We’re pretty much at the halfway point of our mission trip and today was our longest day, full of exciting and memorable blessings. We left the hotel around 7 a.m. and drove two hours to Vanadzor, the third largest city in Armenia, 128km north of Yerevan. Unlike most of the areas we have seen so far, Vanadzor is lush and green, high in the mountains (we saw snow on a far-off peak!).

In Vanadzor, we met with the congregation from Horom and were also joined by Susanna, a dear sister we have gotten to know over the last couple of years. Our Armenian-reading friends may be familiar with her Facebook group dedicated to sharing chapters from Pastor Joseph’s  book, God’s Workshop. She has distributed many, many books for us and today took home a couple of heavy packages of more books to give out. We are thankful for faithful friends who help us reach people we’d never come into contact with ourselves.

From our meeting spot, we continued to a small retreat centre in the middle of a remote, ancient-looking village, for a picnic and day of worship and fellowship sponsored by Joseph Hovsepian Ministries. Fifty-one of us, including children and teenagers, enjoyed several hours together, sharing physical and spiritual food. Pastor Joseph not only shared a message from God’s Word to the entire group, but he also had opportunities to do personal counseling and to help a few people who were in great need. Ann-Margret spoke to the children in the morning and then to the ladies in the afternoon. We gave out copies of both of Pastor Joseph’s devotional books, as well as New Testaments and our tracts. You’ll see in the video how eager even the children were to receive this material.

More exciting than all of this, however, is the rejoicing that happened in heaven when four souls received Jesus Christ today. Three women and one teenage boy made decisions to give their lives to Jesus and follow Him. One of those women attended church for the first time on Sunday and heard Pastor Joseph preach. How thrilling to hear her say, today, that she wanted to make a commitment for Christ.

We also had a baptismal service for a sister named Rosa. The facilities were not ideal, as you will see, but God kept her and Pastor Joseph safe and there was much joy. A few others had requested baptism but were not able to follow through today because of persecution and pressure from family members who are not believers. This is a challenge we have faced here before. Please pray for all these new believers.

Our ministry did not end when we said good-bye to the Horom group and started to head home. Along the highway, which is treacherous in some places, we stopped three or four times to speak with vendors who were selling carrots, beets and other vegetables. These people were all Russian, from the little village of Fioletovo in the valley below us. After a brief chat, we gave them a copy of our tract, What Are You Searching for?, in Russian. What a blessing to be able to plant a few more seeds!

Twelve hours after heading out, we were back at our hotel, our hearts and heads full of the day’s events. We are glad we can pass along some words, photos and videos but wish that you could all have been with us to share in these blessings. We appreciate your continued prayers. God is answering them!