AMA-Armenia Part of NGO Consortium

martuni7AMAA Participates in Unprecedented Cooperation for Martuni Village, Armenia

On the occasion of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, AMA-Armenia took the initiative to coordinate the formation of a Consortium of 6 NGOs (AMA-Armenia, Development Principles, “Shen” Charity NGO, World Vision Armenia, COAF, Fund for Armenia Relief) to join efforts in support of Martuni Village, in the Republic of Armenia.

The Village, located in the north-eastern part of the Gegharkunik Region, on the southern shores of Lake Sevan, was founded in 1921 and its first inhabitants were Genocide survivors, mostly from Van, Alashkert, Kars and Sasun who had emigrated. The Village is 132 kilometers from Yerevan.
On March 4, 2016, these organizations and two new partners, Teach for Armenia and the Armenia Round Table of the World Council of Churches (WCC), visited Martuni to evaluate and review the work of the past year which included:
  • COAF financed the renovation of the health post of the Martuni community.
  • World Vision presented their newly formed Engineering Club and its newly acquired Robotics lab of the school.
  • “Shen” NGO showed the new Village website ( which presents the history of the Village, current conditions and a project which was also financed by Shen; the installation of water pipes providing drinking water for most of the villagers.
  • AMA-Armenia helped the villagers acquire 2 brand new tractors and 10 gasoline powered harvesters.  These will help villagers harvest hay to feed their cattle during the winter months and also cultivate their lands.
  • FAR presented scholarships to Martuni Village high school students.
  • Development Principles granted 13 pregnant cows to low income families within the community.
  • AMA-Armenia partnered with Teach for Armenia to send a well-trained teacher to teach IT courses and help students develop leadership skills.
  • The Partners also visited the computer lab which was provided by the WCC Armenian Round Table.
Representatives of each organization also met with community members and discussed various projects.  The community members were very appreciative for all the help provided to them and expressed their suggestions and thoughts.  All the villagers were excited and encouraged about the work that is being rendered by this consortium.
The mission of this partnership is to help increase the standard of living in Martuni and eventually help other villages.  This cooperation of different Armenian organizations is an example of how synergy multiplies the efforts of each individual organization.

2kMAjAGWCpFyMaVree6nueeAzcdPnDVyWiC7lZG4QsXaHr7B023i6EjcbmwfTrIfnVT9ufscSLQ1vPvjdZnqbAhdfdaR_joTUBkVuPFBl-gTZJpu6-8XuhjeHpL06EtLsRls=s0-d-e1-ftDid You Know…
Martuni was formed in the 1920s by Genocide survivors.  It has no dialect of its own because it consisted of people from various parts of Western Armenia.  So, the only common language is literal Armenian.

AMAA Meets with U.S. Ambassador to Armenia in CA


L to R: Dr. H. Steven Aharonian, former AMAA Board President, Levon Filian, AMAA West Coast Executive Director, Ambassador Richar M. Mills, Jr,  Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO and Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, AMAA Board President

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016, AMAA representatives attended a meeting with current U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Mr. Richard M. Mills Jr.

Accompanied by Mr. Jeffrey Paretchan, USAID Regional Alliance Contact for Europe & Eurasia, the March 8th meeting at the Brand Library and Arts Center in Glendale, CA was one in a series of Ambassador Mills’ meetings with various representatives of the Armenian-American community around the country.

AMAA representatives in attendance were: Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, AMAA Board President, Dr. H. Steven Aharonian, former AMAA Board President, Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO and Levon Filian, AMAA West Coast Executive Director.

The Ambassador shared plans and priorities for the advancement of the country. He was also interested to learn more about AMAA’s global ministry, especially in Armenia.

Among topics discussed were current events in Armenia, security matters, influx of Armenians from war torn Syria, freedom of speech and religion, plans for a stronger economy, and expand help to residents of bordering villages of Armenia.

The AMAA welcomes the new U.S. Ambassador, Mr. Mills to Armenia, wishes him great success, and thanks him for his keen interest in helping our Homeland with the participation of the Armenian leadership in the Diaspora.

Easter Appeal 2016


Easter 2016

Dear Friends:

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:30-32)

From despair to joy, since the beginning of the millennium, many believers have traveled their own “Road to Emmaus.”  In today’s world, we are bombarded with news filled with strife spanning all continents; a continuing war in Syria, and an ever-growing fear of terrorism. Many have had their faith shaken, many live under a cloud of daily uncertainty.  When faced with news of the latest bombardments, displaced brothers and sisters, sickly children, and financial hardships taking its toll on families, it is easy to be overcome by a feeling of helplessness.  Let us take comfort that God Himself took on all ordeals and triumphed.  Let us recognize the full glory of the Resurrection as a source of new light, hope, and victory.

The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) remains committed to rebuilding churches, expanding schools and community centers, maintaining health clinics and empowering the next generation of youngsters to enrich themselves physically and spiritually.  Through the many diverse programs and services, the AMAA will not let those most affected by their circumstances forget the wonderful gift God gave through His son –this gift of hope, love, and certainty.

Would you consider joining us in our Easter appeal?  You too can express your love as you show your concern and care for the spiritual and humanitarian needs of individuals and communities the AMAA serves.

With your special Easter gift, let us together truly acclaim the power of God’s love … and the presence of the Risen Lord…to a renewal of life and hope and joy.

EasterArmenian2016Christ Is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!


Zaven Khanjian
Executive Director/CEO

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AMAA to Present “The Martyred Armenian Writers 1915-1922: An Anthology” A Book by Herand M. Markarian

HERAND- AMW- FLYER- 2016-3-18 - AMAA-2
Paramus, NJ – As part of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemorations, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) will present Dr. Herand2015-04-markarianherand M. Markarian’s book, “The Martyred Armenian Writers 1915-1922: An Anthology” at the Armenian Presbyterian Church in Paramus, NJ, March 18 at 7:30 PM.

Markarian’s book surveys the lives and writings of 13 authors who perished during the Armenian Genocide, several of whom on the night of April 24, 1915, along with many other community leaders, intellectuals and clergy in Constantinople were gathered and deported, never to be seen again.

The book, organized into three parts, includes general introductions to western Armenian literature of the 19th Century and to the Armenian Genocide. The third part of the book contains short biographies of some of the most beloved Armenian writers of the era, along with a bibliography of their writings. Dr. Markarian also provides a sample of excerpts from each author, translated into English. “The development of Armenian literature is a unique phenomenon in the history of world literature,” writes Markarian. “In contrast to others, it developed in countries where the official language was not Armenian.”

Herand Markarian is a scientist, professor, playwright, poet, director, actor, literary and theater critic, and translator. He was born in Basrah, Iraq. He has authored 26 plays and 13 books. He has directed 53 plays and acted in 50 others.

AMAA Executive Director/CEO, Zaven Khanjian, will make the opening remarks, followed by Dr. Markarian’s PowerPoint presentation. Nick Aynilian Jr., Raffi Aynilian, Vatche Demirjian, Richard Hekemian, Anoush Kalachian, Niree Kaprielian and Melani Salibian will participate in the program by reading some of the writings of the martyred writers.
The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the presentation, during which books will be available for sale.

Merdinian School to Dedicate New Bezjian Family Building On May 15, 2016

merdiniansavethedateIn 1982, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America jointly founded the Armenian Evangelical Schools of California Inc. In 1986, a generous donation from the Charlotte and Elise Merdinian sisters enabled the school to acquire its present campus in Sherman Oaks, California, and the school was renamed the Charlotte & Elise Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School.

Merdinian FullSizeRender

In 2012, Mr. Albert and Mrs. Terry Bezjian made a generous donation of one million dollars to the School for the purpose of replacing an old, one story building on campus with a new, two story building to meet the ongoing needs of the school. The building will house the library, a science lab, an art room, five classrooms, an office for the athletic coach and boys’ changing room. It is targeted for completion in May 2016.


Dedication of the Bezjian Family Building will take place during the School’s 34th Anniversary Banquet scheduled to be held on Sunday, May 15, on the School’s premises. AMAA Board members and supporters of Merdinian School are urged to attend this gala event for an enjoyable evening, good food and fellowship.

The People and their Courage


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

EXTREME MAKEOVER in Norashen, Armenia

AMAA Helps Maintain the Warmth of the Hearth

 Extreme makeover 8

          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.

Extreme makeover10

Main Entrance (Before)

Extreme makeover 4

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.”
Extreme makeover 11

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.

Extreme makeover 5

The main entrance area

Witness the Joy of Giving


AMAA Spreads True Christmas Joy in
Armenia and Karabagh


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.

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.

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.

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.


Yerevan, Armenia



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