All-Armenian Evangelical Youth Conference: Day 6… Aug. 7, 2018
Moving to the rhythm of the “Dzaghgatzor” dance (7 Aug. 2018)
Today’s retreat discussions focused on the founding principles, events and theological underpinnings of the Armenian Evangelical Church. For many of the youth, this was the first time they had a chance to consider the events and factors leading up to the formation of the church. This led to small-group discussions about the meaning of those events, and to understand the impact of what happened in the early 1800s on the church’s life today.
Pastor Datev Basmajian presented the morning study of II Tim. 2, directly stating the importance of identifying essential qualities of a Christian leader. He challenged the youth to think about their degree of faithfulness as Christians, so that they can be the type of person that an emerging leader would want to follow.
In the moments of spare time in the schedule, the participants are finding ways of getting to know each other around the ping pong table, or with a soccer ball, or in just strolling around the camp grounds and talking. Traveling to Lake Sevan gave them a more extended time to relax and enjoy the heritage of the historic churches on the peninsula/island, and to take a short boat ride on the lake. In thinking about this excursion, all one of them could say was, “Magnificent… breath-taking… What can I say?”
The evening program included a presentation by two of the Armenian Evangelical Unions, the Near East and Eurasia, in which their leaders talked about the ministry opportunities and challenges they face in their countries. After each presentation, a young person rose and offered a heartfelt prayer to God, to strengthen that group and its witness.
For many of the young people, the final activity was their favorite of the day. Splitting the group in two, they alternated between learning a traditional Armenian dance and learning Armenian songs. This was not only to enrich their understanding of their identity, but also to prepare for the coming celebrations during the retreat. Having a great party takes good planning sometimes!
– Rev. Nishan Bakalian