Founded on the Rock
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall for it was founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25
The Centennial year is over. The celebrations that started in New Jersey one year ago went on to Sydney, Beirut, Yerevan, Paris, Montreal, Toronto and reached its climactic conclusion in Los Angeles on October 20th, 2018. These celebrations created beautiful opportunities for fellowship and strengthening of bonds, renewing old friendships, creating new ones, coming together as one church, the one body of Christ.
It was a wonderful time that gave us a chance to pay tribute to those who founded the Association 100 years ago in Worcester, Massachusetts. We recognized all those whose dedication and sacrifice helped the Association grow in leaps and bounds to acquire the capabilities it has today. We acknowledged the positive impact the AMAA has left on individuals and communities that benefitted from the support and encouragement that has made the AMAA so important in the life of our nation. Most importantly, we thanked and praised God for His guidance and blessings throughout a century, while we as a nation at times found ourselves walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
As an organization we are happy and proud to have made it to this important milestone. But the party is over. We now have the challenge and responsibility to plan for the second century, to continue the work that was started and to do just as well if not better than those that came and went.
In this respect we are fortunate that from its early days the AMAA has been blessed with far sighted leadership and directors. These visionaries were not simply satisfied by meeting the needs of the day, but planned for the future, by encouraging the creation of endowment funds that were invested prudently producing steady income. We have resolved to continue that tradition by establishing the Centennial Campaign, to augment our capabilities, and prepare us to deal with the challenges that our churches, schools, summer camps and humanitarian initiatives may face. We want to be able to extend our horizons and enlarge our mission to reach out to communities that do not have shepherds and are thirsty for the Word of God. We also want to rejuvenate the 170 plus year old Armenian Evangelical tradition of establishing schools where our children will learn the Word of God and be inspired by our rich culture and heritage.
How do we plan for the next century? How do we make sure that one hundred years from now there will be another AMAA Centennial celebration just as sublime, just as beautiful? I believe that the answer is in Matthew 7:24-25. As long as we listen, as long as we hear, and as long as we do what Christ has told us to do the AMAA of the future remains on a foundation of rock and future generations will look back at us and say, “they were wise.” On the other hand, if we fail to take heed to what Christ has instructed us to do then all our structures will crumble, and our efforts will be in vain.
A lot has changed in the world in the last 100 years, and I am sure 100 years from now the world be a totally different kind of place. What will not change is the Word of God and the Great Commission that Jesus gave us to spread the Word to the ends of the earth.
Let us continue to be faithful to that Commission.
Nazareth E. Darakjian, M.D.
President, AMAA Board of Directors