GOD IS WITH US WHEREVER WE GO…….
By: Edward Arabian
On the last day of our internship here in Armenia, what better way to start off the morning than to start hitting pots and pans together. The doors start opening, as the newly assembled marching band “The Bashar Brothers” are greeted with warmth and cheers…
I’m sorry did I say warmth and cheers, I meant to say threats and spears… (Bad joke) Still in the mist of this chaos, people still found the strength to capture/record the moment. We will all miss the days when the mornings we woke up to be in Armenia.
We are all so blessed to have each other. It felt like yesterday, as we all started to gather in New Jersey to meet each other for the first time. Some of us were skeptical at first, some of us were quiet and some of us were excited. Nevertheless with the power and love of God, He held us together from the beginning to the end. The Lord never left our sides.
Once the morning shenanigans ceased and everyone had finished eating breakfast, we made our way towards the last four homes on our agendas to visit. Sadly each person was only able to visit two homes at the cost of time, but regardless our efforts were not short lived. The first home as we arrive, we are greeted by excitement and happiness. A family of fou, consisting of a father, mother and two children, one girl and one boy. We entered their home, immediately we are offered a place to sit down. Even with the absence of space they had in their home, we were touched by the hospitality and joy that this family had given us.
As we arrive to the second home we immediately notice a change of morale compared to the first home. The circumstances in the second home were the complete opposite to the first. The family living in the home was owned by the grandmother downstairs. In return for living in her home above, the family provides care and nourishment for the grandmother to live. The family consists of a father who is very discouraged about the state of his family. He is unable to work and provide for his family, a caring mother and two daughters. One of which just recently came back from the hospital from a bone infection. Throughout the entire stay emotions filled the room as we heard their story and witnessed their living conditions. As Badveli started his prayer for the family, not one of us could hold back our tears any longer. “Blessed are the poor in sprit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
Driving away from the homes are always the worst. We leave in pain, asking how this could be. We have so much as they have so little.
Ours sprits are lifted as we meet up with the rest of the group at Madenataran Museum. We comfort each other as we explain the situations of the families as we follow in prayer for them. Unfortunately the Madenataran Museum ended up being closed, which didn’t stop us from taking full advantage of the statues and monuments in the area. We took a group photo and we were on our way. Lunch was eaten at a little restaurant that was well known by Badveli Vatché. Aleppy Gasher had multiple mouth-watering Armenian dishes on their menu, as we expected nothing less from a choice coming from Badveli. There was manteh, sarma, boereg, kuhfteh and much more. We left Aleppy Gasher full and thinking of home.
Our next stop was Etchmiadzin. As we entered into the courtyard, we noticed the abundance of land. The courtyard was filled with flowers and pathways leading to each structure. Schools, gift shops, sleeping courters, and the Cathedral. We make our way to the Cathedtral and enter inside, candles lit from left to right shining and shimmering from the absence of light inside.
The fellowship and love that we have experienced during this trip is unlike we have ever seen or felt. There was everything from happy moments to sad moments in every corner. God did not simply create us to sit at home in comfort with our faith. Our faith is for us to embrace and share with others so that they may also know the comfort and love that God provides.
On a closing note, on behalf of all the participants of this year’s 2015 AMAA Internship Group, I would like to thank the AMAA for giving us the opportunity and sending us out back to our homeland Armenia. The leaders, Badveli Vatché, Eliz Hovsepian, Darren Getzoyan, and Nayiri Papazian for being such wonderful examples of soldiers who take their faith beyond their comforts. We are Gods army, and He is with us wherever we go.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Edward Arabian, 19
July 23, 2015