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
AMAA Helps Maintain the Warmth of the Hearth
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.
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.
Main Entrance (Before)
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.”
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.
The main entrance area
Lark Musical Society, under the auspices of the Armenian Missionary Association of America presents Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passions
Sunday March 13, 2016
Saturday, March 12, 2016
@ The Beverly Hills Hotel
For reservations or for more info call Elizabeth Agbabian at 310.476.5306 or Savey Tufenkyan at 818.956.8455