Our team’s third Sunday in Armenia was one of our busiest days during this mission trip. We were on the road for about 11 hours and traveled from Yerevan to Gyumri to Horom to Kosh and then back to Yerevan.
In Gyumri, we visited the Armenian Evangelical Baptist Church, where Pastor Joseph preached, and we enjoyed a moving time of worship and praise. (Videos to come in a later post.) From there we went to Horom for another baptismal service. Although all eight women who were baptized were from Spitak, the church members from Horom joined us to provide encouragement and we appreciated their warm fellowship. It was inspiring to see a few elderly women bravely enter the shallow pool to be baptized!
Later we had the privilege of visiting our friends Sanadroug and Mariam Hajian for supper and fellowship.
Monday was busier than expected as the team ended up fitting in several visits (or meetings at the hotel). At this point, although the Hovsepians have one full day left in Armenia, the mission trip is officially over. Several friends in Armenia will continue the work as much as they can, following up on families we visited and making sure Bibles, tracts and devotional books are made available to those who need them. Please continue to pray for this vital work in Armenia. Thank you!
Did you know there’s a neighborhood called Bangladesh in Armenia? That’s where our team went on Tuesday for one of their visits. At one point, as we got closer to where the family lives, our car couldn’t handle the bumpy dirt road so we got out and walked the rest of the way (about 15 minutes). A 29-year-old woman and her two beautiful children met us halfway and then led us to their home. You can see some of that path in the photos.
What we saw when we arrived was nothing we could have expected. Although the property seems quite large, it is barren and filled with scraps of wood and metal, with a few crumbling sheds and a ramshackle little two-room house situated immediately next to one of three electrical towers – which we could hear buzzing overhead. When we asked the young woman about her husband, she explained that he tends 500 sheep for the people who own the land they live on. He spends six months away from home working as a shepherd while she takes care of the property and a few other sheep. The worst of it is that he has no salary. He works only to earn the food they eat and for their boarding.
We were able to offer some help to this family, to share God’s love and to pray for them. The children were so joyful despite their difficult circumstances that we felt humbled, recognizing how much we take for granted.
The second family we visited lives in Yerevan and we have been to their home during past mission trips. The 13-year-old daughter was just a couple of months old when a treatment in the hospital went wrong and she was left partially disabled. We were delighted to see an improvement in her mobility this year and a smile on her face as she interacted with us. Praise God! It was encouraging to see how this family is trusting in the Lord.
Please pray for these families! Pray that they will experience God’s grace in their lives and find strength and hope in Him. Thank you.
Monday was a quieter day for our team, but we still visited two families (related to each other) in the Ashtarak region and enjoyed warm fellowship. At the first home, where three generations were gathered together, Pastor Joseph was able to answer some interesting questions about faith and witness to a couple of the family members. He gave a 20-year-old man one of his devotional books and another family member indicated her desire to be baptized this weekend, if possible. (We may have about a dozen people get baptized; arrangements are currently being made by our contacts here.)
We have about a week left here in Armenia and will be trying to fit in as many visits and ministry opportunities as we can. We appreciate your continued interest and prayers!