The People and their Courage

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Thoughts on Vartanants

Certain events in the life of a nation not only determine the future of that nation, but also the quality of their character. Such was the case for the Armenian people over fifteen centuries ago, when the ruling Persian empire attempted to exert full control over its subject peoples’ faith. What the Armenians did in response set the path for centuries of struggle against their overlords. But it also imprinted a self-understanding that enabled Armenians in every situation to know themselves and who their true Lord and Savior is: Jesus Christ.

It is not just Vartan and the princes of Armenia that impresses one, but rather the people. They refused to abandon their faith, and were willing to courageously stand firm and resist the superior forces arrayed against them. Why? Because of their complete trust in God. This impressed even their opponents, who said, “Who can withstand men like these, who are neither afraid of chains, nor frightened by tortures, nor allured by wealth, and, what is greater than all evils, prefer death to life?” (Yeghishé, ch. 3)

Today’s chaotic world and existential challenges facing the Armenian people demand that we once again show the courage of our ancestors at Vartanants. Threats of bodily harm and frustrations of social and economic decline in recent times have caused many (though not all) Armenians to flee their homelands. Yet wherever we find ourselves, we must face each and every challenge in the power of Christ. He saved us from our sins, and he empowers us through his Spirit. He makes us his courageous witnesses, standing for the truth, helping those in need, and leaving a legacy of courage for future generations of Armenians.

May this blessed inheritance of Vartanants inspire you to live and serve faithfully in Christ Jesus’ Name.
Rev. Nishan Bakalian
Vartanants, 2016
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EXTREME MAKEOVER in Norashen, Armenia

AMAA Helps Maintain the Warmth of the Hearth

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          In September of 2015, Haik Tevosyan a soldier guarding the borders of Armenia in the Tavush Province was killed by a sniper.
          President Serzh Sargsyan of the Republic of Armenia posthumously awarded the Military Medal to Haik for protecting the borders of the Motherland courageously.
          Haik Tevosyan’s family lives in vulnerable conditions in the village of Norashen, in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. Their income is at the minimum poverty wage. Haik has five children, three of whom are minors.
Extreme makeover 1            When the Armenian Missionary Association (AMAA) became aware of the situation of the Tevosyan family, the poor condition of their half-built home, and the fact that they do not own enough cattle to provide nutrition and income (in addition to a few sheep, which are kept in the yard), embarked on the renovation and repair of their home.

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Main Entrance (Before)

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Main Entrance (after)

          During the renovation, AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian, who was in Armenia at the time, visited the Tevosyan family with other AMAA representatives, and brought some urgent necessities for the family members. After examining the dilapidated home and the condition of the family, Mr. Khanjian said. “The AMAA will keep the warmth of this hearth. We will do our utmost to offer to Haik’s wife and his children hope for a better future.”
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AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian and AMAA Board member Hratch Sarkis visit the Tevosyan family

      The AMAA recognizes the daily struggle of border village life in Armenia. Constantly bombarded by sniper fire, the people in border villages face life and death decisions among their daily routines. In order to help these people, the AMAA has been actively involved in bettering the quality of life in border villages. Last year, in connection with the AMA Australia, the AMAA also helped build a new playground in Choratan. Projects such as these help improve the quality of life in such a difficult situation.

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The main entrance area

Witness the Joy of Giving

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AMAA Spreads True Christmas Joy in
Armenia and Karabagh

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Vanadzor, Armenia

Christmas and New Year Celebrations at AMAA Centers and Evangelical Churches in Armenia and Karabagh
Most people remember how they waited for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations during their childhood. These holidays were filled with laughter, joy and songs. They anxiously waited for the arrival of Santa and the Christmas gifts. They slowly opened their Christmas gift boxes to see what kind of surprise was waiting for them.
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Armavir, Armenia

Sometimes people indulge in their everyday life and forget to offer children the gift of true Christmas celebration. For over 30 years, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) and the Evangelical Church of Armenia, however, have not forgotten the children in Armenia and Karabagh during the Christmas season.

During the 2015-2016 Christmas season, in more than 40 towns and cities in Armenia and Karabagh, Christmas and New Year’s Programs were organized in the final days of December until the end of winter vacation for children, teens and their parents.  Through these programs they shared God’s love and “Christmas Joy” was brought to thousands of children and their families. The real message of Christmas was proclaimed through music, recitations, games and drama with the children presenting Christ’s birth and conveying the meaning and importance of His birth, and by telling about the plan of God’s salvation. Each program included a special visit from Santa distributing “Christmas Joy” boxes of school supplies, socks, candy, toys, Christmas story activity booklets, puzzles, coloring books etc.
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Alaverdi, Armenia

The highlight of the Christmas Programs took place at the AMAA Center in Yerevan on January 8 and 9 for more than 1,500 children and their parents.  Four presentations of a beautiful and exciting drama by AMAA’s Hayasa Theatrical group entitled “The Giver of Joy” were staged and directed by Nune Abrahamyan.
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Yerevan, Armenia

On behalf of the AMAA and of thousands of participating children, we thank those who prayed for and contributed toward these Christmas programs.  We are also very appreciative of all the volunteers who joyfully participated in the process of assembling the “Christmas Joy” boxes.   We would especially like to recognize and thank Nelson Randolph and Al Jibilian, who coordinated the purchasing and shipping of the boxes and their contents, from the U.S. to Armenia.  Al Jibilian even traveled to Armenia with volunteers from the U.S. to assist with the packing and assembling of the “Christmas Joy” boxes.  Since their involvement over the last few years the Christmas Joy Program has strengthened and continues to grow. Most importantly, we praise God for enabling us all to reach out to these children with the love of Jesus Christ.

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Yerevan, Armenia


 

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Clip from AMAA’s Hayasa Theatrical Group’s Christmas Presentation, “The Giver of Joy” (staged and directed by Nune Abrahamyan)