AMAA – The Mission, Mindset, Methods, and Meed

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.
Psalm 113:7-8

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
1 Thes 2:19-20

By Harout Nercessian, AMAA Armenia Representative

The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) is a Christian missionary organization. In accordance with biblical principles, we invest in people to see them blossom into their full potential and become God-loving, productive men and women who make the world a better place.

The wasting of human potential, pain of wounded spirits, devastation of crushed dreams and the loss of human dignity and self-respect are a few of the prevalent tragedies of human existence.

Christ came to redeem humanity from these sin-bred misfortunes. AMAA is devoted to obey God’s command to: “Loose the chains of injustice…set the oppressed free…share…food with the hungry…” and “clothe the naked.”[1]

To fulfill this mission, we adopt the Christian mindset, devise strategic methods, and celebrate the meed.

An organization’s mindset is what frames its worldview, describes its beliefs, fuels its motivation, identifies its governing values, and shapes the impact of its efforts.

AMAA’s mindset can be captured in the following:

Every human being, as a bearer of God’s image, is of precious value, regardless of education, socio-economic status, comportment, or any other categorization. As such, he deserves all the love and respect that we can serve him.

We consider the poor, the marginalized, and the overlooked as agents of Jesus. We assist them as if we are serving Christ.

As followers of Christ, we are primarily accountable to our Creator. Our primary objective is to be faithful to the mission entrusted to us. Other considerations such as material rewards, human applause, and public image are important but subservient.

As followers of Christ, we consider ourselves to be the “servants” of those we reach out to “for Jesus’ sake”[2]. We are mindful of the seductive temptation of condescension. We have been warned that the ego-boosting pleasure of exercising “authority over them”[3] is dangerous. We seek God’s help to remain humble and cognizant of our vulnerabilities.

In our outreach, we choose methods that deliver lasting impact.

We help the destitute, the marginalized, the neglected, and the ostracized to restore their bruised dignities and rediscover their long-lost self-respect. We help them meet Christ to feel precious in his divine love and find healing for their wounded souls. We assist them to acquire the necessary resources to become financially and emotionally independent.

We empower children and youth through education. Low-income children of the Avedisian School receive tuition-free, quality education, life skills, motivation, and drive to dream big, aim high, and realize their potential.

Our after-school “Shogh” day centers help underserved children and victims of abuse and poverty to overcome their psychological ailments, learn life skills, excel in academics and dare dream of a happy life.

We empower villagers through development programs such as CheeseUp, which aims at creating a value chain from milk production to quality cheese, and assists hundreds of villagers increase their incomes.

We empower victims of war and injustice to gain financial independence through small business grants. We are thrilled by Lorig – one of the AMAA grant recipients — whose determination and entrepreneurial spirit has remained intact despite two home losses and displacements that were caused by war. He used AMAA’s grant money to sow and harvest large quantities of watermelons. The enemy soldiers on the adjacent hilltops did not stifle his enthusiasm nor sap his energy to expand his farm.

We surprise lonely people through unexpected attention. Our Vartenis team delighted Sveta with a birthday cake and social a much needed visit. Our team members were the only visitors that this lonely, elderly woman had had in a long time.

With God’s help, we lift up the hopeless by being present and listening. The three-day-long children’s day camp in the soon-to-be-abandoned-to-the-enemy town of Berdzor was an unforgettable event that engaged the entire village. The low-spirited villagers who face an uncertain future were heartened by the presence of our Artsakh team, who overlooked the unacceptably poor lodging conditions, to offer the children friendship, and to interact with the adults in a loving manner. The residents were even more grateful for our presence and listening ears than they were for our material gifts.

AMAA staff members are rewarded, too.

The meed of our efforts is the fulfillment and joy of transformed lives and grateful hearts of those God has lifted “from the dust and  the ash heap” to sit “with princes…”[4] Our recommendation letters are etched in the hearts and minds of those whom we have served and loved; those whom we have watched grow into God-fearing and confident adults who enrich the world.[5]

August 2022

[1] Isaiah 58:6,7

[2] 2Cor 4:5

[3] Math 20:25

[4] Psalm 113:7,8

[5] 2Cor 3:1-3