When I heard that I had the opportunity to come back to Armenia with the AMAA, I was filled with excitement. My first time in Armenia was a huge blessing and I made so many memories and formed so many good relationships. Upon arriving in Armenia, I was filled with joy when I saw people walking in the streets and sitting in the cafes. It reminded me why I felt so connected to the people.
As the week went on, we spent a lot of time bonding as a group as well as visiting some of the churches and monuments of fallen soldiers. It amazed me to see that so many soldiers had fallen while fighting for the country that they loved so much and called their home. The churches we visited were beautifully made and had so much history and culture. It was amazing to know that with every candle that was lit, there was a personal prayer that went hand in hand with it. During the week we also had the opportunity to visit some of the children at the Shogh Center. This was a great experience not only because we learned about some of the activities that happen on the facility, but we also got to experience it first hand when we met some of the children. The children told us about some of their dreams and it was touching to see that though they endure so many struggles, they continue to be joyous and trust in God amidst hardship.
On Sunday, we joined the congregation in the church at Yerevan and spent time worshiping with them. Later in the day, the group was informed that the whole city participated in a water fight known as Vartavar. As soon as we left the building, a car pulled over with the windows rolled down and shot water guns at our entire group. After that incident, we realized just how seriously everyone took the holiday so we went back in and grabbed as many buckets and water balloons that we could and went out into the city. As we walked down Baghramyan Street, we saw people holding buckets, water bottles, water guns, and even Tupperware. If it was able to hold water, people had it. What shocked me the most is that when we walked by a restaurant, one of the workers opened the door and splashed water on us. As we got deeper into the town, we realized how many people actually participated. There were fire trucks spraying water on people and people actually jumping into fountains and pulling one another in. Everyone had smiles on their faces and you can hear laughter throughout the entire city. It was truly amazing to experience the holiday again for a second time and it was a blessing to see God’s love at work in Armenia.