“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
The interns say farewell to the campers at Camp Sheen Shoghig and visit Lake Sevan, Dilijan and the Haghardzin Monastery before heading to Yerevan
Our day began with a bitter farewell to the children and leaders we all had the pleasure to interact with, love and learn from at the camp. With tearful goodbyes, they wished us more blessings as we continued our trip in Armenia and the only thing they requested was for us to never forget them. We saw God’s love in each and every camper through their passion of learning God’s word. Once we finally got on the bus and left Hankavan, we went on to Lake Sevan, where we admired the ancient churches and khatchkars dating back to the third and fourth centuries as well as the beautiful lake itself. Afterwards, we headed to Dilijan where we toured the recently built Armenian Evangelical Church of the village, where we met with the pastor and the staff and experienced wonderful Armenian hospitality, as the pastor explained the great demand of evangelizing the message of the cross in that village. Our final stop was Haghadzin Monastery, which was an architectural masterpiece found in the middle of the forest, in Dilijan. Also, The church itself was built in the shape of a cross. We finally returned back to the AMAA headquarters in Yerevan and had a bible study followed by our traditional ice cream run. We are looking forward to what God has in store for us on the second half of our trip.
Nareen Babaian and Remi Guirguis