by Kyle Kevorkian
As a teenage boy who had never ventured out of the United States before, a trip across the world seemed like an exciting adventure.
When I first received the news from my parents that our family would be involved in the Armenian Missionary Association of America’s annual Armenia Medical Mission, I was ecstatic! I thought it would be an amazing experience to visit such a unique place that most people don’t get to see. That was, until I heard about the 16 hours on a plane to reach our destination — patience is not my key virtue. Despite the horrible thought of 16 hours on a plane dwelling in my mind, I was happy to journey to a country where my ancestors once resided. I had never even seen a picture of Armenia before; I barely knew where it was on the map!
I had no idea what to expect, but I knew it would be no five star resort location thanks to my parents constantly telling me, “Kyle, the life you will see there will make you so grateful to live in America”, and “Be prepared Kyle, you’ve never known poverty like this.” It also didn’t help when my parents told me “DON’T DRINK THE WATER! YOU MAY GET SICK!” Needless to say, the trip to Armenia was beginning to get me nervous, but I was still extremely excited to go aid people so much less fortunate than I was. Boy was I in for it!
Trying to Speak Armenian
After 16 long hours of traveling, arriving in Yerevan was a blessing. However, I didn’t know what a true blessing it was until I got to see the joy on the faces of the poor patients we saw in Armenia. When I was in Armenia, I felt so overwhelmed by the gratitude we received from the majority of the patients. There were some, however, that just laughed at the American boy trying to speak Armenian to them.
I never would have thought that my first phrase I learned in Armenian would be how to tell the patients to “urinate in a cup.” Later I found out that the reason the patients were mocking at my Armenian was because I was actually using slang for “urination.” Besides the laughter I caused these people, I truly felt the Lord working inside of me, even in such a simple job as being in charge of the urine analysis station.
I could try to explain how amazing the sensation of gratitude was and the joy I felt in Armenia, but it is one of those things that I cannot express through mere words on paper. It was a feeling that could only be grasped fully by one who had experienced the movement I felt there in the walls of the churches. I can tell you all a million times that I indeed felt the Lord’s presence in me more than I had ever felt in my life, but I can never adequately share with you the feelings I felt. If only I had a little envelope that you would open and receive the amazing sensation I felt there.
The True Feeling of God
Unfortunately, as much as I would love everyone to experience the true feeling of God working in your life, it is something that can only be received through living as God commands us to. Proverbs 3:16 tells us, “In all your ways, acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.” I believe that this verse teaches us how we all should live. If we live life according to the way God tells us to, the Lord will make our paths straight for us.
This was a message we all heard many times in Armenia. We were all told every day during our trip that we were here not for our own personal satisfaction, but to glorify God. I strongly argue that I grew more spiritually connected to God, and I am definitely dedicated to going next year and attending the mission once again. I am ready to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He calls me for, and I will follow Him and He shall make my paths straight for me.
Overall, I consider myself so blessed to have gone to Armenia and be a part of the Lord’s plan there, while helping people who were so much less fortunate than us. The people with whom I shared the experience were truly amazing people and every so often, I find myself reflecting on how great and cooperative everyone was with the rigorous days.
A Successful Mission
I was especially impressed with Dr. and Mrs. Phillips for their dedication and coordination of this mission. Only near the end of the trip did I truly find out how much work was required on their part to make this mission a success and as painless for everyone as possible. It was an experience that I could never match in a lifetime!
My entire outlook on life has been completely changed because of the poverty I witnessed in Armenia. I will say again how wonderful the Lord was to open this door for me and reveal this new world to me. My friends wonder sometimes why I would go to Armenia and go through all of that trouble to help sickly patients, but it has been such a blessing for me.
I urge anyone who hasn’t gone on this mission with the AMAA before to try it out with us some year. I guarantee you it is an experience of a lifetime and such a blessing. You won’t be disappointed as long as you are willing to commit your time to the Lord. I hope to see more new people, establish new friendships, and serve the Lord again next year!