Minister of Diaspora Mkhitar Hairapetyan addressing the assembly

It is almost as if the youth take pride in the fact that they all come from different lands, a multi-cultural and worldwide family. It’s a sign of their bonding and acceptance of each other, both as fellow-Armenians as well as fellow-believers.

Rev. Masis Agopian (Moscow) in his morning message challenged the youth to consider the level of thirst they have for the living God (Ps. 42.1), and to deepen that thirst through having a living relationship with God. The worship band again ably led the assembly in song and prayer, as they have been doing throughout the retreat time in Hankavan, joining the youth in yet deeper bonds.

Armenia’s Minister of the Diaspora, Mr. Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, paid the conference a brief visit in the morning and gave his words of encouragement to the youth, mentioning that the Ministry wants to encourage such gatherings of Diaspora or homeland youth for the well-being of Armenia, while also encouraging youth to consider repatriation to Armenia to help the country build its future. AMAA Representative Mr. Harout Nercessian presented Mr. Hayrapetyan with mementos of the conference. He also showed a 2-minute zoom-through view of all of the service projects.

In the afternoon the youth spent time filling out evaluation forms and consolidating their suggestions to take to their respective Unions, in order to better utilize the energy and vision of the youth.

Rev. Nishan Bakalian (Lebanon), in the closing message of the conference, directed the youth to I Tim. 6.11 as a concrete plan against which they can evaluate their growth as young Armenian Christians.

The youth talent show revealed the amazing gifts these young people have, whether in instrumental music, singing, Armenian and modern dance, drama, comedy and more. Wrapping up the evening was a word of thanks to the many in the organizing and planning committees and to the leaders who stepped in as needed during the two weeks. Of particular note was the work of the Revs. Mgrdich Melkonian and Hovik Hovsepyan and the ECA, and Mr. Harout Nercessian, Mr. David Aynejian and Executive Director Mr. Zaven Khanjian of the AMAA.

This is the last blog post for the AMAA’s 100th Anniversary Youth Conference. Departures have already begun, and the relationships begun here will now become worldwide networked connections. We pray that these new networks will help sustain the vitality of the Armenian Evangelical Church in every place, well into the future.

– Rev. Nishan Bakalian