AN UPDATE FROM THE ARMENIAN EVANGELICAL SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE OFFICE IN BEIRUT, LEBANON
Whatever you do, do it all for the Glory of God -1 Corinthians 10:31
In spite of the increasing economic difficulties and challenges faced, the Armenian Evangelical Social Action Committee (SAC) of Lebanon reported that the first phase of its relief distribution project is completed.
Two large trucks full of food and household items arrived at Trad Center of SAC on June 16, 2020. The goods were stored in the warehouse by church Youth Group volunteers in Beirut.
The following two days were the most laborious ones for the young team. Along with their hard, meticulous work and passionate service, they were able to complete the task before the deadline.
The youth were totally organized. They packaged the items into two different bags to differentiate between edible and non-edible supplies and placed them in boxes to deliver en masse. They distributed a total of 200 boxes and 400 bags to 200 needy families. Each family received one box and two nylon bags.
The youth distributed most of the food parcels at the Center, while they delivered the rest to the designated houses. Short prayer opportunities were also created upon delivery.
The families who received this support included those who have long suffered from financial difficulties and many others who have just recently lost their jobs or are receiving 25% of their salaries due to the economic situation or the pandemic.
Thanks to contributions from supporters, the AMAA was able to help 200 families in need. The Armenian Evangelical Social Action Committee Office received calls from the families the next day, stating that it was the first time they received such an abundant and good quality parcel donation.
VOLUNTEER YOUTH TESTIMONIALS
AMAA’S ONGOING SERVICE TO REACH OUT TO COVID VICTIMS IN LEBANON
“Despite an ominous outlook of things to come pressing on our minds and souls, the impact from distributing food to families in need and the testimonies of the young volunteers gives us a glimmer of hope, encouragement and fulfillment.
This is not and should not remain an isolated act, but rather an ongoing ‘must do’ service to a community, innocent of local, regional and foreign dark elements, who have applied this unfair collective punishment and created the current tragic situation in Lebanon.
AMAA is committed to reflect God’s love to man and share the blessings received with those in need.”
-Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO
PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING US CONTINUE TO REACH OUT TO ALL AFFECTED BY COVID-19 ANYWHERE AND OUR TROUBLED COMMUNITIES IN THE NEAR EAST. MAKE A DONATION TO AMAA’S COVID RESPONSE FUND TODAY!
Letter of gratitude addressed to the AMAA, a member of the Board of Trustees of the “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund, by the President of the Republic of Armenia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the “Hayastan’’ All-Armenian Fund, Armen Sarkisian, in response to AMAA’s contribution to “Hayastan” All Armenian Fund Appeal: “COVID-19 Armenia: United Against the Pandemic” global Armenian fundraising campaign.
The funds were directed to the health care sector covering cost of Personal Protection Equipment – PPE’s to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in Armenia.
AMAA is committed to the global response to the pandemic and the alleviation of the poverty resulting from the severe socio-economic crisis in Lebanon.
Birthdays are joyful occasions and birthday celebrations are signs of vitality and life.
Birthdays are also solemn occasions to ponder upon accomplishments, evaluate results and mobilize for the future.
A good measuring tool of self-evaluation is the celebrant’s impact observed.
The Armenian Evangelical Church is celebrating its 174th anniversary. To be accurate the founders baptized the church as “The Evangelical Church of Armenian,” there in the name bearing the self-realization of the identity of the church and the communities rallying around it.
Today, as we celebrate yet another birthday of the Evangelical Church of Armenia, we praise God for the illumination that it brought to the nation from the grounds of the historical Homeland to the Near East, all of the Armenian Diaspora and back to independent Armenia.
The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) embraces the grateful notion that the cradle of its glorious century plus service rendered to the nation is the founding of the Evangelical Church of Armenia in 1846 in Constantinople. It could be argued that the AMAA enjoys a symbiotic relationship of interdependence with the Church where, having been delivered by it has been faithful in its mission of reinforcing, supporting and sustaining the deliverer and its mission.
The legacy of the Evangelical Church of Armenia on the stage of the nation’s modern history is one of a glowing halo of service in educational, spiritual, cultural, social and physical needs – an esteemed, applauded and glorious journey.
The Church however cannot justify its existence and stall its zest relying on past glories. The living church of Christ, of which the AMAA is an integral part, must be ready and alert to face new challenges than an ever-evolving world breeds every day. Challenges of declining morality and spiritual values, discord within the church, existential threats to Christians and minorities in the Near East and erosion of identity and the language of the founders.
It is our heartfelt wish and expectation that the Church, faithful to its core mission will share the Good News of the Gospel all over the world for a witness to all nations calling man to turn back to the fountain of eternal love and good, God Almighty.
Happy Birthday Evangelical Church of Armenia.
Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան Գործադիր Տնօրէն Զաւէն Խանճեանի Խօսքը Հայ Աւետարանական Եկեղեցիի Հիմնադրութեան 174-ամեակին առիթով – Յուլիս 1, 2020
Այսօր Հայաստանեայց Աւետարանական Եկեղեցւոյ 174րդ տարեդարձը կը յիշատակենք: Փառք կուտանք Աստուծոյ այն լուսաւոր ճանապարհին համար որու ընդմէջէն, հաւատարիմ եկեղեցւոյ հիմնաքար Յիսուս Քրիստոսի, Եկեղեցին ընթացաւ իր ծնունդէն իվեր:
174ամեայ իր ծառայութեան հարուստ ժառանգութիւնը, անկախ իր երկունքի ցաւերէն, լուսաւոր պսակ մըն է այս համայնքի ճակտին, հոգեւոր, կրթական, մշակութային եւ ընկերային ծառայութիւններու դաշտին մէջ:
Սակայն կենդանի եկեղեցին չկրնար անցեալի փառքով հպարտանալ առանց իր առաքելութեան անժամանակ կիրարկման հոլովոյթով արդարանալուն:
Ուստի, Քրիստոնէական խոնարհ ոգիով, ինքնաքննութեամբ եւ առարկայական մօտեցումով, հարկ է՛,
ա. Բոցաշունջ ոգիով տարածել Աւետարանի բարի լուրը սատարելով Հայ անհատի հոգեւոր վերածնունդին առաջնորդելով զայն Աստուածային փրկութեան ափին:
բ. Հաւատարիմ մնալ հիմնադիրներու պատկանելիութեան, պահելով Հայաստանյայցի դիմագիծը, հոգալով եւ զարգացնելով Մեսրոպեան լեզուն ու Հայ մշակոյթը:
գ. Յարգել Մայր Եկեղեցին, սատարել անոր անսասանութեան, գորովալից սիրով գնահատել եւ քաջալերել եկեղեցւոյ բարեկարգութիւնը եւ հաւատարմութեան կոչ ուղղել ժողովուրդին անոր հանդէպ:
Քրիստոնէական կեանքի ճանապարհի ընթացքը Տէր Աստուծոյ բարի եւ ողորմած կամքին եւ ձեռքերուն մէջ է:
Այդ ճանապարհին վրայ, Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան անունով՝ բարի երթ կը մաղթեմ Հայաստանյայց Աւետարանական եկեղեցւոյ:
A Message on the 174th Anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church (1846) by Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian, Pastor of Armenian Memorial Church of Watertown, MA, and AMAA Board Member
“My grandmother read the Bible twice every day.”
“My father, before he went to work, first read the Bible and then prayed.”
“This Bible, which I cherish much, was given to me by my parents.”
We may have heard or said similar expressions and testimonies ourselves. They reveal and affirm the love and devotion of our parents and grandparents to the Word of God. And, at the same time, we confess that we do not have the same love and devotion they had to the Word of God.
The first founders of the Armenian Evangelical Church (AEC) in their first declaration considered “the Gospel of Christ” essential for their personal and communal lives, deeds, spiritual growth and maturity. They said, “We cannot let any authority, tradition or mandate deprive us from the Gospel of Christ.”
As a result, the first thing they did was to translate the Word of God into vernacular – the language of the ordinary people. This led to a spiritual revival and a zeal towards the Word of God and evangelism. Many lives were transformed and many churches and schools were founded.
Today, on the 174th anniversary of the founding of the AEC, it is worthwhile to reflect on the value, importance, role and relevance of the Word of God for our personal and communal lives in this day and age.
Many call the Word of God “Old Book.” Maybe “Old”, but not irrelevant! Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18). The Word of God is not just unchanged, constant, consistent and relevant, it accomplishes the purpose that which it is sent to accomplish. God said, “My word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
Today, more than ever, we need to affirm the love and devotion of the first founders of the AEC to the Word of God and follow their example:
First, we need to accept the authority of the Word of God in all areas of our lives. The apostle Paul said, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Word of God must always have the first and last word in our lives.
Second, we need to practice the Word of God every day. The writer of the Letter to James says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do (practice) what it says” (James 1:22). Practicing the Word of God may not be an easy thing to do. But, we need to remember what Jesus said to His disciples then and to us today, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do (practice) them” (John 13:17).
May we, like the first founders of the AEC, consider “the Gospel of Christ” essential for our personal and communal lives and deeds, accept its authority in all areas of our lives and practice it every day!
On Thursday, April 16, 2020, the AMAA Headquarters supported local businesses by purchasing meals to donate to First Responders.
We’d like to thank the Paramus Police Department and EMS for being local essential workers through these challenging times and thank you to Nouri Café in Paterson, NJ and Empanada Mania in Bergenfield, NJ for making these delicious meals!
On Saturday, May 9, 2020, AMAA partnered with Talin Avakian, active member and leader of a weekly Zumba Ministry at the Armenian Evangelical Church of New York (AECNYC), and Anet’s Collection to host a fun virtual Zumba class. Partial proceeds from this event helped buy meals from struggling small restaurants for First Responders and Food Banks, support small businesses, while the rest contributed to alleviate the financial hardships caused by the outbreak, acquisition of medical supplies, access to health and social support services, and other unforeseen consequences the outbreak has caused.
On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, AMAA and the young business owners of Hawaiian Hot Chicken of Northridge, CA, collaborated to donate individual meals to the Northridge Hospital Foundation’s essential workers.
Hawaiian Hot Chicken matched AMAA’s donation and proceeded to contribute even more! With funds generated from AMAA’S MOTHER’S DAY VIRTUAL ZUMBA event and Hawaiian Hot Chicken, the Hospital’s dedicated workers were thanked and at the same time supporting a small Armenian business affected by COVID-19.
On Wednesday, June 17, 2020 AMAA collaborated with Miss Boston, Kristina Ayanian, to donate food for the Crossroads Family Shelter in Boston. Miss Ayanian shopped, packed her car and delivered the packages to assist families in need! Donations were made possible by proceeds from AMAA’S MOTHER’S DAY VIRTUAL ZUMBA event, which collected donations for AMAA’s COVID Response Fund to help alleviate hardships caused by the outbreak. Thank you to our supporters who participated in Zumba and donated for a great cause.
AMAA is on a long term mission to help our communities throughout the world. The needs are wide range and immense and our appeal is open ended. If you too would like to donate to AMAA’s COVID Response Fund please click on the link below.
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. -Matthew 25:40
Like many families experiencing similar situations of poverty, below are just three heartbreaking cases the Armenian Evangelical Social Action Committee offices face every day in Lebanon.
|Evicted from their apartment and unable to provide milk for her two-and-a-half year old son with autism, a young mother turns to sugar and water to quench her infant child’s hunger just so he could sleep at night.||A tearful young father of four begs on his knees, pleading for enough money to buy bread to feed his starving children who have not eaten in two days.||A young, diabetic church member without a job or medication, risks spiking his blood sugar to dangerous levels due to expensive medicine costs.|
Thanks to the Social Action Committee and the Central Committee of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE), an action plan has been developed to help meet the critical needs of 270 families in Lebanon.
To support these efforts, the AMAA has contributed $50,000 from its COVID Response Fund and committed to raise additional funds to continue the program to:
- Extend vital sustenance funds to needy Armenian families
- Purchase necessary household items/furniture
- Buy groceries
- Provide medical supplies
- Pay for home maintenance for those who are unable to get a repair done or fix their appliances
- Supply mothers with baby formula/milk and diapers
- Payment of annual utility service bills for a number of families that have not been able to pay due to the ongoing economic turmoil and COVID-19
Fueled by an economic collapse, the effects of the COVID Pandemic and political instability, AMAA remains committed to help alleviate the financial hardships facing our brothers and sisters in the Near East; especially in Lebanon.
JOIN US IN OUR EFFORTS AND RESPOND TO THIS URGENT APPEAL.
MAKE A DONATION TO AMAA’S COVID RESPONSE FUND TODAY!
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic and current public safety measures, the AMAA Armenia provided remote services to nearly 250 children who regularly attend the AMAA Armenia’s 12 Day and Tutorial Centers. While children were unable to physically attend AMAA’s “Shogh” Day Centers during quarantine, challenges were created but children were still impacted in a positive way.
Remote services mainly included:
- Creation of an online community of beneficiaries and AMAA specialists serving as a hot line, consulting service, rapport development, a platform for gaining new skills, and solving problems in an urgent manner
- Teaching different subjects to help complete school assignments
- Social group and individual work to help ensure a healthy and peaceful atmosphere among family members at home
- Psychological support to alleviate fear, apathy, despair and other problems of children and parents caused by the pandemic quarantine
- Raising awareness and providing necessary information on maintaining and following hygiene
- Life skills courses on time management and overcoming failures and mistakes using their internal and external resources effectively
- Therapeutic crafts including making face masks
- Involving parents in various creative games to strengthen the parent-child emotional and healthy connection
- Professional training for staff to work more targeted with families
- Individual work on personal complex cases
- Material support for beneficiaries who have lost their jobs
- Food packages to ensure nutrition is met
- Lack of internet connection for many families
- Lack of motivation to participate in other online meetings as a result of overloading children with school lessons
- Cases of domestic violence preventing participation
- Proper implementation of school assignments in the face of current difficulties
- Raising awareness of children and families on the created situation
- Strengthening healthy parent-child relationships and overcoming family conflicts
- Ensuring the usefulness of children’s daily lives
- Solving urgent problems through financial support
- Stabilizing the emotional state of children and parents and acquiring new life skills
- Developing employee skills to work in new conditions
To help continue to impact children and their parents in a positive way, please consider donating to AMAA’s “Shogh” Day Centers (Armenia & Artsakh).
Perfect love casts out all fear.
1 John 4:18
By Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO
Ten days after September 11, 2001, at a special State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush told the nation “It is my hope that in the months and years ahead, life will return almost to normal.”
It never did!
Not even ‘almost’ to normal.
The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 set in motion a series of new policies, legislation and attitude that dramatically changed American life, is here to stay and has made us forget what life was like before.
Airline travel, airport security, Orwellian surveillance, intelligence, banking, border crossing, immigration and deportation, the longest war in American history, big government, exploding national debt, and US sanctions are spheres of life radically impacted.
Since December 2019, the heartbreaking fallout of the global pandemic called COVID-19 is consuming the human mind and soul and has been emotionally and physically draining for the global communities.
A safety and health assault by an unknown enemy has forged an unparalleled, unprecedented and unimaginable reality dictating new norms of life.
(AMAA News is gratified to present a timely and insightful article on the pandemic titled “COVID-19 REVELATIONS,” and authored by former AMAA Board member, analytical commentator and medical professional Dr. Susan Jerian. We thank Dr. Jerian for this invaluable contribution to the AMAA News on pages 4-10).
The human loss and suffering, including that in the United States, is grave under any measured scale, as we continue to face an uncertain, unknown and blurry future.
While our ‘ground hog days’ may be boring and our urge to be liberated from the lockdown pushes us to the brink of impatience, they help us to think of all those communities around the world where there is no governmental support, stimulus package, personal protective equipment, adequate medical and health personnel and facilities or professional first respondents. Communities where war is still lingering, inflation is sky rocketing, unemployment records are broken, layoffs are abundant,
usinesses are bankrupt and, following a liquidity crunch, bank account holders are unable to withdraw or utilize hard earned personal nest eggs.
Poverty is devastating. Children and minors are the primary victims. Their health, nutrition and education are at stake. Their destiny is our yoke. The fate of our future ministers, educators, doctors, scientists, musicians, engineers and artisans is in our hands. We cannot afford to shatter their dreams.
What the future will change in life on this planet as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is anybody’s guess.
I don’t have a prediction like President Bush.
But I know that now is the time to change the future of those God has yoked us to dignify and uphold.
AMAA’s COVID-19 Response Fund is knocking on the doors. We are all invited to show the “perfect love that will cast out all fear.”
We thank you for your support and may God bless you and your families during this most unpredictable time
The Crisis in Lebanon:
“Perfect love casts out all fears.”
1 John 4:18
Our communities in Lebanon are facing existential threats.
And this time it’s not the indiscriminately flying bullets.
It is poverty, unemployment, loss of jobs, layoffs, bankruptcies or half a salary that has surrendered its purchasing power.
It’s COVID-19, liquidity crunch, political upheaval and vanished opportunities.
Our people are industrious, workaholic and can turn the stone into bread.
But when calamity hits on all fronts paralyzing a region because of persistent fear of violence, exasperated by inability to access one’s own resources, compounded by an unknown and unseen vile, the result is an unimaginable and catastrophic collective punishment.
That is what our communities are facing today in the Near East, especially in Lebanon.
Imagine, a lockdown partially lifted, allowing schools to open but parents fretting, because they cannot afford any tuition any more.
Imagine teachers being paid half a salary while the cost of essential goods has tripled.
This is not the Dark Ages nor the lurid Ottoman Empire.
It is the 21st Century so sanguinely welcomed.
The situation is grim and even the short term need is unimaginably immense.
We have no choice but to reach out, cast out all fear, inject hope and resuscitate.
God has called us to implore “perfect love to cast all fear.” Fear held off and hopelessness cast away bring chances of revival closer to reality.
I ask that you join us in our efforts and support the Armenians in Lebanon through a reputable channel of your choice or AMAA’s mission (AMAA 31 W. Century Rd., Paramus, NJ 07652) to sustain the health, education or mere life of the communities in the Near East.
Your generous gift will help win the battle of survival in Lebanon.
AMAA Executive Director/CEO
May 20, 2020
Ի ՀԱՐԿ Է՛
«Կատարեալ սէրը կը վանէ վախը։»
(Ա. Յովհաննու 4. 18)
Լիբանանահայութիւնը ճգնաժամային օրեր կապրի:
Այս անգամ սուրացող փամփուշտերը չեն տագնապի աղբիւրը։
Հապա չքաւորութիւնը, անգործութիւնը, գործազրկութիւնը, աշխատանքէ հեռացումը, կամ կէս աշխատավարձքերը՝ որոնք զգետնած են հասարակութեան գոյանալու կարողականութիւնը։
Գումարէ գահաժահրը, ստակի կախարդական խաւարումը, քաղաքական Ճգնաժամը, եւ եթերացած պատեհութիւնները։
Մեր ժողովուրդը գործունեայ է, աշխատասէր եւ քարը հացի վերածող։
Բայց երբ աղէտը կը հարուածէ բոլոր ճակատներէն՝ անդամալուծելով ամբողջ տարածաշրջան մը յարատեւ բռնութեան վախի քողով, գումարած սեփական շահի օգտագործման անկարողութեամբ եւ բարդուած աննախադէպ եւ անակնկալ ժահրով մը, արդիւնքը կ՚ըլլայ աներեւակայելիօրէն, աղիտալի եւ անողորմ հաւաքական պատիժ։
Այս է Մերձաւոր Արեւելքի մեր ժողովուրդի իրավիճակը այս օրերուն, յատկապէս Լիբանանի մէջ։
Երեւակայեցէք՝ երբ արգելաբակումը մասամբ վերցուած է, արտօնելով կրթական հաստատութիւններու վերաբացումը, նոյն ատէն ծնողներու անճրկած շփօթը՝ իրենց զաւակներուն կրթաթոշակները հայթայթելու անկարողութեան պատճառաւ։
Երեւակայեցէք ուսուցիչներ՝ որոնք իրենց աշխատավարձերուն կէսը կը վճարուին, մինչ անհրաժեշտ ապրուստի գիները եռապատկուած են։
Այս նկարագրութիւնները մութ դարերուն չեն պատկանիր եւ ոչ ալ տխրահռչակ Օսմանեան կայսրութեան։
Այլ յառաջադէմ 21րդ դարուն՝ որու գալուստը միասնաբար ջերմութեամբ ողջունեցինք։
Լիբանանահայ գաղութի ներկայ իրավիճակը խիստ ծանր է եւ անոր անմիջական կարիքները աներեւակայելիօրէն հսկայ։
Մեր ճիտի պարտքն է՛, ազգային գիտակցութեան դրսեւորո՛ւմը եւ մարդկային պարտաւորութեան հարկադրանքը՝ հաւաքական օգնութեան ձեռքը երկարել՝ վանելու ամէն վախ եւ կենդանութեան յոյս ներշնչելու գաղութի զաւակներուն։
Աստուած կը յորդորէ մեզ կատարեալ սէր ցուցաբերել՝ վանելու համար ամէն վախ։ Վախի վերացումը եւ վհատութեան տապալումը կենդանութեան նախապայմանն ու գրաւականն են:
Միացէք մեր ջանքերուն՝ աջակցելու վիրաւոր Լիբանանհայութեան, ձեր նախասիրած ճանապարհով եւ կամ Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան (ԱՀԱԸ) խողովակով՝ AMAA 31 W. Century Rd., Paramus, NJ 07652, ապահովելու համար Մերձաւոր Արեւելքի մեր գաղութներու առողջութիւնը, սերունդներու կրթութեան ապահովումը եւ կամ լոկ հայ մարդու կեանքի ամենատարրական կարքիներու գոյացումը։
Համատարած հայութեան առատաձեռն նուէրները անպայման պիտի օժանդակեն
Լիբանանահայու գոյատեւման դժխեմ պայքարի յաղթանակին։
Լիբանանահայութեան փրկութեան ձեռք երկարելը անհրաժեշտութի՞ւն է:
Ի հարկ է՛:
ԱՀԱԸ-ի Գործադիր Տնօրէն
Մայիս 20, 2020
Toronto, ON, Canada — The Armenian Missionary Association of Canada (AMAC) is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Executive Committee for 2020.
During its meeting of March 28, 2020, the AMAC Board of Trustees appointed six Board Members to form the Executive Committee for a 12 month period starting April 1, 2020. “We are excited about this New Executive Committee which consists of members from both Ontario and Quebec. The new team brings a wealth of experience in Christian service; a renewed sense of mission; and fresh ideas to reach out to our compatriots around the globe”, said Mihran Jizmejian, Chairman.
The Executive Committee consist of the following individuals:
Raffi Shnorhokian, President/CEO
Mihran Jizmejian, Chairman
Ruth Demirjian Duench, Vice Chair
Armen Buchakjian, Recording Secretary
Jack Kafesjian, Treasurer for Quebec
Sarkis Maranjian, Treasurer for Ontario
As a Christian organization, the AMAC is committed, in the name and love of Christ to reach out and help the needy in Armenia, the Middle East and Canada in the fields of education, social services and material aid. The AMAC closely cooperates with its sister organization, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA). For more information about the Armenian Missionary Association of Canada visit www.amacnews.org
Mihran Jizmejian, AMAC Chairman
May 5, 2020
Armenian Missionary Association of Canada
📍 45 Fairglen Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M1T 1G8, Canada
📞 1-416-434-5809; 1-514-947-2346
Haigazian University announced the establishment of the “George M. Kassarjian Memorial Scholarship Fund” in memory of the late George M. Kassarjian (1934-2019) thanks to a generous donation of US$200,000, as specified in his will. George and his late wife, Miralda Ekmekji Kassarjian, had also supported Haigazian University during the refurbishment of its Heritage Building in 2011.
Professor Barkev Kassarjian, George’s brother and a longtime Haigazian University Board member, stated his and his family’s firm conviction that Haigazian University “occupies a truly unique niche in higher education”, and that “located at the crossroads of a vital Middle East, in Beirut, where competing religious convictions often clash, and ethnic origins typically dictate political loyalties, Haigazian stands as a beacon of calm understanding and tolerance. Respected by all, inclusive to diversity, its motto of Truth, Freedom, and Service provide the kinds of timeless values, that have a demonstrated record of preparing future leaders.” Professor Kassarjian, acknowledging the fact that HU stands as the only “Armenian university in the world following the American liberal arts model,” concluded by saying that, “Haigazian University needs and deserves the generous financial support of Armenian and non-Armenian communities around the world. This University is too precious a resource, a proud beacon of impartial learning that we need to guard at all cost.”
Haigazian University President Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian expressed his deep gratitude, and considered this scholarship fund to be a valued example of “the right answer at the right time, for the needs of our students”. He paid homage to the memory of George Kassarjian and assured the family that the best memories are those of giving and sacrifice and that the Kassarjian name will be part of the university’s history and commitment in of preparing young generations for a future of fulfillment and development.
May 15, 2020
Thank you to all who joined and donated to AMAA’S MOTHER’S DAY VIRTUAL ZUMBA benefiting AMAA’s COVID Response Fund, Saturday, May 9, 2020!
GOLD LEVEL – $200
SILVER LEVEL – $100
The Alexander Family
DONATIONS – $50 and below
Read More: AMAA Covid Help in US
Երեքշաբթի, Մայիս 5, 2020-ին, Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան Գործադիր Տնօրէն Զաւէն Խանճեան կարճ տեսանիւթով իր զօրակցական ու քաջալերական խօսքը ուղղեց Լիբանանահայութեան՝ նկատի ունենալով երկրին տնտեսական սուր տագնապը, ինչպէս նաեւ թագաժահրի համաճարակի հետեւանքով գաղութին ապրած տուայտանքը։
Ստորեւ կը ներկայացնենք Պարոն Խանճեանի պատգամը։
Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան անունով կ՛ողջունեմ տասնամեակներ շարունակ սփիւռքահայութեան բաբախող սիրտը հանդիսացող Լիբանանահայութիւնը՝ գաղութի էութիւնը կազմող ամէն մէկ հարազատ զաւակով:
Մենք գիտակից ենք տնտեսական սուր տագնապի եւ թագաժահրի համաճարակի հետեւանքը եղող գաղութի ապրած տուայտանքին, մօտէն կը հետեւինք ամէնօրեայ դժուարութիւններու եւ հաւատարիմ Աւետարանչականի հարիւրամեայ առաքելութեան, Քրիստոսի օրինակով, գործնականապէս կը սատարենք ժողովուրդի եւ կառոյցներու առողջութեան եւ կենսունակութեան:
Հաւատքի սիւներու վրայ խարսխուած յանձնառութեամբ կը հաւատանք՝ թէ հայու փիւնիկեան նկարագրով, պատմութեան էջերուն պիտի յանձնենք այս տագնապն ալ վերականգնելու համար Սփիւռքեան յառաջադէմ գաղութը ըլլալու Լիբանանահայութեան բարի եւ օրինակելի դիմագիծը:
Բարին ընդ ձեզ՝ սիրելի հարազատներ:
On May 5, 2020, Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director/CEO of the AMAA, gave a short, supportive and encouraging video message to the Lebanese-Armenians, taking into consideration Lebanon’s acute economic crisis as well as the community’s tribulations due to the current Corona virus.
The following is Mr. Khanjian’s Message:
On behalf of the Armenian Missionary Association of America, I greet the Lebanese-Armenian Community of Lebanon that has been the heartbeat of Diaspora Armenians for decades.
We are aware of the pain that you endure due to the economic crisis and from the Corona virus. Loyal to the Centennial mission of the AMAA and following the example of Christ, we continue to support the well-being and vitality of the people and institutions of the Lebanese-Armenian Community.
With a commitment anchored in the pillars of faith, we believe as Armenians with Phoenician character, that we will entrust this crisis to the pages of history and restore the good and exemplary image of Lebanese-Armenians as the progressive Community of the Diaspora.
May the good be with you, dear compatriots.
SATURDAY, MAY 9, 2020
TWO TIMES AVAILABLE!
U.S. 11:00AM – 11:30AM (ET)
U.S. 6:00PM – 6:30PM (ET)
7:00 PM in Armenia, 8:00 AM in Australia, 12:00 PM in Argentina,
5:00 PM in France, 6:00 PM in Lebanon, 5:00 PM in Sweden
#GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020. Sponsor one of the levels below, in honor of AMAA’S MOTHER’S DAY VIRTUAL ZUMBA by May, 5, and receive a beautiful gift just in time for Mother’s Day along with the ZOOM Meeting ID to join a fun Zumba workout led by Talin Avakian, active member and leader of a weekly Zumba Ministry at the Armenian Evangelical Church of New York (AECNYC).
Partial proceeds from this event will buy meals from struggling small restaurants for First Responders and Food Banks, support small businesses, while the rest will contribute to alleviate the financial hardships caused by the outbreak, acquisition of medical supplies, access to health and social support services, and other unforeseen consequences the outbreak may cause.
If donations are received by May 5, 2020, Mother’s Day gifts will be sent by May 9, 2020.
(or National orders placed after May 5, 2020):
We can email you a picture of the gift and it will take approximately 7 days to receive the product.
The Situation in Armenia
This small country of 3 Million reported its first COVID-19 patient on March 1, 2020. The government closed its border with Iran and gradually restricted access from high infection countries. On March 16, 2020 the government declared a state of emergency.
As of April 25, there have been a total of 1,677 cases of COVID-19 in Armenia with 28 deaths and 803 recoveries. An average of 73 new daily cases have been recorded. This has signaled a slight slowdown in growth but due to the widespread cases, the government issued an extension on the lock down until May 14, 2020.
All educational institutions, stores and other businesses are closed with the exception of essential services. People are fined for leaving their homes without proper documentation.
AMAA Armenia is providing food assistance to:
- The 79 elderly in its “Adopt-A-Granny” program
- The 50 elderly beneficiaries of AMAA’s Soup Kitchen program in the northern town of Stepanavan
- The near 400 families whose children attend the AMAA educational programs
Economic indicators have not been reported for the period covering the lock down period. Yet, some reports estimate an unemployment rate of 40% to 50%.
The government is offering economic assistance to those who lost their jobs. It has created 12 social assistance packages that include financial compensations, markdown on utility costs, postponement of due payments (Many these aid packages to be insufficient to meet the need). Yet there are many “hand-to-mouth” workers who earn daily wages at odd jobs. These people do not qualify for any government assistance.
AMAA Armenia Response
AMAA continues to fund 100% of its operations in Armenia and Artsakh, retains 100% of it nearly 500 employees who in turn have adopted a policy of helping a neighbor in need. AMAA Armenia has close to 2,500 beneficiaries who regularly receive financial, material and educational services.
On April 6, 2020, AMAA Armenia established a process of accepting and processing assistance requests from individuals suffering from the COVID-19 economic fallout who do not qualify for government assistance. Qualifying applications will receive financial assistance.
A few days later we started receiving assistance requests from our 2,500 regular beneficiaries, Evangelical Church of Armenia members and various government of Armenia ministries and agencies. By April 14, 2020, we had received close to 100 requests. By the end of April, we expect to receive over 500 applications.
Among other pandemic requests, AMAA has contributed funds to the Ministry of Health in Armenia through the Armenia Fund, Inc. to purchase urgently needed, certified and approved, masks, goggles and full hazmat coveralls for personal protective equipment.
AMAA COVID Response Fund
A ‘COVID Response Fund’ has been established and we are asking for you to share your blessings and extend any financial support at this critical time.
Thank you to our donors who have helped us raise $40,385 up to date!
We still have about $60,000 more to raise to reach the initial goal of $100,000! Will you help us help those affected by COVID-19 throughout the world?
Your gift will be designated to help alleviate the financial hardships caused by the outbreak, acquisition of medical supplies, food distribution, access to health and social support services and other unforeseen consequences the outbreak may cause.
We have reached our initial goal of $100,000! The needs are wide range and immense and our appeal is open ended. AMAA is on a long term mission to help our communities throughout the world. Please consider helping us continue to reach out to all affected by COVID-19 anywhere and our troubled communities in the Near East. Thank you for your generosity!
Please mail check to:
The Armenian Missionary Association of America
31 W Century Road Paramus, NJ 07652
Check Memo: COVID Response Fund
An Armenian Genocide Commemoration Message by Rev. Dr. Haig Kherlopian, Pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Church of New York (AECNYC) and AMAA Board Member
Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause. -Isaiah 1:17
I will never forget ordering my iced coffee at Starbucks on October 29th, 2019. As I was waiting for my order, I was watching C-Span on my phone, seeing the US House of Representatives vote on H. Res. 296, which states that it is U.S. policy to: “(1) commemorate the Armenian Genocide, the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923; (2) reject efforts to associate the U.S. government with efforts to deny the existence of the Armenian Genocide or any genocide; and (3) encourage education and public understanding about the Armenian Genocide.” The votes were being tallied as I was waiting for the barista to finish pouring the coffee over the ice. Completely shocked, I saw the vote tally for ‘yes’ rise above 400 votes to recognize what happened to our people as Genocide. I was overcome with emotions. Tears of joy, relief, and justice watered my eyes as the barista mispronounced “Haig” and said that my Grande Ice Coffee was ready.
Though it is important to celebrate the victories like the ones we had in both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate over Armenian Genocide recognition, it is vital to know that the cause of Armenian Genocide recognition is far from over. The Turkish government is still in denial of the sins of their ancestors. In fact, shortly after the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 296., President Erdogan, denied the Armenian Genocide in front of President Trump and the American media. Even if it takes another 105 years, we must not forget the evil of having 1.5 million of our people murdered and having our culture completely uprooted from its historic lands. We must continue to seek justice and correct oppression until the Turkish government and people confess the sin of the Armenian Genocide.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. -Matthew 5:43-45
Christianity is radical in that it is appropriate to forgive those who sin against us and that it is a commandment from Christ to love our enemies. We must choose to forgive those who have done great evil to our ancestors in order to be children of God. Jesus says that it is God the Father’s job to judge and expose the righteous and unrighteous, but that it is our job to forgive, bless, and love those who persecute us. Forgiveness is not contingent upon the perpetrators’ recognition of their crime. When Christ forgave us on the cross, he did not wait for an apology, he forgave. You can forgive someone who is not willing to change. In the pursuit of Genocide Recognition, we must make sure there is not hatred in our heart by forgiving and blessing those who continue to deny the sins of their ancestors when it comes to the Armenian Genocide. I understand that this is a difficult task to do, but it is possible with God’s help and knowing that Christ has forgiven us.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -Galatians 6:9
For over a century the Armenian Missionary Association of America, has responded against the evil of the Armenian Genocide by doing good. The AMAA has helped rebuild the Armenian civilization by championing the cause of the widow and the orphan, by building schools and churches, by providing relief to those in need, and the list goes on. We must not grow tired of giving donations and partnering with programs AMAA provides that focus on making Armenian culture flourish not just in the homeland but throughout the diaspora.
Though the wounds of the Armenian Genocide have been open for 105 years, we must not become tired in the fight to get recognition from the Turkish government. We must continue to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ. We must love our enemies and never repay evil with evil, but overcome evil with good. Let us not grow weary of doing what is right. Let us not give up in continuing to seek justice for our ancestors who were the victims of Genocide.
On Monday April 20, 2020, AMAA Representative in Artsakh Victor Karapetyan met with the newly elected President of the Artsakh Republic Arayik Harutyunyan, and presented him AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian’s Congratulatory Message.
In his Congratulatory letter, Mr. Khanjian wrote:
“Dear Mr. Harutyunyan,
On behalf of the Armenian Missionary Association of America, please accept my warmest congratulations on your election as President of the Republic of Artsakh. During your tenure as the Prime Minister as well as State Minister, Artsakh stood out with its power and great ability to face various challenges.
We are confident that you will continue to work effectively as President and all your plans will be realized, meeting the expectations of the people.
The AMAA, which this year will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in Artsakh, expresses its readiness to continue to cooperate for the noble cause of making Artsakh a powerful and secure State. I wish you and the heroic people of Artsakh good health, lasting peace, new achievements, prosperity and steady steps towards new victories.
May the right hand of God, Jesus Christ, protect you and guide you in all your endeavors. And may God protect Artsakh and the Armenian people worldwide.”
The newly elected President with great satisfaction emphasized the many years of his effective cooperation with the AMAA, especially in his position as Prime Minister and State Minister. “We have always enjoyed working with the AMAA” said Mr. Harutyunyan, “and I hope we will continue to work together to take our relationship to a new level.”
Please read the press release in Armenian as posted by Artsakhpress.am.
I hope this message finds each one of you and your loved ones healthy and well.
As I ponder on the heartbreaking fallout of the global pandemic, consuming the human mind and soul, and the occasion we are invited to commemorate today, I am reminded of the wisdom that comes from the Word of God (in Ecclesiastes 3) which says:
“There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under the heavens.
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,”
The past few months have been emotionally and physically draining for all of us in our country, in the Homeland and in the world, as an unprecedented and unimaginable reality has engulfed the world, dictating new norms of life.
The tragedy is tangible, as we witness the nation scramble to care for the inflicted, struggle to unearth lifesaving medical supplies, battle to stop the spread and mourn its victims, unable to give them the mannerly burial they deserve.
As thousands succumb to the wrath of the uninvited vile, hundreds of thousands of first respondents, medical doctors, nurses, public servants, good Samaritans, volunteers and NGOs are all around, round the clock, bringing care, cure, hope, and in many cases life to patients’ scrambling beds in hospitals or urgently erected medical facilities.
Hurray to all who have the calling, the commitment and/or obligation to reach out.
One hundred five years ago another vile called Ottoman Turkey, inflicted a premeditated physical obliteration upon a peaceful segment of its population living on their ancestral lands for a few millennia, long before the Turkish hoof treaded into the Near East, leaving death and destruction behind.
There is a time for everything.
Today, amid the coronavirus tragedy, we stop the ticking clock to honor the memory and pay respect to the Million and a half of our kin, who in the most brutal and inhumane manner were sickled to extinction. Our forebears fell victim, to satisfy the dark and blind hatred of an official, state organized crime, that would not tolerate a peaceful, productive, industrious Christian minority on the land.
There were no cameras to witness their forced deportation. There were no news media to report the ‘murder of a nation’. There were no first respondents on the thorny fields, rocky mountainous roads, blazing desert sand, treacherous barren undeveloped roads or dark and horrifying caves. There were no first respondents to care for a delivering mother or an orphaned child. No first respondents to quench a thirst or fight hunger. There were no first respondents to save a drowning teenager or a bride on fire, who rejected submission.
We salute the long anticipated and gratifying acknowledgment of the crime of Genocide by the US Congress in 2019 but despite a century of time for introversion, the heirs of the perpetrators remain remorseless with their conscious self-denial of the crime.
Today, they too are stricken by COVID 19. It is my prayer and wish, that like the whole world, the master of denial, Turkey too, will rid itself from the devastation and agony caused by the ailment and find peace.
There is a time for everything says the Bible.
Today, I am guided by the Word of God who said in Deuteronomy 32:35 “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.”
There is a time for everything.
Today, it is our time, to bow in respect of the fallen and reaffirm our collective quest for justice.
There is a time for everything.
AMAA Executive Director/CEO
April 24, 2020
ԱՄԷՆ ԲԱՆԻ ԺԱՄԱՆԱԿԸ ԿԱՅ
Երբ մտածեմ այս օրերու համաշխարհային թագաժահրի համաճարակի պատճառած անձկութեան մասին, որ կը սպառէ մարդկային միտքն ու հոգին, եւ այն առիթը՝ որ այսօր կը հրաւիրէ մեզ յիշատակելու Հայոց Ցեղասպանութեան 105ամեակը , կը մտաբերեմ իմաստութիւնը որ կը բխի Աստուծոյ Խօսքէն (Ժողովողի 3) ուր կ՚ըսէ.
«Ամէն բանի ատենը կայ,
Ու երկինքի տակ եղող ամէն գործի ժամանակը։
Ծնանելու ժամանակ եւ մեռնելու ժամանակ։
Լալու ժամանակ եւ ծիծաղելու ժամանակ։
Գրկելու ժամանակ ու գրկելէ հեռանալու ժամանակ։»
Անցնող մի քանի ամիսները մեր բոլորին համար եղան սպառողական, թէ՛ ֆիզիքապէս եւ թէ՛ հոգեպէս, այս ցամաքամասին վրայ, մեր Հայրենիքի մէջ եւ աշխարհի տարբեր երկիրներու մէջ, ուր այս աննախադէպ եւ անհաւատալի իրողութիւնը կլանեց ամբողջ աշխարհը՝ թելադրելով կեանքի նոր կանոններ։
Ողբերգութիւնը շօշափելի է: Մենք ականատես ենք մարդկային քրտնաջան հոգածութեան՝ հոգալ տուժածները, պայքարիլ՝ անհրաժեշտ փրկարար սարքաւորումներ ձեռք բերելու, մարտնչիլ՝ սահմանաբակելու ախտին տարածումը եւ սգալ զոհուածները, չկարենալով անոնց տալ արժանի յարգանքի վերջին տուրքն իսկ։
Մինչ բիւրաւորներ կ՚ենթարկուին այս գարշելի եւ ահազդու պատուհասին, հազարաւոր շտապ օգնութեան ծառայողներ, բժիշկներ, բուժքոյրեր, պետական ծառայողներ, բարի սամարացիներ, կամաւորներ եւ ոչ պետական կազմակերպութիւններ օրն ի բուն կը խնամեն, կը բուժեն, յոյս կը ներշնչեն եւ շատ մը պարագաներու կեանք կը պարգեւեն խճողուած մահիճներու վրայ գտնուող հիւանդներու՝ ըլլան անոնք հիւանդանոցներու կամ շտապ կառուցուած բժշկական սարգաւորումներու մէջ։
Հուռա՛, բոլոր անոնց՝ որոնք կոչումը ունին, նուիրաբերումը եւ կամ պարտաւորութիւնը իրենց օգնութեան ձեռքը երկարելու։
Հարիւր հինգ տարիներ առաջ Օսմանեան Թուրքիա կոչուած մէկ այլ ժանտախտ՝ կանխամտածուած պետական ծրագրով, ֆիզիքական ոչնչացման ենթարկեց կայսրութեան բնակչութեան մէկ հատուածը: Անոնք, պապենական հողերուն վրայ խաղաղութեամբ կ՚ապրէին հազարաւոր տարիներէ ի վեր՝, իրենց ետին մահ եւ ոչնչացում ձգող Թրքական սմբակներու դէպի Մերձաւոր Արեւելք խուժումէն շա՜տ առաջ՝ ։
Ամէն բանի ժամանակը կայ։
Այսօր, թագաժահրի այս ողբերգութեան ընդմէջէն, պարտինք կասեցնել ժամացոյցներու ընթացքը, յարգելու յիշատակը եւ յարգանքի տուրք մատուցանելու մեր մէկու կէս միլիոն նահատակներուն, որոնք անմարդկային ամենադաժան միջոցներով մանգաղուեցան եւ ոչնչացան։ Իր պատմական հողին վրայ ապրող մեր ժողովուրը թիրախ դարձաւ՝ գոհացում տալու խաւարի մէջ՝ պետականօրէն կազմակերպուած ոճիրի մը, որ չհանդուրժեց խաղաղ, բարգաւաճ, ստեղծագործ Քրիստոնեայ փոքրամասնութեան մը գոյութիւնը՝ իր պապենական հողին վրայ։
Տեսախցիկներ չկային, ականատես ըլլալու մտրակուող պարտադիր տեղահանութեան։ Լրատուամիջոցներ չկային, արձագանգելու «ազգի մը սպանութիւնը»։ Շտապ օգնութեան միջոցներ չկային հասնելու համար փշոտ դաշտերուն մէջ, ժայռոտ լեռնային ճանապարհներու վրայ, անապատի կիզիչ աւազին, վտանգաւոր եւ ամայացած անմշակ ճամբաներուն վրայ եւ կամ մութ ու սարսափազդու քարանձաւներու մէջ, մահուան սպառնալիքին ենթարկուող տեղահան ժողովուրդին: Շտապ օգնութիւն չկար գթալու երկունքի մէջ գտնուող մօր մը եւ կամ ոսկրացած որբ մանչուկի մը կոչին: Շտապ օգնութիւն չկար անսալու կաթիլ մը ջուրի պապակով ակոսուած շրթներու եւ կամ հացի փշրանք մը հայցող նօթիին: Շտապ օգնութեան կոչերու պատասխանող չեղաւ փրկելու խեղդամահ մանկամարդուհի մը եւ կամ բոցերու մէջ կրակի տրուած հարս մը, որոնք ետ մղած էին լորձնաշուրթն ահագնողներ։
Այսօր՝ երախտագիտութեամբ կ՚ողջունենք Ամերիկայի Միացեալ Նահանգներու Գոնկրէսի կողմէ երկա՜ր սպասուած Հայոց Ցեղասպանութեան ճանաչումը, անցեալ տարուայ աշնան: Բայց հակառակ թաւալող մէկ դարաշրջանին, Մեծ Ոճիռի ժառանգորդները տակաւին մահագունի մէջ կը մնան իրենց գիտակից ուրացութեամբ։
Այսօր՝ անոնք ալ կը տառապին նոյն թագաժահրով։ Իմ աղօթքն ու մաղթանքն է, որ ինչպէս ամբողջ աշխարհը, գիտակից ուրացումի ռահվիրան՝ Թուրքիան, նոյնպէս ապագինի այս հիւանդութեան հետեւանքով յառաջացած աւերէն եւ հոգեվարքէն եւ խաղաղութիւն գտնէ։
Ամէն բանի ժամանակը կայ կ՚ըսէ Աստուածաշունչը։
Այսօր ես առաջնորդուած եմ Աստուծոյ խօսքով՝ Հրոմ. 12:19, որ կ՚ըսէ.- «Վրէժխնդրութիւնը իմս է, ե՛ս պիտի հատուցանեմ:
Ամէն բանի ժամանակը կայ։
Այսօր ժամանակն է խոնարհելու եւ մեր յարգանքի տուքը մատուցանելու նահատակներուն, վերահաստատելով մեր հաւաքական ձգտումը արդարութեան:
Ապրիլ 24, 2020
The Armenian Missionary Association of America, in partnership with its sister organization in France “Hope for Armenia” (Espoir pour l’Arménie) operates a Soup Kitchen in Stepanavan, Armenia for the past 25 years.
The state of Emergency in Armenia, due to the recent COVID-19, has also changed the operation of this Soup Kitchen. The Soup Kitchen continues to operate; however currently volunteers are delivering the food to the homes of the elderly, wearing gloves and masks to ensure health regulations are followed properly.
AMAA established the COVID Response Fund to help alleviate the financial hardships caused by the outbreak, acquisition of medical supplies, food distribution, access to health and social support services and other unforeseen consequences the outbreak may cause.
An Easter Message by Rev. Jeremy Tovmassian, Pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Chicago and moderator of the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America.
He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him […] Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were so afraid. — Mark 16:6-8
Jesus has risen!
This announcement to the women at the Christ’s tomb was meant to elicit praise and joyful proclamation. Instead, the announcement issues fear and trembling. Not a word is spoken. The women flee the tomb and the story Mark has been telling ends with a deafening silence.
If you like stories with closure, Mark’s gospel may not be for you. The Gospel of Mark ends in a surprisingly abrupt account of the disciples’ failure and disobedience even in the presence of Jesus’ resurrection. All throughout the story Mark has been telling about Jesus, the disciples have misunderstood and misrepresented Him. One scene after another we encounter a group of thick-headed, misguided followers of Jesus. At the end of the story, we expect to finally see the “Aha!” moment we’ve been waiting for. Perhaps, finally, we will see a faithful representation of discipleship. Sadly, we find more of the same; a failure to understand what God is doing and yet another discipleship failure.
The irony of this ending, is that the Church continues to read it on Easter morning! In other words, the very presence of a Christian community who reads this story signals the ongoing work of this Jesus who has risen indeed. Despite the failures and the imperfections of the disciples all throughout Mark’s Gospel — and throughout human history — there is still the miracle that we are here this Easter working out what it means to follow Jesus in the 21st Century.
So, perhaps Mark’s ending isn’t really an ending at all. Perhaps, instead, it is an invitation into a new beginning — a new story that we are called to live into and engage in today. One clever commentator suggested that we add the word “and” with an ellipsis to the ending of Mark — as if to say, “Jesus is risen! He’s alive and on the loose! The women say nothing! They run away in fear. They hide in terror and … ”
When we close Mark this way, we look up from the reading, we turn to our brothers and sisters in the congregation, and we find a community gathered around the text, to hear it fresh in the present. In the face of all our fears and failures, in the humiliating recognition of our weaknesses, the Easter celebration of Christ’s resurrection described in Mark reminds us that God is on the prowl. What God is doing in the world does not succeed or fail on our own merits, rather it succeeds because of the crucified-risen Messiah Jesus. We are the embodiment of the Risen Lord’s activity in the world and we are here today because He is risen.
Despite our persistent unfaithfulness and despite our pestering misrepresentations of Jesus, God continues to make us new. He remains faithful. His way is the way that is bringing life into the world. So this Easter we celebrate together even in this moment of isolation and fear; Jesus indeed is risen! See the place where they laid Him! He is alive and on the loose! And …
Dear Friends of the AMAA,
Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Matthew 28:2-6
The Resurrection of Christ is not simply an event that happened many, many years ago. It continues to take place each and every year as we thank God for His eternal message that He loves us and never leaves us. God’s love gives us hope and courage to do good things both at Easter and throughout the year. We are called to believe in the Good News, which is at the foundation of our faith and should be shared with our families, as well as our brothers and sisters around the world, especially during these most unsettling times. Think about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic adding further stress to our people already suffering due to personal hardship or already fragile systemic impacts.
Since 1918, through the generosity of our special friends and donors such as you, the AMAA continues to address the needs of our brothers and sisters and bring direct relief to thousands of individuals in Armenia and Artsakh, the Near East and communities around the globe. Your donations have provided access to quality education, healthcare, places of worship, community centers, camps, humanitarian and relief aid.
We hope that you will join us again this Easter and support our call to love and serve our God who has blessed us so abundantly. Your gift, no matter how large or small, will make it possible for us to accomplish our Mission.
May God continue to bless you and your family this Easter and throughout the year. He has risen, Alleluia, and we rejoice now and forever.
Քրիստոս յարեաւ ի մեռելոց։
Օրհնեալ է Յարութիւնը Քրիստոսի։
April 02, 2020
Dear AMAA Members and Friends:
I hope this letter finds each one of you and your loved ones healthy and well. These past few weeks have certainly been emotionally and physically draining for all as new norms have taken root.
As our day-to-day life continues to evolve around COVID-19, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) is focused on remaining a constant and helping our brothers and sisters in communities both here in the United States, Armenia, the Near East and worldwide.
With thousands of people already unemployed, or battling this virus, an uncertain future lies ahead. The AMAA stands united with the world to combat the unprecedented challenges and anticipated emergency predicament presented by this growing pandemic. Our members’ support is needed now more than ever.
A ‘COVID Response Fund’ has been established and we are asking for you to share your blessings and extend any financial support at this critical time. Your gift will be designated to help alleviate the financial hardships caused by the outbreak, acquisition of medical supplies, food distribution, access to health and social support services and other unforeseen consequences the outbreak may cause.
We remain humbled and thankful by our members’ faith in our ministry. May God bless and grant peace to us all.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
-2 Timothy 1:7
AMAA Executive Director/CEO
Join AMAA’s initial goal to raise $100,000 to support “COVID RESPONSE FUND!” Together, we can lift each other back up again. Below is a list of 3 ways to donate.
Please mail check to:
The Armenian Missionary Association of America
31 W Century Road Paramus, NJ 07652
Check Memo: COVID Response Fund
We have reached our initial goal of $100,000! The needs are wide range and immense and our appeal is open ended. AMAA is on a long term mission to help our communities throughout the world. Please consider helping us continue to reach out to all affected by COVID-19 anywhere and our troubled communities in the Near East. Thank you for your generosity!
- HOW AMAA IS HELPING ARMENIA THROUGH COVID-19
- HOW AMAA IS HELPING THE NEAR EAST
- AMAA COVID HELP IN US
For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
Dear AMAA members, friends and supporters,
At the time ‘The Constant’ was penned for the latest issue of the AMAA News, see below, a variety of news headlines were at the focus of attention at kitchen tables across America.
Today, literally, the Coronavirus, a source of national and international anxiety and uncertainty, solely reigns at the top of all global concern.
This vicious pandemic has caused an unprecedented disturbance in the lives of the global population, unparalleled in the life of several generations.
The AMAA offices are not immune to this disturbance.
Having the health and safety of our staff at heart, we too have changed our appearance but have not compromised our service.
Considering CDC guidelines, a skeleton crew covers the AMAA Headquarters at 31 W. Century Rd., Paramus, New Jersey, as well as our Glendale, California and Yerevan, Armenia offices.
Despite the appearance, we are in business as usual, working remotely from home, meeting, connecting and communicating visually, electronically or by phone to continue normal operations.
In the light of this global uncertainty and fear, rest assured:
- We have mostly funded AMAA’s annual services and programs across the globe for the current fiscal year.
- We have successfully crossed barriers and obtained a license to fund our mission in Syria and Iran, delivering your heart sprung designated gifts to our embattled communities.
Despite fretful global turmoil, the AMAA remains ‘The Constant’.
Your heartwarming response to our emergency appeal for Near East Relief will reach where it is intended.
- Children will not suffer for unpaid tuitions.
- Families will not miss a hot meal.
- The elderly will not be shunned.
- The sick will not be deprived of medical care.
*Please feel free to call (201) 265-2607 or email email@example.com for assistance.
Amidst all the unprecedented and radical changes evolving around us, AMAA remains to be ‘The Constant’. Utilizing its human and material resources in these tiring times, AMAA will continue to proclaim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and reach out to the physical needs of our people around the globe to the best of its ability.
- Please pray for divine intervention.
- Please pray for the AMAA.
- Please pray for the good Lord to have mercy.
- Please wash your hands.
- Keep social distancing.
- Stay at home if possible.
- Follow CDC, national and local directives and health guidelines.
Be safe, for God loves you.
Thank you for your continued support of the AMAA.
AMAA Executive Director/CEO
…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
By Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO
None of you, I suppose, have missed the major news headlines which have recently been the focus of attention at many kitchen tables of American families.
- Impeachment and Acquittal
- Climate Change
- US Primaries and Presidential Elections
and to a lesser degree
- Deal of the Century
- An Unrestrained Turkey Salivating New Imperial Ambitions
- Unrelenting Armed Conflict in the Near East
- Popular Discord and Economic Chaos in Lebanon
Emotions and positions like what we have currently witnessed have not been this radically polarized in American Society for quite a long time.
In fact, the schism within states and societies is not just confined to the United States of America. So much so that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, recently warned that “A wind of madness is sweeping the globe.”
Tons of ink can flow in the process of validating, explaining, justifying, arguing and defending one view against the other. But it is sad to note that the defining line of these conflicts is the reign of egocentrism, power, greed and narcissism. For man defies the conception of the truth. As we read in scripture, 1 Peter 1:24
“…All men are like grass.
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord stands forever.”
In its 101 years of history and service, the AMAA has banged the rock and maneuvered through the killing fields of the post Genocide Syrian desert, the great Depression, World War II, bountiful natural disasters around the globe, post-Soviet independent Armenia, the Artsakh liberation war and endless, truly endless wars in the Near East since the end of World War II. Wars that have rocked the foundation of our thriving post Genocide communities in Egypt, Cyprus, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Wars, armed conflicts and economic decadence the redemption from which seems to have shared the fate of those ‘waiting for Godot.’
Amidst all this unrest, hopelessness and confusion, the AMAA has maintained one basic ‘constant’, reflecting God’s love and putting faith into action for our brothers and sisters in need. “……whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
Prior to the healing of wounds in Syria where rockets are still falling in the streets of Aleppo, while missile strikes intermittently continue in Iraq and Iran, a cry for help has once again come from Lebanon where UAECNE President Rev. Mgrdich Karagoezian has issued an ‘appeal for emergency support for the UAECNE ministries in these difficult times’ of increasing layoffs, hundreds of business closures, inflation and liquidity crunch.
AMAA’s ‘constant’ is in full motion. In faith, we answer the clear call for spiritual nourishment, educational support, physical sustenance, health care, social and cultural programs and provisions. The ‘constant’ is in the AMAA’s ability to retain a cup that never overflows. We have and shall continue to respond to the emergency appeal for support by the UAECNE and ask for your help in bringing stability to and injecting hope in our communities in the Near East.
Thank you for your support in shoring AMAA’s ‘constant’ yesterday, today and tomorrow.
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19), a pandemic causing major illness, fatality, closings of schools, work and events, creates fear and panic around the world, we pray for your safety, the safety of our missions, mission partners, institutions all over the globe, and safety of the thousands who are impacted by the AMAA every day. A song in Psalm 131 reminds us to be calm and quiet our soul for God is in control even in difficult situations.
I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
At AMAA, the health and safety of our staff is priority. Considering CDC Guidelines for COVID-19, AMAA is taking the necessary precautions to prioritize the health of staff and visitors. Limited office hours until further notice. Please feel free to call 201 • 265 • 2607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Thank you and stay safe!
During this time of global emergency, please take necessary measures to protect yourself and others. We have listed links to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention below.
- Steps To Protect Yourself and Others
- What To Do If You Are Sick
- Keep Work, Schools and Communities Safe
Instability has been the course of the Middle East’s modern history and by all accounts will remain so for the foreseeable future. Daily news reports illustrate harrowing days of unease throughout the region; rockets falling on the streets of Aleppo; increasing layoffs, hundreds of businesses closing, inflation, liquidity crunch are just some of the escalating effects of the economic crisis in Lebanon; missile strikes and demonstrations in Iran and Iraq. These and other ongoing tensions and prolonged conflict have increased pressures and daily struggles for regular citizens.
In the midst of this unrest, the AMAA remains a constant and will not forsake our brothers and sisters who live in the countries we serve -Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. AMAA will respond to the emergency appeal for support by the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE) and needs your help in bringing stability to our communities and people most affected.
Yes, times are challenging but these challenges must not overwhelm any hope or solution that could be found. When you make a donation to the AMAA earmarked for Near East Relief, your gift will be put to use across the following areas:
Nurture: In an environment racked with conflict and violence, the effects on childhood are evident. Every child deserves stability. Your contribution supports social and cultural programs that help nurture the children and provide a sense of normalcy.
Education: The basic right to education is not only a cornerstone of AMAA’s mission but a means to long-term development of a community. Armenian Evangelical Schools in Lebanon and Syria have been struggling to operate. Provide a parent with the peace of mind that their child will continue receiving a quality education –make a donation today!
Assistance: All gifts will help uplift an individual or family who has an urgent need but not the financial means. In Lebanon and Syria, the cost of living has made a significant jump, a 30-50% increase in the cost of groceries in the last four months. Your donation could provide vital items such as food, water, blankets, clothing, and rent or business assistance.
Repatriation: AMAA is committed to keeping a LifeLine open for any individual or family who wishes to relocate to the Homeland to rebuild and restore their lives.
Encouragement: A difficult road lies ahead. Your gift is a catalyst of serving the vulnerable and upholding positive change.
Access: In times of crisis, access to healthcare is vital. You donation will help ensure medical and dental clinics remain open and provide much-needed patient support and access to medication.
Spirituality: There is no place in which God is not present. Working with churches in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran, AMAA provides resources to witness the love of Christ, help their vital ministry continue and support local communities.
Tuition: Haigazian University remains a beacon of hope for the future of Lebanon. Support students striving to complete their higher higher education and are working hard, despite interruptions and economic pressures.
Help AMAA focus on the next chapter with a clear vision. Tomorrow will certainly bring new opportunities and fresh challenges. Your support will help us be ready to answer the call!
Read More: AMAA’s Support to the Near East
Years will pass by and today’s Avedisian School students will grow, yet many of them who were in the School’s Auditorium on February 21, 2020 will say, “I have seen and heard the greatest Armenian composer of our time, Tigran Mansurian.” Or, “I personally asked the Maestro a question, and he answered me.” Or, “I held my breath listening to the Maestro,” “I’ll never forget …” and they will recount many other unforgettable memories of the day.
Hosting the great Maestro under the roof of the Avedisian School was truly a memorable event, as the beloved composer, at the zenith of his respectable life, taught a small but invaluable lesson to the students.
What was Maestro Mansurian talking about with the Avedisian students? He advised the students to see only the good and be forgiving; on the path of real victory to know also to be conquered. He Also talked about the freedom of the creative soul; about the character of an intellectual or artist, and many other subjects that touched the soul of the students.
The living legend Maestro Mansurian was engaging. There were more students who wished to ask a question, than those who did. Then he approached the piano, sat down slowly and his fingers touched the keyboard. And the sounds of his famous music from the film “A Little Sky” first spread then began to soar to great heights. Even the air became noble… and the hall held its breath…
At the conclusion of this exciting event, School Principal Melanya Geghamyan presented the Maestro with a book about Komitas “The Magnificent Song of All Armenians” and a book about the Avedisian School. And the students promised to continue their newly formed friendship with the Maestro by sending letters.
The meeting was not yet over as the dear guest, who left the room, continued answering questions, signing autographs and taking pictures with the students outside the Auditorium.
Established in 1988, AMAA’s Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School is an educational institution that provides outstanding K-12 holistic, tuition-free education in a modern, environmentally friendly building, using state-of-the-art facilities in the low-income Southwest District of Malatia-Sebastia in Yerevan, Armenia.
Մաեստրօ Տիգրան Մանուսրեանի Այցը Աւետարանչականի Աւետիսեան Դպրոց
Տարիները կ՚անցնին, Աւետիսեանցիները կը մեծնան, եւ Փետրուար 21, 2020-ին Դպրոցի դահլիճը նստողներէն շատեր կ՚ըսեն.- «Ես տեսայ ու լսեցի մեր ժամանակներու ամենամեծ Հայ երաժիշտ՝ Տիգրան Մանսուրեանը»։ Կամ «Ես անձամբ հարց տուի Մաեստրոյին եւ ան պատասխանեց»։ Եւ կամ «Ես շունչս պահած լսեցի Մաեստրոյին», «Ես երբեք չեմ մոռնար…» եւ այս անմոռանալի հանդիպումին հետ կապուած շատ յուշեր կը պատմեն անոնք։
Իսկ մեծ Մաեստրոն Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան Խորեն եւ Շուշանիկ Աւետիսեան Դպրոցի յարկի տակ հիւրընկալելը, իրաւի իրադարձութիւն էր, որովհետեւ սիրուած երաժիշտը իր պատկառելի կեանքի բարձունքէն, մի փոքրիկ բայց անգնահատելի դաս տուաւ այստեղ։
Ինչի՞ մասին կը խօսէր Մաեստրոն Աւետիսեանցիներուն հետ։ Հայրենադարձ հայու հայրենաբաղձ հոգիի ամբողջ ներողամտութեամբ միայն լաւը տեսնելու, յանուն իր ինքնատիպ արուեստի Խորհրդային ժամանակներու տատասկոտ ուղիի վրայ չընկրկելու, իրական յաղթանակի ճանապարհին, նաեւ պարտուիլ իմանալու, ստեղծագործող մարդուն հոգեկան ազատութեան եւ նաեւ անկախութեան, մտաւորականի կերպարի եւ բազմաթիւ այլ նիւթերու շուրջ։
Կենդանի առասպել Մաեստրօ Մանսուրեանը կը խօսէր։ Հարց տուողներէն աւելի շատ էին հարց տալ ցանկացողերը։ Ապա ան մօտեցաւ դաշնամուրին, դանդաղ նսաւ եւ մատները թեթեւակի հպեցին ստեղնաշարը… «Կտոր մը Երկինք» շարժանկարի հոգեհմայ երաժշտութեան հնչիւնները նախ սփռուեցան, ապա սկսան ճախրել ինչ որ տեղ մը վերեւ։ Տեսակ մը «ազնուացած» էր նոյնիսկ օդը… Իսկ դահլիճը պահած էր շունչը…
Յայտագրի աւարտին, Դպրոցի Տնօրէնուհի Մելանիա Գեղամյան բուռն ծափողջուններու ներքեւ Մաեստրոյին նուիրեց Կոմիտասի մասին «Ամենայն Հայոց Երգի Վեհափառը» հրատարակութիւնը եւ Աւետիսեան Դպրոցի մասին Գիրք-Ալպոմը, որոշելով այս նորաստեղծ բարեկամութիւնը շարունակել նամակներով։
Թէեւ կը թուէր հանդիպումը աւարտած, բայց՝ ոչ. Դահլիճէն դուրս եկող հիւրը կը շարունակէր պատասխանել հարցումներու, ինքնագիր տալ եւ լուսանկարուիլ աշակերտներուն հետ։
Հիմնուած 1988-ին՝ Աւետարանչականի Խորեն եւ Շուշանիկ Աւետիսեան կրթական հաստատութիւնը կը հայթայթէ անվճառ գերազանց ժամանակակից ուսում Մանկապարտէզէն մինչեւ 12րդ դասարան, միջավայրային մաքուր շէնքի մէջ՝ օգտագործելով բարձրորակ դիւրութիւններ Երեւանի ամենաղքատ շրջաններէն՝ Մալաթիա-Սեբաստիա թաղամասին մէջ։
A message about St. Vartanantz Day by Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel. Romans 1:16
In the history of nations, it is rare to find a reference to holidays that occurred 1535 years ago. Indeed, since 451 A.D., Armenians, without interruption, everywhere and unequivocally have commemorated the martyrdom of the Vartanantz heroes and the freedom of worshipping God secured by their unselfish sacrifice.
A glance at Armenian History since that battle “For Jesus and for the Homeland,” reveals that despite periods of relative sovereignty and freedom we have enjoyed, and despite the existence of prosperous and fertile communities away from the Motherland, we can comfortably cite that today’s Armenian Communities in the United States, have never had their match of religious, linguistic, cultural, economic and political freedoms. We live and enjoy such a blessed and gracious environment of laws, which Armenians living in the Middle East, Europe and not even Soviet Armenia ever enjoyed.
And yet… alas. In this unrestrained atmosphere of freedom, individually and collectively, how loyal have we been to the sacred covenant of Vartan and his cohorts? With the mindset of a slave, how many times have we considered it shameful to confess and proclaim Christ as the Lord and Savior of our lives? Enslaved in the complexity of submission, how many times have we felt ashamed to utter our God graced Mesrobian tongue, fearing that those who speak a different language in our surroundings will consider us less civilized?
Keeping a grudge with solidarity and as lover of divisions, we have opened another trench among us. While some only embracing “For Jesus,” indifferently abandon our God-given identity and the language and culture from where it flows. Others, embracing “For the Homeland,” rebuff that all national pride we cherish, enjoy and care for are the grace of Almighty God, who is worthy of all glory and honor.
Against the treacherous Persian armies armed to their brim and led by fearsome and frightening elephants, Vartan and his comrades were armed with their unshakable faith in the Creator and were filled with endless love for the Motherland. By their selfless sacrifice and ultimate martyrdom, our centuries-old sacred legacy, crowned by the freedom of worshipping Christ, is the key to freedom for chained souls and enslaved minds.
Free from all alien and foreign constraints, to reflect genuinely the character of a true Armenian Christian, do we have the need for new oppressors in our individual and collective lives?
As the Poet penned
“For Christ, For the Homeland,
Onward, cried Vartan’s order,”
The cry is for you and for me.
Let us follow the path of Vartanantz and walk on their track.
Բռնութեան Տակ, Ազատ՝
Ազատութեան մէջ, Ստրո՞ւկ
Վասնզի ես ամօթ չեմ սեպեր Աւետարանը։ Հռովմ. 1. 16
Ազգութիւններու պատմութեան մէջ հազուագիւտ են այն տօները, որոնց յիշտակումի կեանքը կ՚երկարի 1535 տարիներ։ Արդարեւ, 451 թուականէն ի վեր, Հայ ժողովուրդը առանց ընդհատումի, ամենուրէք եւ միակամ կը յիշատակէ մարտիրոսացումը Վարդանանց հերոսներուն եւ անոնց անանձնական զոհաբերութեամբ ձեռք բերուած Աստուածապաշտութեան ազատութիւնը։
«Վասն Յիսուսի եւ վասն Հայրենեաց» մղուած այդ ճակատամարտէն ի վեր եթէ ակնարկ մը նետենք Հայոց Պատմութեան վրայ, պիտի տեսնենք թէ Հակառակ հայրենի հողին վրայ մեր վայելած ինքնիշխանութեան եւ անկախութեան շրջաններուն եւ հակառակ բարգաւաճ եւ բեղուն գաղութներու գոյութեան հայրենի հողէն հեռու, կարելի է հաստատել թէ Ամերիկայի Միացեալ Նահանգներուն մէջ ապրող այսօրուայ Հայ գաղութը չէ ունեցած իր նմանը մարդկային իրաւունքներ եւ կրօնական, լեզուական, մշակութային, տնտեսական ու քաղաքական ազատութիւններ վայելող նման մը։ Կ՚ապրինք ու կը վայելենք օրէնքներու այնպիսի օրհնեալ եւ շնորհեալ մթնոլորտ մը, որու նմանը չէ վայելած դժբախտաբար ոչ Միջին Արեւելքի, ոչ Եւրոպայի եւ ոչ իսկ Սովետական Հայաստանի մէջ ապրող Հայ ժողովուրդը։
Եւ սակայն… աւա՛ղ։ Ազատութեան այս սանձարձակ մթնոլորտին մէջ անհատապէս եւ խմբովին, որքա՞ն հաւատարիմ մնացած ենք Վարդանի եւ իր ընկերներու սրբազան ուխտին։ Ստրուկի հոգեբանութեամբ քանի՜ քանի՜ անգամներ ամօթ սեպած ենք Քրիստոսը մեր կեանքի Տէրն ու Փրկիչը դաւանիլ եւ յայտարարել։ Ստրկութեան բարդոյթին գերին դառնալով, քանի անգամ ամչցած ենք բառբառել Աստուածատուր Մեծասքանչը, վախնալով որ մեր շրջապատին մէջ տարբեր լեզու մը խօսողները նուազ քաղաքակիրթ համարեն մեզ։
Միաբանութեան հետ քէն պահած եւ որպէս բաժանումներու սիրահար՝ խրամատ մը եւս բացած ենք մեր միջեւ։ Մինչ ոմանք փարած միայն «Վասն Յիսուսի»ն անտարբերութեամբ կը լքեն Աստուածապարգեւ մեր ինքնութիւնը եւ անկէ փխած լեզուն եւ մշակոյթը։ Իսկ ուրիշներ փարած «Վասն Հայրենեաց»ին, կ՚ուրանան թէ անոնց գուրգուրացած, փայփայած եւ պահպանած ազգային բոլոր բարիքերը շնորհքն են Ամենակալ Հօր Աստուծոյ, որուն վայել է Փառք եւ Պատիւ։
Թանձրամորթ եւ ահարկու փիղերով առաջնորդուած եւ մինչեւ ակռաները զինուած պարսկական ճնշող բանակի մը դէմ հսկայացող Վարդան եւ իր ընկերները զինուած էին Ստեղծիչին հանդէպ անխախտ հաւատքով եւ հայրենիքի համար ամբարուած անսպառ սիրով։ Անոնց անսակարկ զոհաբերութեամբ եւ գերագոյն նահատակութեամբ դարերով պահուած մեր պապենական սուրբ ժառանգութիւնը, թագադրուած Քրիստոսը պաշտելու ազատութեան պսակով, շղթայուած հոգիներու եւ ստրկացած միտքերու ազատագրման բանալին է։
Ամէն տեսակ խորթ ու օտարամուտ կաշկանդումներէ ազատ՝ Հայ Քրիստոնեայի նկարագիրը հարազատօրէն ցոլացնելու համար արդեօ՞ք նորանոր Յազկերտներու կարիքը ունինք մեր անհատական եւ հաւաքական կեանքին մէջ։
«Վասն Յիսուսի, Վասն Հայրենեաց,
Յառաջ Վարդանի Հրամանը գոռաց»ը
Քեզի եւ ինծի համար է։
Եկէք հետեւինք Վարդանանց ուղիին եւ քալենք անոնց աւիղէն։
The James G. Jameson Essay Contest, sponsored by the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), runs every academic year starting in October, and is financed from the income of a special fund established by Mr. and Mrs. James G. Jameson of Brookline, MA.
All Armenian and part-Armenian students attending schools in North America are eligible. Only unpublished essays are accepted, which are written in English and have a length of 1,000 to 2,000 words.
The topics of the Contest are required to touch upon some aspect of Armenian heritage and experience, such as religion, history, culture, literature, language, art, architecture, geography, and economics.
Essays are judged on the basis of merit in such criteria as content, style, logic and reasoning, coherence, and usage.
Awards for the Contest are made in two categories: College/University contestants, and High School contestants.
The deadline for entries is June 1, 2020.
Entries and/or inquiries should be directed to: James G. Jameson Essay Contest, c/o of The Armenian Missionary Association of America, 31 West Century Road, Paramus, NJ 07652 or by email email@example.com
Earlier this year, AMAA’s “Shogh” Children’s Day Center in Vanadzor moved to its new location. The AMAA bought the building last year and renovated and furnished it as the new “Shogh” Center. The children, who attended the Center since 2013 when the Center was first opened, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony which was held on February 4. The staff welcomed the children to the new Center with applause, smiles and exclaiming “Welcome to the Shogh Center.”
Following the opening ceremony, the staff and families toured the Center where they were delighted to see the new furnishings in the classrooms.
In the new Center, the bee serves as a symbol of diligence, production and punctuality, and the children were welcomed with images of the bee family. The children were happy to learn that they were also members of that bee family. The many types of flowers in their imaginary fairytale garden had conventional names such as a flower of kindness, responsibility and care. They chose the flower nectar from which they will receive and bring their drop of honey into the Center, filling it with a symbolic honeycomb. Each made his/her own contribution by saying: “A drop of righteousness, kindness, faithfulness …” and they posted their bees on the wall as a promise to obey the Center’s rules, each repeating, “I am the Shogh.”
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, a reception was held which was also a reminder of a hive – organized work of bees, its efficiency and usefulness.
May every child enjoy the fruits of their work and share it with others. That is where our efforts are focused.
(Translated to English by Louisa Janbazian from the Eastern Armenian text written by Irina Chakhoyan, Coordinator of the Center)
AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian recently participated in a Conference entitled “Faith and Works” held in Venice, Italy under the auspices of the Mekhitarist Congregation and the Western European Patriarchal Delegation of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Conference, held February 7-8, 2020 at the St. Lazarus Monastery, was initiated and organized by the Mother of God Foundation (Yerevan). www.hg-meeting.org
A Press Release from the organizers identifying the purpose, participation and structure follows.
Mr. Khanjian summed up his experience at the Conference as follows.
“I am deeply touched and thankful for the invitation extended by Archbishop Boghos Lévon Zékiyan, spiritual leader of Turkey’s Armenian Catholic Community and the Papal Legate of the Mekhitarist Order in Venice, and Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, former Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America and current Pontifical Legate of the Western Europe, to participate in this Conference. The subject of the Conference is so near and dear to my personal life and to the mission of the AMAA. In fact, it has been the raison d’etre of the Association for the past 102 years. I came out of the Conference with a few laudable impressions.
“I commend the organizers’ visionary choice of a most challenging subject generally impertinent to the masses and yet so vital and redeeming for the human race and our people.
“I applaud the exemplary planning and structure of the Conference, which gave way to the full participation and interaction of most, if not all the participants. With varied degrees, all participants were engaged in the discussions.
“I was touched by the spirituality of all the participants and in particular the faithful youth representatives.
“The Conference uplifted my faith and reinstated my confidence that one day my people will not only pride themselves for being the first nation to accept Christianity as their State religion, but also to pride themselves for being pioneers in living that faith every day.
“Finally, a word of appreciation to the President of the Mother of God Foundation, Vartan Karapetyan, whose exemplary leadership and organizational creativity was capped with the promise of next year’s conference.”
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? James 2:14
FAITH AND WORKS CONFERENCE, FEBRUARY 7-8, 2020
SAINT LAZARUS ISLAND, VENICE, ITALY
Faith without works is dead. James 2:26
A Conference, entitled “Faith and Works,” was held in Venice, Italy on February 7-8, 2020, under the auspices of the Mekhitarist Congregation and the Western European Patriarchal Delegation of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Conference was initiated and organized by the Mother of God Foundation (Yerevan).
In the modern world, the expression of faith and exercising it is an almost impossible challenge. The purpose of this Conference was to form a crossroad of ideas, where through comprehensive discussions, the society is presented with a new vision of living and strengthening faith.
The theme of the Conference was entitled “Faith and Works,” because faith in each person’s life is strengthened and nourished by prayers, and it becomes tangible by works. The suggested location of the Conference was St. Lazarus Monastery, taking into consideration the centuries-old tradition of the latter’s “faith-deed” concept, and the importance of making it sustainable and applicable today.
Representatives of various fields, including clergy, intellectuals, businessmen, as well as representatives of public and charitable organizations, participated in this Conference, and from their own experience presented examples to the issues raised.
The discussions were followed by four thematic sessions, each with its own coordinator, who presented a relevant topic and actively engaged the other participants in. It was proposed that the Venice Convention be held annually.
(Translated from the original Armenian Press Release by Louisa Janbazian)
Join us for an AMAA event, Thursday, February 6, 2020, from 6:30 PM till 8:00 PM! Grab a friend and enjoy snacks and refreshments while you design your own arrangements for your Valentines! You’ll learn about the floral industry, tips and tricks for caring and designing with flowers to last longer and leave with your arrangement to enjoy!
This hour and a half class will be led by Kim Denis, owner of Denis Flowers in New Milford, NJ.
Proceeds will go to AMAA’s Orphan and Child Care Program to help children with their daily needs, after school programs or education. With limited tickets available, purchase your tickets online by Feb. 1, 2020 for your reservation. Tickets are $35 per person.
For more information, visit amaa.org or
contact Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the seventh year, AMAA’s “Stitched with Love” Program, headed by Betty Cherkezian, is sending knitted and crocheted blankets, hats, scarves and gloves to newborn and young children in Armenia.
During 2019, AMAA sent 12 boxes and 8 sacks of knitted blankets, hats, gloves and other knitted items to Armenia. The gifts were distributed through the Aynilian Clinic in Yerevan and through local AMAA-Armenia centers in Vanadzor, Vartenis, Goris, Stepanavan and Artsakh.
On behalf of our beautiful children, we thank our volunteers for being a special part of the “Stitched with Love” family. We are grateful to all for their master craftsmanship, support and dedication to this ongoing and important mission.
As part of the One Village Consortium, AMAA-Armenia was instrumental in obtaining a Belarus tractor for the Navur Village (Tavush Region) near the Azeri border in December 2019. The tractor, donated by the Director of North Hills LLC Arshavir Gevorgyan and benefactors George and Khachik Titizian of Los Angeles, CA, was a much-needed item for the community.
Mher Nikoyan, Director of the Cooperative, expressed his sincere gratitude to the AMAA and the North Hills LLC, as well as to George and Khachik Titizian for this generous donation which will greatly help the Navur Community.
Established in 2014, the non-profit Navur Community Agricultural Consumers Cooperative, which is governed by its members, provides low cost agricultural services to the community.
AMAA-Armenia is one of eleven organizations forming the Consortium: The Armenian Missionary Association of America-Armenia (AMAA-Armenia), “Shen” Charity NGO, Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), Development Principles NGO, Fund for Armenian Relief, World Vision Armenia, Teach For Armenia (TA), World Council of Churches Armenia Round Table Foundation, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Armenian Caritas Benevolent NGO and “Diaconia” Charitable Fund.
On January 14 and 15, the Hall at the AMAA Center on Baghramyan Street in Yerevan was crowded with children and their parents who gathered for special New Year’s and Christmas Programs. These Programs, which took place four times each day, were not just visits from Santa Claus, cheerful songs, dances and Christmas presents. They also included the Christmas message which was conveyed from the stage: Share God’s Love with One Another and Give Unselfish Joy to Others.
Through this year’s Christmas play “Three Baskets,” presented by AMAA-Armenia’s “Hayasa” theatrical group, the young actors successfully brought Divine Love to the audience. In the play, written by Director/Screenwriter Nune Abrahamyan, school children tell about their cherished dreams on Christmas Eve and realize that even material dreams can come true if there is a desire and willingness to help others with an endless compassion. At the conclusion, the children hug each other and the most important Christmas message echoes: “Because I came that they might have life and have more.” (John 10:10)
Before each presentation, the Evangelical Church of Armenia’s Christian Education Director Rev. Avetik Khachatryan and AMAA Armenia Representative Harout Nercessian greeted the audience and welcomed them to the Program.
AMAA Armenia and the Evangelical Church of Armenia jointly organized these festive Christmas and New Year’s events in 45 towns and villages in Armenia and Artsakh. Over 11,000 children received not only Christmas Joy Packages and visits from Santa but heard about God’s Divine Love to give unselfish joy to others.
We thank all our donors who supported our children in Armenia and Artsakh by donating to our Christmas Joy Program.
The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) has the distinct pleasure to share the news of its Board Member and Armenia Committee Chair Dr. Ann R. Karagozian Sarafian’s appointment as Inaugural Director of Promise Armenian Institute, which will include the new Armenian Studies Center. Dr. Karagozian will be involved in the selection of its first Director.
As stated in the official announcement by the UCLA International Institute “The Promise Armenian Institute is a groundbreaking new entity within the UCLA International Institute. The new institute will be the hub for world-class research and teaching on Armenian Studies, and for coordinating new and ongoing research and public impact programs across UCLA, from social sciences to health sciences; from humanities to music, the arts and engineering; and from public policy to management. The Promise Armenian Institute’s size, scope and interdisciplinary approach make it the first of its kind in the world.”
Dr. Karagozian received her bachelor’s degree in engineering from UCLA, graduating summa cum laude. She received her master’s degree and doctorate from Caltech and joined the UCLA faculty in 1982. Dr. Karagozian currently is the head of UCLA’s Energy and Propulsion Research Laboratory and the director of the joint UCLA-Air Force Research Laboratory Collaborative Center for Aerospace Sciences. In 2018, she was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
The AMAA extends it congratulations and good wishes to Dr. Karagozian for a successful leadership role at the “Promise Armenian Institute.”
The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year for full-time undergraduate students of Armenian descent studying in North America.
Students interested in applying for scholarships should personally request the Application Form by calling 201-265-2607 or by email, email@example.com. Previous recipients must reapply each year. It is the responsibility of the student to request an application form.
Incomplete items and/ or missing documents will automatically disqualify an applicant.
All completed application forms must reach the AMAA Headquarters postmarked no later than June 01, 2020.
Awards are made by the Scholarship Committee, which takes into consideration the applicant’s grades, financial need, the tuition cost of the college he/she will attend, accomplishments, future leadership potential and good character references. Please note, Scholarship Grant checks are issued only to academic Institutions and not individuals.
Lord, please provide strength and protection for those fighting to put out the fires and rescue lives.
As the Australian bushfires continue to blaze past the 20-million-acres mark, the AMAA, alongside the rest of the world, remains heartbroken by the destruction in the beautiful states of New South Wales and Victoria. Yet, the impact of this disaster have not remained confined to just those two states, as smoke and poor air quality have spread throughout Australia and affected residents as far as 1,200 miles away.
Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian, President of the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia reports: “After several weeks we have at least two dozen registered deaths, including volunteer firefighters, young and old, and still there are many who are unaccounted. Thousands of homes have been completely perished, many towns have been completely destroyed, tens of thousands of families have been stranded, holiday plans not only cancelled, but turned into nightmare, with roadblocks and immediate danger to commuters. Sadly, millions of natural habitat, including Australia’s iconic Kangaroos, Koalas, Emus, and so many different species, as well as natural Australian plantations have been scraped from the landscape.
I don’t have the words to present the full scale of the disaster. Gladly the major cities and people living there are safe. Fortunately the majority of the Armenian community lives in those safe places and we are spared from the catastrophic and horrific disaster. We, with all the churches in Australia and the world have been praying for the prevailing sad situation, which is the least we can do.”
While people are suffering and thousands and thousands of homes being perished, hundreds of people displaced and lacking the basic needs, it is our duty and responsibility with our prayers to contribute. Through our locally registered charity, the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia, we are doing our best to raise funds to support the suffering people along with other charities and the local and federal governments. Please consider lending your support today.
Click the button below to donate to Australia’s Natural Disaster Emergency Relief. All funds collected will be forwarded to AMA-Australia who will ensure they are channeled to local government and charities who are in-need.
Thanks to Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and all those who have pursued a long path towards justice for the 1.5 million innocent Armenian martyrs and other Christian victims in the Ottoman Empire, the US Senate has today recognized the Armenian Genocide!
According to Armenian National Committee of America, “the U.S. Senate adopted the Armenian Genocide Resolution (S.Res.150) by unanimous consent.”
“The resolution, identical to a measure (H.Res.296) adopted 405 to 11 in the U.S. House in October, officially rejects Turkey’s denials of its genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christian nations. Passage of the resolution – spearheaded by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) – marks the first time that the Senate has recognized the Armenian Genocide.”
“Adoption of this bill is especially fitting today given that this week marks the anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as well as Human Rights Day,” which was stated in a press release by the Armenian Assembly of America.
Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it: a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor, a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect; a world where peace is built on justice, and justice is guided by love. Amen.
To read full articles, click on the links below!
The Christmas Season is once again upon us. One word we will be hearing a lot during this beautiful season of the year is PEACE.
We will hear it proclaimed in the Gospel, we will read it on our Christmas cards, we will hang ornaments that say it on our Christmas trees, and we will sing it over and over again in our favorite Christmas carols.
While we all want and pray for peace on earth, we all know just how difficult it is to achieve. For centuries, mankind has been fighting and has been at war over land, water, religion, food, power, oil and many other commodities. It seems that there’s no peace in sight.
Today, as we prepare for the coming of Christ, the world is full of conflict. Our world is once again shaken with turmoil by the recent tragic events in Syria. Lives have been tragically lost and many of our brothers and sisters have been forced to quickly leave their homes and flee to safer grounds with nothing but the clothes on their backs. As the crisis deepens in Lebanon, for many members of our AMAA Communities, lives and daily routines are being disrupted. The future remains uncertain.
The AMAA has again been called upon to carry forth the promise of peace, joy and hope to our people who are so desperately in need. We need your help. Your generous support of our annual Christmas Appeal will not only help our people the Near East, but will also support our Mission which includes education, churches, camps, medical clinics, sponsorship programs, infant formula distribution and day centers in 24 countries around the world.
Please continue to pray for the refugees that peace will one day prevail in Syria and for others who will need our help during the coming year. We truly appreciate your generosity in the past and for all you do throughout the year to help those in need.
May God’s blessings flow to you and your family during this Christmas Season and may you all have a New Year filled with peace and the love of Christ.
Քրիստոս ծնաւ եւ յայտնեցաւ. ձեզի, մեզի Մեծ Աւետիս!
Krisdos dzenav yev haydnetzav, tsezee, mezee Medz Avedis!
(Christ is born and is revealed, good tidings to you and to us)
AMAA Executive Director/CEO
The Armenian Missionary Association of America wishes Armenia Tree Project (ATP) a Happy 25th Anniversary. This past summer, AMAA’s Summer Internship participants visited ATP in Armenia to plant trees and tour their nursery. Digging out rocks, watering, and planting on a hot summer day isn’t as easy as it looks. ATP has planted hundreds of trees at Avedisian School and has a long history of working with them on environmental education programs. AMAA’s Shogh Center children have visited ATP in Karin Nursery and ATP has also done environmental education programs at Shogh Center in Vanadzor. Thank you for bringing our land back to life! To many more years!
On November 8-9, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI), sponsored by the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), and with support of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, organized a two-day International Conference titled “The Rescue of Armenians in the Middle East 1915-1923.”
The Conference officially opened at the AGMI Conference Hall. Father Asoghik Karapetyan, a Representative of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Director of Museums and Archives, conveyed greetings from His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians. “We should always raise the question that humanity and self-sacrifice have been a guiding principle for Armenians in our lives today and at all times as an important assurance of national existence. Although our people have been brutally massacred in their Homeland, they were able with their unique ability of resurrection to continue to create and to build, and the role of the devotees is great in that process.”
In his remarks, AGMI Director Harutyun Marutyan mentioned that the idea of this Conference was born out of a bilateral collaboration between the AGMI and the AMAA. “The purpose of this Conference is to present the fate of those displaced due to the Armenian Genocide, and to highlight the activities of Armenian and international organizations and individuals who played a great role of rescuing Armenian refugees, particularly children and women.”
“Why in 2019?” questioned Mr. Marutyan. “Because exactly 100 years ago the ‘One Armenian, One Gold’ movement started, when thousands of Armenian orphans were in captivity and on the brink of Islamization. Armenian intellectuals realized that the future of the Armenian nation is greatly dependent on these orphans and they need to do everything possible to save these children who will become the citizens of tomorrow’s Armenia.”
AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian welcomed Conference participants with a video message where he said: “It is the irony of history that we are experiencing today. While we are here at the opening of this Conference, for the last seven years we have been witnessing new atrocities in Syria by the same brutal power whose victims today are the progeny of those rescued in the post Genocide era. The perpetrator and the crime have not rested. It is necessary to be watchful and to expect evil. Therefore, as a nation we must be ready for the task of salvage.”
Samvel Karabekyan, Advisor to the RA Ministry of Education and Science, and Raymond Harutyun Kevorkyan, Chairman of the AGMI Foundation Board of Trustees, also welcomed participants to the Conference.
On the first day of the Conference, the Exhibition titled “From National Unity to Revival,” exclusively featured Armenian contributions to the salvation of Genocide survivors. AGMI Academic Secretary Dr. Narine Margaryan considered this Exhibition unique and the success of various operations organized for the rescue of Armenian orphans was conditioned by their national and ideological unity. “In this work there were apostles, men who clearly understood the seriousness of the moment and were steadfast in their work. Some came in the form of donations, others gathered Armenians from the wilderness, and others took care of them in orphanages,” she said inviting the audience to be acquainted with the materials about these people and organizations.
Other themes throughout the Exhibition included the activities of Armenian religious institutions and other organizations – the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Armenian National Union, Armenian Orphans Care of Egypt, Armenian Organization of Mesopotamia, Armenian Red Cross, the works of Armenian Evangelicals and Catholics, as well as orphanages from the governments of the Republic of Armenian and the Armenian SSR. The Exhibition also included unique archival materials, such as documents, photos and exhibits mainly from the collections of the AGMI, and collections from the National Archives of Armenia, Yerevan History Museum and AGMI staff member Mihran Minasyan. Orphanage memories, which included photos, migration routes, orphanage items and handiwork items from the orphans, which until now were never seen, proved very interesting to those in attendance .
Director of the Armenian Studies Program in Modern and Classical Languages and Literature at the University of California, Northridge Dr. Vahram Shemmassian delivered a report about the pro-Armenian activities of Rev. Aharon Shirajian who forcibly rescued kidnapped Armenian women and children in Syria during the Armenian Genocide. Rev. Shirajian had been the Superintendent of the Karen Ephesus Shelter of Britain’s Friends of Armenian Organization and he continued the work of that organization beginning in 1922. Until 1933, Rev. Shirajian and his wife assisted women and girls who survived the massacres. As time and circumstances dictated, they gave the orphaned children new names, opened a school for them to learn languages, receive religious education and be re-Armenianized. They also took great responsibility to help the girls get married. They carefully chose suitable mates for them to form happy families and have good Armenian children.
The theme of AGMI Academic Secretary Dr. Narine Margaryan’s presentation was “The Armenian Orphanage in Aleppo from 1915 to 1924.”
Dr. Margaryan presented the history of the Armenian Orphanage, launched in July 1915, and the role of the institution in rescuing orphans. She detailed the activities of the Orphanage in the areas of education, health, finance, artisanship, caregiving, as well as the issues the Orphanage faced and how they were resolved. Dr. Margaryan also touched upon the regional political events of this period which had a direct impact on the Orphanage.
“The Armenian Orphanage in Aleppo started its activities on July 31, 1915 under the leadership of Rev. Aharon Shirajian who was born in Marash. He received his education at Central Turkey College in Aintab and attended the Marash Theological Seminary. In 1912 he went to Edinburgh to continue his theological studies. He witnessed the brutal politics of the Hamidian, Young Turk and Kemalist periods. He came to Aleppo after he was deported from Marash, where he founded the Orphanage. This was the period when the Ottoman Empire consistently pursued the policy of exterminating the Armenians. Doctor Assadour Altounian and his daughter, Nora Altounian, played an important role in the establishment of the Orphanage. They used their personal connections and tried to solve the health and wellbeing issues of the orphans.”
Director of the Center for Armenian Diaspora Studies of Haigazian University of Beirut Dr. Antrang Dakessian’s theme was “Navigation Between Dreams, Competing Postures, and New Life: HAYASDANI GOCHNAG 1919-1923.”
In January 1919, the 20-year-old GOCHNAG was renamed HAYASDANI GOCHNIAG. This renaming was related to the mission of the proclamation of the Republic of Armenia, the belief in the emergence of a new Armenia, and the mission of the newspaper to summon Armenian pilgrims to Armenia. The articles, reports and call for Armenian national sentiments published in HAYASDANI GOCHNAG gave their results. As a way of public advice, the GOCHNAG’s mission was to inspire Armenians with new vigor, new faith and dreams. In his report, Dr. Dakessian summarized editorials from the 1919 GOCHNAGS (over 150 editorials) and their main opinions.
Following the first session of the Conference, participants visited the Armenian Genocide Monument of Dzidzernagapert and laid flowers near the eternal flames.
The second day of the Conference was held at the KAREKIN I Educational Center of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Twenty-three scholars from Armenia, France, Germany, Lebanon and the United States addressed details of the rescue missions for those who survived the Genocide.
Researcher at Yerevan State University, Genocide Scholar Dr. Hilmar Kaiser’s report, “Religious Activities of the Protestants in the Ottoman Fourth Army from 1915 to 1917,” touched upon Evangelical figures such as Koundakjian, Mhudian, Haidostian, and Revs. Eskidjian and Shirajian, who undertook the task of rescuing those displaced by the Armenian Genocide in Hama and Aleppo. During these rescue missions, Evangelicals also suffered casualties.
Dr. Kaiser particularly remembered Araksya Jebejian and Beatrice Royer and was the only reporter who also touched upon Turkish individuals who opposed the massacres and helped the displaced. In particular, he presented the charitable actions and assistance provided to Armenians by the Ottoman Fourth Army. He told a noteworthy story of an Ottoman person who oversaw one of Aintab’s shelters. At the beginning of World War I, he expressed a desire to become a Christian and after the end of the War, he left the Army and Turkey with an Armenian woman and eventually lived in Syria in an Evangelical community.
Other participants of the Conference also presented the fates of the displaced, as a result of the Armenian Genocide, highlighting activities of additional Armenian and international organizations and individuals involved in the rescue mission of Armenian refugees, children and women.
At the conclusion of the Conference, Director of the AGMI Foundation Harutyun Marutyan summarized the work done and highly appreciated the fact that “if until now we have always emphasized the role of the foreigners in the rescue mission of the Armenians, this two-day Conference emphasized the role of Armenians in the rescue mission. Moreover, these Armenians were both individuals and large and small organizations, which in today’s terminology have taken on the role of the Ministry of Refugees and have accomplished great organizational work.”
The Conference also revealed many issues that still need to be researched. “The second century of the Armenian Genocide Study is commencing, and old questions require new answers. There are also new questions that require timely answers,” said Mr. Marutyan. He also mentioned that three international conferences and two exhibitions are planned for next year. “I would like to thank the AMAA and in particular Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin for their support of this two-day Conference” said Mr. Marutyan, who expressed hope that they would be ready to support their further plans.
AMAA Armenia Press
(Translated from Armenian into English by Louisa Janbazian)
You may read the article in Armenian at https://amaa.am/am/նորություններ/item/1282-միջազգային-գիտաժողով՝-«հայերի-փրկության-գործը-մերձավոր-արևելքում-1915-1923-թթ-»
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Sherman Oaks on 2
“Do your best when fulfilling anything; live having self-respect and remember that failure is not defeat yet; moreover, it is a lesson for not stumbling on your path ahead”, said Historian Vartan Gregorian in his address to the Avedisian School students and Teachers. Mr. Gregorian, “Aurora” Global Humanitarian Award Co-Founder and Selection Committee member, and President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, visited the AMAA Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School in Yerevan on October 23 accompanied by School Benefactors Edward and Pamela Avedisian.
After giving a brief overview of his respectable scientific and public path in the past, Mr. Gregorian answered the audience’s diverse questions, such as his views on school, education, philanthropy, and volunteering. Some of the questions were about his Armenian childhood and family and his ties with the Homeland.
“You owe it to yourself to make Armenia become the strongest country in education, banking, new technologies, medical and other priority areas. So, whatever you do in life, do your best. Live in self-respect; accept any failure not as a defeat but as a lesson on your path. Learn and enjoy the opportunities you have. And, remember that the future of the Armenian people is in your hands,” said Mr. Gregorian in his closing remarks.
Following the difficult selection by the organizers of the “Aurora” Prize this year, three of the volunteers selected to assist the ceremony represented the Avedisian School. Two School twelfth graders Gohar Varderesyan and Aleksander Mnatsakanyan as well as alumna Milena Galstyan were chosen for performing their noble and responsible volunteer work honorably and with excellence.
On Thursday morning, November 7, AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian visited the C & E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School in Sherman Oaks, CA. The students greeted him in the Chapel singing the Anthem of the Republic of Armenia as well as two hymns. They were accompanied by Music Teacher Alice Derkevorkian on the piano. Principal Lina Arslanian welcomed Mr. Khanjian and introduced him as one of the School’s founding members who served on the School’s Board of Directors as a member and as Chair for many years and as a big supporter of Merdinian School.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Khanjian said he felt at home at Merdinian, which is the only Armenian Evangelical School in North America under the auspices of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America. He then addressed the students with a beautiful message, emphasizing the importance of smile, which he said, is a symbol of inner contentment, while laughter is the result of a humorous story or a funny incident.
He then shared the story of Jesus calling the little children to Him and blessing them (Mark 10:13-16). He related his message to the great Armenian poet Jacque Hagopian, who passed away just two days earlier, and expressed his contentment for having a poet who lived such a long life and who dedicated his writings to Armenia, to our nation, and to God. Mr. Khanjian shared a few verses from two of Mr. Hagopian’s poems with the students and teachers. He concluded his message with a prayer.
Following the chapel service, Mr. Khanjian met with the Principal Arslanian and a few teachers in the faculty room and discussed various matters pertaining to the School.
Established in 1982 by the Armenian Missionary Association of America, the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America and the United Armenian Congregational Church of Los Angeles, Merdinian School, located in Sherman Oaks, CA, is the only Armenian Evangelical School in North America. The School offers a broad-based curriculum that fosters academic excellence, high moral values, and spiritual enrichment in the Armenian Evangelical tradition. Merdinian strives to create a safe and nurturing environment where every student receives personal attention to become a successful and responsible individual. For more information, please contact the School directly at 818.907.8149.
Four Haigazian University Board of Trustees members were honored for their long years of service during the Annual Banquet organized by the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at the La Cañada Country Club. The Banquet was the culmination of several days of meetings in Los Angeles, bringing together Trustees from across the U.S. as well as Beirut.
The evening began with the opening prayer by former Haigazian University President Rev. Dr. John Khanjian and the audience singing the Alma Mater. Haigazian President Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, having just arrived from Beirut, shared: “The real wealth of Haigazian University is its people, past and present, be they Board members, students, faculty, administrators, alumni, supporters, or Women’s Auxiliary groups.”
Each honoree was presented with a plaque by Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Hasmig Baran. The four honorees, Dr. H. Steven Aharonian, Louis Kurkjian, Herair Mouradian, and Dr. Vahe Nalbandian, were introduced by Trustee Dr. Barkev Kassarjian and AMAA President Dr. Nazareth Darakjian. Their comments clearly spoke of being privileged to serve such a remarkable endeavor.
Concerning the impact Haigazian has on many levels, President Haidostian commented: “In addition to the regular academic programs, our teacher training workshops, publications, international conferences, internships for young officials from Armenia and Artsakh, and partnership with global educational centers, take us beyond the limits of the Beirut campus.”
“My gratitude is to all who have made this day possible,” continued President Haidostian, “especially raising funds for scholarships. Being that the annual scholarship budget is 1.5 million dollars, annual tuition is $9,000, and the average annual household income not exceeding $15,000, one may understand each recipient’s gratitude. Special thanks to the AMAA, the Philibosian Foundation, and other partners for their continued commitment and generosity.” Noting the coming celebratory year, President Haidostian said, “2020 is our 65th anniversary, with events being planned throughout the year in Beirut, Los Angeles and Yerevan!”
With their hearts and minds on the current problems occurring in Beirut, the evening highlighted the understanding that Haigazian University, with its diverse student population, will indisputably continue to be a vibrant institution, as its graduates continue to use their newly gained knowledge and expertise as leaders in their chosen fields to enrich Lebanon, the surrounding countries, and the Armenian Diaspora.
Banquet Co-Chairs Katia Kermoyan-Khodanian and Raffi Kendirjian and their dedicated Committee are to be highly commended for organizing this exceptional event to bring hope and encouragement to young people in the Middle East aspiring to a brighter future through this unique University.
Founded in 1955 under the auspices of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East and the Armenian Missionary Association of America, and notably the only Armenian University outside Armenia, Haigazian University, with a motto of Truth, Freedom, Service, has served Lebanon and the region by empowering valuable human resources as a beacon of learning for a diverse community, and for a better life and service.
OPENING OF AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND TEMPORARY EXHIBITION
The Rescue of Armenians in the Middle East, 1915-1923
The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation is organizing a two-day conference on 8-9 November 2019 titled “The Rescue of Armenians in the Middle East, 1915-1923”. The first day of the conference will take place in the AGMI Conference Hall, with the second continuing at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
The conference aims to present the fate of the Armenians who were displaced as a result of the Armenian Genocide and to highlight the activities of Armenian and international organizations and individuals that were involved in the rescue of Armenian refugees, particularly of women and children.
Twenty three scholars from Armenia, France, Germany, Lebanon, and the USA will participate in the conference, making references to, and presenting details of, the rescue of Genocide survivors. The conference will focus mainly on the roles played partly by international organizations and by religious and national preservation organizations such as the Armenian General Benevolent Union and the work carried out by those in Mesopotamia. The experts will present the Armenian-gathering initiatives undertaken in the provinces of Western Armenia and references to the activities of separate orphanages will be also made. The conference will also address the issues that existed during the fulfillment of the salvation mission. Self-help practices, data relating to orphans, the salvation of Armenian women and children in the context of the development of international law, as well as a range of other topics on these themes, will be discussed. The working languages of the conference are Armenian and English.
In the framework of the conference, the temporary exhibition “The Rescue of Armenians in the Middle East, 1915-1923: from National Unity to Revival” will be opened on November 8, at 10:00 am in the Armenian Genocide Museum’s temporary exhibitions hall.
The event’s opening speeches will be delivered by the Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation, Dr. Harutyun Marutyan and Dr. Narine Margaryan, the AGMI Scientific Secretary, who is the coordinator of the conference and exhibition.
The exhibition will focus exclusively on the Armenian contribution to the salvation of Genocide survivors. Separate sections will clarify the roles of Armenian religious organizations. Activities carried out by the AGBU, Armenian National Union, Armenian Orphan Relief of Egypt, Armenian Organizations in Mesopotamia, Armenian Red Cross, as well as orphan care initiatives made the governments of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian SSR will be presented.
A large section will be dedicated to individuals who were engaged in orphan seeking activities in the Mesopotamian deserts and the territory of Western Armenia by providing women and orphans with shelters.
The exhibition will show unique archival materials such as documents, photos and exhibits mainly from the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, as well as from the National Archives of Armenia, Yerevan History Museum and AGMI staff member Mihran Minasian’s personal archive. Statistics concerning the number of orphans will also be presented. Orphans’ memories and photographs which never been seen until now will be displayed, as will items from deportation routes, objects from the orphanages and embroideries made by the orphans.
The purpose of the exhibition is to highlight the important role played by the Armenian people during the Genocide years. This salvation work was realized thanks to the unity of the Armenian people and by it being guided by a single idea: the restoration of national identity which laid the foundation for a national revival.
Organizer of the conference and exhibition: Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute
Conference Associate: Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
Sponsor of the conference and exhibition: Armenian Missionary Association of America
Coordinator of the conference and exhibition: Narine Margaryan Ph.D., (AGMI Academic Secretary)
Peter Kougasian, Esq., former AMAA Board Member and Vice President and a long-time active member of the Armenian Evangelical Church in New York City, was honored on September 27 by the New York City District Attorney’s Office at a celebration of Peter’s 40 years of service as an Assistant District Attorney and as “an extraordinary human being.”
Peter was an elected member of the AMAA Board since 1996 serving during that time as Vice President and as Chairman of the Armenia Committee. He also served as Moderator of the Armenian Evangelical Church of New York for many years. He is a long-time member of the New York City Bar Association serving as former Vice President, former Chair of the Executive Committee and former Chair of the NYC Bar Association delegation to the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar.
“We congratulate our dear friend Peter on this very prestigious honor,” said Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO. “His service to the AMAA is founded on the same principles that he has come to be known for in his profession – loyalty, dedication, devotion, service and commitment.”
The standing room only crowd of Peter’s former colleagues and many friends was present at the celebration to unveil a bronze plaque that will hang outside of the Manhattan DA Office Training Center, which has officially been named after him. The plaque reads:
“The Peter M. Kougasian Training Center – Dedicated to Peter M. Kougasian, Assistant District Attorney 1979-2018. Executive ADA and Counsel to the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Senior Trial Counsel, Bureau Chief, Director of Legal Training, Co-Founder Diversity Program, Conviction Integrity Committee, Ghostwriter Extraordinaire. In each position held during his 40 years as a prosecutor, Peter committed himself to justice, improving the institution that he revered, and serving the city he loved. He taught us the practice of law through his brilliance of words, his kindness of heart, inventive humor, and a touch of magic.”
The dedication ceremony, presided over by current District Attorney of New York County Cyrus Vance, Jr. Esq., featured several notable speakers, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a friend and former colleague who, by video, praised Peter for his long career. Speakers also cited his friendship, mentoring, loyalty, wisdom, leadership, dedication, humor, generous heart, faith, pride of his Armenian heritage and his love of magic.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University and a Yale Law School graduate, Peter has been “a friend for all seasons, a forever friend, a formidable public lawyer by day and a magician by night,” according to Judge Robert Katzmann, Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and a forty year friend and former Yale classmate. “Peter found a love for magic in college and performed whenever and wherever he could, even once before fellow amateur magician Johnny Carson. He has been called the ‘Amazing Kougasian’ and ‘Uncle Peter’ performing at many clubs in New York as well as internationally. Peter is a person of profound faith and has been proud of his Armenian heritage. He makes all of us better and brings out the best in all of us. As we celebrate Peter’s life today, we also celebrate his wife Beth and son Alex who are at the center of his life.”
“Peter’s retirement is a loss for all of us,” said Peter’s former boss, District Attorney Vance. “His gift to me was to share the magic of his gift of writing. I am forever grateful for your years of friendship, Peter. I love you. We all love you. I thank Peter for being in our lives; you are someone we’ve all looked up to. The plaque will now hang outside of the Training Room. In the days and years ahead, feel free to touch the plaque and get a touch of Peter’s magic.”
Bridget Brennan, Esq., Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York, said that “Peter guided many colleagues with their careers and was a sounding board, trusted friend and advisor for us. His guidance has been invaluable, and it is fitting that this Training Room is named after Peter as he has trained and educated so many of us who are here today. You shaped our outlooks and our careers.”
“Peter, you are a man of integrity, honor and valor,” said Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, who was a classmate of Peter’s both at Princeton and Yale and worked with him under the late Robert Morgenthau, Esq. in the DA’s Office. “I hope that every young ADA who visits this Center will realize the very high bar you’ve raised for us in learning and mastering our skills as lawyers and as human beings. It is fitting to name the Training Center in your honor, Peter, as your words, heart, humor and magic have touched so many. Your epic struggle with ALS has been an example for all of us. You have told me that your faith has buoyed and sustained you. I know that is true, but I see much power in your indomitable spirit. The Training Center is lucky to have that spirit at its heart.”
In a touching moment, from his New York City hospital room where he has been treated for ALS since November 2018, Peter spoke on camera to his assembled friends with the assistance of an electronic device.
“I am truly humbled and touched by this honor,” said Peter. “You know that I am passionate about training because it is through training that we convey the value of our greatest assets. Your friendship sustains me, and I am thankful to everyone who has made this ceremony possible.”
To see the entire video of the dedication ceremony, please visit: https://www.manhattanda.org/peter-m-kougasian-training-center-dedication/
100-ամեակի առիթով տեղի ունեցող որեւէ համախմբում իսկապէս մեծ դէպք մըն է։ Այս առումով ուշագրաւ էր Հոկտեմբեր 18-20-ի օրերուն Պոսթոնի մէջ տեղի ունեցող Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան (ԱՀԱԸ) 100-րդ Տարեժողովը եւ այդ առիթով կազմակերպուած յատուկ Ճաշկերոյթը՝ նուիրուած Հայ Աւետարանական Եկեղեցիին ու անոր հիմնադրութեան 173-րդ տարեդարձին։
ԱՀԱԸ-ի այս ճաշկերոյթը յատկանշական էր Ընկերակցութեան հարիւրաւոր անդամներու ներկայութեամբ, որոնք երկար հեռաւորութենէ եկած էին՝ ինչպէս Աւստրալիա, Գանատա, Հայաստան, Յունաստան, Լիբանան, Սուրիա, Ֆրանսա եւ Միացեալ Նահանգներու Արեւելեան եւ Արեւմտեան ափերէ։
ԱՀԱԸ-ի Տարեժողովի օրերու կարեւորագոյն իրադարձութիւններէն մէկը Շաբաթ, Հոկտ. 19-ի երեկոյան տեղի ունեցող ճաշկերոյթն էր՝ Պոսթոնի Westin-Waltham պանդոկի շքեղ սրահին մէջ։ Տիկին Միշէլ Սիմուրեան՝ Ճաշկերոյթի համա-ատենապետը՝ ջերմօրէն ողջունեց ներկայ գտնուող 300-է աւելի հիւրերը։ Ճաշկերոյթի հանդիսավար եւ համա-ատենապետ՝ Ճան Սիմուրեան ձեռնհասօրէն վարեց յայտագիրը՝ ներկայացնելով օրուան պատուոյ հիւրերը, որոնց շարքին էին Ամերիկայի Միացեալ Նահանգներու (ԱՄՆ) Հայաստանի Հանրապետութեան Դեսպան Վարուժան Ներսէսյանը եւ Հայր, Տ. Անդրանիկ Աւ. քհնյ. Պալճեանը, որ կը ներկայացնէր ԱՄՆ Արևելեան Թեմի Առաջնորդ Գերաշնորհ Տ. Անուշաւան Արք․ Դանիէլեանը։
Ազգային օրհներգներու երգեցողութենէն եւ Ուաթըրթաունի Հայ Աւետարանական Նահատակաց Եկեղեցիի Հովիւ՝ Վեր. Դոկտ. Աւետիս Պոյնէրեանի աղօթքէն ետք բեմ բարձրացաւ Դեսպան Ներսէսյանը իր ողջոյնի խօսքը ուղղելու ներկաներուն։
Պր. Դեսպանը յիշեց Աւետարանչականի հիմնադրութիւնը 101 տարիներ առաջ՝ Վուսթըրի (ԱՄՆ) մէջ՝ Հայոց Ցեղասպանութենէն անմիջապէս ետք «երբ հարիւր հազարաւոր թափառական Հայ մարդիկ, կանայք եւ երեխաներ տակաւին կը շրջէին Սուրիոյ, Լիբանանի եւ Մերձաւոր Արեւելքի անապատներուն մէջ, տառապելով անօթութենէ, աղքատութենէ եւ կեանքի նուազագոյն պայմաններու բացակայութենէ»։
Ան նաեւ մատնանշեց ԱՀԱԸ-ի հսկայական ներդրումը վերջին 100 տարիներու ընթացքին, ի միջի այլոց 1988-ի Հայաստանի աւերիչ երկրաշարժի ընթացքին, անկախ Հայաստանի Հանրապետութեան ծննդեան ժամանակ, Արցախի ազատագրման պայքարի օրերուն եւ անոր աւելի լաւ ապագայի ստեղծումին ի նպաստ, եւ ապահովելով ապաստան, սնունդ եւ կրթութիւն աշխարհացրիւ 24 երկիրներու մէջ ապրող հայորդիներու»։
«Եւ վերջերս Սուրիոյ մէջ տեղի ունեցող ողբերգական պատերազմի ընթացքին, Աւետարանչականը պատրաստակամ եղաւ աջակցելու այն հայորդիներուն՝ որոնք ցանկացան բնակութիւն հաստատել Հայրենիքի մէջ» ըսաւ Դեսպանը։
Այս բոլոր գործունէութիւնները ցոյց կու տան, որ ԱՀԱԸ-ը «եզակի եւ խորապէս ազգային եւ հայկական հաստատութիւն մը է», ըսաւ ան։ «Նման մեծ ժառանգութեամբ եւ խիստ վճռակամութեամբ, Աւետարանչականը վստահօրէն իր առաքելութիւնը պիտի շարունակէ 21-րդ դարուն» եզրակացուց Դեսպանը որոտալի ծափողջոյններու ներքեւ։
Աւետարանչականի Նախագահ Տօքթ. Նազարէթ Տարագճեան յուզումով յիշելէ ետք «Լիբանանի քաղաքացիական պատերազմի սարսափներուն» որպէս հետեւանք՝ 43 տարիներ առաջ իր Ամերիկայի Միացեալ Նահանգներ հաստատուիլը, խօսեցաւ ԱՀԱԸ-ի հզօր պատմութեան մասին՝ որ այսօր կը ծառայէ աշխարհացրիւ 24 երկիրներու մէջ բնակող հայորդիներուն, տարեկան 10 միլիոն տոլարի ելեւմտացոյցով։
Ներկայ նոր սերունդը, որ հնարաւորութիւնը ունի շատ աւելին ընելու բաղդատած 1918 թուականին, «մեր աշխատանքը չէ վերջացած այնքան ատեն որ տակաւին մարդիկ կան որոնք սոված են Աստուծոյ Խօսքին, երեխաներ՝ որոնք ծարաւ են կրթութեան, ընտանիքներ եւ անհատներ, որոնց համար օրական հաց գտնելը ամէնօրեայ մարտահրաւէր է։ Թող Աստուած մեզ արժանի ընէ այս առաքելութեան» ըսաւ ան։
Ապա ցոյց տրուեցաւ տեսահոլովակ մը Երեւանի Մալաթիա-Սեբաստիա շրջանին մէջ գտնուող Խորէն եւ Շուշանիկ Աւետիսեան Աւագ Դպրոցին մասին, որ ամբողջութեամբ նիւթապէս կը նպաստաւորուի ԱՀԱԸ-ի կողմէ, եւ ուր աւելի քան 580 ուսանողներ լաւագոյն ուսում կը ստանան՝ անվճառ։
Տօքթ. Տարագճեան բեմ հրաւիրեց Աւետիսեան դպրոցի շրջանաւարտներէն՝ Լուսինէ Մնացականյանը՝ յանուն դպրոցի բարերարներ Եդուարդ եւ Բամելա Աւետիսեաններու՝ որոնք քաղաքէն դուրս ըլլալով ներկայ չէին ճաշկերոյթին, ընդունելու դպրոցին տրուած «Առաջնորդութիւն՝ էներգետիկայի և բնապահպանական նախագծման մէջ » (LEED) վկայականը և ապակիէ ցուցանակը (plaque)։ Աւետիսեան Աւագ Դպրոցին նաեւ շնորհուած է LEED Earth Designation մրցանակը, որ կը տրուի իւրաքանչիւր զարգացող երկրի առաջին բնապահպանական շինանախագիծին՝ Միացեալ Նահանգներու Կանաչ Կառոյցներու Խորհուրդի (USGBC – The United States Green Building Council) LEED չափանիշները բաւարարելուն համար։
Լուսինէ Մնացականյան, որ ներկայիս Հայաստանի Ամերիկեան Համալսարանի երրորդ կարգի ուսանող է, անդրադարձաւ Աւետիսեան Վարժարանի գլխաւոր յատկանիշներուն ըսելով՝ «Մենք դաստիարակուեցանք որպէս ճշմարիտ քրիստոնեաներ, լաւ քաղաքացիներ եւ ստացանք օրինակելի կրթութիւն բոլոր մարզերու մէջ»։
Ներկայ հիւրերը մեծ հաճոյքով ունկնդրեցին հայկական եւ միջազգային սիրուած երգեր՝ կատարողութեամբ համաշխարհային ճանաչում ունեցող երկու երաժիշտներու՝ Թենոր Եղիշէ Մանուչարյանի եւ Մեցցո Սոփրանո Վիքթորիա Աւետիսյանի, որոնք նաեւ ճաշկերոյթի սկիզբը կատարեցին Ամերիկեան եւ Հայկական օրհներգները։
ԱՀԱԸ-ի Փոխ Նախագահ Տօքթ. Մայքլ Ոսկեան, յարգանքի տուրք մատուց Հայ Աւետարանական Եկեղեցիի պատմութեան, ըսելով որ ան տարիներու ընթացքին աճելով ներկայիս կը բաղկանայ 124 եկեղեցիներէ եւ հինգ միութիւններէ՝ Հայաստան, Հիւսիսային Ամերիկա, Մերձաւոր Արեւելք, Ֆրանսա եւ Եւրասիա։
Տօքթ. Ոսկեան բեմ հրաւիրեց Հայ Աւետարանական Համաշխարհային Խորհուրդի Նախագահ Վեր. Ժոէլ Միքայէլեանը՝ որպէս ներկայացուցիչը Հայ Աւետարանական Համաշխարհային Խորհուրդին։ Բեմ հրաւիրուեցան նաեւ Վեր. Սթիվըն Քարլայլ՝ Հովիւը Վուսթըրի Հայ Մարտիրոսաց Եկեղեցիին՝ առաջին Հայ Աւետարանական Եկեղեցին հիմնուած Միացեալ Նահանգներու մէջ, եւ Վեր. Դոկտ. Աւետիս Պոյնէրեան, հովիւը տեղւոյն հիւրընկալ եկեղեցիին։ Տօքթ. Ոսկեան անոնց ներկայացուց յատուկ վկայագիր եւ փայտի վրայ փորագրուած ցուցատախտակներ։
Խորին գնահատանք յայտնելով Ճաշկերոյթի յանձնախումբին, Աւետարանչականի աշխատակազմին եւ բոլոր անոնց որոնք իրենց բաժինը բերին ճաշկերոյթի յաջողութեան, ԱՀԱԸ-ի Գործադիր Տնօրէն Զաւէն Խանճեան բեմ հրաւիրեց Վուսթըրի Եկեղեցիի Հոգաբարձական Խորհուրդի Ատենապետ Սթիվըն Փափազեանը եւ անոր յանձնեց Լինտա Խաչատուրեանի նուիրած «Շաքարէ Քանդակը»։
Անդրադառնալով իր աշխատանքի մարտահրաւէրներուն, Պր. Խանճեան ըսաւ.- «Մարտահրաւէր մը որ ես կը պայքարիմ արժանի երախտագիտութիւն փոխանցելու արդար մարդկանց եւ կանանց, որոնք կը թռչին կեանքի բարութեան թեւերուն վրայ, եւ որոնք փոխարէնը հաւատարմօրէն կ՚ուղղեն զայն Աստուծոյ»։
Պր. Խանճեան նաեւ յայտնեց որ Հայաստանի մէջ տեղի պիտի ունենայ «Սիմբոզիում» մը՝ յետ Ցեղասպանութեան վերապրողներու մնացորդացը փրկելու ջանքերուն վերաբերեալ։ «Սիմբոզիում»ը կը կազմակերպուի Հայոց Ցեղասպանութեան Թանգարանի Հաստատութեան Հիմնադրամին կողմէ՝ հովանաւորութեամբ Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան։
«Սիմբոզիում»ը իր յարգանքի տուրքը պիտի մատուցանէ եւ լոյս աշխարհ պիտի բերէ այն բազմաթիւ հերոսները, որոնք մեծ սիրով ողջագուրեցին որբացած հայ երեխաներն ու այրիները, անոնց տալով ապաստանարան, սնունդ, կրթութիւն, եւ բուժելով ու պաշտպանելով զանոնք Տէր Զօրի մահասփիւռ դաշտերէն։
Պր. Խանճեան յիշեց նաեւ այս օրերուն Սուրիոյ քաղաքներու եւ գիւղերու մէջ տագնապող քաղաքացիները ու անոնց բռնագաղթը՝ անգամ մը եւս թողելով ետին այն ամէն ինչը որ ունին։ «Բայց պարզ զոհը Սուրիացի ժողովուրդն է, ներառեալ Ցեղասպանութենէն վերապրոպ սերունդները» ըսաւ ան։
«Աւետարանչականը անգամ մը եւս մարդասիրական մարտահրաւէրներ կը դիմագրաւէ, եւ մենք հաւաքականօրէն եւ դրական կերպով պատասխանելու ենք այս կոչին։ Եւ ձեր նուիրաբերութեամբ պիտի շարունակենք իրականացնել այդ բոլորը» եզրակացուց ան։
Վեր. Ժոէլ Միքայելեան մատուց փակման եւ օրհնութեան աղօթքը եւ յոտնկայս «God Bless America» երգով այս բացառիկ եւ ոգեշնչիչ Ճաշկերոյթը հասաւ իր աւարտին։
(Քաղուած Ֆլորէնս Աւագեանի Անգլերէն բնագրէն՝ հայացուց Լուիզա Ճանպազեան)
By Florence Avakian
The 100th Anniversary of any gathering is a magical event. The weekend of October 18 to 20 in the Boston area of the Armenian Missionary Association of America’s (AMAA) 100th Annual Meeting Banquet was especially noteworthy as it celebrated the Armenian Evangelical Church and the 173rd Anniversary of its founding.
Its significance was marked by the presence of hundreds of members, friends and faithful who came from as far away as Australia, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Greece, France, and the East and West Coasts of the United States.
The highlight of the extraordinary weekend was the grand Banquet on Saturday night, October 19, which began with a cocktail reception, followed by a delicious dinner in the elegantly decorated ballroom.
The more than 300 guests present were warmly welcomed by Banquet Co-Chair Michèle Simourian both in English and Armenian. Skillfully running the program was Master of Ceremonies and Banquet Co-Chair John Simourian, who with the right touches introduced the prominent individuals present, including Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Varuzhan Nersesyan, and Rev. Fr. Antranig Baljian, representing the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian.
Following the singing of the National anthems, and the invocation delivered by Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian, Pastor of the Armenian Memorial Church in Watertown, MA, Ambassador Nersesyan was introduced.
100 YEARS OF ENORMOUS CONTRIBUTIONS
The Armenian diplomat recalled the founding of the AMAA in Worcester 101 years ago following the Armenian Genocide when “hundreds of thousands of Armenian men, women and children were still roaming in the deserts in Syria, Lebanon and the Middle East, suffering from hunger, poverty and the lack of any minimal conditions of life.”
He pointed out the enormous contributions of the AMAA in the last 100 years, including during the devastating 1988 earthquake, during and after the birth of the independent Armenian republic, the time of Artzakh’s fight for liberation, and its creation for a better future providing shelter, food and education in 24 countries.“And during the recent tragic war in Syria, the AMAA has been ready to support any Armenians willing to settle in Armenia in the aftermath of Turkey’s recent attack on the north of Syria,” the Ambassador explained.
All these activities demonstrate that the AMAA is a “unique and deeply national Armenian institution,” the Armenian diplomat stated. “With such a great heritage, and rigorous determination, the AMAA will continue confidently in its mission in the 21st century,” he stated to thunderous applause.
24 COUNTRIES WITH 10 MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY
AMAA President Dr. Nazareth Darakjian who emotionally relayed coming to the U.S. 43 years ago following “the horrors of the Lebanese civil war,” spoke about the AMAA’s powerful history which today serves the Armenian Community in 24 countries with a yearly budget of more than 10 million dollars.
This generation has capabilities that far exceeds those in 1918, he stated. “Our work is not done as long as there is hunger for God’s work, as long as there are children who are thirsty for education, and as long as there are families or individuals for whom finding daily bread is a daily challenge. May God make us worthy of this mission.”
A video of the Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian High School in Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia district was shown, a School totally funded by the AMAA that has been tuition-free for more than 580 students.
One of the graduate students of the Avedisian High School, Lucine Mnatsakanyan was invited by Dr. Darakjian to come forward, and accept the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificate and the glass plaque for the Avedisian High School in honor of the Avedisians who were not present. Avedisian High School is the first building in the Republic of Armenia to achieve such an award and was also awarded the LEED Earth Designation, given only to the very first building project in each developing country to satisfy the USGBC LEED criteria.
Ms. Mnatsakanyan who is now a third-class student at the American University of Armenia, paid tribute to the great attributes of the Avedisian High School, saying, “We are raised to be true Christians, and citizens, and have been exposed to all the studies of an exemplary education.”
Delighting the audience, two acclaimed world class musicians, tenor Yeghishe Manucharyan, and mezzo soprano Victoria Avetisyan, who had started the Banquet Program with the American and Armenian anthems, sang several Armenian and international favorites, including the soul stirring “Pari Arakil”, “Habanera”, “Solo Mio”, and “Hayastan”.
Tenor Manucharyan who has sung at the renowned Metropolitan Opera in NY, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and other concert halls in the U.S., Italy and Ireland, brought the house down with his rendition of “Pari Arakil” dedicated to Armenia’s symbolic beloved bird (the crane). The couple’s dramatic singing of “Hayastan” was another crowd pleaser.
AMAA Vice President Dr. Michael Voskian paid tribute to the history of the Armenian Evangelical Church which he revealed has grown and consists of 124 churches and five unions in Armenia, North America, the Near East, France and Eurasia.
Representing the Armenian Evangelical Churches around the globe is the Armenian Evangelical World Council, with its President Rev. Joël Mikaélian who was asked to come forward by Dr. Voskian.
Also honored were Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian, host of the Armenian Memorial Church, as well as Rev. Stephen Carlyle of the first Armenian Evangelical Church in North America established on January 1, 1892 – the Armenian Church of the Martyrs in Worcester, MA. All were presented with special plaques.
HEALTH CRISIS BRINGS ON AN ACTION OF TRUE FAITH
During the joyous evening, a female guest suddenly passed out, and was immediately attended to by attending doctors until the ambulance came. As this was happening, several small groups of badvelis (pastors) spontaneously rose making small circles with their arms on each other’s shoulders, bending their heads, and silently praying for the ill woman.
For this journalist who had never witnessed such a powerful action, it was both inspiring and for many an action of true faith.
Expressing deep appreciation to the “ingenious and hard-working” Banquet Committee, the AMAA staff and all involved individuals for the successful weekend and Banquet, AMAA Executive Director and CEO Zaven Khanjian asked Stephen Papazian, the Moderator of the Armenian Church of the Martyrs of Worcester, to come forward to receive a “Sugar Sculpture” donated by Linda Khachadurian.
Revealing the main challenge of his position, Mr. Khanjian stated “a challenge that I struggle with is the difficulty in conveying a well-deserved gratitude to righteous men and women who fly on the wings of goodness in life, and who instead, faithfully direct it to God.”
The AMAA Executive Director also announced that a symposium will soon take place in Armenia on the Post Genocide endeavor to save the remnants of the survivors. It is being organized by the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute Foundation, and sponsored by the Armenian Missionary Association of America.
“It will honor and bring to light the many heroes who miraculously embraced the orphaned Armenian children and widowed mothers with shelter, healing, food, education and lovingly shielded them from the killing fields of Der El-Zor.”
He remembered that today anguished civilians in the towns and villages in Syria, deportation is once again taking place, leaving behind all they possess. “But the clear victims are the Syrian people, including the progeny of the Genocide survivors.
“The AMAA has faced the spiritual and humanitarian challenges of our people, and we have collectively and positively answered the call, and through your righteous giving will continue to make it happen,” he said in conclusion to a standing ovation.
The closing prayer and Benediction by Rev. Joël Mikaélian, and the singing of “God Bless America” brought an extraordinary and inspiring Banquet and weekend to a glorious close.
Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան (ԱՀԱԸ) 100րդ տարեկան Համաժողովը տեղի ունեցաւ Ուաթըրթաունի Հայ Աւետարանական Նահատակաց Եկեղեցիին մէջ՝ Մէսէչուսէց, Շաբաթ Հոկտեմբեր 19-ին։ Համաժողովին մասնակցեցան աւելի քան 60 անձիք՝ ԱՀԱԸ-ի Վարչական Խորհուրդի անդամներ, հովիւներ, ինչպէս նաեւ ներկայացուցիչներ Հայ Աւետարանական եկեղեցիներէ, միութիւններէ եւ կազմակերպութիւններէ, որոնք ներկայացուցին իրենց տարեկան տեղեկագիրները։ Համաժողովի բացման աղօթքը մատուց Վարչական Խորհուրդի անդամ՝ Վեր. Արա Կէօքկէօզեան իսկ փակման աղօթքը մատուց Աւստրալիայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան Նախագահ՝ Վեր. Դոկտ. Գրիգոր Եումշաճըքեան։
Տարեկան Համաժողովի աւարտին կարդացուեցան անունները ԱՀԱԸ-ի Վարչութեան նորընտիր անդամներուն, որոնք ընտրուած էին երեք տարուան ծառայութեան համար.- ԼինտաՔէյ Ապտուլեան, Տօքթ Հրայր Ս. Ահարոնեան, Տօքթ. Ռաֆի Պալապանեան, Ֆիլիս Տոհանեան, Դոկտ. Նուրհան Հէլվասեան, Վեր. Դոկտ. Հայկ Խրլոբեան, Սեդա Լոշխաճեան Նալպանտեան եւ Տօքթ. Մայքըլ Վոսքեան։
ԱՀԱԸ-ի տարեկան Համաժողովին առընթեր, Հոկտ. 17-18 օրերուն տեղի ունեցան նաեւ ԱՀԱԸ-ի Վարչական Խորհուրդի Ժողովը, Աշխատանքային Ծրագրումի Նիստը եւ Հայ Աւետարանական Համաշխարհային Խորհուրդի ժողովը։
Կիրակի, Հոկտեմբեր 20-ին տեղի ունեցաւ ԱՀԱԸ-ի տարեկան Համաժողովի Պաշտամունքը Ուաթըրթաունի Հայ Աւետարանական Նահատակաց Եկեղեցիին մէջ։ Օրուան պատգամաբերներն էին Վեր. Մկրտիչ Գարակէօզեան՝ Մերձաւոր Արեւելքի Հայ Աւետարանական Եկեղեցիներու Միութեան (ՄԱՀԱԵՄ) Նախագահ, եւ Վեր. Ճէրէմի Թովմասեան՝ Հիւսիսային Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանական Միութեան Ատենապետ։ Պաշտամունքի Ընթացքին յատուկ աղօթք մատուց Սուրիոյ Հայ Աւետարանական Համայնքի Նախագահ՝ Վեր. Յարութիւն Սէլիմեան, յիշելով այն բոլոր ԱՀԱԸ-ի անդամները որոնք անցնող տարեշրջանին այս կեանքէն անցան յաւիտենականութեան։ Իսկ ԱՀԱԸ-ի Վարչական Խորհուրդի անդամներուն պաշտօնակոչութեան արարողութիւնը կատարեց Վեր. Դոկտ. Ռան Թովմասեան՝ Հովիւը Լոս Անճելոսի Հայ Աւետարանական Միացեալ Եկեղեցիին։
ԱՀԱԸ-ի 100-րդ տարեկան Համաժողովի շաբաթավերջի աւարտին, Կիրակի, Հոկտեմբերի 20-ի կէսօրէ ետք տեղի ունեցաւ յատուկ հաւաք եւ Ոգեկոչման Պաշտամունք Վուսթըրի Հայ Աւետարանական Մարտիրոսաց Եկեղեցիին մէջ (Մէսէչուսէց)՝ Միացեալ Նահանգներու մէջ հիմնադրուած առաջին Հայ Աւետարանական Եկեղեցին՝ 1 Յունուար 1892-ին եւ ԱՀԱԸ-ի ծննդավայրը՝ 1918-ին։
Պաշտամունքը առաջնորդեց Եկեղեցիի Հովիւ՝ Վեր. Սթիվըն Քարլայլ։ Վեր. Քարլայլ ողջունեց ներկաները եւ կոչ ուղղեց վերանուիրուելու Յիսուս Քրիստոսի՝ որպէս հաւատքի մարդիկ աշխարհի մէջ ամէնուրէք եւ միասնականութեամբ ծառայելու Տէրոջ։ Անցեալի, ներկայի եւ ապագայի Յոյսի արտացոլացման պատգամներ փոխանցեցին ԱՀԱԸ-ը Գործադիր Տնօրէն՝ Զաւէն Խանճեան, ՄԱՀԱԵՄ Նախագահ՝ Վեր. Մկրտիչ Գարակէօզեան եւ Վուսթըրի Եկեղեցիի անդամ՝ Թալին Աւագեան Պէօրէքճեան։ Պաշտամունքի ընթացքին փառաբանութեան երգեր երգուեցան եւ յատուկ աղօթքներ բարձրացան առ Աստուած գովաբանելով զԱյն ԱՀԱԸ-ի անցնող 100 տարիներու հաւատարիմ ծառայութեան համար եւ խնդրելով Անոր առաջնորդութիւնը ապագայի համար։
Յատուկ շնորհակալութիւն Ուաթըրթաունի Եկեղեցիի հովիւ՝ Վեր. Դոկտ. Աւետիս Պոյնէրեանի եւ Եկեղեցիի անդամներուն՝ ԱՀԱԸ-ի 100-րդ տարեկան Համաժողովի օրերուն իրենց ցուցաբերած ջերմ հիւրընկալութեան եւ պատրաստած համեղ ճաշերուն համար: Թող Աստուած շարունակէ օրհնել այս Եկեղեցին Իր փառքին համար։
The 100th Annual Meeting of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) was held at the Armenian Memorial Church of Watertown, MA on Saturday, October 19, 2019. AMAA President Nazareth Darakjian, M.D. presided over the meeting. Board member Rev. Ara Guekguezian offered the opening prayer and Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian, President of the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia offered the closing prayer.
During the Annual Meeting AMAA Officers, Directors and Committee Chairs, as well as delegates of the Armenian Evangelical Unions, the Armenian Evangelical World Council and affiliated organizations presented their annual reports, shared their joys and concerns and praised God for another successful year.
The general membership of the AMAA elected the following eight members to the Board of Directors Class of 2022 for a term of three years: LindaKay Abdulian, Hrair Steven Aharonian, M.D., Rafi Balabanian, D.D.S., Phyllis Dohanian, Nurhan Helvacian, Ph.D., Rev. Haig Kherlopian, D.Min., Seta Loshkajian Nalbandian and Michael Voskian, D.M.D.
In conjunction with the AMAA Annual Meeting, on October 17 and 18, the AMAA Board held a Strategic Planning Session and a Board meeting, and the Armenian Evangelical World Council held its meeting.
On Sunday, October 20, members and guests joined the congregation of the Armenian Memorial Church of Watertown, MA for Sunday Morning Worship Service. Rev. Jeremy Tovmassian, Pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Church of greater Chicago preached in English and Rev. Megrditch Karagoezian, the President of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE), preached in Armenian. A special prayer was offered by Rev. Haroutune Selimian, President of the Armenian Evangelical Community of Syria in memory of AMAA members and friends who made the transition from this life to life eternal during the past fiscal year. Rev. Dr. Ron Tovmassian, Senior Pastor of the United Armenian Congregational Church of Los Angeles, CA officiated at the installation of the newly elected members of the AMAA Board of Directors.
At the conclusion of AMAA’s 100th Annual Meeting weekend, a special gathering and Commemorative Worship Service was held on Sunday, October 20 in the afternoon, at the Armenian Church of the Martyrs, Worcester, MA – The first Armenian Evangelical Church established in the USA in 1892 and the birthplace of AMAA in 1918. The Service was led by the Pastor of the Worcester Church Rev. Stephen Carlyle who welcomed the guests and charged them to recommit to Jesus Christ as people of faith from all around the world, and to serve the Lord together in Unity. Messages of Reflections of the past, current and hope for future were delivered by Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO, Rev. Megrditch Karagoezian, President of UAECNE and Taline Avakian Borekjian, a member of Worcester Church. During the Service hymns of praise were sung and special prayers were offered praising God for the past 100 years of faithful service of the AMAA and asking God’s guidance for the future.
The AMAA thanks Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian, Pastor of the Armenian Memorial Church of Watertown and its members for hosting its 100th Annual Meeting and for welcoming all with great warmth, hospitality, delicious meals and enthusiasm. May God continue to bless this congregation and their ministry.
Avedisian School Alumna Lusine Mnatsakanyan’s Speech at the AMAA’s 100th Annual Meeting Banquet in Boston
Good evening everyone. I am Lusine from Armenia. I am one of the first graduates of Avedisian School, and I currently study at the American University of Armenia. I am very honored to be here today. Thanks for the opportunity to speak about my beloved school.
I have spent my high school years at Avedisian School. Those three years have been full of opportunities, challenges and lifetime memories.
Avedisian School has taught us to be environmentally responsible. To have a greener impact on the environment, we always recycled waste and used water efficiently. We also have solar panels which help us save electricity. More interestingly, we have trash museum, where we exhibit our artworks made from garbage. I was very excited when I found out that we have received a LEED certificate. I had the feeling that whatever we are doing is right and also rewarded. Now, I feel very honored to receive the certificate on behalf of Avedisian family and my school.
Moreover, my school taught me to be kind and responsible. It also helped me act based on Christian values in different stages of my life. I am sure I would not be the same person without Avedisian School.
The impact my school, teachers and principal had on my development is immense. I would not be able to speak English, study at my dream university, reach many goals that, if I did not attend Avedisian School. The knowledge, I got from AHS still helps me at AUA. The values and life lessons will always guide me in my life.
In short, I will always be thankful to my school, teachers, principal, staff, benefactors and founders. I am sure all my classmates and other students will share the same feelings and thoughts about Avedisian School.
AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian’s Message at AMAA’s 100th Annual Meeting Banquet held at Westin Waltham Boston Hotel on Saturday, October 19, 2019.
Good Evening Massachusetts.
It is such a pleasure to see the larger family of the AMAA from coast to coast and our esteemed guests from around the globe gather here tonight, in this great State of Massachusetts, where 100 annual meetings ago, the AMAA was lovingly and by the grace of God, delivered into existence by the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches of the East Coast.
For a long weekend, we enjoyed the warm hospitality of two amazing committees, Host and Banquet.
Since early 2019 and under the direction of Co-Chairs John and Michele Simourian, an ingenious and hard-working Banquet committee has been diligently planning, toiling and preparing this beautiful evening for us to enjoy.
Thank you John and Michele. Thank you every single member of the committee. May God abundantly bless you.
A special ‘thank you’ to John Simourian for masterfully delivering the warm and pleasant atmosphere experienced and shared by all this evening.
Thank you Armenian Memorial Church Host Committee and Badveli Avedis Boynerian. In the warm, colorful and boundless spirit of the Boston Common, you embraced us in your midst with love, care and attention, extending every imaginable door to door service. May God bless your ministry.
Thank you Badveli Stephen Carlyle and the Armenian Church of the Martyrs. I know you are prepared to welcome us, the pilgrims of the 100th annual meeting, who will head tomorrow to Worcester, to remember, reminisce and praise the Lord for the birth of the AMAA. May God bless the memory of the visionary founders and your ministry at the Armenian Church of the Martyrs.
I salute and thank our globally dispersed staff and partners in the Mission who have traveled the Oceans to join us today.
I salute and thank the AMAA staff in Paramus, Glendale and Armenia who graciously stand behind every effort made to advance every AMAA event, activity, service or program. Thank you staff.
It should not be taken granted. I like to a take a moment and thank my wife Sona, whose un-wavered support and encouragement is what makes this ‘energizer’ going, going and going. Thank you Sona and thank you all spouses, men and women, who are equally in the position of support and encouragement.
I am often asked the question of what my challenges are on the job.
A challenge that I struggle with is the difficulty in conveying a well-deserved gratitude to righteous men and women who fly on the wings of goodness in life. It is humbling to hear these Good Samaritans shrug off such attempts, rejecting ownership of the goodness and the extended honor that follows, faithfully directing it to God, the spring of eternal goodness.
A challenge that leaves me speechless.
In two weeks a symposium on the Post Genocide endeavor to save the remnants of the survivors will convene in Armenia.
Organized by the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute Foundation and sponsored by the Armenian Missionary Association of America, the Symposium will honor and bring to light the many heroes who miraculously embraced the orphaned Armenian Children and widowed mothers, sheltered, healed, fed, educated and lovingly shielded them from the killing fields of Der El-Zor.
Standing tall among them were Rev. Aharon Shirajian and Rev. Hovhannes Eskijian the products of Armenian Evangelical colleges and seminaries in Turkey.
It is a historical irony that at the threshold of this symposium, the region witnesses yet another aggression by the same unabated power in the Near East, causing death and destruction behind.
Once again, anguished civilian masses, including our kin in Tel Abyad, Ras al-Ayn, Kamishli and other towns and villages in North Eastern Syria hit the road of deportation leaving behind, homes, orchards, acreage and belongings.
The plot to dismember Syria is beyond us. The clear victim is the Syrian people including the progeny of the survivors of the Genocide saved by Reverends Shirajian and Eskijian.
Despite serious obstacles the AMAA will reach out.
We will embrace our people, move the willing to the Homeland, Armenia and while Turkey destroys we shall build where they are.
God has called on the AMAA to face the spiritual and humanitarian challenges of our people and assume a leadership role.
We have collectively and positively answered the call.
And through your righteous giving you continue to make it happen.
You are an integral part of the legacy of Love, Faith and Service
As our eyes look up at the Great Commission of “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” Mark. 16:15, the march goes on.
THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS EVENING WITH US.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT and May God bless you all.
H.E. Mr. Varuzhan Nersesyan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to the United States of America
Remarks at AMAA 100th Annual Meeting Gala
Boston, October 19, 2019
AMAA Executive Director Mr. Khanjian,
Distinguished members of the Board of Directors,
Dear members of AMAA,
I am very glad to be here with you tonight and to share the joy of the celebration.
- AMAA is one of the unique Diaspora organizations. 101 years ago when AMAA was founded in Worcester, Massachusetts right in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide, hundreds of thousands Armenian men, women and children were still roaming in the deserts of Syria, Lebanon and different parts of Middle East suffering from hunger, poverty and the lack of any minimal conditions of life.
- 101 years ago when the founding fathers of AMAA came together in Worcester (Vuster), Massachusetts they knew that it was not going to be easy. It was not going to be easy to extend help to their suffering compatriots. But nothing could stop them. And they started this inspiring journey called AMAA. They did so and they succeeded because they had a determination and vision.
- Also 101 years ago these people came together because they were united in their faith, in their Christian faith. And they proved the Bible not only in prayer but also in their deeds.
- Thus throughout this wonderful journey AMAA has done tremendous amount of job to rescue and to help the survivors of the Armenian genocide.
- But the AMAA has redefined its mission when the independent Armenian Republic was born. Even before that. Back in 1988 when the devastating earthquake struck and destroyed the entire north of Armenia, AMAA was one of the first to reach out its compatriots.
- The AMAA stood firmly behind the independent Armenian Republic and the fight for Nagoro Karabagh liberation movement, by reaching out those in need and desperate conditions. And AMAA has created better future for Armenia by the principle of changing the world through education. I looked at AMAA map and saw that it carries out its mission in 24 countries. This is amazing.
- AMAA never rests and is always faithful to its mission. As recently as last week I received a message from Mr. Khanjyan saying that AMAA is ready to support any Armenians willing to be transferred to Armenia in the aftermath of Turkey’s recent attack on the north of Syria.
- This is deeply appreciated by the Government of Armenia. Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to AMMA for its support to the Embassy of Armenia and to the Permanent Mission of Armenia over the years. We deeply appreciate this.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- All of these demonstrates that AMAA is a unique and deeply national Armenian institution, an institution that we need to be proud of. I am confident that with such a great heritage and with such a rigorous determination AMAA is going to continue confidently its mission in the 21st century.
The dedicated volunteers of AMAA have already begun preparations to bring ‘Christmas Joy’ to children in Armenia and Artsakh!
Every Christmas, the AMAA’s Christmas Joy Program brings many smiles and fun celebrations to thousands of children and their families throughout Armenia and Artsakh. From music and dancing, to Christmas plays and visits from Santa, Christmas is a happy and blessed time of the year. Please join us and be a part of sharing God’s love and helping to bring Christmas Joy to our precious children in the Homeland. For some, the toys and gifts may be the only Christmas presents they receive, as their families cannot afford to spend what little income they have on these items.
For as little as $15 you can help the AMAA continue bringing the spirit and joy of Christmas directly to these children.
Armenian Church of the Martyrs in Worcester, MA, the birthplace of the AMAA
AMAA’S 100TH ANNUAL MEETING BANQUET TO BE CELEBRATED IN BOSTON, MA, OCTOBER 19
By Florence Avakian
“The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) was born, nurtured and grew up in the bosom of the Armenian Evangelical Union (AEU),” stated Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian, in a telephone conversation with this writer.
“In the last 100 years it has rendered 100 years of dedicated service to the Armenian Evangelical Church and the Armenian nation,” said the eminent church leader who is the Executive Director of the Armenian Evangelical World Council which comprises five Evangelical Unions, the AMAA, and the Stephen Philibosian Foundation, a humanitarian and philanthropic organization.
GRAND CELEBRATION ON OCTOBER 19
On Saturday, October 19, in Boston, MA, a grand Banquet will honor the Armenian Evangelical Church’s relationship to the AMAA, as well as the AMAA’s 100th Annual Meeting for their vital and dynamic work. In 2018, the 100th year of the AMAA was celebrated globally and crowned at a Banquet in Los Angeles.
“The Armenian Evangelical Union of North America is the offspring of the Armenian Evangelical Union (Eastern States), which was organized in 1901 in Worcester, MA,” explained Rev. Tootikian. In 1960, two Armenian Evangelical Churches from Canada joined the AEU, and in 1971 this AEU joined with the Armenian Evangelical Union of California and formed the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (AEUNA). The Armenian Evangelical Church in New York was the “moving force of the AMAA, with such spiritual pillars as the Telfeyan and Donchian families,” he continued.
The AMAA enjoys “a good relationship with all Armenian churches in America, as well as with Etchmiadzin, Antelias, and the Armenian Catholic church.”
TWO DEVOTED CHURCH LEADERS
Born in Kessab, Syria, Rev. Tootikian grew up in an Armenian Evangelical family. His grandfather and half of his family were deported during the Genocide to Deir-Zor where they were killed.
Following his childhood in Kessab, the future cleric who has devotedly served the church for 60 years, studied and graduated from the American University of Beirut, and the Near East School of Theology, did his graduate work in Hartford, Harvard and Andover Newton Theological seminaries, earning two MA degrees and a Doctorate in Theology. He is the author of 42 books.
He regards the greatest rewards of his life’s work, “reaching out in the name of Christ, helping, and serving the Armenian people.”
Just as Rev. Dr. Tootikian is one of the devoted long-time leaders of the AMAA and the AEUNA, Rev. Jeremy Tovmassian, Pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Chicago, represents the young generation of new leaders.
Born in Boston, he studied administration and business at California State University. Originally he had hoped to be a lawyer, then became disenchanted with the business world, and finally decided that he “wanted his life to be devoted to doing justice, as his Pastor father, grandfather and great grandfather had done in Boston, Detroit and California churches.
He is also the Moderator of the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America. “Historically the AEUNA has nurtured and supported the AMAA, developing pastors and local churches to execute their mission,” he relayed.
The AMAA and the AEUNA collaborate with each other, he revealed, adding that the AEUNA comprises a network of Armenian Protestant churches a few of which were created before the Genocide. “It is a symbiotic relationship which makes sure that pastors are capable of caring for their congregations wisely.”
As an American-born Armenian, who is fluent in the Armenian language, Rev. Tovmassian digressed for a moment to share the news that his two-year old daughter speaks enough Armenian “to be dangerous.”
Emphasizing the significance of the October 19 Banquet in Boston, he stated that “it’s an honor and joy to celebrate the relationship that the AEUNA and the AMAA have, which has, and continues to change the lives of people all over the world.”
AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian Awarded
Honorary Member Title by the Writers’ Union of Armenia
On September 13, 2019, the Writers’ Union of Armenia (WUA) held its regular meeting. Among many other items on the Agenda, the Union discussed awarding the title of “Honorary Member” to Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director/CEO of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA).
Edward Militonyan, President of the Union, presented Mr. Khanjian as a writer, publicist, a well-known figure in the Diaspora educational and church spheres and a great patriot. Mr. Militonyan said that he had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Khanjian, talk with him and read two of his works: “Is this House Yours or Mine?” and “Aleppo: First Station,” and he attended the presentation of these two books in Yerevan in June, 2019.
Mr. Militonyan noted that Mr. Khanjian’s “Is this House Yours or Mine?” summarizes the indelible impressions of the Western Armenian pilgrimage. “They represent the Armenian history, literature, architecture and the broader cultural map in general,” said Mr. Militonyan. “Zaven has a vast field of knowledge, where every stone and shrub, monastery, song and poetry are wonderfully and thoroughly immersed in spiritual light and touching emotion.”
After several questions and answers, the Union members unanimously elected Zaven Khanjian as an Honorary Member of the WUA.
Mr. Militonyan was so impressed by Mr. Khanjian’s book, that he published an excerpt entitled “Two Story House” in the April 19 weekly edition of the WUA. In his Introduction Mr. Militonyan writes: “I was very touched by the story of Zaven’s forefather’s house, that it inspired me to write this poetic version. I have changed some names. The story is rewritten through my eyes. My ancestors also have left their home in the Taron Valley. This is everyone’s story.” (This article can be found at: http://www.grakantert.am/archives/12406).
Mr. Khanjian’s books ” Is this House Yours or Mine?” and “Aleppo: First Station” were presented at the AMAA Center in Yerevan on June 12 under the auspices of the Writer’s Union of Armenia, Khachatur Abovyan “Diaspora” Scientific-Educational Center of Armenian State Pedagogical University and the AMAA.
The AMAA congratulates Mr. Khanjian for this prestigious award from the Writers’ Union of Armenia.
Աւետարանչականի Գործադիր Տնօրէն Զաւէն Խանճեան կ՚արժանանայ Հայաստանի Գրողներու Միութեան «Պատուոյ Անդամ» Կոչումին
Սեպտեմբերի 13-ին Հայաստանի Գրողներու Միութեան (ՀԳՄ) հերթական ժողովն էր։ Օրակարգի վրայ գտնուող հարցերու կարգին քննարկուեցաւ Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան (ԱՀԱԸ) Գործադիր Տնօրէն Զաւէն Խանճեանի՝ Միութեան «Պատուոյ Անդամ»ի կոչումին արժանանալու հարցը։
Միութեան Նախագահ Էդվարդ Միլիտոնյանը ներկայացուց Զաւէն Խանճեանը որպէս գրող, հրապարակախօս, Սփիւռքահայ հասարակական, կրթական, եկեղեցական գործիչ եւ մեծ Հայրենասէր։ Ան ըսաւ թէ առիթը ունեցած էր հանդիպելու Պր. Խանճեանին եւ զրուցելու անոր հետ, եւ կարդացած անոր ստեղծագործութիւններէն «Այս Տունը Քո՞ւկդ է, թէ Իմս» եւ «Հալէպ. Առաջին Կայարան» գիրքերը եւ մասնակցած անոնց շնորհանդէսին։
Պարոն Միլիտոնյանը մասնաւորապէս նկատեց, որ «Զաւէն Խանճեանի “Այս Տունը Քո՞ւկդ է, թե Իմս” հատորը ամփոփումն է Արեւմտահայաստան կատարուած անջնջելի տպաւորութիւններու։ Անոնք ներկայացուած են Հայոց Պատմութեան, գրականութեան, ճարտարապետութեան, ընդհանրապէս ընդարձակ մշակութային քարտէզի վրայ։ Այդ Զաւէն Խանճեանի իմացութեան լայն դաշտն է, ուր զարմանալիօրէն եւ մանրամասն ամէն քար ու թուփ, վանք ու երգ, բանաստեղծութիւն ու վկայագիր թաթախուած են հոգեւոր լոյսով ու յուզիչ ելեւեջներով»։
Այնուհետեւ քանի մը հարց ու պատասխանէ ետք Միութեան անդամները միաձայնութեամբ ընտրեցին Զաւէն Խանճեանը որպէս Հայաստանի Գրողներու Միութեան Պատուոյ Անդամ։
Պր. Խանճեանի վերոյիշեալ գիրքերուն ծանօթանալէ ետք, Էդվարդ Միլիտոնյանը այնքան տպաւորուած էր, որ ՀԳՄ ԳՐԱԿԱՆ ԹԵՐԹ շաբաթաթերթի Ապրիլ 19 համարով հրապարակեց յօդուած մը՝ ԵՐԿՀԱՐԿԱՆԻ ՏՈՒՆԸ խորագրով։ Յառաջաբանին մէջ ան կը գրէ.- «Ինձ շատ յուզեց պապենական տան վերաբերեալ յօդուածը եւ այդ ինձ ներշնչեց գրելու այս արձակաբանաստեղծական տարբերակը։ Որոշ անուններ փոխուած են եւ պատմութիւնը դիտուած է իմ աչքերով։ Իմ ընտանիքս ալ Տարոնի դաշատավայրին մէջ թողած է տուներ։ Այս բոլորին պատմութիւնն է։ (Սոյն յօդուածին կրնաք ծանօթանալ հետեւեալ կայքէջին վրայ։ http://www.grakantert.am/archives/12406):
Հայաստանի Գրողներու Միութեան, Խաչատուր Աբովյանի անուան Հայկական Պետական Մանկավարժական Համալսարանի «Սփիւռք» Գիտաուսումնական Կեդրոնի եւ Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան հովանիին տակ՝ Յունիսի 12-ին Երեւանի Աւետարանչականի Կեդրոնին մէջ տեղի ունեցաւ Զաւէն Խանճեանի «Այս Տունը Քո՞ւկդ է, թե Իմս» եւ «Հալէպ. Առաջին Կայարան» գիրքերու Երեւանեան շնորհանդէսը:
ԱՀԱԸ-ի համայն աշխատակիցները կը շնորհաւորեն Պր. Խանճեանը՝ Հայաստանի Գրողներու Միութեան «Պատուոյ Անդամ» կոչումին արժանանալուն համար եւ կը մաղթէ անոր քաջառողջութիւն եւ արեւշատութիւն։
In August 2018, the HETQ News agency of Armenia reported on Armenuhi Hakobyan and her family from Vazashen, a village in Armenia’s Tavush Province, just a few hundred meters from the Azerbaijani sharpshooters and artillery placements. Being so close to the border and with so many residents having difficulty making ends meet, life in Vazashen is very challenging.
Armenuhi’s husband had to work in Russia to support the family. For the past 15 years, the large family had been living in a two-room apartment on the second floor of a dilapidated building located at the entrance of the village. The housing conditions were very poor. There was no gas and during rainstorms, water would pour down from the roof. Climbing up and down the stairs was dangerous. The problem was not only the condition of the building that could collapse anytime, but its location at the entrance of the village, which was under direct target of the enemy. There were traces of old and new gun shots on the walls of the building. The family had to cover the windows which are on the enemy’s side so that the enemy would not see the lights and target them. It was a miracle that the family had survived in that building for so long. Due to lack of money they could not afford to buy a house in the village, nor in one of the neighboring villages. Armenuhi said the family didn’t have a way out of their situation.
When AMAA-Armenia learned about this family’s situation from the HETQ News Agency, they assisted the family by purchasing a house for them in the village, as well as building materials to make the necessary repairs. As a result, the family’s father returned home from Russia and began the house repairs. By the first quarter of 2019 most of the repairs were completed. AMAA’s act of charity had a dual effect. The family now has a safe house and the father is back home from Russia living with his family.
The AMAA expresses its gratitude to the donors who, with their generous support, enabled the Hakobyan family to overcome their living conditions and live both safely and comfortably.
ՀԵՏՔ Լրատուական Կայքէջը Օգոստոս 2018-ին գրած էր Հայաստանի Տավուշի Մարզի սահմանամերձ Վազաշէն գիւղը իր երեք փոքր զաւակներուն հետ ապրող Արմենուհի Հակոբյանի ընտանիքին մասին։ Գիւղի դիրքը ընդամէնը քանի մը հարիւր մեդր հեռաւորութեան վրայ թշնամիի կրակոցներէն եւ բնակիչներուն օրուան ապրուստը ապահովելու դժուարութիւնները՝ ալ աւելի կը բարդացնեն կեանքը Վազաշէնի մէջ։
Արմենուհիին ամուսինը ստիպուած էր Ռուսաստան մեկնիլ աշխատանքի՝ իր ընտանիքի ապրուստը ապահովելու համար։ Արդէն 15 տարիներէ իվեր ընտանիքը կը բնակէր գիւղի մուտքին՝ խարխուլ շէնքի մը երկրորդ յարկին վրայ գտնուող երկու սենեականոց տան մը մէջ՝ վատ բնակութեան պայմաններով – Վառելանիւթի չգոյութիւն, անձրեւային փոթորիկներու ժամանակ տանիքէն ջուրի խուժում դէպի տուն եւ փլատած աստիճաններէն վեր ու վար բարձրանալու վտանգ։ Հարցը ոչ միայն շէնքի վիճակն էր, որը կրնար որեւէ ժամանակ փուլ գալ, այլ անոր դիրքը գիւղի մուտքին՝ հակառակորդի անմիջական թիրախին ներքեւ՝ շէնքի պատերուն հին եւ նոր հրացանային հետքերով։ Ընտանիքը ստիպուած էր հակառակորդի կողմը գտնուող պատուհանները միշտ ծածկուած պահել, որպէսզի թշնամին չի տեսնէ տան լոյերը եւ թիրախաւորէ տունը։ Իսկապէս Աստուծոյ մէկ հրաշքն էր որ ընտանիքը այդքան ժամանակ գոյատեւած էր այդ շէնքին մէջ։ Ընտանիքի տնտեսական կացութեան պատճարով, անոնք չէին կարողացած աւելի ապահով տուն փոխադրուիլ ոչ Վազաշէն գիւղին մէջ, ոչ ալ հարեւան այլ գիւղի մը մէջ։ Արմենուհին ոչ մէկ ելք կը գտնէր իր ընտանիքի այս իրաիվճակէն դուրս գալու։
Երբ Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութիւնը (ԱՀԱԸ) ՀԵՏՔ Կայքէջէն իմացաւ այս ընտանիքի իրավիճակին մասին, անմիջապէս իր օգնութեան ձեռքը երկարեց անոնց գիւղէն տուն ապահովելով, ինչպէս նաեւ անհրաժեշտ շինանիւթեր գնելով տան վերանորոգման աշխատանքներուն համար։ Այս բոլորին որպէս արդիւնք, ընտանիքի հայրը Ռուսաստանէն տուն վերադարձաւ եւ սկսաւ տան վերանորոգման աշխատանքներուն։ 2019-ի առաջին եռամսեակի ընթացքին վերանորոգման մեծ մասը արդէն աւարտած էր։ ԱՀԱԸ-ի բարեգործութեան այս սիրոյ արտայայտութիւնը երկկողմանի ազդեցութիւն ունեցաւ։ Ընտանիքը այժմ ունի ապահով տուն, եւ տան հայրը Ռուսաստանէն վերադարձած է տուն եւ միացած իր ընտանիքին։
ԱՀԱԸ-ը շնորհակալութիւն կը յայտնէ այն բոլոր նուիրատուներուն, որոնք մեծ զոհողութիւններու գնով հնարաւորութիւն կուտան Հակոբյան ընտանիքին եւ իրենց նման այլ ընտանիքներուն յաղթարարել կենցաղային դժուարութիւնները եւ ապրիլ բարեկեցիկ կեանքով։
On September 19, 2019, the Basketball Federation of Armenia announced Zorik Isajane as the new head coach of Armenia’s U16 boys basketball team to compete in FIBA Europe in July 2020. Since 2015, Isajane has served as the athletic director and head coach of the Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School in Sherman Oaks, California. Previously, he served in the same capacity at the Tekeyan Arshag Dickranian School in Hollywood. He was the head coach of Raffi in Iran from 2007-2009. After relocating to Los Angeles from Tehran, Isajane was an assistant coach at Glendale College from 2011-2015.
Isajane competed throughout FIBA Asia as a member of the Iranian National Basketball team and also played professional basketball in Iran. His playing career included leading Tehran to a silver medal in men’s basketball at the first Pan Armenian Games in Yerevan, Armenia in 1999. Isajane also served as the top assistant coach of the gold medal winning Los Angeles men’s (2011) and women’s (2015) basketball teams in the Pan Armenian Games.
Joining Isajane on the staff are Sevag Ketenjian of Lebanon and Sargis Stepanyan of Armenia. The team will be comprised of players from Armenia and the diaspora born in the year 2004 or later. FIBA Europe will announce the site of the upcoming tournament in Europe in the next few months.
Article from Mirror-Spectator
Established in 1982 by AMAA and AEUNA, Merdinian is the only Armenian Evangelical School in the United States. The school offers a broad-based curriculum that fosters academic excellence, high moral values, and spiritual enrichment in the Armenian Evangelical tradition. Merdinian strives to create a safe and nurturing environment where every student receives personal attention to become a successful and responsible individual.
Աւետիսեան Դպրոցի աշակերնտներու ծառատունկը
Հայաստանի անկախացումէն ի վեր, Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան (ԱՀԱԸ) բազմաթիւ հայրենաշէն առաքելութիւններէն մէկը դպրոցաշինութեան ծրագրի իրականացումն էր Մայր Հայրենիքի մէջ:
20 տարի առաջ, ամերիկահայ բարերար Էտուարտ Աւետիսեանի հովանաւորութեամբ Երեւանի ՀԱԹ-ի մէջ (Հարաւ-արեւմտեան թաղամաս) ԱՀԱԸ-ի հիմնադրած Խորէն եւ Շուշանիկ Աւետիսեաններու անուան կրթահամալիրը իր յարկին տակ ընդունեց թաղամասի անապահով ընտանիքներու երեխաները, ապահովեց անոնց անվճար եւ որակեալ ուսուցումը: Կարճ ժամանակի մէջ ան դարձաւ սիրուած եւ գնահատուած կրթօճախ՝ իր մասին վկայելով գործով, իր փայլուն շրջանաւարտներով եւ հեղինակութիւն վաստակած անձնակազմով:
Կրթօճախի այդպիսի սրընթաց վերելքը ոգեշնչեց ամերիկահայ բարերարները եւ ԱՀԱԸ-ին՝ գերազանցապէս բարելաւելու դպրոցի շէնքային պայմանները: Եւ 2014 թուականին արդէն դպրոցը տեղափոխուեցաւ 21-րդ դարի շունչով կառուցուած սեյսմակայունութեամբ գերարդիական շէնք: ԱՄՆ «Կանաչ շինարարական խորհուրդի» (USGBC – The United States Green Building Council) հեղինակաւոր LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) վկայագրման պահանջքներուն համապատասխան բնապահպանական նախագիծով կառուցուած կրթահամալիրը իր 7 յարմարաւէտ մասնաշէնքերով Հայաստանի առաջին eco կառոյցն էր: Եւ բնական էր, որ շուտով ան դարձաւ «դպրոց եւ համայնքային կեդրոն»:
Առնօ Բաբաջանեանի 42/7 հասցէի մէջ գտնուող «կանաչ դպրոցը» յագեցած է արեւային ջրատաքացուցիչներով, «դալար տանիքի» շնորհիւ իրականացուող ջրապահպանութեամբ, տեսակաւորուած աղբահանութեամբ, ենթակառուցուածքներու մատչելիութեամբ, սեփական «արտադրութեան» պտուղներով: Դպրոցի աշխատակազմը թեւ-թեւի տուած բնապահպանական անխոնջ աշխատանք կը կատարէ, պետական, հասարակական, միջազգային կառոյցներու, հիմնադրամներու, «Հայաստան ծառատունկ ծրագրի» (ATP) հետ, իսկ ամառնային ճամբարի առօրեան նոյնպէս հիմնուած է բնապահպանական կրթութեան սկզբունքներուն վրայ:
Այդ բոլորը, անշուշտ թերի կ’ըլլար, եթէ չ’ըլլային ուսման հոյակապ պայմանները դիպուկ, տեղին եւ խելացիօրէն օգտագործող մանկավարժներն ու մասնագէտները: Անոնց շնորհիւ է, որ այսօր Աւետիսեան դպրոցի մէջ ուսանիլը պատիւ կը համարուի: Աւետիսեանի շրջանաւարտներուն դիմաց փակ դռներ չկան, եւ դպրոցի աշակերտութեան քանակն ընդամէնը քանի մը տարուայ ընթացքին հնգապատկուեցաւ, ինչպէս կ’ըսեն՝ կրթահամալիրի «դալար տանիքի սիզամարգը» կը գրաւէ մարդոց:
Աւետիսեան դպրոցը սոսկ կրթարան չէ: Ան մեծ, համերաշխ, հայաշունչ ընտանիք է, որ ստանձնած է հայրենաշինութեան եւ հայրենիքի բարեկարգման գործի իր բաժինը:
Avedisian School students planting trees
The Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School and Community Center, located in the Malatia-Sebastia District of Yerevan, Armenia and operated by the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), has been awarded a Silver LEED Certification – the FIRST building in the Republic of Armenia to achieve such an award. The School was also awarded the LEED Earth Designation, given only to the very FIRST building project in each developing country to satisfy the USGBC LEED criteria.
LEED, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an ecology-oriented building certification program run under the sponsorship of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), headquartered in Washington, DC. According to Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of the USGBC, “the LEED Certification identifies the AMAA Avedisian School as a showcase example of sustainability and demonstrates the AMAA’s leadership in transforming the building industry. The USGBC congratulates the AMAA Avedisian School on earning the LEED Certification and thanks you for your commitment to our common goal of building a healthy, sustainable future.”
The Avedisian School was founded in 1998 as a tuition free Kindergarten for students from economically disadvantaged homes. The new K-12 School complex includes a Community Center and the Krikor and Beatrice Bilezikian Building and opened on September 1, 2014. It was the dream of AMAA Benefactor and Board Member Edward Avedisian of Lexington, MA to build a school to honor his Genocide survivor parents, Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian, who had placed an extremely high value on education throughout their lives. The School, with a current enrollment of 552 students and 50 Kindergarten students, provides a free education for economically disadvantaged children from the Malatia-Sebastia District. It is operated by the AMAA and conforms to the standard of education as set forth by the Armenian Ministry of Education.
“The idea of the Avedisian School and Community Center came from the American and German Missionaries working in Western Armenia who provided free tuition and board for students during the mid-19th and 20th centuries,” said Mr. Avedisian. “My mother was one of those fortunate enough to receive this education. We decided to bring that same concept to the present but with an ultra-modern building based on sustainable energy in the Yerevan Valley where pollution was out of control and high incidences of cancer had been noted for many years. After being invited to a meeting with the United Nations Development Program in New York, our sustainable energy expert, Armen Gharibyan, and I were provided funding to visit the new UN European Headquarters Building in Copenhagen to see if we could get some new ideas from their massive ecological masterpiece. As it turned out, Armen knew at least as much as their experts and we returned to Yerevan with renewed confidence in the project. Today, the Avedisian School’s new approach to building using sustainable energy has captivated both the government and the public so much so that an entire industry is growing rapidly and providing many good paying jobs for those working in the industry. What started as a small step to the future, combined with over 300 sunny days a year in Armenia, provides the catalyst for Armenia to achieve over 50% of its energy needs in the next ten years. That, I am confidant, will be another first in the world. A major benefit will be a great reduction in cancer rates since the CO2 reduction will provide for much reduced pollution. Add to that the joy of seeing Ararat for most of the daylight hours will make my day and yours for sure.”
Joseph Zeronian, Ed.D., former President of the AMAA Board of Directors during the building of the Avedisian School in 2014, said, “It is gratifying to see the Avedisian School gaining honors in the Motherland. The School has met and exceeded the hopes and dreams of its founders and the Board of the AMAA that endorsed its establishment.”
The Avedisian School’s building team included Senior Technical Advisor/Architect Ronald Altoon, Architect Isahak Nersisyan, Construction Manager Faraj Yeretsian, LEED Consultant/Solar Energy Design and Implementation Consultant Dr. Armen Gharibyan, LEED Consultant AJB Inc., Conservation Advisor Dr. Kenell Touryan, AMAA, LEED and USGBC Liaison Richard Youatt and Legal Counsels Peter Kougasian, Esq. and Jeanmarie Papelian, Esq.
“From start to finish, this was a concerted team effort,” said Mr. Altoon. “Every role was essential, every challenge met head on. Armenia, under the Soviet system, was unaccustomed to addressing environmental or sustainable design issues so we were faced with many challenges. When Mr. Avedisian approached me about working on this project, I suggested that we accept the challenge to design the School to become LEED Certified. This was not an easy task to be sure. Mr. Avedisian became the champion of the LEED Certification goal. He advocated for this to the AMAA Board and sustained his commitment throughout the process. After our very challenging LEED journey, we have fulfilled our original vision. Not only have we achieved LEED Silver, but also LEED Earth.”
“The LEED Certification shows how the Avedisian School fits into the global sustainability movement and how the AMAA is an important innovator and leader not only within Armenia but within the region and globally,” said Mr. Youatt. “Mr. Avedisian played a very important role in the transformation from the immediate post- Soviet era to the present. His broad vision for rebuilding Armenia’s entire educational system and his early focus on LEED Certification were visionary at a time when Yerevan was ‘on its knees’ with water and energy shortages.”
The School’s construction process introduced a new construction culture in Armenia by keeping all of the local and international environmental laws and standards. The School achieved LEED credits for meeting requirements of applying efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, introducing a unique system of solar hot water, using proper polyurethane thermal insulation levels, applying efficient LED lighting and a proper architectural design with correctly selected windows and walls. The School also used light colors on the roof, developed lots of green areas around the School which reflect the solar irradiation as nature, installed rainfall collection areas underground, recycled concrete waste to make concrete tiles, and used environmentally friendly materials for finishing, indoor air quality and natural lighting.
“The Avedisian School is a source of great pride for the AMAA in Armenia for many reasons,” said Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, President of the AMAA’s Board of Directors. “The standard of education is very high in comparison to other schools in the area and the School provides an education tuition free in an area that houses families with modest means. Almost all of the graduates have pursued higher education in the local colleges and universities. At the same time, the Avedisian School building serves as a lesson to Armenia’s architects and designers on how to build a structure that is beautiful and yet efficient in the use of energy and natural resources. This is of utmost strategic importance for a country that must import sources of energy from other countries. Our congratulations and special thanks to Ed Avedisian and Ron Altoon for this accomplishment.”
Funding for the LEED Certification process was generously provided to the AMAA by the John Mirak Foundation of Massachusetts. The Mirak family’s Foundation has committed to preserving Armenia by funding organizations that focus on issues surrounding the environment, the welfare of children, autism, poverty reduction and education at all levels.
“When we were approached by Ed to help fund the new School, he gave us several naming opportunities,” said Julia Mirak, Trustee of the John Mirak Foundation. “Many of them involved funding infrastructure or playing fields, but the idea of funding the LEED Certification process was immediately attractive to us. Not only would it help the current students and faculty by providing a more inviting atmosphere in which to learn and teach, but the systems that were being proposed would enhance the neighborhood for generations to come. Our family is proud to have been able to help make the School a beacon in Armenia for sustainability, energy conservation, pollution control and environmental education and responsibility.”
The Armenia Tree Project (ATP), an organization headquartered in Watertown, MA that has been working to protect Armenia’s environment since 1994, also collaborated on the environmental education curriculum at the Avedisian School which helped secure the LEED Certification. One of the School’s projects, funded by the ATP, has been the green roof gardens which feature grasses, trees and vegetables planted atop the building which provide insulation, lower heating and cooling costs. It is also used as a hands-on teaching tool for conservation as the students help care for the plants and observe their growth.
“My first visit to the Avedisian School was in 2009 when I visited the old campus in Malatia-Sepastia,” said Ms. Papelian. “Despite the challenges posed by the unfortunate state of the building, Avedisian School Principal Melanya Geghamyan ensured that the students excelled in every area. I also learned on that trip that one of the School’s science teachers had received training on environmental education from the Armenia Tree Project and was incorporating it into her lessons. When I was an AMAA Board member, I was involved with plans for the new campus and we had many discussions on how to develop a green school. The building itself is a huge component – it had to be environmentally friendly of course, but Mr. Avedisian and Principal Geghamyan also felt that the students should be engaged in learning to preserve and protect the environment.
Today, five years after the new campus opened its doors, we can observe that it truly is a green school. More than 400 trees and shrubs surround the campus, many planted by the students with support from the ATP. Students plant and care for vegetables on one of the School’s green roof areas. They also create compost from cafeteria scraps, recycle paper, and compete to see who can make the most creative art from discarded items. The ATP recognizes the Avedisian School as a prominent partner school – whenever ATP wants to pilot a new program or project in its environmental education curriculum, Principal Geghamyan welcomes our educators. And, it is great fun for students to visit ATP’s nursery in Karin Village and plant trees each spring. It is fitting that the Avedisian School has received the first LEED Certification in the region. It sets the example for how schools can help develop the next generation of environmental stewards. Congratulations to the team who made this certification happen. I am proud to be associated with such a fine institution.”
“The United Nations Development Committee (UNDP) was also impressed by the Avedisian School,” added Mr. Youatt. “A site visit by a UNDP representative during the School’s construction and a meeting with Mr. Avedisian left the representative with a very positive impression of the visionary, yet practical, energy efficient design of the Avedisian School. The UNDP subsequently provided some material support for the construction and saw the project as inspirational for other countries and cities addressing similar challenges as those faced by the School.”
The students at The Avedisian School have greatly benefitted from the healthy and sustainable environment at the School, where they attend classes in math, language, science, geography, computers, art, music, crafts and physical education. They have exceled in many areas helping the School win many awards, including national chess and debate competitions. The School has also won several prestigious awards including 1st place in Nationwide Russian Language Competency, 1st place in Nationwide French Competency and a Gold Medal for Best School Administration. Since 2015 the Avedisian School has had 62 students graduate from the high school. This year all of the 31 graduates have been admitted to higher educational establishments including American University of Armenia, French University of Armenia Foundation, University of Foreign Languages, Pedagogical University of Armenia, Engineering University of Armenia, Armenian State University of Economics, Armenian Medical University, Armenian Conservatorie, Yerevan State University and Russian-Slavonic University.
“The Avedisian School has also benefitted from the LEED Certification in terms of being the most unique environmentally friendly building not only in Armenia but also in the whole South Caucasus Region,” said Melanya Geghamyan, Principal of the Avedisian School. “The whole building is an environmental laboratory. The students have been taught how to differentiate between litter and recyclables, classify garbage into special bins for paper, plastic and litter, how to save water, and plant and care for trees and plants due to the green roofs. Because of the LEED Certification and the Eco Project implemented at School, the students learn about composting and how significant it is to take advantage of enriching the soil with the principle of ‘zero waste.’”
AMAA-Armenia Representative Harout Nercessian added that “as a Christian organization, the AMAA cares deeply about the environment and protecting God’s land and resources. The Avedisian School and Community Center educates our students about environmental issues both academically and practically and encourages them to adopt eco-friendly habits and promote them among their families and friends. The AMAA’s trailblazing efforts at the Avedisian School have helped promote environmental awareness among the students and serves as an inspirational model to other schools and organizations throughout Armenia.”
“The AMAA salutes the pioneering insight of a remarkable group of project owners and professionals who rose above the cost and construction considerations to be the good stewards of the Creator in securing the LEED Certification and the LEED Earth Designation for the Avedisian School,” said Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director/CEO of the AMAA. “We have been entrusted with the welfare of our planet. The Benefactors, the AMAA Board and Administration and the faculty and students of the Avedisian School are taking good care of Armenia’s ecology while they toil to provide an environmentally sustainable Homeland for the enjoyment of generations to come.”
Hilmar Kaiser of Yerevan State University, Institute for Armenian Studies, holds a Ph.D from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. In 1991 he was one of the first two Western historians on the Armenian Genocide to start Research in the Ottoman archives for his work. In his studies he focuses on the Armenian Genocide with special reference to the German Role, Ottoman perpetrators, the implementation of the atrocities and in particular to resistance.
Join us for a public lecture hosted by the Armenian Missionary Association of America
Friday, September 6, 2019
Armenian Presbyterian Church
140 Forest Ave. Paramus, NJ
Reception to Follow
If you have any questions, contact Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201.265.2607
We look forward to seeing you there!
In 2001, Hilmar Kaiser published a ground breaking study for the first time highlighting the role of Armenians in the humanitarian resistance in Syria. In a seminal mono-graphic study on the Diarbekir region he showed how provincial authorities played a dynamic role in shaping the crime. He contributed for the Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies the entry on the Armenian Genocide. Most recently, he analyzed Ottoman policies in the provinces of Van and Erzerum and the decision for genocide.
His numerous publications include “The Baghdad Railway and the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1916. A Case Study in German Resistance and Complicity” (1998); “Le génocide arménien: négation ‘à l’allemande’“ (1999); “Migration, Deportation, and Nation-Building: The Case of the Ottoman Empire” (with F. Adanir, 2000); At the Crossroad of Der Zor. Death, Survival, and Humanitarian Resistance in Aleppo, 1915-1917 (2001); “Dall’impero alla repubblica: le continuità del negazionismo turco” (2001); “Armenian Property, Ottoman Law and Nationality Policies During the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1916” (2005); “Armenians and Missionaries in Times of Crisis: Marsovan 1915” (2008); “Genocide at the Twilight of the Ottoman Empire” (2010); “Regional Resistance to Central Government Policies: Ahmed Djemal Pasha, the Governors of Aleppo and Armenian Deportees in the Spring and Summer of 1915” (2010); The Extermination of Armenians in the Diarbekir Region (2014); “Shukru Bey and the Armenian deportations in the fall of 1915” (2016); “Humanitärer Widerstand gegen den Genozid an den Armeniern in Aleppo” (2017); “Financing the Ruling Party and Its Militants in Wartime. The Armenian Genocide and the Kemah Massacres of 1915” (2019); “Requiem for a Thug: Aintabli Abdulkadir and the Special Organization” (2019); “Tahsin Uzer: The CUP’s Man in the East” (2019); “Scenes from Angora, 1915: The Commander, the Bureaucrats and Muslim Notables during the Armenian Genocide” (2019).
The Interns at Yeraplour
“Your Young Shall See Visions” Acts 2:17
By Rev. Serop and Alina Megerditchian
We were pleased to be asked and were blessed to plan, organize and lead this year’s AMAA Summer Internship to Armenia, July 4-19.
The theme of the Internship “Vision for Mission,” was based on Acts 2:17 “Your young shall see vision.” The purpose and the aim of this year’s Internship was to provide the youth of our churches from different parts of the world – the United States, Canada, Australia, South America, Europe and the Middle East ̶ the opportunity to learn about and appreciate many ministries of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) and the Evangelical Churches of Armenia (ECA) in the Homeland, to be a time of personal spiritual growth through daily Bible study, discussion, prayer and evaluation sessions and to discover our rich Armenian heritage, roots and legacy through exposure to some significant historical, religious and key cultural sites of our beloved Homeland. The Interns accomplished these goals by serving and helping through different types of services, such as visiting, cleaning houses, cooking and having prayer time and lunch with the lonely, elderly and needy families in Vanadzor and Shiragamout, assisting at Vacation Bible School for children and children with special needs in Vanadzor, making jam (Mourabba) for Shogh Center’s kids in Vanadzor and working with children at AMAA’s Sheen Shoghig Camp in Hankavan.
Fifteen interns from eight countries bonded with each other very quickly and very well, as one family, and each day actively participated in the program and praised God for witnessing AMAA’s and ECA’s ministries for the children, youth, adult, elderly and needy of Armenia.
Interns toured significant AMAA ministries such as AMAA’s Avedisian School and the Shogh Day Centers. They met with local church pastors and congregations supported by the AMAA through the network of the Evangelical Church of Armenia (ECA). They had the opportunity to spend two days working alongside leaders at AMAA’s Sheen Shoghig Camp in Hankavan. They spent five days doing mission projects in Shriagamout and Vanadzor and they also visited cultural sites to discover their rich, Armenian cultural roots.
We would like to commend the interns for having the vision and implementing it through mission and, with their own money, sponsoring a child at Shogh Day Center in Vanadzor.
Also, we would like to commend the interns for sharing their pictures and writing their thoughts, reflections and daily activities and ministries on AMAA’s Intern’s Blog page at https://amaainterns.wordpress.com/
The following are excerpts from the interns’ experiences.
For me the Internship was such a great experience. I was able to meet new people and become closer with them. I loved the time spent with the kids at Sheen Shoghig Camp in Hankavan. I also liked visiting with the people and to put a smile on their faces just by talking to them. Overall, I learned I should be grateful for what I have and not complain, because there are a lot of people who are happy with what they have even though it’s not much. I want to thank all who prepared this Internship Program for us. It was an incredible experience, and I think everyone should experience this amazing trip and learn new things like I did. Thank you for everything.
During the Internship, I was so impressed by what AMAA ministries accomplish in Armenia, as well as by how the churches, against all odds, strive to serve the Lord using every resource no matter how small. I learned that unity is surely power, especially when it comes to prayer. A good team will always lead to great work and hence to great friendships and this is exactly what happened. I pray that God may strengthen us for further missions. We are called to feed His sparrows!
George Al Sahili
Over the two weeks, we witnessed both the tourist version of Armenia and the real cities of Armenia. I saw how terrible the living conditions were for many people and how happy and joyful these people were knowing that God is there with them. This trip also made me realize how fortunate I am to be born and raised and to live in Canada. It allowed me to reflect and be grateful for everything that I have, and it showed me what a big difference we can make. I learned about the different AMAA services. They support many churches, schools, and childcare centers. They also provide a lot of support for families who cannot support their children in a safe home. It was an experience that I’ve never had before, and I am already recommending this trip to others so they can experience what I have seen.
The Internship was truly enriching and life-giving. The balance between sightseeing, socializing and serving was excellent. I left the internship with a sense of fulfillment, being blessed spiritually and relationally. Three things I’ve learned. One, that I have a true family in Christ in my Evangelical Church in Armenia. Two, how proud we should all be of our Armenian Evangelical legacy and heritage. Three, how glad I was to see the good work done by the AMAA in Armenia. I am looking forward to seeing how I can be a part of that.
I participated in the AMAA Summer Internship 2019 for two main reasons: first to see my Homeland, and second to serve God in my Homeland. As a first-time visitor of Armenia, I had mixed emotions. I was amazed by the beauty and modernity of Yerevan and heartbroken by the plate houses of Shiragamout. But if you ask me if I would ever visit Armenia again, I sure would. The best thing about Armenia is the people. Their kindness, generosity, hospitality and faith are unmatched by any other nation. In our short two weeks of living and communicating with the people of Armenia, I learned a lot about how to be a better version of myself and invite others to be better by serving God through the people and strengthening my faith. I miss every single intern already and hope to reunite with them again in our Homeland. I’m forever grateful for this opportunity.
I had an amazing experience during AMAA Summer Internship 2019. We had the chance to visit some of AMAA offices/centers and churches in Armenia. And I’ve learned so many lessons during the Internship, that no matter what our situation in life, our faith and hope gets stronger by believing in God, because He will be with us every time we need Him. As for my impression? What we saw outside of Yerevan, for me it’s the reality, what we saw in Yerevan for me it’s a fake city.
Jack Mousa Oghli
The AMAA Summer Internship 2019 was a well-planned mission project. It was strategically designed to begin the trip by touring the beautiful areas of Armenia, display Armenia’s reality through missionary work in the middle, and end with a fun cultural education. Whether we had a tour guide or not, Rev. Megerditchian and Dr. Alina always prepared us by giving a little history lesson on where we were and why we were visiting. We learned about the Word of God and how it applies to us each day during our daily devotions, about local foods, the songs and dances, and the prayers sung throughout the trip. We learned how much the AMAA is doing for the Armenian people through educational, evangelical and humanitarian programs. No matter what family we visited during our missionary work, even in the poorest conditions of the real Armenia, God showed each of us lessons; lessons to complain less, to never take life and God for granted, to always put a smile on because there is much to still be grateful for, to work as a team, and to be giving. There is much that needs to be done now that we have learned our lessons and as we do our best to help our brothers and sisters in Armenia, we need to be disciples and teach those around us what we have learned through the AMAA Summer Internship 2019.
Since I came to the Armenian Evangelical Church in Buenos Aires, every day I dreamed to see Armenia with my own eyes. And now, after 15 years, I can say this dream has come true. When I heard about the AMAA internship, I said “yes!” after praying and finding God’s will. For years I read a lot about Armenia, its culture and habits, learned about its language and unique alphabet, its music, and I fell in love with all these. And when I arrived in Armenia all that was true! But it’s not only that…In Armenia there are cities devastated by earthquake, families living in ‘caravans’, people without jobs, without water or food, children with divorced or absent parents, or helpless elders. And that part of Armenia I didn’t find in articles, touristic books or newspapers. It’s the same country but seems to be not important to show to the world. I give thanks for enjoying the amazing and ancient culture of Armenia and at the same time to share and spend time with those who need company, a piece of bread, or even a smile. During these weeks we learned a lot of things, but overall that no matter the situations we are going through we must know that God is always present. If we have something to share with others, let’s not keep it to ourselves. God blessed us, and we must be a blessing for those who in need.
When I first arrived in Armenia for AMAA’s Internship, I was nervous for who I would be spending my time with and if I would enjoy my time serving in Armenia. I quickly became close friends with everyone in the group and knew that our time spent serving the Lord together would be fruitful. Seeing the condition of people’s lives, and what work the AMAA does, I was really affected and wanted to do more for these people when I returned home. I enjoyed spending time with needy children and families, especially knowing that I was helping and making them happy. I came back from our Internship learning so much about myself, life in Armenia, and the work of the AMAA. I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to come on this mission’s trip, made new life- long friends and learned so much.
I’m very thankful to God for giving me this special opportunity to visit Armenia and serve the Lord through various missions and activities. I’m also glad to meet new friends from different countries and feel like a family. In this internship I learned to always be thankful to God for what I have. I also learned to be a humble, loving and caring person. AMAA’s ministries and this year’s Internship will always be in my memory and I will practice what I learned in my daily life.
The two fruitful weeks of this year’s AMAA Summer Internship in Armenia were one of the best two weeks of my life. I saw and learned many things about myself, my Homeland, culture and people. Before the trip I knew very little about life in Armenia. I never thought that there are people who live in very bad conditions and are in need of help. I am very thankful that the AMAA gave me this opportunity to participate in this trip. I never knew how much they do for these people. This trip inspired me to be a better person and always be grateful of what I have. The Armenian people showed me what it is like to have God’s love. In their very sad living conditions, they were very thankful and happy praising God continuously and that amazed me, also inspired me to be like them. I feel very blessed and thankful to be part of a culture that puts God first in everything. It is truly amazing to know that an organization like this exists because it makes me think that there are still people in this world that do good.
During the Internship in Armenia, I was very happy for our successful mission. I visited a lot of families that were very nice and welcoming despite their problems and their situation. It was a wonderful experience that I was able to share my testimony with them, talk about God and His love for us and have prayer time together. I’m glad that I met and spent time with the kids. They were surprisingly very joyful meeting us and very respectful to us. During the two weeks, I learned that we can be happy at all costs even in very bad situations. This Internship was amazing for me, I met a lot of people, and I made new friends and had the opportunity to visit my Homeland Armenia. I want to thank the AMAA for everything they did for us and for every single project they have to help our people. I also want to thank Rev. Serop Megerditchian and Dr. Alina for leading this Internship.
AMAA Summer Internship 2019 was a very good experience to see the love of God by serving and helping as one body in Christ. I learned what the AMAA is doing in Armenia. We visited Shoghig Camp in Hankavan where the leaders were committed to teach the kids the Word of God by doing several Bible lessons. We also visited houses that the families were less fortunate, but they blessed us with the joy in their hearts and the faith that they had toward God that He is the eternal life. I learned to not take God and life for granted. Many thanks for this opportunity.
I am grateful I had the opportunity to be part of the AMAA Summer Internship 2019. These two weeks were two of the best and amazing weeks of my life. I learned many new things about my Homeland Armenia, people and their lifestyle. In Vanadzor and Shiragamout I was very surprised to see the way people live and how they struggle. But after seeing their situation I learned that I should always be grateful of what I have and never complain because some people don’t have a quarter of what I have. I was so inspired by these families’ strong faith in God even though they were not living in a great place. I want to thank the AMAA for this trip and for giving us the opportunity to see Armenia and for the work they do because it’s truly amazing and unbelievable.
The success of the AMAA Summer Internship relies heavily on the support, prayer, help and insight from the leadership at the AMAA Offices both in Paramus, New Jersey and Armenia. Special thanks go to AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian, AMAA-Armenia Representative Harout Nercessian, Senior Pastor Evangelical Church of Armenia Rev. Mgrditch Melkonian, Associate Pastor of Evangelical Church of Armenia in Yerevan Rev. Hovhannes Hovsepyan, AMAA-Yerevan Headquarters Office Administrator Anna Ohanyan, Vanadzor AMAA Office Manager Janna Danielyan and AMAA’s PR/Communication’s Coordinator Louisa Janbazian for their continued willingness to make this program thrive for the benefit of our young Armenians all over the Diaspora.
In conclusion, let’s continue our prayers that the good seeds planted in our interns’ lives, by God’s grace, may grow and bear fruits of lifelong “Vision for Mission.” May God continue to bless the AMAA and the Armenian Evangelical Church for His glory.
* Rev. Serop Megerditchian is the Senior Pastor of the Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church of Pasadena, CA..
In 2014, on the eve of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, a Consortium was formed between six organizations to reach out to the children of the Martuni Community in the Chambarak Region. The Consortium has now expanded to eleven organizations to include The Armenian Missionary Association of America-Armenia (AMAA-Armenia), “Shen” Charity NGO, Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), “Development Principles” NGO, Fund for Armenian Relief, World Vision Armenia, Teach for Armenia (TA), World Council of Churches Armenia Round Table Foundation, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), “Armenian Caritas” Benevolent NGO and “Diaconia Charitable Fund.”
In the first phase of the Consortium and in cooperation with Teach For Armenia, AMAA-Armenia sponsored a well-trained teacher to teach IT courses in the Martuni community of Chambarak Region for two years, both at the school level and at extracurricular and community level programs.
On July 26, 2019, the two Consortium member organizations solemnly signed their agreement to cooperate in the Kirants Community of Tavush Province, where AMAA-Armenia and TA will implement this program in the Primary School of the Community and will actively initiate community development and impact programs.
Peter Kougasian, Esq. Former AMAA Vice President and Robert M. Morgenthau, Esq. at AMAA’s 91st Annual Meeting Banquet at Hackensack Golf Club in Oradell, NJ
he Armenian Missionary Association of America is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Robert M. Morgenthau, Esq., United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for nine years and Manhattan District Attorney for 35 years, and longtime friend and boss of AMAA Board Member and Vice President Peter Kougasian, Esq. Mr. Morgenthau, part of a prominent New York political family for many generations, passed away on July 21, 2019 in New York City, a few days away from his 100th Birthday.
“In the 40 years of our acquaintance, I got to know Mr. Morgenthau very well, and I can assure you that he was a very, very great man, was passionately devoted to the Armenian people and spoke at many Genocide commemorations over the years,” said Mr. Kougasian. Mr. Kougasian, who served as an Assistant District Attorney under Mr. Morgenthau, was instrumental in securing Mr. Morgenthau as the guest speaker for the 91st AMAA Annual Meeting Banquet, held October 17, 2010 at the Hackensack Golf Club in Oradell, NJ.
Mr. Morgenthau was the grandson of Henry Morgenthau Sr., a lawyer and businessman, who became President Woodrow Wilson’s Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913-16. He came to be identified as the most prominent American to speak out about the Armenian Genocide and his book “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story” remains one of the most historical documents about the Genocide and is still frequently cited by Genocide scholars. Henry and several other Americans formed a public fundraising committee to assist Armenians called the Committee on Armenian Atrocities (later renamed Near East Relief) which raised over $100 million in aid. Through his friendship with the publisher of The New York Times, he ensured that the Genocide received prominent coverage in the paper; The Times published 145 articles about the Genocide in 1915 alone. Countless Armenian families recall how their “Uncle Henry” personally intervened to provide for their ancestor’s safe settlement in America. Henry’s image appeared in a 2015 Armenian postage stamp series called “Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.”
Mr. Morgenthau’s father, Henry Jr., served as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Treasury Secretary for much of the Depression and World War II. His biggest success was the Social Security Program; he reversed proposals to fund it from general revenue and insisted that it be funded by new taxes on employees.
Mr. Morgenthau served as a mentor to generations of public servants in politics and law. Under his leadership many notable Assistant District Attorneys served under him including the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor, Governor Andrew Cuomo, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Cyrus Vance, Jr.
Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO, and his wife Sona were honored to meet Mr. Morgenthau at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, which he founded and later became Chairman. “We celebrate the long life of Mr. Morgenthau,” said Mr. Khanjian. “While we are sad to lose such a great man, the bright side is that our Creator gains his company.”
By Dr. Albert and Sue Phillips*
What a blessing it has been to be of service to the people of Armenia for the last eleven years and we thank the Lord for all who have ventured along with us and given of themselves to serve others.
This year the Armenia Medical Mission Team of 43 members and 9 Armenian translators staffed ambulatory clinics in two separate regions of Armenia June 13-23. The North Team returned to Vanadzor and Stepanavan and the South Team traveled to Sisian and Kapan, a new location. We are thankful to God to have had enough medical personnel to be able to split the team this year and thus give care to several regions in Armenia. The Medical Mission Team consisted of 7 physicians, 2 dentists, 2 pharmacists, 5 nurses, 1 occupational therapist and 27 willing volunteers. The clinics were set up in the Evangelical Churches of the towns we visited. Dr. Chris Tashjian, his wife Barbara, and Allison Phillips were the South Team leaders and without their leadership we could have never been able to expand as we had this year.
Patients came from local neighborhoods and many were transported from outlying villages to the clinic by bus. Throughout the course of the week, over 1,000 patients, including adults and children, were seen. Our dentists treated 450 children and educated them on dental hygiene. We witnessed the results of our ongoing treatment by finding less dental disease in the group of children who return each year. Similarly, our adult patients who have received treatments in the past, reported improved health after receiving treatments for diabetes and hypertension. Through the support of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), we have been able to give the patients enough medications to last one year.
While patients were waiting to be seen, our nurse educators gave lectures on various medical issues. During the clinic, patients were invited to attend church services where team members shared their testimonies and the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached. After each visit with the doctor, patients were given an opportunity to have a prayer offered. Many were touched both physically and spiritually. This year, 98 families of young children ages 6 months to 5 years had the opportunity to participate in an Early Childhood Development Assessment administered by Dr. Allison Phillips, OTD. The results of this testing found that 3 of the children had developmental delays and parents were given individual counseling and instruction. We are happy to announce that the AMAA has made a large investment in the Medical Mission ministry. This month, the AMAA hired an Armenian physician employee who will return to our clinic locations to provide follow up and continuity of care.
The Medical Mission Team has committed to return to Armenia for our twelfth year in July 2020. If you have a desire to serve our brothers and sisters in Armenia or are interested in knowing more about the Armenia Medical Mission, please visit our website. The link can be found at AMAA’s website, www.amaa.org under “Projects.” Medical and non-medical, Armenian or non-Armenian speaking volunteers are welcome. We are humbled to see how God has grown the Medical Mission over the years. We can assure you that your generous donations to the AMAA earmarked for the Medical Mission go directly to the Armenian people and are only used for medications and supplies. Jesus during His ministry often met the physical needs prior to addressing the spiritual needs of those He met. We are committed to emulating His love in Armenia.
“The AMAA Medical Mission is an embodiment of both the reflection of Christ’s love poured unto our people and the spreading of the Word of God in action,” said Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director/CEO of the AMAA. “We thank those at the helm of the Medical Mission and the many volunteers who demonstrate their faith in action.”
*Dr. & Mrs. Albert and Sue Phillips are AMAA’s Armenia Medical Mission Team leaders.
On July 9, RA’s Chief Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs Zareh Sinanyan and the Head of the Office of the High Commissioner Sara Anjargolian received 17 Interns of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) coming from 8 countries – USA, Canada, Australia, Lebanon, Syria, Switzerland, France and Argentina. During their 15 days in the Homeland, the youth will not only get acquainted with their Homeland but will do humanitarian service. They will stay in Vanadzor for five days to help and minister single elderly people, care for them, help them in everyday jobs and clean their homes.
After welcoming the youth, Mr. Sinanyan and Ms. Anjargolian spoke about their repatriation stories, their motivation to return to Armenia, and to live and work in the Homeland. Mr. Sinanyan mentioned that he lived in the US for 31 years, but after the Velvet Revolution in Armenia last year, he decided to return to his Homeland, to live here and to work for the Armenian Government. Ms. Anjargolian said that she had been living in Armenia for the past seven years. She founded the Impact Hub in Yerevan and began helping young starters to be established in Armenia. Referring to Diaspora Armenian youth, Ms. Anjargolian stressed that it is extremely important to keep in touch and share news with each other and to make suggestions.
The leader of the Interns Rev. Serop Megerdithcian, Senior Pastor of the Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church in Pasadena, CA, spoke about the goal of the Vision for Mission initiative of the AMAA’s 2019 Internship Program in Armenia.
Mr. Sinanyan, commenting on the Interns’ visit to Armenia, said, “If you link your future with Armenia, then we have succeeded. The role of the Diaspora is not just to help Armenia. The Diaspora should also participate in the future of the Homeland.” Ms. Anjargolian urged them to come to Armenia for volunteer work, to work, to establish a business, to engage in tourism, or even work for the government, because the doors are already open.
The Interns then had the opportunity to ask some questions to the Chief Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs. Responding to one of the questions regarding the goals in the relations with the Diaspora, Mr. Sinanyan said that it is necessary first to improve and restore these relations, and to use the potential of the Diaspora for Armenia. One of the Interns asked how important the work of the Armenian government with the Diaspora is. Mr. Sinanyan said that now the goal is to link Diaspora Armenians to Armenia as much as possible, and the ministry’s reshuffling of the Prime Minister’s office has given a higher status to Armenia-Diaspora relations.
The Interns were also interested in the Commissioner’s opinion on the Diasporan-Armenian dividing line. “These divisions are the result of historical events. In reality, we are not different. The moment when we understand that we are Armenians and our Homeland is Armenia, the differences will disappear,” said Mr. Sinanyan.
At the end of the meeting the Interns emphasized that in Armenia people are warm, the Armenian heart is immediately felt and they are ready to share what they have. It felt they have fallen in love with Armenia.
Office of RA’s Chief Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs
Read the Armenian text here.