United We Stand Tall
Boys wounded in shelling during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces, receive medical treatment in Stepanakert, Capital of Nagorno-Karabagh, April 4, 2016 (Karen Minasayan/AFP)
Five years ago an urgent appeal was transmitted from Syria and the AMAA responded. A monumental and collective effort has been maintained since then, and the need continues to grow. Even as news of a ceasefire caused many to breath a small sign of relief, our brothers and sisters in Syria need us now more than ever.
Our commitment remains to those who have lost loved ones and livelihoods, and who have been uprooted from their homes. Our relief efforts, for the past six years, affects a generation of children and youth who have had opportunities taken from their grasps. Our collective voice is a ray of light rising from among scattered ashes, which continue to smolder.
Distribution of relief supplies, Aleppo
Children recieving meals.
An ethnic Armenian man walks past a destroyed house during the fighting in Martakert province of Nagorno-Karabagh, Monday, April 4, 2016 (Photo by Vahan Stepanyan/PAN Photo via AP Photo)
After-effects from mortar bomb, Nor kugh
Our impact in Syria reaches back and reminds us of our common bond, back to that fateful day in 1915. A 101 year old journey, which touches those far beyond Syria. We stand tall on the journeys of our brothers and sisters, passed from generation to generation. It is 2016 and our adversaries continue to place hurdles before us. From the “emergency expropriation” decision to confiscate the recently restored St. Giragos (Surp Giragos) Church in the Diyarbakir region of present-day Turkey, among a range of other religious sites to the current Azeri assault on the Nagorno-Karabagh border, we stand united to overcome and persevere.
Existing under a fragile cease-fire since 1994, violated regularly by sniper-fire, the “frozen conflict” between Nagorno-Karabagh and Azerbaijan erupted into a full-scale attack by the Azeris on April 2nd. The AMAA commits resources for humanitarian aid to the families of casualties, the countless number of those injured, and relief supplies to volunteer servicemen and defenders of the border.
President Serzh Sarkisian visits a military hospital in Yerevan where Armenian soldiers wounded in Nagorno-Karabagh receive treatment.
We stand firm on our position and ask those with the ability, to stop the suffering. We will continue to take action to provide sustained access to immediate relief, resources and avenues of support to our people. We ask that you continue to stand with us and help us continue our efforts.
Nagorno-Karabagh: A house in the village of Talish seriously damaged by shelling from Azerbaijani army positions, April 6, 2016
Support AMAA Syria and Nagorno-Karabagh Relief efforts
Inspirational March Update from Rev. Haroutune Selimian
President of the Armenian Evangelical Community of Syria
Christ is risen indeed…though the crucifixion hours turned into years in the case of Syria.
God has granted us many blessings and great mercies in the person of the risen Lord. We pray that God may save us from violence, discord, and confusion; and from every evil way.
Today…the next day of Easter. We are still experiencing the war that has been raging in our beloved Syria for the last five years. For over five years, we have not been able to take anything for granted. However, it does make us appreciate the small, small things of life, and rejoice that we are still alive.
Unfortunately, a week before the date, when all the news agencies were promoting the ceasefire there was a major security threat to Aleppo. A mortar bomb has hit the most Armenian populated are in Nor kugh and damaged buildings and burned cars and shops.
As a result of the missiles targeting the above-mentioned area, two Armenian citizens lost their lives (Nvart Fourounjian-Asadourian, b. 1955) and (Kevork Apraham Mgrditchian, b. 1994).
Mortar bomb hit Nor kugh
“Bethel Polyclinic” Ministry
Distribution of water, Aleppo
The latest development in Aleppo City is that electricity has returned for the first time since the war inflamed Syria, on the 4th of March for 3 hours a day. Water is also a serious problem, which did not find its way to us so far.
In spite of all challenges our churches are still functioning just like before, mainly thanks to the support of AMAA and all our schools are up and running normally with over 1000 students and 135 teachers. The nine churches of the Armenian Evangelical Community in Syria, which are the Armenian Evangelical Bethel Church, the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church, the Armenian Evangelical Martyrs’ Church, the Armenian Evangelical Church of Christ, the Syriac Evangelical Church as well as the four Armenian Evangelical Churches in Kessab are actively responding to the needs of their communities with the limited resources and means at hand.
Despite these difficulties, we are continuing to help our families as well as individuals who are around us in the church and in our institutions. We are preparing food parcels for them, providing milk for their children, providing more scholarship aid for the Armenian students, while giving medical assistance for the sick. In addition, we try to secure housing rent for those who have lost their homes and keep on providing the families with clothes, mattresses and other household essentials.
One of our great services in this time of war is “Bethel Polyclinic” Ministry, which serves the Syrian people regardless of denominational affiliation by assisting those in need of medical care and helping patients with chronic diseases in need of long-time medical assistance.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to the AMAA. We feel extremely humbled and yet so happy to have brothers and sisters in the AMAA who have never ever let us down. At the time of our greatest need, you were right there beside us. You did everything to contact us and listen to our sorrows, our struggles, our ‘not-knowing-what-to-do’ and you stood up for us and you were there in person closer than a brother and sister.
Your support and compassion have gone far beyond words and as a representative of the suffering people of Aleppo I can tell you that you have lived up to your reputation as a life-giving organization! You’ve made the people of Aleppo know that Christian Charity is for real!
Peace to you, our brothers and sisters, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all of those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.