lives in one room. All she had in the room was a bed that was also used as a couch, a table, a dresser and a small piano. The whole building shares one bathroom. She has to go out to pick up buckets of water from the lower level of the building, and she has no kitchen.

After her divorce, she didn’t get enough money for a house. The government keeps telling her eventually she will have a house, but it has been 18 years since and it hasn’t happened. We were very touched by her hope and trust in God and that He will provide.”

“We visited a house where a woman lived with her brother. The house was better than some of the other houses we have visited. We sang songs together and prayed. Her faith was very strong and she was very close with the Lord. We learned to Trust God and not complain.”

“We visited a home of an old grandma. Her condition was better from the previous ones that we visited, but she still had the difficulty of cooking because she didn’t have gas and also her minimal retirement benefits was not enough to afford for her needs. She came all the way down from the 5th floor to welcome us with a beautiful smile on her face. We asked if she needs help and we started to clean up her home. She was more than happy and grateful to see us helping her. Then we sat down and discussed about our faith journey and also about what she has been through. She offered us some fruits, sweets and the delicious traditional Armenian Gata.  We prayed for each other and also for her son who was going to have an eye operation, because he got blind after a hit on the eye by metal, while helping his neighbor to fix something. Her son is unemployed because of the difficulty of finding a job in this area. The most important thing was her strong faith that she had regardless of everything she has gone through. She prays, reads her Bible everyday like a daily bread and attends Church every Sunday. She said “The Bible gives me Life.” Another important lesson that we learned is to be grateful for every day we live and we should not waist our precious time. Instead we should serve the Lord and share God’s Word with others.”

“We visited a home with two older sisters. They always had smile on their faces and had faith towards God that He is the eternal life. They were so happy to see us visiting them and helping them in the house. We prayed for each other, for God’s wisdom and grace and we learned not to complain.”

GROUP 4 – Shogh Center to continue their work on making Mourabba (jam)

“We finished off pouring them into jars and we began packing/wrapping them. We were then invited to dance and we learned a new song. They taught us a dance and we danced with the kids. It was amazing to see that the kids were happy, joyful, and very friendly”

At the end of the daily mission, we were treated to a special dinner Khorovadz (Barbeque) at the Church with all the staff of AMAA and the Church. We also enjoyed the visit of Pastor Aram Mkrtchyan and his wife from the Shiragamout Church that we visited a few days ago.

During dinner some of us shared special thanks and gratitude with each other, with the hope that the Inters will return (God willing) and serve once again in Vanadzor and Shiragamout. Following dinner, according to the Armenian tradition we all started dancing and singing songs like “Erevan-Erepuni” and “Hayi Achker.” Later everyone were invited to dance the famous Armenian “kochari” (even the cooks participated in the dance!). We ended this wonderful dinner with a group picture and Badveli Serop said a word of appreciation and a prayer.

Later, we had our usual private sharing time led by Rev. and Mrs. Megerditchian. We shared our thoughts, impressions and what we learned. We all thanked God and the AMAA, as well as the leaders of this year’s Internship Program and their dedicated leadership.

We are blessed by God’s presence and direction.

Please continue with your prayers.

Mariano Gongora, Avedis Zeitounilian, Alicia Minasian

We are Called to Pray to Accomplish God’s Vision

We started the 10th day of our Internship with our daily devotion led by Dr. Alina. She concentrated on verses, Mark 1:35, Matthew 18:19 and Matthew 26:41, shedding light on the Lord’s Prayer and its parts which are regarded important to communicate with our Lord. Digin Alina suggested “Make a daily appointment with God. Jesus knew that prayer generates results. Always remember that prayer is the key to Heavenly results. Therefore, we are called to pray to accomplish God’s vision.”

After the breakfast, we met with Rev. Gevork Gasparyan and Pastor Karen Ochinyan, Pastors of the Evangelical Church of Armenia in Vanadzor. They introduced us to the services of the Church and the projects in several fields, especially in Christian Education. The Church had three VBS programs and we were surprised with the fact that at the same time 60 children and 22 volunteer leaders from that same Church (Vanadzor) were about to leave for Camp Hankavan.

The interns spread into four groups for their mission projects of the day.
A group of interns left for Vanadzor Shogh Center to prepare mourabba (Jam).
The other three groups of interns headed to visit needy families and elderly people who live alone, to help them with their home cleaning and preparing food for them. But surprisingly some of them refused the group’s help with cleaning, because they were happy just to see us. The visitation was more important to them than cleaning their homes.

“We visited an elderly woman, she lives alone, in a home. Everything was old. She has a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and a toilet outside her home. When we arrived, she welcomed us. We saw her happiness in her face. We brought food parcel for her and told that we are here to help her with cleaning the house, the windows, the floors, but she refused the offer and said ‘I do cleaning every day. It’s my daily activity.’ So we asked her if we can clean the entrance path, because there were long grasses. We did clean the path, then we cleaned the windows and some other spots. We offered her to cook some food, using the food parcel that we brought. But sadly she said we can’t because, ‘I don’t have gas.’ Then we figured out that she doesn’t have water, gas and electricity. Every few days she goes to her daughter’s house to make some food. We picked up some cherries for her from a tree close to her home.

Before we left we prayed together thanking God for giving her the strength to walk around the home and do her daily chores such as cleaning.

We learned from this visit that no matter what is our situation – no water, no gas, no electricity – God is always with us.”

“We visited Nareg, a VBS student, and his grandparents.

He lives at his grandparent’s house with his mother who is away from his father. His mother works hard, while the grandparents are both unhealthy for work and ineligible for government support. We spent time with the grandparents and with Nareg. We talked with them and we did our best to give them some hope and joy.

Against all these hard times in the family and the poor conditions of the house – walls and appliances – the family insisted on spreading the table with desserts and fruits and feed us with great generosity and hospitality.

The family thanked us for our visit and in turn we thanked them also for their generosity and we prayed and left.

This experience taught us about the ability to give to the others whatever the circumstances are. In other words, we have to give, no matter what our financial situation is.”

“We visited a family that has two sons and are sponsored by AMAA’s Shogh Center – one is fourteen years old and the second, six years old.

The older brother has psychological issues and Shogh Center is helping him to regain his freedom from fear and peer pressure.

The younger brother has mental problems and was not able to be with his classmates in school. The Shogh Center is helping him through a Psychiatrist.

The father of the family is ill and not able to work. The young mother works very hard and long hours between two jobs, in order to support the family.

We spent time with the family talking with them and we did a prayer before leaving.
It was very sad to see the house and the entrance from the street. The street was narrow and rocky. The ceiling of the house was leaking and the walls were filled with humidity. No concrete floor, and as we were standing on the floor, it seemed it was moving.

We learned to appreciate what we have, not complain about our situations, and even try to help others, because a lot of people live in such very terrible conditions. We thank God for giving us the opportunity to be part of this year’s AMAA’s internship Program.”

“We went at Shogh Center to join the kitchen staff to prepare Mourabba (Jam). We cleaned the fruits and we helped them prepare the jam and pack the Mourabba we made.

It was a wonderful experience when we saw the teamwork and how all of us were working together to help Shogh Center.”

During lunch time AMAA’s Armenia Representative Harout Nersessian visited us and we had lunch together.

In the afternoon we continued with our mission projects. Besides visitation of the elderly and needy families and the process of making Mourabba, a group of interns helped the local leaders with crafts, games and providing a fun time for the VBS children.

Then, we were surprised by Badveli Serop with a visit to the famous sculptor and Khatchkar (cross stone) maker, Mr. Bogdan Hovhanessyan. Mr. Bogdan talked about his 30 year journey in sculpting, and how he loves his job. He always waits for the sun to rise so he can go back to his workshop and continue his amazing artwork. He has been making Khachkar sculptures for 30 years – combined more than 100 (Khachkars).
It was another rich experience that we had and learned a lot receiving answers to our questions by varbed (master) Bogdan.

Sculptor Bogdan Hovhannesyan

After dinner, we had two hours of sharing time led by Badveli Serop and Digin Alina. We shared our thoughts, experiences, and lessons that we learned and we closed the day with a prayer time. Then we headed back to our homes, after a long but productive full mission day.

Please continue with your prayers for a blessed mission.

George Al Sahili & Jack Mousa Oghli

We are Called to Have Productive Lives

We started our 9th Internship Day with our daily morning devotion led by Dr. Alina. Her devotion was based on Genesis 2:2 “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he made.” Her main point was how we should find relief in God, and how Jesus invited His disciples and His followers, us, to rest (Mark 6:31) in order to be productive and live The Word. Remember, “Work time is giving time and rest time is receiving and renewing time, through worshiping God.”

After a delicious breakfast prepared by the ladies of the church, we joined the congregation of the Evangelical Church of Armenia in Vanadzor for Sunday Worship Service. The Service was led by the Assistant Pastor of the Church Karen Ochinyan and the Senior Pastor Rev. Gevork Gasparyan.

Rev. Serop Megerditchian delivered the message based on Acts 27:13-29. He focused on the fact that our life is cloudy and full of storms; it’s not easy not to drown, or not to get carried away. However, when we build our trust in Jesus Christ and have faith in His will we can prevail over anything and conquer our hardships. Rev. Serop stressed that during our lowest points in life, prayer should not be our last option, and we should not trust our own instinct and wisdom, but God’s wisdom instead.

After the Worship Service, we split into three groups with the children of the Sunday school and participated in different activities and games.

They had three rotations, including sports, crafts and Bible lesson. It was amazing to hear, after each game and distribution of scores, the kids singing, “When we win, we don’t get proud, when we lose, we don’t get hurt, the victory belongs to Lord.” We were very touched by this song and by the message behind it.

After our delicious lunch prepared by the wonderful ladies of the church, it was time to go on our missions. Badveli Serop explained the mission projects and we split into three groups. Each group had a different mission.

The first group went and picked fruits to make mourraba (jam).

The second and third group stayed at the church, and had a daily retreat for children with disabilities, which included singing worship hymns, Bible lessons where they learned Jeremiah 31:3 ” I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness,” arts and crafts and various games. At the end the children were treated to a special performance that included tricks, various entertainment and dancing.

The highlight of the day was when we learned that a brother from the Church has ended his military service and returned home, today. We celebrated his return and Badveli Serop prayed for him, for his future plans and for the army as well.


We ended our blessed day with a meeting and prayer time lead by Rev. Serop and Dr. Alina. It was amazing to hear interns’ thoughts, feelings, impressions, lessons that learned and experiences that they had.

We thank God for AMAA’s ministry and for giving us the opportunity to be in Armenia to learn and to serve, and we thank God for Badveli Serop and Digin Alina for their dedication, guidance and service.

God is working in us and please continue to pray for us.

Talar Sarmazian and James Bederian

We are Called to Have an Impactful Ministry

We woke up today (Day 8) in the beautiful town of Hankavan, surrounded by mountains and the sunshine. We started the day with a devotion led by Dr. Alina. The reflection of the day was from Hebrews 11, which has been called by many as “The Hall of Faith.” The focus was on verse 7, how by faith, Noah built the ark, trusting in the promise of God.

We were called to reflect on the example of Jesus, who had such an impactful on ministry. One important key was in His preparation. Jesus’ ministry lasted only 3 years, whereas His preparation lasted more than 3 years. Preparation is not a wasted time. At the end Digin Alina mentioned: Remember, the quality of our preparation determines the quality of our performance and endurance.

After breakfast we headed to Vanadzor, which is the 3rd biggest city in Armenia, after Gyumri and Yerevan. At the Evangelical Church of Armenia and AMAA Center in Vanadzor we were welcomed by Janna, the person in charge of the Center, as well as by Nuné and Gayané. Badveli Megerditchian and Janna gave a brief overview of the mission projects that we were going to get involved in during our stay in Vanadzor.

We left our suitcases at our host families’ homes and went back to the Center for our lunch and then headed to a town Called Shirakamout, which after Spitak, contrary to the popular belief, was the epicenter of the earthquake that shook Armenia on December 7, 1988.

We were warmly welcomed by the Shirakamout Church with coffee, fruits and snacks. The pastor, Rev. Aram Mkrdchyan and the Church ladies talked about the Church history and its ministry. We heard of firsthand eyewitness testimonies of the earthquake. Today, after 30 years of the earthquake, 20 families still live in caravans and shags, having no house of their own.

We then split into four groups, and went to visit different families.

The first group was shocked by what awaited them. They thought that they were going there to mainly give encouragement, by reading Psalms and praying with them. But instead they were encouraged by the genuine and living faith of these people. Their joy and hospitality demonstrated a grounded faith in the Lord Jesus, counting everything as loss for the sake of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus. Their names are inscribed in the Hall of Faith of Hebrews 11, along with the other heroes of the faith.

The second group visited a home enclosed with pieces of scrap metal with nowhere for the children to play. There was no bedroom for the children. The family consisted of a seven-year-old son who has brain issues, a sixteen-year-old daughter who enjoys reading, a nineteen-year-old son in the military, a thirty-seven-year-old mother who uses the backyard as a garden to grow their food, and a fifty-three-year-old father who looks as if he is eighty. The father does not work, has diabetes, heart problems, and water in his lungs, yet he still smokes cigarettes and has no desire to continue living once his son returns from the military. Their “home” belongs to a man living in Moscow for work who plans to return in two years. They have not bothered to ask to purchase the home, since they do not have enough money. By then, the father will most likely will pass away, leaving the family with less income, and nowhere to live. Their only income is $100 American dollars a month with most going to school and military. The group asked if they can pray for the family. The family do not attend Church, but kindly agreed for the prayer. The father, with his eyes open, seemed to distract in his hopelessness, but the daughter may be the only hope for becoming a believer. She sang a beautiful church hymn to the group. After the farewell, the group learned the house costs about $3,000 American dollars and hopes to raise the funds for the family.

A third group visited a family of five – mother, father, a son and two daughters. One daughter suffers from epilepsy, while the other has a nervous disease. The family does everything in one room, which is hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter. However, against all odds, the family attends Church every Sunday and the Grace of God was seen present through their smiles and thankfulness.

The last group visited a family of three – mother, a son living in Russia and another son who lives at home suffering from psychological health issues at the age of thirty. He told the group that there was a time in his life where he lost hope and with prayer and Church, he regained his faith, devoting himself to God. Their house was very small and very simple. They had two beds and two chairs. What amazed the group, is that this family was very happy, joyful and hospitable. The group recited Psalm 23 and then said a prayer for them. The son also wanted to pray. He got down on his knees with eyes full of tears and with a broken voice he prayed. It was a very emotional experience. The group thanked the family for the visitation and asked for a picture before saying their goodbyes.

We ended our day with dinner in Vanadzor Center, followed by a sharing time with the group. We closed with prayer and a challenge from Badveli Serop to think about how we can actually make a difference as individuals and as a group of interns, in the coming week, month or year.

Please continue to pray for a blessed internship.

Hovig Bardakjian and Vahé Jebejian

You Are Called to be Light

We started our day 7 at AMAA’s Sheen Shoghig Camp in Hankavan by our daily morning devotion led by Rev. Serop. The staff and the leaders of the Camp also joined us. Badveli Serop’s topic was “How we are called to be the light of the world” based on Jesus’ command, “You are the light of the world” – Matthew 5:14 and Psalm 27.

Rev. Serop talked about how we can’t be THE LIGHT without Jesus. He compared our lives before finding Jesus to be like a dark tunnel, surrounded by the darkness of the world. But after finding Jesus we get illumined and become His LIGHT to our surrounding. He challenged us that our life should show the light of Jesus.
Before our Breakfast with the campers we joined them in their morning exercises.

Later in the morning we headed to Lake Sevan where were we got surprised by Rev. Serop and Dr. Alina by a tour on a boat. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the wonderful Armenian music.

Later we climbed up to the Sevanavank monastery, where Rev. Serop told us the history of the monastery. We prayed together in the church and then sang the Der Voghormia sharagan.

On our way to Dilijan Rev. Serop and Digin Alina surprised us once again. They served us an Armenian Kavari Bakhlava on the occasion of their 22nd wedding anniversary.

In Dilijan we visited the Evangelical Church of Armenia and the AMAA offices and met with the Pastor of the Church, Rev. Karnig Tootikian. Rev. Karnig told us the story of how it was first built in the year 2000 through the help of AMAA. He also briefly explained how AMAA helped 90 children to be sponsored by families from U.S. and France through the Child Sponsorship Program. He mentioned that because Dilijan is a touristic place, the life is more expensive and life is harder for the local people. After a long discussion we toured the building, visited the offices and got acquainted with the different ministries of the Church. Our visit concluded with a delicious lunch prepared by Rev. Tootikian’s family along with some Church members.

The third place that we visited was Haghardzin Monastery. There, also, Badveli Serop spoke about the history of the church, then we said our prayers in the Church and sang Der Voghormia Sharagan.

After our very long day, we returned to Hankavan and joined the campers for dinner. During the evening Worship Service and Program, the leaders surprised Rev. Serop and Digin Alina with a fun celebration of their 22 wedding anniversary. Both were in tears and very happy and thankful.

After a long day we sat down with Rev. Serop and Digin Alina and shared our thoughts about the day and what we learned and experienced.

It was very nice to hear everyone’s thoughts and experiences in Camp Hankavan. All the interns were so thankful to the leaders and the AMAA for this opportunity.
Please continue to pray for us.

Zarmig Tashjian and Serly Purzekian

We Are Called for Mission

We started our Day 6 by our daily morning devotion led by Digin Alina. Her topic was “Jesus reached out to everyone in need” based on Luke 9:6: “And they departed and went through the Villages preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.” Digin Alina focused on how Jesus reached to the People who were in need – He healed the sick, He lifted up the poor, He fed the hungry. He also reached out to People’s hearts by His Word. In the Bible we see how Jesus’ disciples preached and spread Christianity. Digin Alina concluded her devotional stressing that always there is someone who needs us and to remember that the successful leaders are those who reach out to people. Therefore we are called for mission.

Our first visit of the day was Armenia Tree Project (ATP) in Ardashad. Our first impression was a huge deserted land that ATP wanted to convert to a Park in 25 years, with a possibility that the region will be populated around the park.
We planted nine trees hoping that they will survive and grow, thinking about the good things we can do for the future of others.

We learned that in 2016 five million trees were planted, and to date the ATP has planted a total of six million trees. We also visited the ATP’s nursery and learned from the gardener “Dikran the small” about the varieties of trees – some for decoration, others for fruit and shrubs. We tasted some of the fruits from the trees like apricot, apples and others. At the end of the tour we enjoyed a snack prepared with tomatoes, cheese, lavash, and other organic foods and fruits from ATP’s farm.

Our second place to visit for the day was AMAA’s CAMP SHEEN SHOGHIG in Hankavan. Rev. Serop talked about the ministry of the Camp and how AMAA supports and helps the Camp and the campers. 12n

At the camp we split up and joined a group of kids individually for the rest of the afternoon. The kids were very warm and welcoming. They were very interested about us and kept asking questions. We went through three activities with them: Outdoor Games, Indoor Games about their vision, and Arts & Crafts. Our dinner for the day was with the campers in their Dining hall.

Later we sat with the kids during their evening Worship Service and Program – each of us with the group that we were with, in the afternoon. The Program was very well planned, well scripted, and very intuitive. It was interesting to see how well the kids behaved and participated with enthusiasm and pride. At bed time we went to their bedrooms to see the dorm room facilities. The kids offered us slippers, food, and a place to sit. We saw how they took turns to wash their feet and head, and say their prayers before going to bed. They kept asking us questions while they were in their beds until it was time to say good night.

After spending the whole afternoon with these kids, at 11:00 pm we sat with Badveli Serop and talked about what we experienced during the day and how we were all touched. We reflected on the dedication of the camp counselors and how well behaved and respectful the campers were – big hearted, sweet, and kind and the most of all dedicated to God.

Indeed, we know that God is working in us and through us. Please continue to pray for us and our mission

Alicia Minasian, Mariano Gongora & Avedis Zeitounilian

Planning is Starting Point of any Goal

We started our day 5 with a devotion led by Digin Alina. Her topic was “planning is starting point of any goal,” based on Habakuk 2:2 “The Lord Says: Write the vision and make it plain.” She focused on planning to complete our mission and how it is important to plan. We need to write down our goals with a list of actions. She discussed the reasons why we avoid planning and she spoke how Jesus taught us about the importance of planning in Luke 14: 28-31.

After a delicious breakfast we left our AMAA center we headed to GEGHARD Monastery and GARNI temple. On our way we stopped at CHARENTS Gamar (Arch). Rev. Serop spoke about our poet Yeghishé Charents and from the Arch we enjoyed the amazing view of Ararat. We also enjoyed listening to a wonderful singing of a cappella group.

At Geghard Monastery. We were astonished how our ancestors built the church and how they chipped away the rocks to turn it into a church. Badveli Serop told us the history of the Monastery and led us to sing “Der Voghormia” after which he offered a prayer. Most of us got tears in our eyes and chills as we sang the sharagan in the marvelous monastery; even people around us were in tears after Badveli’s prayer. It was surprise for us when Rev. Serop led us to an Armenian Shourch Bar (dance) and Digin Alina served us a local home-made delicious Gata (sweet bread) of Geghard.

We had our lunch at “Garni Doun” restaurant where they served us delicious traditional Armenian food. The view from the restaurant was beautiful. Then we headed to GARNI Temple. We walked around the Temple and saw an old, destroyed church beside the temple. Rev. Serop told us about the temple, as well, about the church and offered a prayer.

Our last stop was at AMAA’s Shogh Day Center in Yerevan. We learned about the statistics of the Center. There are five Shogh Centers in Armenia, and 76 children in this Yerevan Shogh Center. Some of the traumas the children have gone through include physical, sociological, mental and sexual abuse. Hearing about the traumas the children have dealt with, made us feel horribly and deeply sad for the children. Shogh Centers try their best to work with parents to help kids socialize and overcome any mental issues from their trauma. The fathers are either absent in the children’s lives, or say they don’t have time to come to meetings. We were deeply touched by the work the teachers, psychiatrists, and therapists do to change these children’s lives. Marvelous ministry.

Our Dinner was at AMAA Center where we were treated to a delicious dolma. The ladies had worked hard spent a lot of time preparing the dolma for us to enjoy. It was very fruitful and blessed day. Thanks for your prayers.

Sarin Tashjian and Karni Purzekian