On the Occasion of the

30th Anniversary of Armenia’s Earthquake

THE POWER OF

“We’ve got to do something”

“Without commitment, nothing happens.”
T.D. Jakes
by Zaven Khanjian

Two Thousand Eighteen is the 30th anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Armenia which took place on December 7, 1988.

It is also the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Missionary Association of America.

This September, the AMAA will celebrate our Centennial in the Homeland, Armenia. On September 30 we will inaugurate the new AMAA Community Center and Sanctuary in Gyumri and dedicate it to God Almighty. A Center that is AMAA’s gift to the people of Gyumri.

Over one hundred guests and donors from the Diaspora will join the community on September 30 to celebrate the revival of Armenia’s historical epicenter of cultural heritage and intellectual treasure. This Center will bring joy, add a smile on the faces of its children and bring honor to God.

In doing so, the AMAA follows suit of an amazing couple in the ranks of its members who 30 years ago, faced with the human and national tragedy that struck the Homeland, firmly asserted, “we’ve got to do something.” They did. And have continued to do ever since.

The feature story of John and Michele Simourian in this current issue of AMAA News reveals the power of “we’ve got to do something” commitment, goodwill and action. The story of an amazing miracle in a world separated by an Iron Curtain reveals how a commitment for “we’ve got to do something” melts the barriers of impossibility and impassibility, injecting life in a perceived hopeless reality.

Thanks to staunch AMAA supporter Phyllis Dohanian’s connection, the renowned (now retired) reporter and editor for The Boston Globe, three-time Pulitzer Prize sharing member and editor of the Globe’s investigative Spotlight Team, Stephen Kurkjian, picks up this breaking story for the historical perspective of our readers.

Also in this issue, AMAA Gyumri’s Representative Karen Manukyan, who was in the 7th grade during the 1988 earthquake, peeps through a periscope of memory, the conditions following the deadly earthquake and places the tragedy on a scale against the blessings of AMAA’s new Center and rich history of involvement and service in the region.

The AMAA Orphan and Child Care Program, itself a birth child of the earthquake, continues to serve the impoverished children of Armenia and Artsakh. Michele Simourian, an AMAA Board Member and founding Co-Chair of the Program, has recently taken a back seat after vigorously leading and serving for over 25 years. The AMAA is so appreciative of her many years of service and commitment. The AMAA is soundly on track with our “we’ve got to do something” commitment, extending our legacy of Faith, Love and Service all around the globe to a second century.

And, our AMAA Centennial Campaign continues with a wide range of programs and services that need funding and support.

We are proud of the many accomplishments of people like John, Michele, Stephen and Karen and so many others too numerous to mention. We invite each of you to search your heart and see where your “I’ve got to do something” focus lands.

All of us at the AMAA sincerely thank you for your continued support of our efforts.

Zaven Khanjian
AMAA Executive Director/CEO

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